Recognized as one of the best remedies for reducing pain and improving quality of life, CBD is perhaps one of the most exciting products available to many people today. It is not always easy to understand what it is, how it works, or how to buy it. If you are like many people, you just are not sure how to buy CBD with ease while ensuring you are getting the quality of the product you need.
Let’s take a deep dive into what CBD is, how it works, and why people are using it today. What you are sure to find is a product that is designed to provide for many of your needs.
What Is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a chemical that comes from the cannabis Sativa plant. This plant is often called just cannabis. This plant has over 80 chemicals within it, called cannabinoids. Each of them may create a different effect or outcome. The most well-known of these is delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This is the component of the plant that can create a sensation of being high when present in high doses.
CBD comes from the hemp portion of the plant. This portion of the plant does not contain a high amount of THC. The small amount present does not create changes to the way the brain functions. To be clear, CBD itself can impact the brain, but it does so in a different way than THC alone works.
Currently, there is one prescription CBD product used in the U.S. This is for a seizure disorder called epilepsy. While that may be the only treatment approved by the FDA for the treatment of a condition, there are a lot of claims about the effects of CBD. People use this product because it helps them feel better or manage the symptoms of their health condition effectively.
There is much more to learn about CBD and how it works. Before diving into those specifics, consider a bit more about CBD itself.
The History of CBD
Hemp itself has been used for a very long time. Researchers did not really understand how it works or what it could do until about the last 100 years. During that time, a better understanding of organic and biology has helped expose more of the opportunities this drug provides.
Roger Adams first discovered CBD in 1940. He was the first to isolate the CBD and another cannabinoid, CBN (cannabinol), from the hemp plant. He also hypothesized that THC was also present in the plant. It would not be until 1964 that THC was isolated. That was discovered by Raphael Mechoulam. He has long been one of the leading researchers behind cannabis science itself.
In Mechoulam’s research, the properties of THC and CBD would be identified in their molecular form. When you look at the timeline of CBD history and development, you will quickly notice that THC – and its ability to be a psychoactive chemical – was actually discovered after CBD. While THC gets a lot of attention because it can create a high many people seek, CBD itself has long been a very important molecule.
CBD was isolated in 1940, but even then, it was not used significantly. People did not understand what it could do or how it could be used. There is still quite a bit of research being done on the chemical to get a better idea of what it can do for users.
The Science Behind CBD
What is that science? There are still a lot of unknowns about CBD, and that is why it is so great about this compound. It can be hard to even list all the speculations that are out there in terms of what CBD could do for people. Here are some of the facts that researchers are working on and what we believe to be the benefits of using CBD in its various forms.
CBD and Anxiety and Depression
One of the ways that science is helping people with CBD is by exploring how this drug can actually help those facing anxiety and depression. As noted, cannabis has long been associated with a change in the function of the brain, and not just in the way of THC use.
Researchers have found that CBD can help alleviate the symptoms of depression and anxiety in some people. In preclinical trials and research, it has been found that CBD is highly effective in reducing anxiety behaviors, including those that are associated with conditions such as social anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and other forms. It appears that the drug works on specific areas of the brain, reducing anxiety-related reactions in the brain.
What’s more, it does not appear to cause any type of side effects or demonstrates minimal sedative effects. It is considered a tool that allows people to see improvement in their symptoms without creating a negative outcome, which many medications for anxiety typically cause.
Treatment of Epilepsy Syndromes
CBD has also been found to be highly effective in the treatment of epileptic seizures. In 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of CBD for the treatment of seizures that result from Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome as well as those from Dravet syndrome. These are just two rare forms of epilepsy, but it is one of the best starts for the compound. It is an opening of the door to see what else CBD can do.
In studies and trials, it was found that people taking CBD under the brand name Epidiolex were able to see fewer seizures compared to those who were given a placebo. This could help with the treatment of other types of epilepsy in the future as well. In these studies, it was shown that the drug was helpful in treating epileptic seizures in infants, children, and teens who had a condition that did not respond to other types of medications.
