Cannabidiol (CBD) 2019 Update: news, benefits, uses, & side effects

Hemp Seeds on a board next to CBD oil.
Hemp Seeds on a board next to CBD oil.

The rising worldwide topic in the medical field, cannabidiol (CBD), what exactly is CBD and why is it gaining such attention?

As we roll into 2019 with lots of news and discussions from the past few weeks, many people are questioning what’s going on and where this industry is going in the future?

In this blog, we will try to catch you up on as much as we can about this exploding industry.

Hemp Legalization: 2018 Farm Bill

On Wednesday, December 12th, the House and the Senate approved an $867 billion Farm Bill.  As of December 20th, 2018, President Trump signed the bill into law making hemp cultivation legal nationwide.

(Read more about the benefits and what the farm bill provides by clicking this link.)

First off, what is Cannabidiol?

Cannabidiol or CBD for short, is ONE of over 100 compounds in the cannabis/marijuana plant and is the second most well known compound behind Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

The difference between CBD and THC?

Even though CBD and THC come from the same cannabis plant, these two cannabinoids are different in many ways.

Hemp-derived CBD has the least amount of THC.

Hemp products must contain less than (0.3%) of THC to be considered “legal”. Any higher amounts of THC will be labeled under cannabis laws separated from the hemp category.

CBD oil tends to offer clear-headed, non-psychoactive functional effects while THC is the primary psychoactive cannabinoid giving you that “high” feeling often associated with cannabis.

As CBD gains its momentum in the medicinal world, more and more scientific studies are showing that it can help with a wide variety of health conditions like chronic pain, anxiety, epilepsy and many more.

New Top 10 CBD Oil Benefits

1. Can Help with Chronic Pain

The popularity of CBD has increased due to so many users reporting their pain significantly reducing when cycling in CBD.  This same report studies CBD use for general chronic pain. Researchers put together the results of multiple systematic reviews covering dozens of trials and studies. The research concluded that there is significant evidence that cannabis/hemp CBD is an effective treatment for chronic pain in adults.
 
An independent study in the Journal of Experimental Medicine also back these results. The research poses that using CBD extract can reduce pain as well as inflammation.
 
On top of that researchers found that subjects were not likely to build up a tolerance to the effects of CBD, eliminating the need to continuously increase their dose.
 
Cannabinoids such as CBD could offer favorable alternative treatments for people with chronic pain.

2. Could Relieve Anxiety and Depression

Recently, CBD oil has become a widely favored remedy for anxiety. While some individuals take CBD oil to soothe their everyday worries, others use it to treat more severe conditions like a generalized anxiety disorder.
 
Cannabidiol has increased in availability as cannabis legalization spreads to more and more states in the US. The number of companies selling salves, supplements and other products made with CBD oil, is growing. Typically proclaiming these items as natural or alternative remedies for issues like anxiety and pain.
 
Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (or THC, ) the ‘other’ compound found in marijuana; cannabidiol doesn’t produce a “high” when consumed.  
 

3. May Help Reduce Inflammation

Many researchers have concluded that CBD interacts with receptors in your brain and immune system. These receptors are small proteins attached to your cells that receive chemical signals from different stimuli and help your cells react. Creating the anti-inflammatory and painkilling effects that help with pain management. This response means that CBD oil may be beneficial for people with chronic pain, like chronic back pain. 

 

The human body contains a system called the endocannabinoid system (ECS), the ECS is directly involved with regulating a variety of functions including appetite, pain, sleep, and immune system.

 

Studies have demonstrated that CBD can help reduce chronic pain by impacting endocannabinoid receptor functionality, reducing inflammation and interacting with neurotransmitters 

 

4. Could Help With Nausea and Vomiting

The non-psychoactive cannabinoid, CBD, cooperates with serotonin delivering receptors, and when given in small doses has demonstrated to help alleviate both nausea and vomiting. CBD can also be useful in dealing with anxiety, which can help patients manage the unease of chronic nausea.
 
CBD is non-intoxicating, and although research has only been done on animals, these animal studies have shown CBD’s effectiveness at reducing nausea. 
 
A 2012 rat study published in the British Journal of Pharmacology, indicated how CBD was found to be effective in alleviating nicotine-induced nausea. Other animal studies found; low doses of CBD were useful in relieving several types of anticipatory vomiting and induced vomiting. 
 
Preliminary results have shown that CBD activates a neurotransmitter responsible for decreasing the sensation of nausea. For these reasons, many people have started using CBD to treat nausea and vomiting. More research to identify appropriate combinations, dosages, and drug interactions is on the way for both natural and synthetic cannabinoids used for CINV as well as other types of nausea.
 
Natural cannabis is not yet a part of the global standard Clinical Practice Guidelines for Oncology, and in the US, because medical marijuana is still illegal federally. This Law, leaves patients pursuing nausea treatment options in states that have approved medical cannabis use.
 

5. Might Reduce Blood Sugar

Led by Dr. Raphael Mechoulam(known for discovering cannabidiol), researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, observed CBD receptors in other bodily tissues.
 
The studies suggest that the therapeutic effects of CBD could be altered to apply to different receptors. Illnesses such as atherosclerosis, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease can possibly be treated.
 
Rats with ‘infarcts’ or areas of dead tissue due to a failure of blood supply were also studied. These infarcts were 30 percent smaller when pretreated with CBD. 
 
Chronic inflammation is known to play a role in the development of insulin resistance causing type 2 diabetes. Researchers suggest that the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD can treat this inflammation and consequently improve the body’s metabolism. 
 

