Out of all the CBD products I’ve tested and used in the past few weeks, this thick green lemon-vanilla scented salve is my favorite. I massage it onto my sore red knuckles after boxing practice, and if it weren’t so expensive, I would encase my entire body in it. The cannabis sativa seed oil in this salve has antioxidant properties so that your skin can repair itself from the inside out, while the thick balm-like formula protects your skin from environmental aggressors. I would not recommend rubbing this onto your face because it’s so thick, but do whatever you want on the rest of your body—and if your feet are in need of some serious TLC in time for summer sandals weather, consider rubbing this onto your cracked heels and putting on a pair of soft socks before bed. The next morning, you’ll have baby’s feet again.
The truth is that no one knows precisely what any of these molecules are doing to us. It is a case of finding the effects first and working backwards to understand the mechanisms. “There are a number of possible transmitter systems that CBD could act on,” says McGuire. “And it’s not 100% clear which ones are critical for anxiety, or psychosis or schizophrenia. But [the antipsychotic effect] is a different mechanism from existing treatments, which is a big deal because existing treatments aren’t working.”
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.
Cannabis CBD Topical Products
In general, most people who’ve made the jump to drinking CBD coffee every morning claim they’ve done so because it allows them to simply have a better day and live a better quality of life. That is to say, their chronic pain is subdued, their mood and state of mind is elevated, and their general sense of physical and emotional well-being is improved.
Thapa, D., Toguri, J. T., Szczesniak, A. M., & Kelly, A. E. M. (2017, April 1). The non-psychoactive phytocannabinoid, cannabidiol (CBD), and the synthetic derivatives, HU308 and CBD-DMH, reduces hyperalgesia and inflammation in a mouse model of corneal injury [Abstract]. FASEB Journal. Retrieved from https://www.fasebj.org/doi/abs/10.1096/fasebj.31.1_supplement.811.7
So far, by far the best medicinal relief I have found for my symptoms is a particular strain of cannabis flower called Harlequin — it contains an almost 3:1 ratio of CBD:THC, which is extremely rare and unique in the cannabis world. There are multiple studies you can find online showing the SYNERGISTIC effects of CBD combined with THC. When they are used together, they are much more medicinally effective than either one is on their own. Most cannabis strains today have zero CBD because growers realized everyone just loves their THC, but the Harlequin strain is a god send.
Now, while CBD derived from hemp or psychoactive cannabis (“marijuana”) is chemically identical, there may be reasons other than legal concerns to make the distinction. If the hemp in question is low in CBD as well as THC, it may take exponentially more hemp than marijuana to produce the same amount of CBD. So this raises concerns about concentrates of pesticides and other contaminants getting into CBD oil made from hemp — especially hemp that has traditionally been grown for industrial purposes, and under standards developed with that in mind. In the case of places like China, even those standards may be too lax or not enforced at all.
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.
Even some of the claims made by recreational CBD sellers aren’t bullshit, in the abstract. CBD really does show some anti-inflammatory properties. It really does have anxiolytic effects, in certain situations. Of course, it’s the scammy nature of herbal supplements that a seller can say something like “CBD has been indicated to reduce anxiety” (a true statement!), even though the actual product you’ve got in your hand has never been indicated to do so. Nutmeg, for example, will act as a dangerous psychoactive drug at high levels, but it would be deranged to put “scientific research has shown that nutmeg can get you high as hell” on a pumpkin spice latte. It’s correct, but it’s also incredibly misleading.