Along with the economic development and social progress, people’s sense of well-being has being growing stronger and steadier. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated and spread the growth more than ever. Due to the healing properties of CBD, people swarm to different CBD products hoping to improve their overall health. According to heaps of CBD market growth analysis reports, the worldwide CBD market was worth $2.8 billion in 2020, and it’s predicted to increase at a 21.2%~40.4% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2021 to 2028. The whole CBD industry is embryonic. Torn between the benefits of CBD and fear of the unknown, some people are hesitating about joining the CBD fever. Some come to me for answers about CBD. So I decide to make a compilation of most common CBD questions — and the answers!
What Is CBD & Is It Safe?
CBD, short for cannabidiol, is one of the most prominent cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant, and the other star is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, aka THC. Both cannabis and hemp produce CBD and THC. The difference is, cannabis has a higher concentration of THC while hemp has a higher concentration of CBD. The amount of THC in hemp is under 0.3%. Given that most CBD are extracted from hemp, even the highest THC percentage in CBD is ignorable.
CBD and THC both have an effect on the brain’s cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptors. But they cause opposite results due to the different forms of effect. By stimulating the activation of CB1 receptors, THC produces a euphoria or high associated with marijuana. CBD, however, works as a CB1 inhibitor that blocks any intoxicating effect caused by CB1 receptors. In addition to that, taking CBD along with THC can actually reduce the effects of THC. So no, CBD won’t get you high.
To many of us, CBD might sound like a new friend. However, the history of CBD can go a long way back. Earlier than 2000 B.C., ancient Chinese had been using the plants. They call them “Bencao”, meaning materia medica, and use them in medical ways. CBD began its modern medical career in the 1940s when a chemist, Roger Adams, accidentally extracted CBD from the cannabis sativa plants. The therapeutic use of CBD are now being discovered by many companies and organizations. Great progress has been made. People have found the effect of CBD on many health conditions like generalized social anxiety disorder, regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF), Chronic pains and more.
In June 2018, FDA approved the first plant-derived CBD prescription medicine, Epidiolex, produced by the UK organization GW Pharmaceuticals. It is prescribed for the treatment of seizures associated with two rare and severe forms of epilepsy, Dravet and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, for patients two years of age and older. This is the first and only FDA-approved medicine containing a purified marijuana-derived drug substance. It’s also the first time an FDA-approved drug for the treatment of patients with Dravet syndrome has been approved.
More medicinal products that contain CBD are in development, some of them like Arvisol, Zynerba and Bionorica are achieving good progress. But it doesn’t mean it’s safe for everyone. Specific results on human body depend on individual distinction, ranging from completely unnoticeable to very noticeable. The possibility of getting side effects and medicine property confrontation still exists. Especially for those who’s taking heart medications, blood thinners, immunosuppressants and many other medications, please consult your doctors before using CBD.
How Does CBD Affect Our Body?
Let’s drive straight into the science. To know the effect of CBD, you have to get across the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). ECS is a system that provides the human body (as well as other mammals) with many similar cannabinoids (or phytocannabinoids) to those of the hemp plant. Despite coming from a human body or a plant, cannabinoids can always affect our body by acting upon a core component of the ECS called endocannabinoid receptor that exists throughout the body. They function to regulate mood, pain-sensation, memory and many other aspects as well as to restore equilibrium for biological life.
Apart from endocannabinoid receptors, CBD also activates other receptors and ion channels and produces a variety of positive effects. But there remains many aspects that we don’t know much about. How do different methods of consumption affect intake? How does CBD interact with other plant materials like herbs? As more studies digging deeper, these mysteries shall come to light little by little.
What Benefits Can I Expect From CBD?
The main stream of treating mental health disorders like anxiety and depression is to prescribe pharmaceutical drugs, such as Sertraline, Benzodiazepine, Buspirone etc. However, these medications may cause some adverse reactions. People have been looking for smoother and safer alternatives for a long time. Now CBD becomes a popular option for them. By boosting the bliss neurotransmitter anandamide, CBD makes people feel less anxious and stressed. Many have found peace with the help of CBD, so the CBD hit is much more than a flash in the pan.
