CBD Oil: “DON’T PANIC!” It’s your handy dandy guide to Cannabidiol Oil
When speaking of marijuana most would think of the psychotropic effects of delta-9-THC, however this is only one of more than 85 compounds found in cannabis. In recent years cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive compound in cannabis, has been gaining in popularity with the medical community for its many benefits treating the symptoms of various health conditions, ranging from arthritis, to anxiety, to cancer, epilepsy, inflammation, and many others. Cannabidiol is ideal for medical treatment due to its lack of “high”. This is because it doesn’t affect the CB1 receptors clustered in the brain, which delta-9-THC does. Cannabidiol, once extracted can be processed for various delivery methods, one of which is oil. This handy dandy guide will walk you through the who’s, what’s, and why’s of CBD oil, and give you a more complete picture of the many conditions it can help treat.
The Non-psychotropic effects of Cannabidiol (CBD) force a change in perspective on marijuana as a medicinal option
Cannabis has been used medicinally for more than 3,000 years, but only entered Western use in the 19th century for various malities including spasming, convulsing, inflammation, and pain.
It was only in recent years that prohibition created a false stigma that marijuana was used for its recreational effects alone.
The non-psychoactive effects of cannabidiol, combined with its many proven medicinal uses, have begun to force people to change how they view marijuana however.
What is Cannabidiol (CBD)?
There are over 85 compounds to be found in cannabis, which belong to a type of molecule found in the body called cannabinoids. Delta-9-THC and cannabidiol comprise the highest concentrations of these compounds, so they are frequently the main focus of scrutiny when it comes to marijuana.
The given concentration of delta-9-THC or CBD varies from plant to plant, but growers can choose their plant strain intentionally for higher amounts of CBD, if so desired.
Advancements in modern cultivation have allowed professional growers to breed their strains for even more specific traits, such as cannabis plants with no delta-9-THC and a high majority of the cannabidiol compound.
Medicinal benefits of cannabidiol (CBD)
When cannabidiol was introduced into Western medicine it was only used for spasming, convulsing, inflammation, and pain, however it has been known as a beneficial treatment for many conditions, almost since the beginning of recorded human civilization.
CBD has been commonly recommended to be used for:
- Neurodegenerative disorders
- Fighting cancer/tumor cells
- Stopping seizures
With medicinal marijuana legalization happening in more states, research into the various health benefits of CBD is revealing more and more each year.
How do cannabinoids work?
The fact that the compounds found in cannabis affect so many different systems within the human body, and mammals in general, isn’t a coincidence. This is because of what a cannabinoid molecule is, and where it comes from.
We are hardwired to respond positively to cannabis, because our bodies already produce cannabinoids naturally in the form of endocannabinoids. The endocannabinoid system is a group of cannabinoid receptors spreading throughout the mammal brain, and central/peripheral nervous systems. It’s a part of how our very cells communicate.
Systems affected by the ECS
- By increasing endocannabinoid signals within the central nervous system, anandamide can increase adenosine levels, inducing a drowsy effect.
- Hypothalamic neurons create endocannabinoids that regulate hunger, and increase dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens, making it more enjoyable to eat.
- Metabolism/Energy Level
- Has a regulating effect on metabolic functions, including energy accumulation and nutrient movement. It has also been shown to regulate insulin sensitivity.
- Stress response
- Prevents excessive discharge of glucocorticoids when you are presented with a stressful situation, allowing you to process stress more levelly. The ECS is vital in controlling anxiety-dependent habits, as well as your level of interest in normal situations.
- Immune function
- Assists the immune system, acting as neuromodulators and immunomodulators. This decreases muscle spasming and inflammation, in addition to assuring the transport of B cells to the marginal zone in the body and controlling proper lgM levels.
- Reproduction systems in females
- A child in utero develops their cannabinoid receptors very early on, so they can respond to the anandamide introduced to the womb by the uterus. This anandamide also regulates the likelihood of pregnancy, meaning that if anandamide levels are made too high or low, it can lessen the likelihood of pregnancy, or increase the likelihood of miscarriage.
- Nervous system
- Reduces the noradrenaline release to nerves in the sympathetic nervous system, as well as activating the CB1 receptor to innervate visceral organs presynaptically via motor neurons.
- Anandamide and N-arachidonoyl dopamine interact with the temperature sensing TRPV1 areas associated with thermoregulation, causing vasodilation.
- Effects areas of the brain associated with learning and memory storage/formation. The ECS enables neurogenesis from neural stem cells and progenitor cells, essential for neural development. Stimulation of cannabinoid receptors on neurotransmitter release in the brain, also functions as the brain’s mechanism for depressant mobility.
- Cannabinoids reduce bad responses to negative stimuli to neurons at the dorsal horn, through controlling the descending noradrenaline information being sent from the brainstem.
The cannabinoid molecules produced by marijuana are the only substitute found in nature for the endocannabinoids found in every mammal body. This is the reason cannabis is able to affect so many different types of condition. It interacts with the human body on a very basic level.
Each of the more than 85 compounds found in cannabis affect different pathways in the body, but for the most part treat similar conditions to varying degrees.
Cannabidiol or Delta-9-THC
The most important difference between CBD and THC, as stated above, is that where THC affects the CB1 receptors in the brain, causing a psychotropic effect, CBD does not. This is why cannabidiol is preferred by the medical community.
Cannabidiol has been shown to work in conjunction with delta-9-THC countering its negative side-effects, such as loss of memory and paranoia. Where THC makes a person drossy, CBD makes them alert. Neither pose any threat of overdose as well.
The specific differences:
- Cannabidiol both counteracts the paranoia caused by THC and treats general anxiety.
- Effect on alertness/sleep
- Cannabidiol is known to cause alertness, whereas THC is known to induce drowsiness.
- Antipsychotic effects
- Cannabidiol is known to protect the user from getting too high, by creating a psychosis like effect, but also has been shown to be a good treatment for people with schizophrenia.
- Psychotropic effects
- Where delta-9-THC affects the CB1 receptors in the brain creating a psychoactive effect, cannabidiol does not due to affecting different pathways.
- Due to the psychotropic effect of delta-9-THC and CBD’s lack of that affect, THC’s legality has been treated differently than CBD over the years. There are currently only 23 states where medical marijuana is legal, whereas there are only 4 states that have legalized recreational use.