Furthermore, cell growth, the immune system, heart function, and sugar metabolism all seem to benefit from CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties.

 

6. Potentially Promote Bone Health

The endocannabinoid system plays a role in skeletal production and maintenance. By cooperating with other biochemical networks in our body such as the immune system, CB1, and CB2 receptors are also active against bone diseases. Researchers have just started to understand how this mechanism works, and no standard therapies are available just yet. Despite this, patients are seeking alternative or integrative therapies with cannabinoids to treat their bone conditions.

A 2015 study found that cannabinoid receptors can bring about bone production and strengthen the tissues that connect broken bones. In an experiment, rats with broken bones were given either CBD or a combination of CBD and THC, finding that bones treated with CBD healed faster and with a strengthened fracture callus.

 

7. Possibly Reduce Seizures and Convulsions

Seizures are moments of erratic electrical activity in the brain that can spread and cause uncontrollable physical movements or alterations of consciousness. Most anticonvulsants work by slowing down nerve activity in the brain. However, LGS and Dravet syndrome are treated with anticonvulsants that are not typically used for most types of epilepsy and often require two or more anticonvulsants.

It is not completely understood why CBD can reduce some types of seizures. CBD is known to have a range of biochemical effects on nerve cells in the brain.

 

8. May Reduce The Risk of Artery Blockage

In both human and animal studies, CBD has been found to cause blood vessels to vasodilate. Vasodilation improves blood flow, reduces blood pressure, reduces the damage to arterial walls and lowers the risk of heart attack and stroke. Another analysis found that marijuana use before a heart attack may improve hospital survival rate. The vasodilator effect has been shown to help regulate blood pressure. 

 

9. Could Help Suppress Muscle Spasms

Along with chronic pain, muscle spasms are a common reason CBD gets prescribed by medical professionals. Research conveys that cannabinoids offer significant improvements in muscle spasms, both in mice trials and human subjects.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), the two major cannabinoids found in cannabis, are responsible for cannabis’ effectiveness at muscle spasm relief. CBD and THC have demonstrated that they cooperate with the CB1 and CB2 receptors and their actions on the two receptors regulate the excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitters necessary to diminish spasms.

For those with spasms linked to multiple sclerosis, CBD has indicated it can offer relief as well. In the largest multinational clinical trial of its kind at the time, multiple sclerosis patients suffering from spasms were treated with cannabis containing THC and CBD. Twelve weeks later, the patients experienced reduced spasticity compared with patients receiving the placebo. Though the trial lasted 12 weeks, patients reported significant improvements in spasticity after four weeks. 

Patients also reported improvement in quality-of-life measures over the 16 weeks. In an independent study, approximately two-thirds of patients reported improvements in spasticity after 50 weeks of treatment with cannabis containing THC and CBD.

 

10. Can Help With The Immune System

In as little words as possible, the various active compounds in cannabis tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) — may suppress your immune system. This can benefit people with certain medical conditions. 

The research supporting the use of CBD, THC and other cannabis-derived chemicals for autoimmune disorders such as Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis is growing. Scientists suggest these disorders — along with other similar disorders — are caused by an overactive immune system. Hence, “improving” your immune system means making it less sensitive; keeping it from attacking the body’s own tissues. For this reason, medical marijuana may be helpful to people who undergo organ transplants.

Different Ways of Consuming CBD

There’s essentially four ways to getting Cannabinoids into your system.
 
Choosing one or the other may not be that big of a difference, but as long as it works for you and you like doing it that certain way, the CBD will be delivered.

Inhalation:

Vaping is one of the easiest methods of consuming CBD. It’s known to get in your bloodstream in a short amount of time (~30 seconds) compared to other methods. 

For people who want a quick way to relief from anxiety, and other conditions, vaping can a great way to reaping the benefits. 

WARNING: SOME CHEMICALS AND VAPE MATERIALS USED MAY CAUSE AN ALLERGIC REACTION. (More Info)

Sublingual:

CBD Droppers is the second fastest way to relief. Usually taking around 15-30 minutes for the CBD to absorb into your system.  

Putting droppers under your tongue and keeping it there for 30 seconds before swallowing will have faster absorption than over the tongue. 

If you mix it in your food/drink, it may take up to 30 minutes as it goes through your digestive system. 

Ingestion:

Edibles is a popular method to consuming CBD as the benefits will last longer. Compared to inhalation and sublingual, CBD is mixed with other foods that will ingest slowly into your body making the benefits last up to 2-4 hours longer. 

Edibles are very easy to make, all you have to do is mix CBD oil with whatever you’re cooking! That’s it! 

Topical Application:

For skin problems like dry skin, itching, burning, and inflammation, CBD topicals could be a great way to relief. 

Study shows that CBD could be used as an effective way to relieve dryness, rashes, soreness, and redness from skin inflammation. 

With the benefits of omega-6 and omega-3 acids, CBD is a awesome alternative to improve your overall skin health.

Potential Side-Effects of using CBD

Although CBD is known to help and relieve a few health conditions, CBD could also have potential side-effects for some unlucky individuals.

Some side-effects may include (PMC):

  • Anxiety
  • Nausea
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Mood changes
  • Changes in appetite
  • Dry mouth
  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Low blood pressure

Safety Warnings

CBD has also shown to interact with certain medications. Before using CBD, we recommend talking to your doctor to avoid any potential harmful effects to your body & health. 

Pregnancy & Breast Feeding: 
It is best to avoid taking CBD while pregnant as there has been no clinical studies to prove it’s safety. 
 
Most studies have been on the cannabis counterpart, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC); the psychoactive compound, instead of CBD. Read more here.

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