Introduction to CBD
CBD is a supplement that’s rapidly growing in popularity, thanks to its many benefits. These can include better mood regulation, higher-quality sleep, immune function support, and alleviation of chronic pain.
The term CBD is the short form of ‘cannabidiol’, which is a chemical compound found in hemp. Although hemp is a sub-species of the cannabis sativa plant, consuming it will not make you high. This is because to be legally classed as hemp, the plant must contain less than 0.3% THC, the primary psychoactive component in cannabis.
The levels of THC (formal name, ‘delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol’) found in hemp are far too low to induce a ‘high’ feeling. Still, the process of extracting CBD from hemp further removes these traces, meaning lots of CBD products on the market today contain 0% THC.
How does it work? The science behind CBD
CBD works because of what’s known as the endocannabinoid system (ECS). This is one of the human body’s regulatory systems, and it plays an important role in the management of internal processes involving sleep and mood, for example.
The endocannabinoid system produces natural ‘cannabinoids’, which are similar to external cannabinoids such as CBD and THC. All cannabinoids can interact with special receptors located throughout the body.
CBD1 receptors are found in the nervous system. They help with the coordination of appetite, movement, thinking, and emotion, among other things. CBD2 receptors are located in the immune system and are involved in the regulation of inflammation and pain.
Img 1: Endocannabinoid system
Without getting too into the scientific jargon, the basic message is this: cannabinoids bind to receptors in the endocannabinoid system, which sends a signal to the rest of the body to protect itself from stressors. Taking CBD can support this process, promoting healthy physiological functioning and homeostasis in the body.
What is the difference between CBD and THC?
CBD is non-psychoactive, whereas THC is.
CBD is just one of the hundreds of natural compounds found in the hemp plant. Although THC is another of these compounds, to legally be called hemp, the plant must have 0.3% or less THC.
Img 2: Differences of THC vs CBD
This means hemp-derived CBD isn’t intoxicating and allows you to take advantage of Its therapeutic benefits — without the psychoactive effects of THC.
The benefits of using CBD
We hear a lot more about CBD these days than we used to, thanks to extensive amounts of research coming out on its numerous benefits. There’s evidence that CBD can support our general well-being in several ways, including:
- Mood regulation
- Sleep quality
- Immune function
- Inflammation reduction
- Exercise recovery
- Heart health
CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties and anxiety-reducing benefits are two of the most exciting indicators of its potential future uses. More research is needed to understand exactly how CBD interacts with our bodies’ internal systems, but we are learning more all the time.
What conditions and symptoms can CBD help with?
For many people, CBD offers a natural alternative to pharmaceutical drugs. It’s considered beneficial to the treatment of a variety of physical and mental health conditions, which we’ll outline below.
The following is a summary of current research relating to CBD’s potential benefits. It should not be considered advice. If you are considering taking CBD, please speak to your medical practitioner first.
A 2015 study discussed how CBD shows promise in supporting people during recovery from alcohol, opioid, cocaine, or psychostimulant addictions. Research is ongoing in supporting CBD’s use in managing withdrawal symptoms.
CBD could have significant benefits when used in patients with diabetes. In particular, the research points to CBD playing a role in reducing the effects of high glucose levels and plaque build-up in artery walls.
This means CBD could help to ease diabetic complications and potentially even delay the onset of Type 1 diabetes.
Some people have reported enhanced concentration when using CBD. This could be due to the fact that CBD improves blood flow to the hippocampus, which is involved in learning and memory.
The hippocampus also plays an important role in how the brain processes emotion. This could be why CBD can promote both relaxation and increased mental energy, which appear to be opposites.
Heart health (high blood pressure)
CBD’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties may be able to reduce the risk factors that can lead to heart disease by relieving high blood pressure. It may also alleviate the risk of related conditions, such as stroke.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- General anxiety disorder (GAD)
- Panic disorder
- Social anxiety disorder
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
There are claims that the non-psychoactive compounds in CBD could provide a new treatment for chronic pain, as well as reduce workout aches and discomfort.
The potential for CBD as a treatment for fibromyalgia is particularly inspiring, as there is currently no cure and limited pain relief available for people suffering from the syndrome.
Seizure disorder (epilepsy)
There is strong evidence to support CBD’s effectiveness in treating epileptic seizures.
Epidiolex, a specific prescription product of CBD, is the first hemp-derived medicine approved by the FDA for treating seizures caused by Dravet syndrome, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, and tuberous sclerosis, which typically don’t respond to anti-seizure medications.
It is unclear if other forms of CBD are helpful for treating seizures.
