Top 5 CBD Questions Answered
In the last decade, CBD has begun sweeping the world due to its newfound popularity, both as a medicinal treatment for a myriad of different illnesses and as a herbal supplement.
Despite its intense popularity, however, there are still many people that find CBD altogether too confusing even to approach.
What is it? Why has it suddenly become so popular? Perhaps most importantly, is it safe? Let’s take a look at the top 5 most popular CBD questions – answered for your own personal benefit so that you can genuinely, correctly understand CBD in its entirety.
Top CBD Questions Answered… But First, What Actually is it?
CBD is properly known as cannabidiol, a cannabinoid. This is a type of compound evolved within the cannabis plant as a sort of protection against being eaten.
That might not make it sound exciting, but you would be surprised just how many compounds that we consume start that way.
The cannabis plant wanted to avoid being eaten by grazing mammals, so over thousands of years it developed substances to try and cause a psychoactive high within mammals that ate marijuana leaves. This substance is now known as THC, and it is the principle cannabinoid that we enjoy in our recreational marijuana.
However, though CBD is also derived from the cannabis plant, it isn’t similar in its effects to THC. As a result of the development of THC, other cannabinoids were produced during the evolutionary process, with CBD being one of them.
CBD is thus a strange offshoot cannabinoid, yet has a vast number of beneficial effects on the human body. When it is consumed, the body metabolizes it, and it then interacts with the endocannabinoid system, a health system that runs throughout the human body.
This health system helps control a myriad of different functions in the human body, such as the release of certain neurochemicals and the inflammation response within the body.
By taking CBD, we can help control these responses, as well as encourage other ones, all for the purpose of treating our medicinal ailments.
The way in which CBD interacts with our bodies is quite interesting; as compared to THC (which also affects the ECS) it acts very differently. When THC is metabolized, it latches on to the CB1 receptor, one of the principal receptors on the ECS, and then over-stimulates it.
This stimulation does result in medicinal effects, but it also causes psychoactive highs due to this selfsame overstimulation.
However, when it is CBD that is imbibed, it doesn’t overstimulate the same receptors – instead, it gently turns off the body’s natural chemicals that shut down the receptors, allowing both the CB1 and CB2 receptors to remain activated and keep triggering their effects.
This means that CBD not only doesn’t over stimulate your receptors, but it allows for a more natural, even spread of activation, letting you enjoy the medicinal benefits for longer.
So, what kind of medical conditions can CBD help with? Let’s take a quick look so that we can get to some of the most popular CBD questions — answered for your benefit!
Your Most Burning CBD Questions — Answered
In truth, there is not a great deal of reliable information out there on CBD. Due to the fact that the compound has been more or less outlawed over the last century, researchers have had very limited access to it. And as a result, we are severely lacking in terms of what we really know about the medical effects of CBD.
That said, there is a decent enough amount of reliable information out there that we can generate responses to some of the most popular CBD questions, answered (we hope) with a fair amount of reliability and accuracy. Enjoy!
Questions About CBD | #1 – What Conditions Can CBD Help With?
In the medical world, it is generally safe to assume that one particular drug is only really useful in treating one condition. Though there are notable examples, such as aspirin acting to both reduce your blood pressure and working as a painkiller, generally speaking, most medications are designed only to tackle one condition.
CBD is a medicinal compound that defies that expectation, however. Instead of working with one particular condition, CBD triggers a vital health system in the body, the endocannabinoid system, which affects a vast number of different bodily functions.
A great example is the inflammation response; when the body thinks that an area of the body has been injured or infected, it triggers inflammation to help cushion and aid in the recovery of that area. CBD actively suppresses this inflammation reaction, allowing you to, in a sense, shut down the inflammation response.
The reason this is so useful is for conditions wherein the body causes inflammation where it isn’t necessary, such as arthritis or even eczema.
Different conditions can be affected by CBD depending on whether or not they are tied to the CB1 or CB2 receptors. For example, the CB2 receptor governs such things as the inflammation response, but it also is responsible for the rate of cellular regeneration across the body. This means that there is the potential for the CB2 receptor to help reduce rates of Cancer, according to a vast number of studies.
Conditions that are linked to the CB1 receptor include a variety of mental states, like Depression, Anxiety and even Insomnia. Additionally, the CB1 receptor can also help control the rate at which neurodegenerative diseases progress, according to a study by Garcia-Arencibia M for the Journal of Brain Research. This means that they have immeasurable benefit to those with conditions like Parkinson’s or dementia.
