Cannabidiol (CBD): What We Know & What We Don’t
These days, you hear a lot about cannabidiol, also known as CBD, in the media.
With CBD serums, post-work add-ins, and other CBD-infused items popping up, you might be wondering exactly what CBD is, where it comes from, and why it is so popular. Here is what science knows about cannabidiol so far.
What is Cannabidiol?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a naturally occurring chemical found within the cannabis sativa plant. CBD has been found through research to interact with endocannabinoid system neuroreceptors throughout your body. In basic terms, CBD works much like neurotransmitters do in your brain.
When CBD stimulates the endocannabinoid system, it can assist with the regulation of the immune system and homeostasis, improve your mood, and reduce pain.
Is Cannabidiol Different From Hemp and Cannabis?
CBD is one of the over 400 chemical components that make cannabis such a potent plant. However, out of those chemicals, CBD is one that does not have any psychoactive effects. This puts cannabidiol on the opposite end of the spectrum from THC, the compound that induces a high.
Moreover, the CBD you see on the market in the form of edibles or tinctures or in vaping pens is derived strictly from hemp, a cousin of the cannabis sativa plant. The World Health Organization released a recent report saying, “In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential… To date, there is no evidence of public health-related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.” However, research on the long-term effects of using CBD is still in the early stages.
Is Cannabidiol Legal?
Although cannabidiol is obtainable throughout the United States, each state has been given agency to place restrictions on the buying and selling of CBD. Yet, certain laws have come into play that have made it nearly impossible to keep CBD illegal. For instance, in December 2015, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) lessened the regulations on researchers who desired to study CBD more thoroughly. Following that, the FDA then approved of the use of CBD—as Epidiolex—for the treatment of seizures caused by Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome in 2018.
That same year (2018), the Farm Bill was passed, making hemp fully legal. Due to the passing of that bill, CBD derived purely from hemp would be very difficult to restrict. In fact, all hemp products were erased from the Controlled Substances Act. To this day, CBD derived from cannabis sativa is still considered a Schedule 1 substance, due to it possibly containing THC.
Scientific Evidence of CBD Health Benefits
There is currently a lot of strong evidence out there concerning the potential benefits of cannabidiol. The strongest proof is the FDA accepting CBD as a medication for the harshest of epileptic conditions. Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome were once notorious for not responding to antiseizure medications, but Epidiolex, the first cannabis-derived medication in the US, has been proven to reduce the number of seizures children with these conditions experience.
This is an incredible breakthrough in medicinal science, which is why many researchers are optimistic about the future of CBD.
Additional research suggests that cannabidiol may also help with the following:
- Anxiety: Multiple studies suggest that CBD use can reduce the anxiety an individual feels. An observational study from 2021 noted that a CBD treatment reduced the symptoms of anxiety and depression in those with moderate to severe symptoms.
- Chronic pain: Studies suggest that CBD can reduce inflammation of the skin when applied topically to areas affected with dermatological issues, arthritis, or neuropathic pain.
- Addiction: Animal and human trials continue to look at CBD as a potential aid for those with substance abuse disorders, including opioids and heroin. Further investigation is required.
- PTSD: Humans trials throughout 2012 to 2018 suggest that CBD can decrease the anxiety caused by PTSD symptoms. One study even concluded that CBD, when paired with therapy, can assist with the reduction of symptoms from PTSD.
- Insomnia: Studies claim that using CBD before bedtime can alleviate sleep disorder issues and promote a more restful sleep. However, these claims warrant further investigation, as most studies have been small.
How Safe is CBD?
In a 2017 review on the safety of cannabidiol, it was found that when CBD is used for certain medical conditions, “CBD has a better side effect profile” than other medications. The most common side effects of CBD use include changes in appetite or weight, diarrhea, and tiredness. There is also a possibility that CBD could interact poorly with blood thinners or similar prescriptions. You could compare its effect to that of grapefruit.
For those who take high doses of CBD, it is possible that liver enzymes show up elevated during blood tests. Non-prescription drugs, such as Tylenol, can do the same thing.
It is important that you let your primary care doctor know you are taking CBD, as the potential interactions with medication are still being investigated and discovered.
CBD: The Bottom Line
There are many claims about what CBD can and cannot do. However, what is currently known is that there are possible benefits when taking it. More research is certainly needed when it comes to deciding whether CBD is an option for the management of pain, anxiety, depression, or insomnia. Furthermore, because CBD is an unregulated supplement, it can be difficult to decide whether you are getting a quality item or not.
If you decide to try CBD to soothe pain or aid with sleeplessness, consider where you are buying it from. Choose a reputable source, such as Sugar Bottom Hemp. Our products are organic, clean, and minimally processed. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our full line of CBD products for people and pets.