Though a CBD latte might not do much for you — at least not beyond what caffeine and the placebo effect combined can do, which isn’t nothing — it’s also probably harmless in most cases, says Carson, and may even have positive benefits we aren’t yet aware of. “I suspect there’s probably some antioxidant benefit to CBD like there is with coffee,” says Carson. “There’s tons of good things in coffee that we still don’t fully understand, and I think the marijuana plant is much the same way.”
CBD, or canabidiol is an amazingly useful plant compound that is extracted from the cannabis plant. With volumes of medical science now at its back, this compound has been used effectively for a wide range of needs. These particularly wide-ranging applications are the result of its being a part of the “pleiotropic sedate” group. Compounds in this group are especially unique in their ability to affect and travel along many of the typically closed atomic pathways.
CBD is short for cannabidiol, and it is one of more than 60 compounds found in these plants. It acts on the body’s endocannabinoid system, creating physical changes in the body, which can be beneficial in many ways. In recent times, it has become increasingly understood that taking CBD oil, a product made from CBD, can have a positive influence on many aspects of life and health.
Not only that, but the growing conditions for hemp aren’t federally regulated, which makes it very difficult to know when you’re getting a high quality, clean, and safe product. Knowing the growing conditions of the soil, overall environment, and extraction methods is going to be crucial when hemp-based CBD oils become legal, because it’s been known to absorb toxic spills, pesticides, and other dangerous chemicals that you don’t want to be ingesting.
Cannabis oil, whether CBD, THC, or both, is extracted from flowers, leaves, and the stalk of the plant mainly using different solvents – butane, CO2, ethanol, petroleum ether, naphtha, olive oil, or whole plant extraction (that makes Rick Simpson Oil). Depending on whether you’re extracting oils at home or getting them from a licensed producer, the process ranges from simple to incredibly complex.
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CBD has noted effects on many systems the brain uses to send signals to your body. One of these is the endocannabinoid system. When used, CBD can have beneficial effects on people who suffer neurological disorders. The research in this area is still new. However, there were many studies where CBD was tested for its effect on treating MS and epilepsy.
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In any case, California’s decision to ban CBD oil from hemp seems like it may be informed more by legalistic hair-splitting. And to illustrate how finely that hair is split, recall that CBD is a controlled substance under federal law, regardless of what it is derived from. Yet federal policy is also contradictory. The FDA’s recent approval of the CBD medicine Epidiolex comes despite the fact that the DEA considers CBD a Schedule I substance, with no medical applications. A DEA rescheduling or de-scheduling of CBD would go a long way toward resolving these questions — and is coming in the next three months.
The discussion on the legal status of CBD revolves mainly around the question: is it a medicine or a natural food supplement? The main difference is that medicinal drugs are considered unsafe until proven safe, whereas food supplements are considered safe until proven otherwise. As a result, the central question becomes whether or not CBD is safe for consumers (children, elderly, patients) in large and unregulated quantities. Although there is only limited knowledge about the long-term effects of chronic use, or about drug-drug interactions between CBD and other medications , human studies have indicated that CBD is very well tolerated even up to a daily dose of 1,500 mg . Indeed, a recent World Health Organization (WHO) review concluded that “to date, there is no evidence of recreational use of CBD or any public health-related problems associated with the use of pure CBD” . However, the risks to be assessed about CBD products may not have much to do with the pure compound CBD itself, but more with the unknown composition and quality of the products offered. In particular, we should be looking into the presence of contaminants in these concentrated extracts, and into incorrect or even misleading labels for the cannabinoid content of products.
Determining risks and benefits through proper clinical trials remains highly desired, but these will take considerable time and funds. As a result, clinical data will not appear any time soon, while patients will not simply stop using the many CBD products to which they have become accustomed. Taking back regulatory control over CBD could therefore start with a more short-term and achievable approach, i.e., demanding accurate and proper labeling, reflecting in detail what each product does and does not contain, and how it was manufactured. For a clearer judgment of the potential therapeutic effects, the risks, but also the legality of a cannabis extract, it is important to know its exact composition. After all, published data from around the world has taught us that misleading labels as well as harmful contaminants are real and actual problems for CBD products. The analytical methodology and the third-party labs needed for this approach largely already exist, and could easily be optimized to quickly get a better grip on the unrestrained cannabinoid market. This approach would hold each producer strictly accountable for the quality and safety of their own products, as long as there are real legal consequences for those businesses that break the rules. Add to this a system for regular professional audits and inspections, and a crackdown on unsubstantiated health claims, and we have a reasonable system to ensure that CBD can be used responsibly by those who need it, until much needed clinical data become available.
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.”
Once applied to a targeted area, a CBD topical penetrates and affects the CB2 receptors. Topical applications absorbs into the skin slowly supplying medicine over a period of time. This means you can get all the healing effects of CBD during a longer timeframe. The CB2 receptors are throughout the body and will activate either naturally by the endocannabinoid system or from phytocannabinoids like CBD and THC. The active cannabinoids are absorbed into your skin to signal the receptors to provide relief.
The price of CBD oil is ridiculously high, however, I do seem to have less pain and get a better sleep when taken before bed. I just checked out Amazon and all of their hemp oil says it has no CBD in it, and yet they all claim to reduce stress and pain and allow you to get better sleep. So what is the deal? Is it all psychological? Of course the prices at Amazon are way cheaper too. I am going to try it.
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.
One of the strongest nutraceutical CBD oils is called Charlotte’s Web, with a 50mg dose. Charlotte’s Web is produced in Colorado by the Stanley Brothers, and named after Charlotte Figi, a girl who became famous in the US after her frequent seizures, brought on by the rare Dravet syndrome, were greatly reduced when she started taking CBD oil aged five. The company makes THC products too and is extremely successful, having just offered shares on the Canadian securities exchange, raising about $100m.