What is CBD?

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol (CBD) has become increasingly popular as a health and wellness supplement. But despite the dozens of products on the market that laud its benefits, many people are still confused about what CBD is or what it can do. So how much do you really know about this potent extract?

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol, or CBD for short, is a natural phytocannabinoid found in cannabis plants. Unlike other cannabinoids — namely tetrahydrocannabinol or THC – CBD does not produce any psychoactive effects and will actually counteract these effects to some degree by inducing feelings of sleepiness; this can be beneficial for people who struggle to fall asleep because they experience insomnia related disorders such as Prader Willi syndrome (PWS). In addition, CBD is a powerful antioxidant linked to protecting against several types of cancer.

Although CBD can be extracted from both hemp and psychoactive cannabis, it is also produced naturally in the human body. The endocannabinoid system, which consists of receptors throughout the brain and nervous system, plays a role in many physiological processes. These receptors respond to naturally occurring cannabinoids (such as CBD) and neurotransmitters, as well as phytocannabinoids.

The endocannabinoid system’s regulation of the body is responsible for a wide range of seemingly disparate functions such as mood, memory, appetite, pain sensation, inflammation response, and more. Because this regulation occurs at such a fundamental level, it is relatively easy to influence the system with phytocannabinoid supplementation.

The History of CBD

Cannabidiol was first isolated in 1940 by Roger Adams, an American chemist, and botanist. Although its structure had already been determined decades earlier (by Raphael Mechoulam), researchers at the University of Illinois were the first to synthesize CBD in 1963.

CBD was one of the researchers’ least-expected findings. Mechoulam had assumed that because hemp plants are in the same family as marijuana, they must naturally produce THC – not CBD. But it turns out that both chemicals are produced by the plant, with the ratio varying based on the strain.

As the cannabis movement pushes for the normalization and legalization of marijuana, which is predominantly THC-rich, CBD has become more prominent in the wellness market. Public attention to its benefits has grown in the past few years, leading to a rise in demand for quality products and clear labeling. 

Is CBD a drug?

No, CBD is not a drug.

CBD is the abbreviated form of Cannabidiol, one of more than 80 chemical compounds found in Cannabis plants. Most people know hemp as the industrial plant used in making fabric, ropes, and other items. At the same time, marijuana has been valued for its medicinal or recreational properties since it can induce a euphoric state.

Hemp has been used as an industrial material for over 10,000 years and is still cultivated today to produce fiber and oil, and extracts such as CBD. The cannabinoids found in marijuana come from the flowers of the Cannabis Sativa L. plant, while those produced by hemp are based on its leaves and stalks.

CBD and THC are some of the most well-known and understood cannabinoid compounds due to their presence in marijuana. CBD is non-psychoactive, while THC gives users that “high” feeling.

The main difference between the two plants is how they are grown, harvested, and processed. Marijuana contains high concentrations of psychoactive tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). In contrast, hemp contains minimal levels of THC and is instead primarily cultivated for its fiber, seeds, and CBD production.

CBD can be found in both marijuana and hemp, although it is found in higher concentrations in the hemp plant. Hemp-sourced CBD products are legal across all 50 states as they contain negligible amounts of THC. Products containing CBD derived from marijuana are subject to stricter laws and regulations.

To create CBD oil, hemp plants are grown in controlled conditions without pesticides or fertilizers. After harvest, the stalks and seeds are extracted through cold press extraction. This method is known as CO2 extraction, which uses carbon dioxide to execute the process.

CO2 extraction is safe as it does not potentially leave toxic residues, unlike solvent-based extraction methods.

What Does CBD Oil Do?

CBD has been found to help those who suffer from various conditions, including seizures, anxiety, and schizophrenia. There are also claims that it can be used as a cancer therapy, but these claims are still in the early stages of research.

CBD is praised for its anti-inflammatory properties and has decreased inflammation by interacting with the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is responsible for regulating sleep, appetite, immune response, and pain; thus, CBD can provide relief from various conditions that may be caused by chronic inflammation.

