If you’re new to cannabis, you may be wondering about the meaning of CBD. CBD stands for cannabidiol.It is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid found in cannabis. Cannabidiol is the second-most abundant cannabinoid in the plant after tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). It has many potential therapeutic benefits, including anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-anxiety, and seizure-suppressant properties. CBD can be sourced from both marijuana and hemp plants.
What Is CBD?
The phytocannabinoid cannabidiol is a non-intoxicating molecule that results from the heating, or decarboxylation, of cannabidiolic acid (CBDA). Most cannabis cultivars have lower concentrations of CBD than THC. However, following an explosive discovery in 2009, droves of CBD-rich cultivars began cropping up across the US.
How CBD works
CBD’s actions within the brain and body are quite complicated. It’s very likely that the beneficial effects of CBD operate through diverse biological pathways, rather than by a single action. More research is needed to fully understand the mechanisms by which CBD relieves ailments such seizures.
CBD directly interacts with several proteins in the body and central nervous system, a few of which are components of the endocannabinoid system (ECS). CBD has an affinity for both the CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors. Our bodies have several other receptor proteins that participate in the endocannabinoid system, such as GPR3, GPR6, TRPV1, and TRPV2, for example. CBD binds to all of these, and its possible anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects may occur through these pathways.
CBD has some other very important roles outside the ECS. For instance, CBD mildly activates one of the brain’s predominant serotonin receptors (5-HT1A) in mice, which may explain its supposed effects on depression and anxiety. It also acts at the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) in mice, which may indicate its usefulness in fighting inflammation.
CBD can affect liver function, however. Similar to grapefruit, CBD can inhibit certain drug-metabolizing enzymes in the liver, resulting in much higher levels of some prescription medications in the bloodstream. If you are taking medication, check with your physician before using CBD.
How Does CBD Relate to THC?
The relationship between THC and CBD is complex, but in short, CBD appears to minimize some of THC’s less desirable effects, such as paranoia, heart palpitations, and impaired thinking. A combination of THC and CBD may offer enhanced therapeutic value to patients. This phenomenon of cannabis-derived molecules working more synergistically together than they do in isolation is commonly referred to as the entourage effect.
Consumers report using CBD for a huge variety of health and wellness reasons, but significantly more research is needed to determine the symptoms and ailments it can most successfully treat. Currently, 66 clinical trials are examining the effectiveness of CBD for a variety of conditions.
If you’re using CBD, it’s a good idea to do some research to inform your dosage. Young children can tolerate daily doses of up to 20 milligrams per kilogram of body weight. For a 175-pound (79.4-kilogram) adult, that’s more than 1,500 milligrams. The most common side effect of large doses of CBD is sleepiness.
Research into CBD has been conducted for the following conditions.
Pain Relief / Anti-inflammation
According to research, when CBD is introduced to our endocannabinoid system, it prevents the body from absorbing a pain-regulating compound known as anandamide, an endogenous cannabinoid. Inhibiting the absorption of this compound shunts excess quantities into the bloodstream that in turn, may reduce pain. CBD may also target specific spinal receptors helping to suppress pain and inflammation. In both human and animal models, CBD seems to have a variety of anti-inflammatory properties.
Epilepsy and seizures
One of CBD’s chief benefits is its anticonvulsant properties. CBD has been documented as a potential antiepileptic since 1881; it was approved by the Food and Drug Administration for treating severe types of childhood epilepsy in 2018. However, its anticonvulsant mechanisms are still not fully understood. One possible explanation for CBD’s perceived neuroprotective effects is its interaction with NMDA receptors, which play a key role in the type of neuronal activity that is a hallmark of epilepsy.
In 2015 University of Montreal researchers conducted a comprehensive review of CBD as an intervention for addictive behaviors. They concluded that CBD might have a beneficial impact on opioid, cocaine, and psychostimulant addiction. In addition, studies suggest that CBD may also be helpful in the treatment of tobacco addiction. One reason may be CBD’s potential ability to ease the anxiety that leads people to crave drugs such as heroin.
Does CBD Affect Mood?
Existing evidence suggests that CBD could help treat some anxiety disorders. For instance, at doses of 400 to 600 milligrams, CBD can alleviate situational anxiety, such as public speaking. Interestingly, cannabis cultivars that are high in CBD and low in THC may be better than other cultivars for alleviating depression.