Today, there is a huge increase in the use of Cannabidiol (CBD) s and Marijuana related products. The market is abounding in all sorts of supplements, oils, tinctures, gels and other forms. Whether taken internally (i.e. drops, tinctures, gummies) or externally (i.e. topical, skincare products), people are more and more interested in how these types of products can help them alleviate pain or achieve skin rejuvenation.
It is important to mention that both CBD and THC are natural compounds found in the plants of the Cannabis family. Hemp is a cannabis plant, but one that contains a very low concentration of THC. The Marijuana plant is also a Cannabis plant; however, it contains a much higher concentrations of THC. At a federal level CBD, that is derived from hemp, is legal with the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill. Specifically, the Farm Bill allowed hemp having less than 0.3% THC as being legal.
While CBD is indeed an extract with a very low THC concentration, less than 0.3% by law, THC itself is the main psychoactive compound found in the marijuana plant. THC is the compound that gives people the “high” sensation while either smoking or consuming food products that contain THC. It is true that both CBD and THC have a direct effect on your ECS system (the Endocannabinoid system). The role of the ECS is to regulate in your body a wider range of processes such as: your appetite, mood, sleep, memory and even fertility & reproduction. However, the Endocannabinoid system in your body is functioning regardless of whether you consume Cannabis or not. While both CBD and THC interact with your ECS, these two compounds have very different purposes and effects.
CBD vs. THC: The Psychoactive Components
CBD and THC have similar chemical structures, but they will not release the same psychoactive effect. THC produces the “high” or euphoric sensation when consumed, while CBD does not have such an effect on your system because it is a non-psychoactive compound. It is also important to understand that both THC and Marijuana are regarded as controlled substances based on the US legislation, which means that under federal law they are prohibited. Currently, there is a conflict between the federal law and a few state laws allowing for either medical marijuana and/or recreational marijuana; however, that is for another discussion.
CBD vs. THC – The Medical Part
CBD and THC offer quite a few of the same medical benefits and they help offer relief in a wide range of conditions. However, note that CBD does NOT Have any euphoric effect on your system, like THC does. This is why so many people looking for fast, efficient and natural pain relief will opt for CBD based products and not the THC alternative.
CBD may offer help in conditions such as: inflammation, chronic pain, IBS, seizures, anxiety and depression, migraines, nausea and others. CBD is a compound that is extremely well tolerated by the system even when taken in larger doses. According to research in the field, any side effects that may occur with CBD happen because of the drug to drug interaction between the CBD and other medication you may take.
CBD has many medical benefits, and it is considered a safe option. In case you have any questions or concerns regarding other medications you take and the possible side effects, simply talk to your physician.
CBD is a non-psychoactive compound, but can provide the same medical advantages as THC. Therefore, you benefit from the therapeutic effects, but without that high or euphoric sensation which occurs when consuming THC. There are many promising studies in this field. Some show that CBD is highly efficient in granting relief from several mental health related conditions such as anxiety, PTSD, Schizophrenia and even addiction (such as alcohol addiction, Nicotine addiction and so on).
CBD based products can have a beneficial effects even on many physical conditions such as arthritis or inflammatory chronic pain. CBD products can also help with epilepsy in children and seizure related disorders. In fact, in June 2018 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first drug derived from marijuana, with CBD, to treat two rare and severe forms of epilepsy. It appears there is some evidence that CBD may have anticancer properties, helps with the management of pain and other side effects as a result of cancer treatment medication.
Types of CBD Products
There are several different types of CBD products available. Consumers can easily find their preferred method and purchase the exact type of product that should help with their health or wellness concerns. Some of the most popular types of CBD products include:
- CBD Oils- multipurpose CBD-infused oils that contain hemp extract and sometimes other types of beneficial essential oils. Typically the main ingredient is CBD hemp extract, but depending on brand and concentration some oils may include coconut oil as a base (carrier oil), orange essential oil, coconut, peppermint, etc.