CBD has been shown to provide relief from pain and inflammation as well as improve sleep quality. It is also used for stress relief, decreased anxiety, and insomnia. CBD may also help those with epilepsy by acting as an anticonvulsant.

Although research on marijuana continues, a growing number of states have legalized medical marijuana, and several countries have legalized both medical and recreational marijuana. As research on CBD oil continues, more uses will be found for those who seek to use it as a supplement or alternative medicine.

CBD is said to help with the following:

Stress Relief: It works as a stress reliever by activating serotonin receptors in your brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps combat depression and anxiety. CBD also increases the levels of anandamide, a compound known for regulating mood, pleasure, and pain.

Pain Relief: It works as a pain reliever by manipulating the endocannabinoid receptor activity in your body which helps with chronic inflammation and neuropathic pain, among other conditions.

Increased Appetite: It has been shown to increase appetite in those undergoing chemotherapy or who have a suppressed appetite due to other conditions.

Anti-seizure Properties: CBD has been shown to help with seizure disorders, including Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.

Cancer Therapy: There is some evidence suggesting that CBD helps slow cell growth and reduce the size of tumors. More research is needed in this area to create an FDA-approved treatment plan.

High Blood Pressure: The same compounds that help with seizure disorders make CBD effective for high blood pressure. There is not enough data on humans to support these claims. Still, one study on animals showed a 40% reduction in blood pressure while healthy volunteers were given CBD.

Schizophrenia: People with schizophrenia tend to have reduced levels of anandamide. Studies show that patients with schizophrenia have high levels of CB1 receptors in the brain, which cannabinoids can activate. By activating these receptors, CBD is thought to help regulate dopamine and glutamate levels in the brain.

Anxiety Relief: CBD works as a mild anti-anxiety treatment for those with anxiety issues and more severe cases of anxiety such as panic disorders and OCD. It has been shown to help those who have PTSD and those who have a social anxiety disorder.

Epilepsy Treatment: Patients with epilepsy have shown excellent results with CBD treatment. Many have reported that they can reduce or even eliminate seizure medication after taking CBD regularly. There are some concerns that patients with epilepsy may be at risk for increased seizures if they take both CBD and their conventional medications together. However, this has not been confirmed in studies.

Relieve Nausea: Patients undergoing chemotherapy have reported that CBD has been very effective at reducing nausea and vomiting caused by various treatments. Studies have yet to be conducted with humans. Still, one study on animals with cancer showed that those treated with CBD had a significant reduction in vomiting and nausea.

Help Treat Substance Abuse Disorders: There is some evidence to suggest that CBD may help with substance abuse disorders. The National Institute on Drug Abuse has done research that shows CBD may reduce the cravings and anxiety associated with drug use.

CBD also holds promise for bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, depression, and PTSD by helping regulate dopamine and serotonin levels in the brain. It is promising for these disorders because it has few if any side effects.

Research is still being conducted for CBD use in cancer treatment, epilepsy, schizophrenia, and substance abuse disorders. However, preliminary research shows positive results in all of these areas. It should be noted that there are no studies on humans yet, so more research needs to be done. Additionally, not much long-term research has been conducted to show the potential effects of CBD on the body over time.

What does CBD make you feel?

Medically speaking, CBD works by interacting with a system in the human body called the endocannabinoid system. This makes up a part of our immune system and manages sleep, pain, and anxiety functions. 

There are two main receptors in this system: CB1 and CB2. “These receptors are activated when the body needs healing or restoration in any way and work in tandem to maintain homeostasis within your system. It is impossible to overstate exactly how important these receptors are in repairing and maintaining your body,” says Joy Smith, a professional cannabis expert, and advocate.

There has been much debate lately about what CBD does. Based on our research, we can say that it interacts with the CB2 receptor sites primarily located in the immune system. This seems to be a primary target of the plant compound.

