For sure you have heard about CBD countless of times. But do you know what it really is and how it is related to cannabis? What makes it different from THC? What does CBD oil do with the body? And just how much do you need of it?
Read up and learn more about CBD and its benefits.
What is CBD?
CBD, which is short for cannabidiol, is one of the active chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant. These cannabis compounds are called cannabinoids. Cannabidiol and cannabinoids may sound like tongue twisters together, but do not confuse one with the other.
CBD or cannabidiol is only one of over 80 cannabinoids.
CBD and THC – What’s the difference?
Another cannabinoid you hear of very often is THC, which is short for tetrahydrocannabinol. However, CBD and THC do not interact with the body in a similar way. Unlike CBD, THC is psychoactive. This means that THC affects the user’s mind or mental processes and causes “high” while CBD does not.
In fact, CBD can counteract THC’s psychoactivity. Cannabis products that are CBD-rich are less psychoactive than cannabis products or strains that are THC-dominant. Consuming CBD products will not send you to a cerebral adventure associated with THC.
CBD’s treatment potential
Preclinical trials over the years have found that CBD has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties and can bring pain relief. This is the reason why cannabis works for patients suffering from chronic pain, arthritis, and multiple sclerosis.
CBD also helps reduce vomiting and nausea. Because of this, many cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy opt to use cannabis. What’s more, CBD reduces seizures and convulsions and suppresses muscle spasms. This makes CBD products like CBD oil a very effective treatment for patients suffering from epilepsy.
CBD also has a relaxing effect and can help treat psychological disorders, including anxiety, schizophrenia, depression, and PTSD.
How does CBD work?
CBD is most predominant in trichomes, or the resin glands of the female cannabis plant. CBD and other cannabinoids are agonists, which bind to special receptors in the body called cannabinoid receptors. These receptors, located in different parts of the body, make up the endocannabinoid system or ECS. The ECS, which is also described as the body’s largest neurotransmitter system, is a large network of cell receptor proteins that perform many functions.
The ECS can affect a person’s mood, motor control, memory, pain perception, appetite, immune function, bone development, and even sleep.
While THC directly engages the cannabinoid receptor that is largely concentrated in the central nervous system, also called cannabinoid receptor 1 or CB1, CBD doesn’t. Rather, CBD engages CB1 differently. It binds on an another site on the receptor called an allosteric site. In effect, CBD is able to modulate THC’s psychoactivity.
Cannabis strains with high CBD content
If you are going to use cannabis for medicinal purposes, you might want to look for products that come from a cannabis strain with high CBD levels. These high CBD strains include Charlotte’s Web, Sour Tsunami, Harlequin, Charlotte’s Web, CBD Critical Cure, ACDC, and Cannatonic.
Ways to Consume CBD
You can ingest CBD through smoking, vaping, eating CBD-rich edibles, and extracting. Your local cannabis dispensary may also carry extracted CBD in the form of oils or capsules. There are also sprays, such as Sativex (Nabiximols), which contain CBD.
How much CBD should you take?
Recommended CBD dosage really depends on what you are taking it for. Also keep in mind that everyone is different and each one also reacts differently to different CBD doses – whether it is via vaping, smoking, spray, oil, or edible. That is why it is best to start small and then increase the dose gradually until you experience your desired result.
The concentrations in oils also vary between preparations. It can range from 1 mg per dose to hundreds of mg.
Recommended doses also vary for different medical conditions. For instance, for those suffering from sleep disorders, recommended dose is 40-160 mg of CBD by mouth. To treat epilepsy, it is 200-300 mg of CBD by mouth on a daily basis for up to 4.5 months.
To treat chronic pain, a dose of 2.5-20 mg CBD by mouth for about 25 days is recommended. Meanwhile, schizophrenia patients are recommended to consume 40-1,280 mg of CBD by mouth every day for up to four weeks.
There are also medical conditions where specific doses of CBD is recommended along with specific doses of THC.