What Is CBD?

CBD is the acronym for Cannabidiol, a common cannabinoid found in both marijuana and Industrial hemp plants. It has significant health benefits, but lacks induced “High” from THC, tetrahydrocannabinol, found in marijuana. Marijuana and Hemp are both members of the Sativa family of cannabis plants. While they are from the same family, they are more like cousins rather than direct siblings. Marijuana produces both THC and CBD in varying amounts depending on the strain. Industrial Hemp, however, does not produce any significant amount of THC; it lacks the necessary DNA codons to produce the enzymes generating THC. Industrial Hemp, fortunately, does contain the proper DNA codons to produce CBD. Only CBD derived from Industrial Hemp is legal to be sold in all 50 states, unrestricted. CBD is generally taken orally or in topical form. However, it can be administered in a variety of other means such as vaping. The chemical structures for CBD and THC are provided below.

2D Structure shows the chemical differences between CBD and THC

What are the Benefits of CBD?

Scientific and clinical research, much of it sponsored by the U.S. government, underscores CBD’s potential as a treatment for a wide range of conditions, including arthritis, chronic pain, depression, alcoholism, and many other ailments. CBD has demonstrated nerve-protecting and nerve-stimulating effects, and its anti-cancer properties are currently being researched in the United States.

Some of the most promising evidence for CBD use relates to chronic pain. Multiple studies have found that those with chronic pain, whether it is from arthritis, back pain, or fibromyalgia, experience major relief with CBD even when painkillers are no longer working. Chronic inflammation can cause pain and damage tissue, and CBD seems to be a potentially ideal solution for both short-term relief and long-term safety. Unlike over-the-counter (OTC) medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and opioid prescriptions, CBD shows no side-effects even at increasing strengths taken. CBD has
been shown to have significant antioxidative properties and this may be related to its mechanism for reducing these forms of pain.

While THC has been shown to have impacts on the cardiovascular and pulmonary systems whereas, CBD has been shown to have no impact or some potential protective effects in both these areas. Another area of potential benefit from CBD is found in its impact on the body’s immune system. CBD appears to enhance the body’s overall immunity which could also partially explain the reduction of pain. Some of the benefits from taking CBD are listed below. Anecdotal information has shown that individuals taking CBD have had fewer onsets of colds and flu while taking CBD on a continuous
basis compared to their rate of illness prior to the starting CBD.

Known Medical Benefits of CBD Oil
Curing HeadachesWhooping CoughAsthma
Menstruation PainChronic DiarrheaHysteria
PainTetanusHydrophobia

What Is CBD? (CBD A-Z Video Series)

How Does CBD Work?

Research suggests that CBD works by interacting with receptors in your brain and peripheral nervous system, especially immune cells. Receptors are tiny proteins attached to your cells where CBD can bind and produce or inhibit nerve transmission signals. There are primarily to types of cannabinoid receptors found in the body and thy make up what is called the endocannabinoid system of the body. Yes, that is correct. The body does produce its own version of THC/CBD. Two endocannabinoids have been identified, thus far, in the body. These are anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglyerol (2-AG). In fact, almost all animal life has an endocannabinoid system. Even your pet dog and cat. The endocannabinoid receptors in the body are identified as CB1 and CB2. The cannabinoid receptor CB1 is found in the brain while the CB2 receptor is found primarily
in the peripheral nervous system, especially immune cells.

Both THC and CBD can competitively bind to the CB1 receptor found in the brain, however, only the binding of THC causes euphoria, “The High”. The binding of CBD to the CB1 receptor is generally associated with relaxation. Both THC and CBD can also competitively bind to the CB2 receptor, found in the periphery. Binding of THC to the CB2 receptor does not promote euphoria. Both THC and CBD appear to impact/enhance the immune system. Both THC and CBD have significant anti- inflammatory effects which also benefits pain management. This means that CBD could help people with chronic pain caused by numerous health issues. Unfortunately, the is no practical way to get the beneficial pain-relieving benefits of THC at the CB2 receptor without its interaction with CB1, causing euphoria. Therefore, any CBD we wish to consume cannot come from marijuana but must come from Industrial Hemp.

Studies conducted on CBD have shown a great deal of promise for our physical and mental well-being. It is currently being explores as a natural alternative to more dangerous, habit-forming medications, such as opioids. For people who have chronic pain, CBD may provide relief without any serious side effects. Compare the potential risks between CBD and Opioids below.

CBD VS. Opioids
CBDOpioids
No known risk of addictionRisk of addiction
No known risk of constipationCan cause constipation
100% organicLab Created compounds
No Prescription requiredPrescription required

Conclusion

CBD derived from Industrial Hemp is legal in all 50 states, a product that is beneficial for many health problems. It has also been shown to be safe for children and your pets. CBD can be administered as a topical cream/ointment or taken orally in liquid or capsule form or can be vaped. CBD is 100% natural, scientifically proven to be one of the best remedies for ongoing health problems as well as minor ones. No prescription is required. Remember to follow all directions on product labels and any information provided by your physician when taking any CBD product.

Even with all the studies that have been done on CBD, much more research is needed to verify the numerous health benefits. U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the use of Epidiolex in children with specific seizure issues. CBD is the active ingredient in Epidiolex. This is currently the one and only prescribed form of CBD because it is used to treat and cure a specific disease. Natural supplements are given for general health conditions not specific diseases. Therefore, they are not regulated like medications. If you want to explore more about taking CBD because of chronic pain or other general health issues, you may want to consider talking to your doctor about taking CBD.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease. Always check with your physician before starting a new dietary supplement program.

Article Reviewed By:
Douglas L. Brown, PhD (Medicinal Chemistry)
Dbrown2500 Consulting, LLC