Cannabidiol also known as CBD is a cannabinoid found in our little friend marijuanana. Cannabis has been widely used for medicinal therapy for quite sometime now… how ever the spike in popularity has been more recent. Today I will be focusing on CBD rather than its crazier and more fun counter part THC… I had enough of that last night..
CBD offers many beneficial treatments for a variety of conditions.
Some of the more common ones are:
- pain relief including muscle, joint, and headaches
- Nerve pain,
- reduce nausea
- reduce anxiety and anxiety disorders
- control epilepsy
- muscle relaxation,
- anti psychotic
- decrease inflammation
- reduce insomnia
- amongst other things
- immune regulating
Lets breakdown CBD and figure out exactly what it is…CBD can come from cannabis plants or hemp plants, which tend to have higher levels of CBD. Cannabis or marijuana plants have both THC (the psychoactive component of the plant which gives you the “high”) and CBD. CBD is extracted from the plant and processed into an oil. CBD can be taken orally as an oil, applied to the skin for topical absorption, or smoked as a vaporizer. The effects from orally ingesting the oils seems to be the most thoroughly studied.
CBD is essentially considered an inert substance, meaning it does NOT produce the euphoric high, and lethargy associated with the THC from marijuana. Wait.. no don’t stop reading.. I promise you will want to try CBD when this article is done…
how does CBD work…no really how does it work?.. does anybody know?
Research although it is out there and growing.. doesn’t have specific definitive answers yet. We know that CBD is a pleiotropic drug, which simply means that it affects our body in multiple ways via multiple molecular and systemic pathways in the body. CBD specifically targets our endocannabinoid system… yea don’t worry I had to look that one up too… Turns out it was discovered in the 80’s.. see the 80’s did result in something useful!! Alright.. so what is the endocannabinoid system? It is an area in the brain (and body) which contains receptors called CB1 and CB2. these receptors bind to endocannabinoids and initiate a molecular cascade. THC and CBD bind differently and therefor produce different results. i.e. “the life contemplating” high vs non psychogenic effect from the CBD.
So what does this binding and receptor thing mean to most of us…
It means that when a person ingests orally, applies topically, or inhales smoke, that the molecules in the CBD, flood the bloodstream and bind to those endocannabinoid receptors. think of the CBD molecules as pet hair and the endocannabinoid receptors as and piece of black clothing. Once the dog hairs are stuck on your shirt it leads you to a variety actions……frantically sweeping your shirt, wrapping tape on your hand and patting, changing your outfit completely, or plain out crying. similarly things like that are happening in your body by sending different messages to your brain. And because CBD does not bind the the above mentioned CB1 and CB2 receptors in the way THC does the body’s dopamine levels are not affected and the typical high is not achieved, but instead a pathway for symptom relief is activated instead.
How do I take this CBD oil and how much do I take?
Lets talk about the routes of administration again.
Injesting the oil is our most popular method.. this is how most of our vitamins, supplements, and medicines are administered. By taking orally the CBD passes through our digestive system and is absorbed through our bloodstream.. and passes through the liver where it is metabolized and the active compounds are sent back into the bloodstream for its intended use and we get our lovely hair covered shirt. This route does involve a first pass effect whereby entering the digestive tract the end amount absorbed is greatly reduced.
By going this route you are likely ingesting the oil via capsules, edibles, or beverages.
We can also take CBD sublingually. Which means we drop some oil under our tongue and leave it for 60-90 seconds. This is done with the intent that the blood vessels in the mucous membranes in the mouth absorb the CBD directly avoiding the digestive system and liver metabolism altogether. This means it immediately reaches our blood stream and can have its affect on the body much quicker. (same principles as giving a drug with a needle which is a method called parentaral). Technically suppositories follow these same principles.. if you are into putting things up there…least effective but most fun?? When trying to figure out how much to take it is best to start low… having too much will likely not affect you but it is always best to take the lowest effective dose.
It would be ill advised of me to offer you specific dosage with out knowing each reader as an individual. People as well as conditions each require or respond to different dosages, and it would be best to consult a doctor about your particular case.
Ok so we don’t want to eat it, and we don’t want to drop it, and we are still not sure about putting anything up our bottoms… then lets smoke it.
Once you inhale the CBD gas it enters your lungs where it makes its way to these lovely grape like clusters called alveoli.
To smoke CBD just means to inhale heated CBD oil. We do this through little tools called vaporizers! The CBD oil is heated to a temperature where the oils become gas but the active constituents in the CBD are not affected and there should be no harmful byproducts are created (this is what sets vaporizing apart from smoking). Once you inhale the CBD gas it enters your lungs where it makes its way to these lovely grape like clusters called alveoli. Blood vessels called capillaries surround these alveoli and the gas is passes through the wall of the alveoli and into the blood stream. This method also avoids the digestive tract and liver and therefore the CBD enters your bloodstream much quicker and with a higher concentration than oral ingestion. So if you want to kick a nicotine habit maybe this might be an option… keeps you calm, helps with pain and possible withdrawal symptoms and it helps with the oral fixation many quitters struggle with.
Lastly lets talk about using CBD topically
We can use either an oil, cream, balm, wax/ointment or a patch.
When choosing an oil make sure you find an oil that is meant for topical application. Even though the they may look the same it is likely the topical oil is compounded in such a way that it allows for a more concentrated absorption.
So once with have our oil or patch on our skin absorbs the cannabidiol via our endocannabinoids in the skin and a local affect is produced. These creams and patches are commonly used for a localized pain.
You may find a lack or empirical evidence on CBD (out there) and wonder why not just pop that painkiller.. esp since all this wonderful knowledge has just exacerbated that headache.. and the truth is yea you can… but we do have tons of evidence out there supporting the fact that chronic use of acetaminophen, iburophen, or naproxen DO have detrimental effects on the body. CBD has shown to be very safe with almost no contraindications or interactions.
In conclusion CBD is my CBD (Choice Before Drugs).