Cannabis and CBD oil usage dates back to the beginning of time. Once used by many ancient civilizations, in recent years, the popularity of cannabis treatment continues to surge. Perhaps, one reason the CBD industry continues to grow pertains to the adverse side-effect of prescription and over-the-counter medications.
Holistic remedies, in general, address the whole person rather than only targeting specific symptoms. As CBD and CBD oil falls under the category of holistic therapy, it comes with few if any adverse side-effects and possibly provides additional benefits.
What are CBD and CBD oil?
Cannabidiol or CBD represents the cannabinoid that derives from the Cannabis Sativa plant. Marijuana comes from the same species of the cannabis plant. Though potentially hundreds of cannabinoids exist in a cannabis plant, tetrahydrocannabinol or THC represents the most notable in marijuana. THC, known for its psychoactive properties, provides the euphoric high or stoned feeling popular with many recreational users.
CBD found in the hemp plant does not make you high. A cannabis plant must contain less than .3% THC to fall under the category of hemp. The oil or serum extracted from the hemp plant gives us the product of CBD oil. Different methods to extract the oil from the plant’s flowers and buds include the following:
- Maceration uses a base such as olive oil to infuse the plant material.
- CO2 extraction isolates the CBD by using oxygen.
- Ethanol, sometimes used for vaping, represents a complicated and sometimes dangerous process.
What part does the ECS play?
The endocannabinoid system or ECS represents an integral part of all human beings and other mammals, as well. It consists of small molecules made up of arachidonic acid, anandamide, and arachidonoyl glycerol.
These molecules referred to as endocannabinoids, run throughout all the body’s systems, including the muscles, nerves, and blood.
The ECS represents the holistic foundation of the adage that the body heals itself. With the ultimate purpose of homeostasis or balance, the ECS works at the cellular level. The stimulation of C1 and C2 receptors in the cell’s nucleus signal the DNA to produce a protein to cease the production of pain and inflammation-causing acid.
The ECS did not become known until after its discovery in 1992. Research resulting from the legalization and social controversies surrounding cannabis in the 1960s and 1970s took place in the 1980s. Though the study commissioned was to prove the perils of marijuana, the report instead uncovered why cannabis might help with so many different ailments. The cannabis plant possesses a replication of the ECS, which keeps the plant healthy.
How CBD oil works with a compromised ECS:
Though perfection may represent the goal of the ECS, the endocannabinoid system often suffers compromise. Autoimmune conditions, high stress, and aging all negatively impact the ECS. Additionally, poor choices regarding diet, drug and alcohol use, and inadequate sleep and exercise wreak havoc on the ECS.
Ingesting or using cannabis topically assists a compromised ECS. In the case of THC, the evidence clearly shows that the C1 and C2 receptors experience penetration. C1 receptors are housed primarily in the brain, blood, muscles, and reproductive systems. Cannabis strains that target these systems may relieve pain and also help with nausea and spasmodic inclinations.
C2 receptors mostly found in the spleen and digestive organs require targeting for possible relief of inflammation and symptoms of autoimmune diseases.
The research remains hazy on how exactly CBD penetrates these cellular receptors. Indeed, they target them differently, if at all. However, CBD does prevent endocannabinoids from breaking down, which may represent enough of a boost to an ailing ECS to make a difference with pain and inflammation.
Additionally, some research suggests CBD targets other receptors such as TRPV, and some believe that CBD works directly with a receptor not yet discovered.
But, as the CBD industry positions itself to hit 20 billion dollars by 2024, the argument that CBD doesn’t work with the ECS doesn’t make much sense.
Many people report relief from using CBD products without any THC, both orally and topically. CBD oil shows up in products such as capsules, edibles in the form of baked goods or candy, and highly assimilable tincture for oral ingestion. Topically, it’s an ingredient in creams, massage lotions, and a host of skincare products. In the case of massage lotion, you may receive double relief as the body’s largest organs respond to the CBD while also experiencing the therapeutic benefits of massage.
Additionally, CBD added to medicinal marijuana strains helps to curb some of the sometimes unwanted side-effects of THC such as dizziness, paranoia, lack of motivations, and extended spells of giggling.
Even if you don’t derive benefit from the CBD, the hemp oil serving as the carrier for the CBD contains antioxidants such as Vitamins A, C, and E, plant protein, and essential fatty acids. These attributes will potentially contribute to better health, whether applied topically or ingested.
Warnings about CBD
Compared to the plethora of near-death warnings we hear on prescription drug ads, CBD certainly appears relatively safe. However, a few points need noting:
- Don’t use CBD if you’re nursing or pregnant.
- If your blood pressure measures below normal, use CBD with caution. Cannabis, in general, may lower blood pressure.
- Parkinson’s patients should not use CBD. CBD may increase tremors.
- If you’re on prescribed medications, check with your doctor regarding contraindications.
- You should direct any concerns or questions regarding dosage to a medical professional.
- Not regulated by the FDA, CBD products need scrutiny by the consumer to make sure they’re getting a high-quality product.
Many people feel more comfortable using CBD rather than THC due to its convenient legal status. CBD’s legal status in all 50 States means you may travel with it domestically and purchase it online.
Yes, we need more research surrounding CBD and cannabis in general. However, the future does look promising in treating many conditions with CBD oil without the worry of dangerous or uncomfortable side-effects.