As for how it feels, that is a little more difficult to answer. If CBD interacts with CB2 receptors in your immune system, some effects may include pain relief and inflammation reduction.

What are CBD’s CB1 interactions?

CB1 receptors are located primarily in the brain and control memory, emotions, coordination, sensory, and time perception. When CBD interacts with these CB1 receptors, it’s thought to influence how your body processes pain signals from other parts of your body.

Combining this response with the anti-inflammatory effects seen from the interaction between CBD and the CB2 receptors makes for a potent supplement.

Many users report that CBD has a calming effect, which is also likely due to its interactions with both CB1 and CB2 receptor sites. With so much happening inside your body when you ingest CBD, it’s clear to see why several medical professionals are now recommending it as an alternative treatment for so many illnesses.

As with anything related to your health, consult your doctor before beginning any new supplementation regimen.

Does CBD make you hungry?

One of the most common questions patients ask about CBD is whether it makes them hungry. The answer to this question depends on many factors, including genetic differences in how people respond to CBD. If you haven’t heard by now, one cannabinoid just won’t fit all in the cannabis oil benefits department. That’s why we’re here to help educate you on CBD, including its potential effects on different systems in the body.

The endocannabinoid system is thought to influence other regulatory systems, such as metabolic function, including appetite and hunger hormones. According to one study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, your genetics dictate how your body responds to CBD. Investigators found that subjects with specific genetic variations had high levels of anandamide (the cannabinoid known for promoting “runner’s high”) in their system. Subjects without these particular genes, however, tended to have low concentrations of the same cannabinoid.

Although this study is preliminary and more research needs to be done on how human genetics affects the endocannabinoid system, it’s reassuring that genetics play a role in how CBD affects our bodies. This means that two people with the same diagnosis could have different reactions to CBD oil, especially considering that each person has a unique endocannabinoid system and biochemistry.

A study published in the journal Appetite found that obese study participants taking an oral dose of CBD reported feeling less hungry after consumption. The study examined the effects of cannabis on hunger in normal-weight subjects. Still, it did not further investigate how genetics might impact the results.

As with many things related to cannabis, more research needs to be done before scientists can say whether there is a definitive link between appetite and cannabinoids like CBD.

What happens if you take CBD every day?

This question is becoming more and more common among people who are talking to me about CBD. You can think of it as sort of a ‘CBD lifestyle choice.’ 

Taking daily doses is the new normal for some users, especially those using full spectrum tinctures. But other customers prefer to take nootropic supplements before bedtime only or on a more intermittent basis. 

I used to be more of an infrequent CBD user – the ‘take it when I need it’ approach – but as time has gone by, and as my knowledge about cannabinoids has deepened, I’ve become comfortable with very regular use. 

For me, the best benefits come from taking daily doses that equate to a specific amount of CBD – a number that’s based on my body weight, the type of relief I’m seeking, and the severity of symptoms.

That being said, it is not always clear what this ‘number’ should be. There are many different schools of thought about taking full-spectrum oil/tinctures or nootropics for consistent relief. Some people start with a ‘less is more approach and gradually increase their dose over time. Others jump right in with an amount that equals the percentage of CBD in their product of choice (i.e., 750mg equal to 37.5% per ML).

I think everyone must come to terms with their own comfort zone. I’ve heard some experienced CBD users say they would never go below 10mg of CBD/ML to get relief, and others begin with 1-2mg, so the number varies. The nice thing about full-spectrum oil or tinctures is that you can gradually increase your dose as needed, titrate up to find the optimal amount for relief, and stay clear-headed and present throughout the day.

An important caveat is worth mentioning here: everyone has a different CBD response curve. Over time, the body gets used to CBD, so you have to re-adjust the amount you are taking to get relief from your symptoms at their current level of severity. In other words, you could take 1mg of CBD for a week, and it will help your symptoms, but then as time goes by, you start to need more CBD to get relief from pain or anxiety.

