THE CANNABINOID SERIES
PART I: CBD
Cannabidiol, better known as CBD, is one of the most widely known chemical compounds from the Hemp plant. Interest in CDB has grown exponentially since the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp in the US. There is CBD in every product that you might want throughout the market now (and some that you don’t want). You can find CBD in a tincture, scrub, hair ointment, toothpick, toothpaste, drinks, bed linen, toilet paper, and so on. Now that the market is saturated with it should you give it a shot? What is it good for? Is there any scientific proof that it works? These are the questions consumers should ask before they try CBD, and these are the questions that will be answered throughout this post. Read ahead and learn about CBD in a straightforward way. A way that will not become too technical and that will still give you enough information to get to know CBD.
WHAT IS CBD?
CBD is a chemical compound of cannabis. CBD is a cannabinoid; to be more precise, it is a Phytocannabinoid. A Phytocannabinoid is a cannabinoid produced by a plant. Your body also makes cannabinoids called endocannabinoids (endo means “within”), which we’ll discuss later. CBD is one of over 100 cannabinoids that have been identified. You are probably acquainted with the cannabinoid THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). If you haven’t heard about it, THC is the chemical component in marijuana that gives you the psychoactive high that most people associate with it. CBD is different from THC in that it has no psychoactive effect. What CBD does is help your mind and body find their happy place. To put it in a more technical term, it helps your mind and body achieve homeostasis. In a previous blog post I discussed the endocannabinoid system (This post would be a good precursor to this one), but allow me to briefly review it. The endocannabinoid system is a system in your body that has receptors where CBD can attach itself. These receptors assist in regulating body functions. When you take CBD, it binds to your body’s receptors to modulate your body’s functions, such as sleep, appetite, mood, memory, pain, and inflammation.
CBD vs. PHARMACEUTICAL MEDICINE
CBD is similar to other pharmaceutical medicine because they both help alleviate an ailment. CBD differs from other pharmaceutical drugs in that it originates from the ground. It is not synthesized in the laboratory. The natural component of CBD is one of its major attractions. Another benefit of CBD over pharmaceutical medicine is that is not habit-forming. All current studies on CBD indicate that you cannot become dependent on CBD. Painkillers like Vicodin, Percocet, and Morphine are all very addictive. Another advantage of CBD over pharmaceutical drugs is the lack of serious side effects. Let’s take a closer look at the side effects of CBD vs. Xanax, as both can be used for anxiety.
According to the Mayo Clinic if you have taken Xanax anti-anxiety medication you may have side effects like:
- Being forgetful.
- Changes in patterns and rhythms of speech.
- Clumsiness or unsteadiness.
- Difficulty with coordination.
- Feeling sad or empty.
- Lack of appetite.
According to the Mayo Clinic, if you take CBD to combat anxiety, you could have side effects like:
- Dry mouth.
- Reduced appetite.
The severity of the side effects of CBD is far more negligible than is the case with pharmaceutical medicine. The disadvantage of CBD vis-à-vis pharmaceutical drugs is the volume of research. Many CBD studies are currently underway, but Pharmaceutical Medicine requires FDA-regulated testing to enter the market. The FDA does not currently have a process to regulate most CBD products. Below, I will discuss what CBD can be used for, and I will cite studies and cases that will help illustrate the growing scientific research that makes CBD such an exciting compound.
WHAT IS IT USED FOR?
Possibly Reduces Stress & Anxiety– According to “Cannabidiol (CBD) in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series” published in 2019, anxiety was decreased during the study duration in 79.2% of patients. CBD doses in the study ranged from 25mg to 175mg depending on the severity of the patient’s condition. Participants received doses after breakfast.
In a double-blind randomized study of people with generalized social anxiety during a simulated public speaking test (SPST), CBD significantly reduced participant anxiety. Study participants received 600 mg of CBD or placebo an hour and a half prior to SPST. Anxiety was measured by subjective ratings on the Visual Analogue Mood Scale and Negative Self-Statement Scale. There were also physiological measures (Blood pressure, heart rate, and skin conductance) that were taken at 6 different points during the SPST.
Reduces Epileptic Seizures– CBD is proven to reduce epileptic seizures. Epidiolex is an FDA-approved medication for individuals suffering from seizures caused by Lennox-Gastaut syndrome or Dravet syndrome, both of which are childhood seizure conditions. Epidiolex is safe and effective for children less than one year of age. Doses of Epidiolex start at 2.5ml, and since each ml is equal to 100mg of the active drug (CBD) you are administering a dose of 250mg of CBD. It gets taken twice a day.
Possibly Reduces Chronic Pain & Inflammation– According to a 2018 review of 132 original studies published in Frontiers in Neurology, CBD can indeed reduce inflammation in the body and help improve pain and mobility in patients with multiple sclerosis. “It is anti-inflammatory, antioxidative, antiemetic, antipsychotic, and neuroprotective,” the review study’s authors wrote. According to the Arthritis Foundation “Anecdotally, some people with arthritis who have tried CBD, but not all, report noticeable pain relief, sleep improvement and/or anxiety reduction.” The Pharm Stand concurs with that statement. The opinions of our customers who use CBD for pain relief, speak glowingly of the results. Promising results on the use of CBD as a pain reliever have been achieved in animals. Promising results on CBD for pain were achieved using CBD and THC (at higher levels than 0.3%) in tandem. Further clinical trials are underway to provide a better picture of how CBD contributes to the reduction of pain and inflammation, but have not yet been completed. So, I can’t definitively say that CBD is great for chronic pain and inflammation, but reviews from customers who shop at The Pharm Stand, and seek pain relief, swear it is helpful. The proof is in the pudding and the scientific data will eventually catch up with the certainty CBD users have.
Possibly Helps You Sleep Better– CBD can be helpful, indirectly, when it comes to falling asleep and sleeping through the night. According to the Sleep Foundation, two of the most common causes of sleep problems are anxiety and pain. CBD can be helpful in alleviating these issues, which will result in a more restful night. If pain and anxiety are problems that hamper your sleep CBD should be able to help. If you have sleep problems due to excessive caffeine, neurological problems, an unhealthy lifestyle, or an irregular sleep schedule, then CBD may not be the solution you need.