Sleep plays such an crucial role in overall health of human body that March 19 is made World Seep Day to stress the importance of it. Roughly 60% people in the world have sleep issues more or less. Serious sleep problems like insomnia or lethargy need medical intervention. Since ESC works as an assistant maintaining a day-night cycle, CBD can be helpful to improve our sleep patterns as well. It is also found that CBD can improve the symptoms of REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD). Combined with its efficacy on releasing anxiety, CBD has help a lot of people with their sleep issues.
Chronic Pain is usually multidimensional and hard to cure. But CBD shows great potential for ease pain by impacting endocannabinoid receptor activity, reducing inflammation and interacting with neurotransmitters. Some people suffering from arithritis, fibromyalgia, nerve pain and other chronic pain have harvested great relief from CBD products.
According to recent studies, cannabinoids can inhibit the activation of a certain type of white blood cell (T-cells) in rodents as well as intensified histamine responses. It may reduce antibody responses and hence alleviate allergies’ clinical symptoms by decreasing the discharge of these molecules. Furthermore, CBD has also been shown to inhibit the inflammatory pathway and as a result diminish or even prevent inflammation.
It appears that taking CBD regularly can strengthen and regulate your immune system by reducing inflammatory reactions, increasing apoptosis (cell death), and limiting fast cellular growth as an immunosuppressant. Besides this, CBD may inhibit the actions of cytokines, chemokines, and T cells, all of which are vital in immunodefense. Studies also show that CBD is able to stimulate white blood cell formation in immunodeficient patients, helping boost the immune response in persons with HIV. That’s why CBD has been recommended as a possible supplementary therapy for autoimmune illnesses, a fatal condition where your immune system mistakenly attacks your healthy cells, tissues, organs and anywhere else of your body.
Due to its effect on psychological obstacles like anxiety and on pains like endometriosis, a consistent CBD intake can work to improve the desire for sex. There are also ECS receptors in the sexual reproductive organs, so CBD can also work to intensify sex sensations and thusly enhance the overall experience.
Any Tips for Starters?
The CBD market is swarming with brands and companies. Given the facts that the CBD market is booming while unregulated, how do customers assess the value of their money spent on CBD products? The standard is vague but not all in the dark. As long as we know the basics of CBD, we’ll get the hang of choosing an accommodating CBD product.
1. Types of CBD
① Isolate CBD
- Completely free of THC
- No interfering odor or taste
- Better Controlled over the amount due to its purity
- Unable to provide the positive effects of other compounds
② Full-spectrum CBD
- Contains all 120+ cannabinoids and nutrients present
- Has great potential for synergistic effects
- Contains a trace amount of THC (but will not produce any intoxicating effects)
③ Broad-spectrum CBD
- Contains multiple cannabinoids and nutrients like full-spectrum CBD
- Has great potential for synergistic effects
- Let’s just say, the middle ground is always the best!
P.s. Nutrients refer to 20 amino acids, a plethora of Vitamins (like A, E, C, B-complex), essential minerals (like calcium, iron, zinc, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium), proteins, omega 3 fatty acids, beta-carotene, fiber and more.
These jargon may appear to you as confusing and cumbersome. Now that you’ve made your acquaintance, you shall make no mistake in the future purchases.
2. Organic Source
It’s time to learn about and discuss the benefits of organic cannabis.
- Hemp is a plant that is really good at pulling pollutants out of the soil. So if you are not interested in taking in toxins and synthetic chemicals, you have to choose organic CBD products.
- An organic source of CBD has the advantage in nutrient-density, which means you can be exposed to a broader spectrum of cannabinoids and get more positive entourage effect by taking organic CBD.
- For those who care about the taste, organic CBD also riches better in flavor.
- Organic CBD is more environmental-friendly with its avoidance of chemical pesticides and synthetic fertilizers.
3. Certificate of Analysis (COA)
Issued by Quality Assurance, the COA documents certifie that a regulated product fulfills its product specifications. They commonly contain the actual results of tests conducted as part of a product’s quality control for an individual patch. A product that has passed the tests is free of residual solvents, pesticides, heavy metals and molds.
Last but not least, always check the formula before using to make sure there aren’t ingredients that may cause you allergic reactions. And finally, best wishes for your superior shopping and well-being! À la prochaine!