How long does CBD high last?

Effects of CBD can last from a few hours to several days. It mainly depends on the dosage, the way you take it, and your body chemistry. In some cases, there might be a build-up of tolerance if you’re constantly taking certain types of CBD over a long period. Discuss with your physician how much is right for you.

If taken orally (sublingually, eat), the effects of CBD will take about 15-30 minutes to kick in. If ingested (swallowed), the onset is slightly longer at 20-40+ minutes because it must first go through your digestive system. When you inhale CBD, like with a vape pen or dab rig, it will take about 5 minutes for the effects to kick in.

CBD high is completely different from THC high because there are no psychoactive properties, which produces that high feeling associated with cannabis. CBD doesn’t bind to your cannabinoid receptors as THC does, so you will not feel any head change or grogginess after taking CBD. It will make your body feel relaxed and calm.

Can you get addicted to CBD?

Dr. Ethan Russo, a cannabis researcher who has studied the plant for decades. He breaks it down so even people with no science background can understand.

Where does Dr. Russo’s explanation leave CBD oil addiction? The short answer is that CBD doesn’t cause addiction or cravings like “hard” drugs like opioids or cocaine.

More about CBD addiction

That’s because CBD isn’t psychoactive like THC. It doesn’t give you the same mind-altering “high” effect. And, with no reported side effects of withdrawal, addicts don’t need to go cold turkey when they try to stop using it. So there is little risk of becoming dependent on CBD to function normally.

However, suppose you’re taking CBD for a specific condition such as epilepsy and hoping it will cure you of all your ailments with no side effects. In that case, Russo’s warning is valid.

CBD oil addiction potential: It depends on why you’re using CBD in the first place.

Every person has a different reason they use CBD. Some use it to treat pain and inflammation, others for anxiety or stress relief. Some people take it because they like how it makes them feel after using nootropics such as CBD.

But unlike THC, CBD doesn’t get you high. So it has less potential for abuse than THC, which causes the “high” effect. As Russo explains, “Where cannabis is principally a drug of addiction with most users consuming it for the intoxicant effect, the most common reason people seek out CBD products are for its therapeutic value.”

Even so, addicts with an unlimited supply of cash who don’t care about the cost might fall victim to CBD oil addiction. They would be willing to buy it regardless of the price because “it’s got nothing to do with getting high.”

Low-dose CBD oil addiction potential: Russo warns that certain users are at risk for developing an addiction to low-dose CBD products.

He explains this group includes parents who give high doses of CBD to their children to keep them calm and make them feel good. They are essentially not treating the underlying condition. Still, They are trying to use CBD as a mood enhancer instead of prescription drugs.

According to Russo, “We have some patients that take high doses of CBD almost daily, but they’re taking it for other reasons.” And that’s where addiction potential comes in.

What really increases the risk of CBD addiction is when people use it “in a broad-based manner also countering many of the stressors of daily living” without addressing the root cause of their problems.

In other words, they’re using it as a cure-all instead of emphasizing lifestyle changes such as eating better or exercising more. This can be dangerous because those supplemental coping strategies can’t be used indefinitely. They’re less effective than healthy lifestyle changes.

Russo is saying that if you take CBD to feel better instead of taking charge of your life, then you can become addicted to using nootropics. And without realizing it, you’ll have traded one addiction for another.

Will CBD make me tired?

Do I need to be concerned with CBD and tiredness?

CBD is non-psychoactive, meaning it won’t contribute to feelings of sleepiness. CBD has been shown to reduce the overall psychoactive effects that THC may cause when consumed in high doses or when taken recreationally. It is possible that you can ingest a large dose of CBD and still feel alert and well-oriented.

CBD has been shown to help with focus, anxiety, reducing inflammation, stress relief. We don’t know of anyone that has felt tired after taking it. However, some people have reported feeling more tired when using high doses of THC.



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