- Oral tincture- organic hemp extract tinctures that help inducing feelings of calmness and reduce feelings of anxiety and depression side effects. Such tinctures can help inducing a relaxing and quality sleep, especially when taken before bedtime. It is extremely important to choose a top-quality CBD oil or tincture because in such cases the plants are grown without using any harmful pesticides, heavy metals or additives that can be dangerous to your health. CBD Tinctures may also help relieve chronic pain, reduce inflammation or reduce muscle strain.
The CBD oils and tinctures are generally placed under the tongue. The bottles contain a special dropper that you can use to administer a specific number of drops under your tongue. CBD oils taken orally will absorb extremely rapidly and take effect just as fast. People who do not like to take capsules or pills will find the CBD oils and/or tinctures extremely helpful.
- Creams, Balms and CBD lotions- these are topical creams infused with CBD. The lotions or creams help treating joint and muscle pain. CBD creams and lotions are also recommended for the treatment of skin conditions such as psoriasis or eczema.
- CBD Pills and Capsules- typically recommended in the case of digestive problems but also for seizure complications.
- CBD Gummies- extremely tasty, and they contain top-grade cannabidiol extract with natural flavors. These edible candies contain cannabidiol and they are available in a variety of flavors, colors, and shapes.
Taking CBD- Dosage & Recommendations
When you start taking CBD make sure to follow the dosage instructions. It is best to start by taking lower dosages and increase gradually until reaching the required dosage. If your doctor suggests you should start with a given dosage, make sure to follow their instructions. There have not been noted heavy side effects of taking CBD, but it is best to start with a low dosage.
- Patients taking CBD for seizure treatment should always follow the strict orders of the doctor regarding product type and recommended dosage
- Always read product labels carefully. Most of the available CBD oils or tinctures have a concentration of 1 milligram CBD per drop
- CBD gummies typically contain 5 milligrams/gummy. However, before you change your dose always read carefully the label to see the exact concentration of each drop, gummy, etc.
- CBD lotions and creams should be used sparingly at the beginning. Use more and more as you see fit, but only gradually
CBD Oil Top Benefits
Cannabidiol – CBD- products are extremely popular nowadays. They are used for a great variety of health issues, from periodical migraines or arthritis and up to side effects of schizophrenia. So, what are the possible benefits of taking CBD?
- Efficient pain reliever- CBD helps reducing chronic pain through direct activity upon the endocannabinoid receptors, successfully reduces inflammation and also interacts with different neurotransmitters
- Can help reducing anxiety and depression- both anxiety and depression are concerns that can have a negative impact on your well-being and general life and everyday activities. In most cases, doctors prescribe Benzodiazepines, but these can become extremely addictive. Medication for anxiety and depression also comes with many side effects such as insomnia, agitation, headaches, drowsiness and more. On the other hand, CBD oil represents a truly natural approach that appears to be also highly effective in the treatment of anxiety and depression.
- Helps alleviating cancer related side effects- Vomiting, nausea and pain are a few of the leading symptoms of cancer or cancer related treatment. CBD can help alleviating these side effects so that patients can enjoy a better quality of life while battling with cancer and going through the necessary treatments. There is also a study that checked the effects of CBD and THC in patients with cancer related pain. These people did not get relief from pain medication, and the study found that patients who received CBD experienced significant pain reduction. Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting can also be alleviated by products containing CBD.
CBD has neuroprotective properties, and it can also help with acne reduction. Recent studies even linked the use of CBD with improvement of heart complications, such balancing high blood pressure levels.
Though more research is required to verify the efficacy of CBD, it appears that its future is promising. The FDA, in approving the new cannabidiol (CBD) drug, stated “This approval serves as a reminder that advancing sound development programs that properly evaluate active ingredients contained in marijuana can lead to medical therapies.” The FDA comment went on to state that they continue to support marijuana-derived products, including CBD-containing products.