With all these conditions that CBD can help with, it’s a wonder that more people aren’t aware of it as a medicine. However, part of this is because of the issue of legality.
Questions About CBD | #2 – Is CBD Legal?
CBD is a cannabinoid, meaning that it is derived from the cannabis plant, so the question of its legality is a bit of a tricky one.
In the USA, Cannabis is still a Schedule 1 drug, meaning that possession or growing of the plant will result in a harsh prison sentence and a felony record.
However, CBD is inherently different from THC or other components of marijuana, so it would make sense that the USA consider it differently, right?
CBD is now, as of 2018, officially legalized for medical treatment of two types of epilepsy. This means that, regardless of individual states’ laws about marijuana, anyone in the USA can obtain CBD to help treat their epilepsy.
If you are looking to treat a different condition, however, you need to pursue other avenues.
CBD is commonly sold by a variety of online retail providers, usually as a “nutritional aid” in health food stores due to its current classification as a food additive.
If you want to obtain CBD yourself, you must get it as a food additive and merely take a higher dose of it.
This problem is only compounded by the issue of states’ rights, as individual states in the USA have wholly legalized cannabis, or have just legalized medicinal cannabis, so it entirely depends on your location whether or not you can obtain cannabis or its derivatives usually.
This odd legal situation that CBD exists in, both legalized for public consumption, yet not recognized officially as a medicine for a large number of conditions, might cast some doubt onto CBD’s status as a safe substance.
So, is CBD safe?
Questions About CBD | #3 – Is CBD Safe?
Marijuana, in general, has a pretty bad reputation for safety – thanks to intense anti-drug marketing campaigns in the 1960s and 1970s, marijuana was commonly believed to cause death and madness.
Marijuana’s side effects aren’t anywhere near as problematic as might be imagined. The only real issue you need to deal with is the increased risk of paranoia, as well as the physical symptoms that consuming marijuana usually causes, such as dry mouth.
However, with CBD the risk is reduced even further. As CBD does not over stimulate the CB receptors, you don’t have the increased risk of paranoia or other psychological or mental symptoms.
Instead, the only side effects that you need to worry about are things that CBD causes already, but you didn’t intend to treat. For example, CBD can reduce blood pressure by increasing vascular relaxation, which allows the blood to flow more smoothly.
This isn’t a problem for most people, but if you already suffer from extremely low blood pressure, taking a large, regular dose of CBD might not be the healthiest thing.
Additionally, you might not necessarily want a reduction in inflammation or other effects of CBD – the best way to make sure is to consult your doctor and find out beforehand if you have any other condition that might be affected by taking CBD.
Ultimately, CBD is almost entirely safe – besides your body being affected by it usually, there is only one slight effect that needs to be considered.
When you take almost any drug, it is metabolized in the liver by an enzyme called CYP3A4. This enzyme allows the drugs to be incorporated into the body. Certain substances, such as grapefruit, can cause this enzyme to shut down permanently.
This causes problems when you take regular medication, as your first dose might not be broken down, only to be then processed with your second dose when the CYP3A4 enzyme wakes back up.
This is important for CBD users because CBD acts similarly to grapefruit, causing a similar reduction in CYP3A4 functionality.
Just make sure that, if you are taking any severe other medication, you consult your doctor first.
Questions About CBD | #4 – How Do You Take CBD?
CBD can be taken in a considerable number of different ways, with methods ranging from traditional to more eclectic.
If you are a true classic, you can merely purchase CBD-rich marijuana and smoke it normally in a joint. If you are not a fan of smoking, you can instead buy CBD oil, which is composed of pure extracted CBD, suspended within inert oil for easy oral delivery.
There are also other options, such as CBD edibles, CBD vaporizers (which work in the same way as tobacco vaporizers, allowing you to imbibe it without smoke) and even CBD pure extracts taken through unique Hookah pipes.
Just like regular marijuana, CBD can be taken in a myriad of ways – though the exact method is up to you, you can rest assured that, most likely, CBD will be able to help you in some way.
Final Thoughts on the Top CBD Questions — Answered
All in all, there’s no getting around the fact that more research needs to be done on CBD, and cannabis in general. Now that the new U.S. Farm Bill has been passed and hemp is legal in the U.S. (under certain stipulations), however, we should expect to see more and more high-quality information become available to the general public.
Until then, we hope that this article has been of some service to you, and that at the very least you now know a bit more than you did about this wonderful, all-natural compound. Even the world’s leading cannabis experts can’t have all CBD questions answered, so for now, we’ve got to take the information we can get.