CBD for sleep might help those with insomnia and other sleep-related issues. Research is still in its infancy, but advocates claim it helps them to relax and unwind, making it easier to fall and stay asleep.
How to use CBD
CBD products come in many forms, as everyone has a different preference for how they take the supplement. CBD-infused edibles, gummies, and drinks are available, along with creams, oils, and even CBD for pets.
Let’s take a closer look at the ways in which you can use CBD.
Different types of CBD products
You can make your own CBD oil at home with CBD crystals. These are the purest form of CBD available as a consumer good, so you can create the perfect concentration for you.
Adding CBD oil to food can help to increase its positive effects, with research showing that more CBD is absorbed, and at a faster rate.
There are a variety of edible CBD products on the market, spanning everything from capsules to gummies to fizzy drinks. What’s known as ‘CBD paste' is also an edible form of CBD.
It’s possible to buy CBD paste and mix it into food, such as baked goods or cooking oils. CBD paste is a form of pure CBD, containing a higher concentration of cannabinoids when compared to most CBD oils.
A relatively recent discovery in the world of CBD is that water-soluble CBD is more effective than oil-based formulas. This is because the human body is made up of around 60% water, so water-soluble solutions are more easily absorbed by it.
Oil-based formulas, on the other hand, have a lower bio-availability – meaning they take longer to deliver a lesser amount of CBD to the bloodstream.
If you’re interested in trying water-soluble CBD, you can start by adding it to drinks such as tea, coffee, and fruit juices as part of your everyday routine. You can also try a CBD nebulizer, which might be a healthier alternative to vaping CBD oils.
There’s a growing trend for CBD cosmetics and personal grooming products. Some of these are designed to apply CBD topically, such as ointments and CBD patches. Others are incorporated into the recipe of products with an existing purpose, for an uplifting addition to your routine.
Some popular products containing CBD are:
- CBD gels to stimulate healing in damaged skin
- CBD creams that moisturize and restore
- CBD soaps that nourish and care
Choosing a CBD product
The most important consideration when choosing a CBD product is not what type of product, but whether the seller has a Certificate of Analysis from a third-party laboratory. This indicates that the product has undergone thorough testing to ensure the ingredients list is accurate.
As with any purchase, buying from a reputable brand is a good idea if you want to reduce the likelihood of receiving a low-quality product or poor customer service.
This will allow greater levels of CBD to reach your bloodstream in a shorter period. In the case of CBDactive+, the CBD can get into your system in as little as 10 minutes.
Getting the dosage right
Finding the correct dose of CBD is a careful process that varies from person to person. As a starting point, we recommend no more than two drops a day of a lower-concentration CBD product.
After a couple of weeks, if you are struggling to recognize any effects, it’s time to increase the dosage. This should be done slowly and steadily until you find the dose that works for you.
As of yet, there has been no evidence that humans can overdose on CBD. A 2017 study found that humans can tolerate up to 1500mg a day, but research hasn’t extended beyond this.
Feel free to contact us for more information on the dosage guidelines for each of our products.
Risks relating to CBD
There have been rare instances of side effects reported by people taking CBD. These include but are not limited to:
- Dry mouth
- Changes in appetite and weight
- Gastrointestinal reactions
- Liver damage
However, CBD has been recognized as safe by the World Health Organization (WHO), which confirms that it is “generally well tolerated with a good safety profile”. WHO also supports the idea that CBD may be a “useful treatment for a number of other medical conditions” alongside its proven effectiveness in treating epilepsy.
Forensic drug testing can occasionally mistake the presence of CBD for THC, returning a false positive. For this reason, you might also want to avoid CBD if you have to undergo regular drug testing.
Other groups who should avoid CBD are:
- Pregnant people
- Breastfeeding mothers
- Children and teenagers
Can I mix CBD with my medications?
CBD can affect how some medications interact with the body, so always speak to your doctor before taking it if you are on existing medication. Likewise, if you are a regular CBD user, you should let your doctor know before they prescribe any new medication.
Is CBD legal?
CBD containing less than 0.3% THC has been legal in the U.S. since the 2018 Farm Bill. There are minor variations between states, so check the cannabis laws where you are if you have any concerns.
The bill outlines how it’s now legal to grow industrial hemp, but it is still against federal law to grow your own CBD-producing plants at home.
CBD shows great promise as a complementary treatment for an array of medical conditions and general ailments. Since the introduction of the 2018 Farm Bill, research into its full potential is scaling up, with many developments in the space expected over the coming months and years.
Despite the buzz around CBD, it’s important to remember that it’s not a magic cure-all and isn’t suitable to be used by everyone. Do your own research, speak to a doctor before introducing it to your routine, and always buy from a trusted retailer.