Opioid Addiction Treatment
There is evidence that CBD can be highly effective in helping people who have a substance abuse disorder overcome the cravings and use of that drug. By using CBD instead of opioids, for example, it is possible for the brain’s function – the communication between neurotransmitters in the brain, to operate in more of a normal manner.
There is a lot of research still out on how this may work and if it is helpful. However, there is a belief, thanks in part to animal-based studies, that CBD could help those who are dependent on opioids to stop using. In some studies, it has been found to help reduce the impact of withdrawal, including reducing cravings, reducing anxiety-related feelings, and improving resting heart rate. It may also help with treating insomnia in those who have an addiction. Also notable, there were no adverse reactions found in those who used these drugs.
For people who have MS, limited mobility and pain are two of the most common and intense symptoms of their condition. This condition impacts the central nervous system. Many people face complications like inflammation, muscle spasticity, and pain as a result of MS. Over time, the muscle breakdown makes it hard for a person to be mobile. There is some evidence to support that CBD may help with not just pain improvement but also improvement of mobility-related conditions.
Studies are still underway to understand the impact and overall benefits that CBD can offer in this way, but there is a lot of positive evidence that people may be able to reclaim some of their health and wellbeing through the use of CBD. It may help to reduce pain enough to allow people to be able to be more mobile.
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
In people who have ALS, there is damage to the nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Over time, they deteriorate so much so that a person is unable to be mobile. Many people lose muscle control over time. ALS is a complex disease in itself, and it is not fully understood. There are very limited medications that can help to treat ALS symptoms as well.
CBD may be one tool that may be helpful. Some research indicates that people may benefit from both the use of THC and CBD. Those who had mild to more severe muscle tightness and stiffness found that there was an improvement in overall quality of life and pain management from using CBD. Those who had more severe symptoms in studies reported having more improvement than those who had more mild symptoms. Many people found it helped with the depression, pain, drooling, and appetite loss that are symptoms of ALS.
Perhaps one of the most notable reasons for the use of CBD is for pain management. Pain is a complex condition in itself because of why it occurs. Often, chronic pain develops as a result of the central nervous system receiving pain signals from nerves located in the impacted area. Even if the area has healed, those pain signals continue to send messages to the brain that a problem is present. That nerve damage is very hard to improve. CBD may help to address it more fully.
Canada approved Sativex, a type of oromucosal spray that contains both THC and CBD in it for pain relief. This helped to provide treatment for pain associated with central neuropathic problems. It was commonly used to help people with MS. In 2007, two years later, the country approved the medication for use in cancer-related pain that is unresponsive to other types of medication.
There have been many trials and studies in the U.S. about the use of CBD for pain, and while none of them have yet led to the FDA approving its use, there are a lot of favorable studies to support its use.
Some studies have found that CBD is very helpful in the treatment of symptomatic peripheral neuropathy, which is pain that latches to the brain nerve and the spinal cord. This type of pain, which is often very intense and sharp, is often hard to treat with other treatments, but CBD has shown some promise. There are some systemic issues noted for CBD that is ingested in some people.
Another way that CBD can be helpful is with the treatment of pain topically. That is, instead of ingesting it, a CBD oil can be used to apply to the surface area of the impacted muscle or joint. There is a range of topical CBD products available that may be highly effective like this, and they do not carry the same risk associated with CBD entering the bloodstream.
While CBD is not necessarily a treatment for diabetes itself, it may be helpful in some of the complications and symptoms that people have. Some evidence exists that tests on human cells found that CBD can help to reduce the amount of glucose in the bloodstream. A person with diabetes may have uncontrollable glucose levels due to the glucose not entering the cells themselves as it should. CBD may be useful in people who have diabetes if it is found to be helpful in this way.
However, some people also report the benefits of using CBD to treat diabetic complications as well as the plaque buildup in cell walls that is so commonly associated with diabetes. It may help to reduce diabetic-associated neuropathy as well. This often includes pain in the extremities.
While still more studies are necessary to determine the extensiveness of treatment, it is possible that it may play a bigger role in treatment over time. Some of the most recent studies are focused on learning how CBD may be a way to encourage better natural regulation of insulin-related hormone levels in the bloodstream.
