CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of the many chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant. Unlike THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, which is the main psychoactive component of cannabis, CBD does not cause a high. Instead, CBD has been shown to have various health benefits, such as reducing pain, anxiety, seizures, inflammation, and more.
CBD can be extracted from the cannabis plant and used in different forms, such as oils, capsules, edibles, creams, and vapes. CBD products have become increasingly popular and widely available in recent years, as more people are looking for natural and alternative ways to improve their well-being. However, CBD products are also subject to legal, regulatory, and quality issues, as well as scientific uncertainty and consumer confusion. In this post, I will discuss what CBD is, how it works, what are its benefits and risks, and why it is in everything now.
What is CBD and how does it work?
CBD is one of the many cannabinoids, or chemical compounds, that are produced by the cannabis plant. CBD can be derived from either hemp or marijuana, which are both varieties of cannabis. Hemp contains less than 0.3% THC, while marijuana contains more than 0.3% THC. THC is the compound that causes the psychoactive effects of cannabis, such as euphoria, relaxation, and altered perception. CBD, on the other hand, does not have any psychoactive effects, but it can influence the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is a network of receptors and molecules that regulates various functions in the body, such as sleep, mood, appetite, pain, immune response, and memory.
CBD can either activate or block the ECS receptors, depending on the dose and the type of receptor. CBD can also interact with other neurotransmitter systems, such as serotonin, dopamine, and opioids, which are involved in mood, reward, and pain. CBD can modulate the activity of these systems and produce various effects, such as anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, anti-epileptic, and analgesic.
What are the benefits and risks of CBD?
CBD has been studied for its potential therapeutic effects for various conditions, such as chronic pain, anxiety, depression, epilepsy, neurodegenerative disorders, cancer, and more. CBD has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, neuroprotective, and immunomodulatory properties, which may help to reduce inflammation, oxidative stress, neuronal damage, and immune dysfunction. CBD has also been shown to have anxiolytic, antidepressant, anticonvulsant, and analgesic effects, which may help to relieve anxiety, depression, seizures, and pain. CBD may also have some benefits for skin health, as it may help to treat acne, eczema, psoriasis, and other skin conditions³.
However, CBD is not without risks and limitations. CBD may cause some side effects, such as dry mouth, drowsiness, fatigue, diarrhoea, changes in appetite, and interactions with other medications. CBD may also have some adverse effects, such as liver toxicity, increased intraocular pressure, and reduced fertility. CBD products are also not regulated by the FDA, which means that their quality, safety, and efficacy are not guaranteed. CBD products may contain contaminants, such as pesticides, heavy metals, solvents, and microbes, or inaccurate levels of CBD and THC, which may pose health risks or legal issues. CBD products are also not standardised, which means that their dosage, formulation, and delivery method may vary widely and affect their bioavailability and effectiveness.
Why is CBD in everything now?
CBD has become a popular and trendy product in recent years, as more people are seeking natural and alternative ways to improve their health and wellness. CBD has been marketed as a cure-all for various ailments, such as pain, anxiety, insomnia, and more. CBD has also been infused into various products, such as cosmetics, food, beverages, and pet care, to appeal to different consumers and preferences.
CBD has also been influenced by the legalisation and social acceptance of cannabis, as well as the increased awareness and research on its potential benefits. CBD has also been driven by the demand and supply of the cannabis industry, which has grown rapidly and competitively in the past decade. CBD has also been fueled by the media and the internet, which have spread information and testimonials about CBD, as well as created a community and a culture around CBD.
In conclusion, CBD is a complex and controversial substance that has many health benefits, but also many risks and challenges. CBD is derived from the cannabis plant and works by interacting with various systems and receptors in the body and brain. CBD can help with various conditions, such as pain, anxiety, seizures, and more, but it can also cause some side effects, adverse effects, and drug interactions. CBD products are also not regulated, standardised, or consistent, which may affect their quality, safety, and efficacy.
CBD products are also widely available and diverse, which may reflect the popularity and demand of CBD, as well as the influence of the cannabis industry, the media, and the internet. CBD is a promising and versatile product, but it is not a miracle cure or a panacea. CBD should be used with caution and under the guidance of a doctor, and only after weighing the pros and cons of this natural and novel therapy.
(1) Basics of the Central Business District – ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/history-of-cbd-1435772.
(3) Medical cannabis (cannabis oil) – NHS. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/medical-cannabis/.
(4) What is Cannabidiol (CBD)? Uses, Benefits, and More – Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/your-cbd-guide.
(5) CBD oil: why it’s hard to know what you’re getting – Which? News. https://www.which.co.uk/news/article/cbd-oil-why-its-hard-to-know-what-youre-getting-abCuO2K05ZqZ.
(6) What Is CBD And Why Is It In Everything Now? – Awaken. https://awaken.com/2019/07/what-is-cbd-and-why-is-it-in-everything-now/.