CBD interacts with the body through the endogenous cannabinoid system (ECS) or endocannabinoid system. First discovered in the late 1980’s, the endocannabinoid system regulates the body’s homeostasis, or general state of balance, impacting such functions as mood, sleep, appetite, hormone regulation, and pain and immune response. Like an acrobat on a highwire, as the environment around us impacts our normal balance, the endocannabinoid system “corrects” by mediating our body’s reaction to keep us level.
Again, the more studies and medical research that focus on CBD, the more will be known about its side effects and potential medical benefits. For what it's worth, in December 2017, the World Health Organization declared in a report that "cannabidiol does not appear to have abuse potential or cause harm." The WHO also noted that CBD could have "therapeutic value" for epileptic seizures, but that further study is warranted to determine CBD's potential medical use.
You may notice hemp seed oil as an ingredient in some of your beauty products or while shopping at the grocery store. Although hemp seed oil is very beneficial, it is not the same as CBD oil. Hemp seed oil does not contain CBD. Hemp seed oil is acquired by pressing only the hemp seeds. It is important that you are buying cold pressed, unrefined hemp seed oil because it hasn’t been depleted from its beneficial constituents. Cold pressed, unrefined hemp oil is dark to light green in color, with a nutty flavor. Refined hemp seed oil is clear and colorless, with little flavor and is depleted in natural vitamins and antioxidants.
Still, as the saying goes, absence of evidence isn’t necessarily evidence of absence, and there’s a reason we don’t have a ton of solid research on CBDs yet — “to study it, we need a good source, ” said Ziva Cooper, who is an associate professor at Columbia University and was on the National Academies committee. CBD is hard to get because it’s still technically a Schedule I drug, which limits its availability, Cooper said.
Increasingly, CBD oil is also being promoted as a prophylactic treatment in order to prevent certain diseases from developing at all. The argument used is that the human endocannabinoid system is involved in basic life functions such as appetite, immune response, reproduction, and pain management . Because CBD functions as an indirect antagonist to human CB1 and CB2 receptors , it is reasoned that the presence of CBD prevents them from being overly activated, thereby protecting the nervous and immune systems from everyday stress. Furthermore, CBD is known to be a reasonably potent antioxidant, which further helps to protect against stressful influences . Although this clearly increases the market for CBD products, it also further erodes the scientific basis for the therapeutic use of CBD. After all, it is hard to prove scientifically that a disease was prevented by the use of a health-promoting product.
Scientists have made a lot of progress in understanding how CBD produces its calming, pain-reducing, anti-inflammatory effects in the body—and there’s still more to learn. We know that CBD interacts with many different receptors, proteins, and other chemicals in the brain. These interactions create changes in the activity of neurotransmitters, hormones, and other cells throughout the brain and body. Through these interactions, CBD appears to be able to affect many of the body’s functions, from sleep-wake cycles and emotional regulation to inflammation, pain perception, and seizures.