Neurological diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease may also benefit from the use of CBD. This may be the case because some preclinical trials show that CBD may have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that could help protect the intricate structures of the brain. Some researchers believe that CBD may provide protection for the brain or against the development of pathological disorders as a result.
This may include other conditions as well, such as Huntington’s disease and cerebral ischemia, though the search on these two conditions has not been proven to be effective.
For many people, CBD can be quite interesting because of all the promise it shows. Yet, it is very important to understand that there is a lot of misinformation out there that can make it hard to know what you are using or if you should use CBD. Here are some common questions people ask.
Is CBD Different From Marijuana?
There is a lot of difference between CBD and marijuana. If you do not want to use marijuana because of its psychoactive effects, know that you may be able to get a lot of the results you need using CBD instead.
THC is the psychoactive component in marijuana that creates a high. If someone is using this drug, they are often doing so because of the high level of THC present, though it may also offer some of the improvements mentioned above.
CBD has a very small amount of THC in it – just 0.3 percent or less, under federal law. That is why CBD is legal to use in the U.S.
Both THC and CBD interact with the body, specifically the endocannabinoid system. The effects they have are very different, though. While both THC and CBD have the same molecular structure. That is, they both have 30 hydrogen atoms, 21 carbon atoms, and 2 oxygen atoms, the difference in their structure relates to the way the atoms are arranged. This impacts the way these compounds impact the neurotransmitters in the brain. The neurotransmitters are important communication chemicals – they help keep the flow of information moving between cells. They also control pain and stress, along with your ability to sleep and even how your immune system works.
Is CBD Addictive?
This is a very common question because of the real worry some people have. It is possible to suffer from addiction to THC. However, there is a very limited amount of THC present in CBD. For that reason, it is highly unlikely that someone would suffer from an addiction to just CBD. In other words, while you can develop a substance use disorder with marijuana, you are not likely to do so using CBD.
Can You Overdose On CBD?
This is a difficult question to answer. Consider that it is possible to overdose on a wide range of products if you take too much of them. For most people, it would take a very large dose of CBD to have any type of negative effect that could be labeled as an overdose.
If you take too much CBD, you are likely to experience extreme tiredness, lethargy, diarrhea and nausea, stomach pain, or disorientation. Most often, there are no dependency risks for most people who use CBD. In other words, while you could get sick from taking a very high dose of CBD, it is not going to lead to addiction or dependency on the drug, which is common in other drugs, including marijuana.
What Are The Long-Term Effects Of CBD Use?
The research on the long-term effects of consistent use of CBD are less understood. For some people, no negative effects occur, which means that you may be able to use it without any negative consequences.
Some people have reported some effects, including slowed reaction time, memory loss, and changes in overall mood. Some people have become more irritable or may find that the CBD does not work for them in the same way it did when they first started using it.
Other people have reactions to CBD right away. They may have lightheadedness. Some people also develop low blood sugar, a slowed heart rate, dry mouth, and dizziness. Others report being sleepy. The drug, like any other product, works on people in different ways.
Who Uses CBD?
There are no limitations on who can use CBD, though there are some warnings about women who are pregnant or breastfeeding or those taking medications that CBD may interact with. (Check with your doctor for more information about your specific medications).
It’s important to note that CBD is more universally accepted as a tool for the treatment of conditions or to improve overall wellbeing, which is different from the use of THC products.
Many people are using this drug and doing so because of the numerous benefits it can offer. Here are some things to keep in mind about who is using these drugs:
- Many people use CBD to achieve pain relief, one of the most common reasons people seek out this substance.
- Those diagnosed with or have untreated anxiety are also commonly seekers of the drug.
- Some people use CBD and recreational cannabis to meet their needs.
- Seniors are increasing their use of both topicals and ingested forms of CBD to reduce mobility limitations and pain associated with arthritis.
- Many people seek out the use of cannabis to improve sleep issues, including insomnia
CBD is not a recreational drug. As such, it is not often used by those looking for a high but is more commonly used by those seeking pain relief or one of the other benefits it may offer. That includes CBD oil and other CBD products.
Is CBD Really Safe?
It can be scary to think that there is a treatment out there that seems so readily available to help you but that you have not tried before. Many people worry about the safety of using CBD, and it is a viable concern.
