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What is CBD?

Learn about both CBD and THC purported health benefits, key differences, potential risks, and how to use it.

By Ryan Goo | Nov 21, 2018 in General | 5 min read

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, in recent years has made headlines due to the rigorous medical and scientific research being done.

There is a lot of misinformation and confusion about CBD, it is most commonly confused with THC. Both compounds are produced by the cannabis or hemp plant, but are different and have different effects.

CBD stands for cannabidiol. Your body has an endocannabinoid system, CBD binds to receptors in that systems.

Let's go through CBD, how it works, the benefits, and the differences between THC.

CBD benefits

As we mentioned early, the endocannabinoid system are made up of endocannabinoids and their receptors. These are found everywhere in the body. CBD effects this powerful body system in a beneficial way.

People are self-treating for a variety of symptoms, listed below are just a few examples of what CBD can be good for.

Chronic pain and inflammation relief

Pain and inflammation relief from CBD is one of the most highly researched benefits. Studies show that CBD disrupts pain receptors, and trigger release of dopamine and serotonin instead.

This can be prescribed to patients by their doctors when pharmaceutical options are not working.

Study on CBD and pain relief can be found here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2503660/

Reduces anxiety and depression

Two of the most common mental health disorders are anxiety and depression. These mental health disorders can have terrible impacts on ones health and well-being.

These disorders are normally treated with pharmaceutical drugs, but those drugs have some side effects that can affect one's life. Those side effects include drowsiness, insomnia, headaches, etc.

Some people use CBD oil as a more natural approach to treat anxiety and depression. A study by Neurotherapeutics found that CBD can help to reduce anxiety in people with certain related disorders.

The anxiety-related behaviors in the study include:

  • General anxiety disorder
  • Panic disorder
  • Social anxiety disorder
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder

The study can be found here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3079847/

Improves certain skin conditions

Used as a topical treatment, CBD is becoming popular amongst people with eczema and acne. As we mentioned earlier, CBD has anti-inflammatory potential, but it also has the ability to reduce sebum production

One study found that CBD oil prevents sebaceous gland cells from secreting excessive sebum. It also brought anti-inflammatory actions and prevented "pro-acne" agents to activate.

Study can be found here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25061872

Could benefit heart health

A few recent studies have linked CBD with benefits for the heart and circulatory system. This includes the ability to lower high blood pressure.

One study treated 10 healthy men with a dose of CBD oil. This study found that it reduced resting blood pressure, compared to a placebo. Some men were also given stress tests that increase blood pressure. A single dose of CBD given to those men experienced only a small increase in blood pressure.

There have been several animal studies, and very few human studies. More human studies are needed to see in what other ways CBD can benefit heart health.

This study can be found here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5470879

These are just a few of the potential benefits of CBD oil. Scientists are barely scratching the surface of CBD research. More human studies will help the public discover the full potential of CBD oil.

CBD is not THC

CBD and THC are both found in extractions from the hemp plants, but do not get these two confused. Both compounds have very different effects, even though they interact with your body’s endocannabinoid system.

CBD and THC share similar chemical structures: 21 carbon atoms, 30 hydrogen atoms, and 2 oxygen atoms. What sets them apart is a slight difference in how their atoms are arranged.

THC binds with the cannabinoid 1 receptors in the brain, this produces that high feeling. CBD on the other hand binds weakly to cannabinoid 1 receptors. CBD can actually interfere with the binding of THC and lessen the psychoactive effects.

CBDs chemical structure and the way the atoms are arranged make it a non psychoactive compound

CBD is extracted from the hemp plant which has a higher concentration of CBD, opposed to the marijuana plant which has a higher concentration of THC.

THC is extracted from the marijuana plant. Although THC and CBD are found in both plants, they are extracted separately.

CBD versus THC

CBD - Does not produce euphoric high or change a person’s state of mind and induces muscle relaxing effects.

THC - THC binds with the cannabinoid 1 receptors in the brain producing a "high" or sense of euphoria.

CBD EffectsTHC Effects
Reduction of psychotic symptomsAltered Sense
Pain and Inflammation ReliefFatigue
Decreased AnxietyHunger
Anti-Nausea EffectReduced Aggression
Sedative effectPsychoactive/intoxicating

Common Ways to take CBD

Many people can benefit by exploiting the healing properties of CBD. Explore some of the safe methods in handling CBD along product varieties.

Body Application - CBD lotions and moisturizers can be applied directly to the skin. These are typically applied for pain-relief and healing and cannabidiol likely never reaches the bloodstream.

Products Include:

  • Creams
  • Lotions
  • Shampoos

Sublingual - This method is applied under the tongue where the small salivary glands are absorbed. Pure CBD is most commonly used by dripping into your mouth and letting it sit under your tongue for 1-2 minutes. The remainder will slowly digest into blood steam.

Products Include:

Inhalation - The cannabidiol can also be entered through the lungs using vaporizers. This is the most efficient CBD delivery method proving to enter bloodstream more effectively than other methods.

Products Include:

  • E-liquid

Consumption - Directly swallowing concentrates or CBD infused foods. Ingestion of the cannabidiol oils metabolizes in the digestive system and liver.

Products Include:

  • Pure CBD Oils
  • CBD oil infused Beverages and Foods
  • Capsules/Pills

Everyone will react differently to CBD dosage. We encourage user to practice safety handling of their service size/dosage. Start small and gradually increase until you experience the desired result.

Future of CBD

The medical community have only recently begun to study the benefits of CBD. However, people have used CBD traditionally used for thousands of years to treat various types of pain. CBD is already legal and widely distributed whereas THC is not.

Even though the usage of CBD People take or apply cannabidiol to treat a variety of symptoms, but its use is controversial. Cannabidiol may have health benefits, but still pose risks some risk making its usage controversial.

Overall, the lower health risks of CBD makes it a better alternative for medical applications rather than THC.

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