CBD has enjoyed a meteoric rise in popularity to become one of the most talked about health trends of the moment, however, there is still some confusion about what CBD is, whether it’s legal and how it works. Here, we answer some common questions to help you understand the facts behind the hype and headlines.
CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a chemical compound from the cannabis sativa plant, which is also known as cannabis or hemp, and has been known throughout history to have a wealth of proposed health benefits. First discovered in 1940, it is one of over 100 identified cannabinoids in cannabis plants and accounts for up to 40% of the plant’s extract.
In one word yes! This is probably one of the most frequently asked questions about CBD oil. The law requires that CBD products should only contain 0.2% THC or less. You can rest assured that all of our products meet this requirement.
CBD has no known toxicity levels and is incapable of causing an overdose.
Although you cannot overdose with CBD, because oils are slow acting and long lasting, it’s recommended that you start low and go slow when you start using them. Everybody is different and so you need to give your body time to adjust.
The cannabinoids are the building blocks that give cannabis the properties it has and what separates it from every other plant species out there.
The entourage effect helps maximize CBD’s beneficial effects. It occurs when the compounds within the cannabis plant interact with our bodies. The combination of compounds produces a stronger influence than any individual one in what is called a ‘synergistic effect’.
Simply put, the entourage effect is the benefit you get from ingesting multiple components of CBD together instead of ingesting one at a time.
While both have an array of potential benefits, broad spectrum and full spectrum CBD oil have a slightly different composition. As a result, you may prefer one over the other.
Both are powerful hemp extracts but here is the key difference:
Full Spectrum CBD oil allows you to experience the full entourage effect and contains trace amounts of THC (less than 0.2%) giving you the full benefit of the plant.
Broad Spectrum/THC Free CBD oil allows you to experience the full entourage effect but contains zero THC. This is ideal for those who may have experienced THC sensitivity or who have to participate in work-related drug tests.
The cannabis plant is made up of two main players: CBD and THC. CBD is the non-psychoactive portion of the plant, so what that means is you won’t have any effects like euphoria. CBD is not psychoactive and won’t make you ‘high’.
CBD is a naturally occurring substance that’s used in products like oils and edibles.
As with any natural product, there are some slight risks associated with using CBD in very high doses, or when taken for extended periods of time. Keep in mind that these are worst case scenarios and not necessarily typical. They include mild low blood pressure, dry mouth, light-headedness and sedation.
One exception is the effect cannabinoids can have on the functioning of the liver’s CYP450 enzyme, but please remember that something as benign as grapefruit juice can also cause the same CYP450 enzyme inhibitory action. Typically a two hour gap should be left between taking CBD and any other medications that are processed by these enzymes to allow them to metabolise individually, including paracetamol or ibuprofen. Blood pressure tablets, beta blockers, anticoagulants and any other medication that carries a grapefruit warning, generally requires 4 hours.
The most important thing to do before taking CBD (or any other herbal product) is to research any possible drug interactions and discuss any concerns with your GP.
Simply put this is the amount of CBD in the oil. The higher the % the stronger the oil. In a 10ml bottle, 5% oil would contain 500mg of CBD, 15% oil would contain 1500mg and so on. It has been known that some less than honest retailers have been deceitful about these figures so it is always best to ask to see lab reports to check the quantity of CBD if you are unsure.
It should be however please be aware that cannabinoids can have an effect on the functioning of the livers CYP450 enzyme, but please remember that something as benign as grapefruit juice can also cause the same CYP450 enzyme inhibitory action. Typically a 2 hour gap should be left between taking CBD and any other medications that are processed by these enzymes to allow them to metabolise individually, including paracetamol or ibuprofen. Blood pressure tablets, beta blockers, anticoagulants and any other medication that carries a grapefruit warning generally requires 4 hours.
If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, taking medication or have a medical condition, the most important thing is to consult your physician before use.
Homeostasis is the ability to maintain a relatively stable internal state that persists despite changes in the world outside. Our body doesn’t want its temperature to be too hot or too cold, blood sugar levels too high or too low, and so on. Conditions need to be just right for our cells to process energy, maintain optimum performance and ultimately survive.
The ECS (Endocannabinoid System) plays a role in the body’s immune system and in the perception of pain, and is involved in nearly every one of the body’s natural processes. Having an efficient ECS is necessary for retaining good health, balance and homeostasis in the body.
