CBD is an abbreviation for Cannabidiol. It is one of the primary cannabinoids produced by the plant “Cannabis sativa”. Cannabis is an annual, flowering, and herbaceous plant that produces a variety of chemical compounds that are named as “Cannabinoids”.
Almost over 80 cannabinoids have been extracted by the cannabis. Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is considered to be the major active ingredient and Cannabidiol seconds it, making up about 40% of cannabis extracts.
Once extracted from cannabis, the cannabidiol can be processed in many ways. It is mixed with a carrier oil thus giving rise to CBD oil. It can also be processed into sprays and capsules etc.
The psychological processes inside our body are influenced by an endocannabinoid system. It constitutes G-protein coupled receptors that are spread throughout our body and are mainly clustered in the brain and central nervous system. The endocannabinoid system has four primary purposes,
- Stress relief
- Immune response
- Regulating general state of balance of the body
It impacts the sense of appetite, sleep, pain, and mood. The cannabinoids produced by our body and them extracted from the cannabis activate these receptors and stimulate signal pathways that control certain psychological processes and disorders associating with them.
How does Cannabidiol work?
Research shows that CBD is an anti-inflammatory, anticonvulsant, antioxidant, antiemetic, anxiolytic and antipsychotic agent, and therefore acts as a potential medicine for the treatment of psychotic disorders. Cannabidiol prevents the breakdown of a chemical in the brain that affects pain, mood, and mental function.
The elevated levels of this chemical in the blood help to reduce the symptoms of pain, anxiety, and other psychotic disorders. Moreover, CBD doesn’t interact with the receptors directly thus it offers psychoactive effects at least. It also enhances the body’s natural production of cannabinoids.
Benefits offered by CBD
A prescribed nasal spray, “Sativex” by GW Pharmaceuticals, contains both THC and cannabidiol and is used for pain and muscle-tightness in people suffering from multiple sclerosis in about 25 countries outside the United States.
Cannabidiol is often inhaled by people to help them quit smoking. Anxiety, bipolar disorder, dystonia i.e. a muscle disorder, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and schizophrenia are the usual conditions treated using cannabidiol.
Research shows that taking a certain amount (about 160mg) of cannabidiol can help promote sleep time in Insomniacs. It also helps to extinguish inflammation and treat seizures. It is also credited to promote cardiovascular health and reduce the risk of diabetes.
Side effects of CBD
According to recent research, High doses of cannabidiol may be a possible cause of worse muscle movement and tremors in people suffering from Parkinson’s disease.
There is not adequate trustworthy information about the security of cannabidiol’s consumption if a woman is pregnant or breastfeeding.
Following are some rarely observed side effects offered by CBD,
- Dry mouth
- Low blood pressure
Research suggested dose for CBD lying in the safe ranges are as follow,
300 mg of cannabidiol has been used safely for up to 6 months daily. Higher doses of 1200-1500 mg are safe for daily intake for up to 4 weeks. Cannabidiol sprays of about 2.5mg have been used under the tongue for up to 2 weeks.
Safety issues associating CBD
CBD is often mistaken with THC for being psychoactive. However, a report by WHO (World Health Organization) states that unlike THC, people don’t get high off of CBD. The respective report has declared CBD safe to use. It asserts that no adverse health outcomes have been reported using CBD. In fact, they have found several broad-ranging medical applications for cannabidiol.
According to an introductory report by WHO, published last month, naturally occurring CBD is safe and well endured in humans (and animals), and doesn’t associate with any negative communal health effects.
Experts further stated CBD to be a non-psychoactive chemical found in cannabis, which doesn’t induce physical reliance and isn’t found to be coupled with abuse potential.
- Carlini, E. A. and Cunha, J. M. Hypnotic and antiepileptic effects of cannabidiol. J Clin Pharmacol 1981;21(8-9 Suppl):417S-427S.