Overall, CBD is safe for most people, though some people react to it more significantly than others. There is no way to know how your body will react to it until you take the drug. For most people, only mild symptoms occur that may be considered negative.
One key concern is knowing what you are taking. CBD products are made by many organizations, and not many of them have their products inspected or tested for quality. You need to know who you are buying from before you make the decision to use any product. Keep in mind that you want to learn what all ingredients in the product are, as well as what type of testing has been done to prove that the drug is, in fact, safe to use.
Common side effects associated with CBD use may include:
- Reduced appetite
- Dry mouth
- Nausea and vomiting
- Gastrointestinal issues
Not everyone experiences these side effects. More so, some people may not wish to take this drug because it can interfere with other medications they are on.
Is CBD Legal In All States?
Yes, CBD is legal in all 50 states. However, many states have very specific CBD rules about its use. It is important to check on your state’s specific rules before using or purchasing it. Here are some examples.
In Maine, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Connecticut, it is possible to use legalized medical marijuana and CBD products only if approved by the FDA. Wisconsin laws are less clear in terms of whether or not CBD is allowable since it is possible to receive fines for using it.
The Top Benefits of Using CBD
We have talked about a lot of the research that is out there about CBD, but there are a lot of other reasons to use this compound over and above what many believe. Consider some of the most common benefits people see when using CBD:
Anxiety And Depression Relief
CBD products may be helpful for the improvement of anxiety and depression symptoms. This may include intense worry, rapid heart rate, and an overall sense of doom. It may help those who have depression from trauma or other experience, as well as those who develop depression as a result of chemical imbalances. It does not replace the use of medications prescribed by a doctor.
In one Brazilian study, researchers used CBD and a placebo to determine how CBD impacts anxiety levels. To do this, they gave the drug to a group of 57 men and then had them engage in a simulated public speaking test. They found that those who had the CBD dosage saw a significant improvement in anxiety levels prior to the public speaking.
It is important to know that while CBD may help alleviate these symptoms, it does not alter the chemical imbalances that put some people at risk for suicide. It is important to note that it can help reduce depressive symptoms, but it may not provide ongoing relief from the condition.
Relief of Chronic Pain
Another way in which CBD seems to help people is with the easing of chronic pain. In this type of scenario, CBD works to break that pain signal being sent from the area of damage to the brain. By reducing this, it may help to improve the pain levels people have.
It can work in two ways for pain relief. Many people with more intense forms of pain, such as from ALS or MS, may get the best results from using CBD in an oral ingested form. However, those who have muscle-related or joint pain may see significant improvement to the area with a topical application of a CBD oil.
Most people using CBD for pain do not report any type of negative health consequences or limitations. That’s critical to note since most pain medications create negative health effects or may lead to prescription addiction.
Alleviating Alzheimer’s Symptoms
CBD does not stop the progression of Alzheimer’s, but some people have reported that it can provide relief from many of the symptoms people have of it. This could include both behavioral and psychological symptoms associated with dementia. It may help people to improve memory loss. Some people see an improvement in symptoms such as:
- Social withdrawal
- Loss of inhibitions
- Aggressive behaviors
- Sleep trouble
It is important to note that this drug may not work as well for some as it does for others. In some situations, it can work very effectively and noticeably in more moderate conditions, while it may be less noticeable as the condition progresses significantly.
Reducing PTSD Symptoms
Many people with post-traumatic stress syndrome face anxiety-like disturbances when they experience or think about past pain or trauma. Though CBD does not take away those feelings, it may help to reduce the intense anxiety that often stems from the condition when a panic attack sets in. Some people may also see fewer overall episodes of traumatic relapse when using this CBD.
Limits Arthritis Pain and Symptoms
Those with arthritis often face numerous obstacles throughout their day. As a result of this, they may not engage with life as fully as they used to. CBD may be able to stop those pain signals from moving to the brain. In doing so, it may make it easier to move joints or improve overall mobility.
Myths and Facts About CBD
There is no doubt that CBD is a very intriguing compound, but it is also a very complex drug. Many people simply do not know how it works, or they believe a wide range of false bits of information about it. Let’s dispel some of those myths.