It does this by activating immune cells, regulating immune responses, and producing anti-inflammatory agents throughout the entire body. The ECS is fuelled by endocannabinoids. These are cannabinoids produced by the body that activate the CB1 and CB2 receptors, including the two best-known endocannabinoids; Anandamide (AEA) and 2-Arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG). The name ‘anandamide’ comes from the Sanskrit word for ‘bliss’ and plays a role in how we experience pain, and also affects depression, appetite, memory, and fertility.
The ECS, comprised of cannabinoid receptors, endocannabinoid molecules, and their metabolic enzymes, is a crucial molecular system that the body uses to help maintain homeostasis. Surprisingly, the ECS was only discovered in the 90s!
The three key components of the ECS are:
• Cannabinoid receptors found on the surface of cells
• Endocannabinoids, small molecules that activate cannabinoid receptor
• Metabolic enzymes that break down endocannabinoids after they are used
Cannabinoid receptors sit on the surface of cells and ‘listen’ to conditions outside the cell. They transmit information about changing conditions to the inside of the cell, kick-starting the appropriate cellular response.
There are two major cannabinoid receptors: CB1 and CB2. These aren’t the only cannabinoid receptors, but they were the first ones discovered and remain the best-studied. CB1 receptors are one of the most abundant receptor types in the brain. CB2 receptors are more abundant outside of the nervous system, in places like the immune system. However, both receptors can be found throughout the body.
Endocannabinoids are molecules that bind to and activate cannabinoid receptors. There are two major endocannabinoids: anandamide and 2-AG. These endocannabinoids are made from fat-like molecules within cell membranes, and are synthesized on-demand. This means that they get made and used exactly when they’re needed, rather than packaged and stored for later use like many other biological molecules.
The third piece of the endocannabinoid triad includes the metabolic enzymes that quickly destroy endocannabinoids once they are used. The two big enzymes are FAAH, which breaks down anandamide, and MAGL, which breaks down 2-AG. These enzymes ensure that endocannabinoids get used when they’re needed, but not for longer than necessary. This distinguishes endocannabinoids from many other molecular signals in the body, such as hormones or classical neurotransmitters, which can persist for many seconds or minutes, or get packaged and stored for later use.
In summary, the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a vital molecular system for helping maintain the body’s efficient equilibrium. It is the underlying immune system and regulator of the body.
CBD is a phytocannabinoid that can boost a deficient system by activating the cannabinoid receptors. The HPA axis, a fundamental part of the body’s stress response, is the primary hormone regulatory system of the body; it is partially controlled by the endocannabinoid system. The ECS (Endocannabinoid System) plays a large part in our neurodevelopment and neurogenesis and is the underlying immune system and regulator of the body.
CBD supplements help to replenish a system that may be lacking the necessary cannabinoids. This way, the endocannabinoid system can calm and regulate activity throughout the brain and body. A healthy ECS helps maintain homeostasis in the physiological processes of the body.
Recent science has found that the endocannabinoid system does not just respond to the endocannabinoids produced in the body, but also respond to external cannabinoids like the phytocannabinoid cannabidiol, or CBD, which triggers physiological reactions within the endocannabinoid system of the body.
With this in mind, it is surprising that many people do not intake enough cannabinoids to fuel their body’s ECS.
CBD acts upon CB1 and CBD2 receptors located throughout the body to produce a variety of potentially positive outcomes. CBD does not bind directly to either of these receptors but instead impacts them indirectly. These indirect actions include activating TRPV1 Receptors that work to control important functions. CBD can also increase the amount of anandamide in the body. Known as the ‘bliss molecule’ (from the Sanskrit word for bliss) anandamide plays a role in the neural generation of pleasure and motivation.
By stimulating the endocannabinoid system, CBD promotes homeostasis to maintain a relatively stable internal state that prevails despite external changes.
So, CBD naturally activates the cannabinoid receptors throughout the entire body. These cannabinoid receptors can be found in our adrenal glands, adipose tissue, heart, liver, lungs, prostate, uterus, ovaries, testes, thymus, tonsils, brain, bones, GI system, and within the immune cells of our central nervous system. Believe it or not, human beings have more cannabinoid receptors than any other class of receptors! These receptors determine the body’s response to pain sensation, inflammation, allergic responses, sleep cycles, and much more. CBD will assist in modulating and regulating natural physiological reactions, delivering homeostasis and balance to mind and the body.
In summary, because CBD stimulates the endocannabinoid system, it helps to promote homeostasis in the body. Research into the possible uses of CBD is a growing area of study, meaning the list of potential benefits is likely to grow.