Myth: Delta 8 and Delta-9 THC are the same
Delta 8 is a minor cannabinoid. It requires a lot more effort to extract it than other forms. There is very little Delta 8 THC produced by the cannabis plant, which makes it less beneficial to extract. Another difference between these two is that Delta-9 THC is much more potent than Delta 8. Keep in mind that both of these compounds contain THC, the ingredient that creates the high.
Myth: CBD has not been proven to be effective at all
That is not the case. As noted, CBD products have been approved by the FDA to be used to treat epilepsy, and many other scientific studies currently under review are showing a lot of favor for numerous other health conditions.
Myth: CBD is just a marketing scam
That’s definitely not the case. It is true that there is not as much oversight over these products as there is on other types of medications, but the same could be said for all supplements. It is important to know what’s in the product and to buy from a reputable provider who is selling the very best quality of product.
How can you be sure you are buying a quality product?
- Know where it is coming from – research the manufacturer to learn more.
- Consider research from outside of the U.S., not just the often-slow-moving FDA’s approval.
- Not all products are equal. Look at what they promise to help with.
- Talk to your doctor about use. Many are more knowledgeable than before.
- Don’t believe the hype – if the claim is too over-the-top or any manufacturer claims that CBD can cure a condition, don’t buy it.
Myth: CBD works the same way for everyone
This myth is very common. It is also the reason may people find themselves not getting the same results as their friends or family. The way your body uses CBD depends on many factors. Your endocannabinoid system interacts with CBD in its own way. More so, the reasons you are using it may also play a role in the response you get from it.
Know that it is best to try a product out and evaluate it for yourself. If you do not get the results you want, consider an alternative form of the CBD products, such as switching to a CBD oil instead of an isolate powder. Doing this could give you a better result.
There are a lot of ways that you can take in CBD. Do not be afraid to add it to the foods you enjoy eating. If you purchase a high-quality product, you can use it in numerous ways.
For example, you can add CBD oil to your coffee or your favorite smoothie each day. You can easily add it to soups and stews. You can use the oil to bake it into some of your favorite baked goods like cookies or brownies. You can also add it to most sauces. Whenever possible, add CBD oil after you take the food off high heat cooking.
It’s a good idea to mix CBD oil with another cooking oil when using it. This helps it to be more effective. Additionally, be careful when mixing CBD with any alcoholic product, as this can lead to a significant level of reduced ability to respond to conditions and may make you very tired.
Here are a few recipes to look up or try:
- CBD-infused guacamole
- Add CBD to your favorite salad dressing to add to a warm or cold salad.
- Blend a bit of CBD isolate powder into your cooked dishes, including mashed potatoes.
- Blend a bit of CBD oil into whipping cream to top drinks or a smoothie.
- Blend melted CBD coconut oil into a recipe for chocolate chip cookies.
These are just a handful of ways you can transform a CBD oil or powder into a usable ingredient in your home.
CBD for Pets
CBD is not just for people. There are a lot of indications that CBD may be an excellent tool for some pets. If you plan to purchase and use CBD for pets, be sure you choose a product that is designed for pet use and offers dosing information as that can differ from the products designed for use by people.
Like with many other aspects of CBD research, there are numerous ongoing studies that are looking at just how beneficial CBD may be to pets. However, early research indicates that it may help pets with seizure control, chronic pain management, and anxiety. Nevertheless, there are no studies that state that CBD can cure or even treat any of these conditions.
What’s impressive, though, is the number of licensed veterinarians that are recommending the use of CBD to their patients. Much of the research behind these compounds is coming from those who are providing care to animals in daily practice.
Research thus far indicates that CBD may be beneficial to cats and dogs for:
- Pain relief: The use of CBD pills may help in reducing the inflammation that often causes pain. That may help to increase overall mobility in a pet that may be struggling with conditions like arthritis or illness-related pain.
- Anxiety: Pets have anxiety, too, and just like humans, CBD may be helpful in providing relief from it. This may mean the pet is less nervous or may be less likely to be aggressive. Some people find this helps pets who are dealing with past trauma as well as those that do not like loud sounds, like fireworks. It may help the pet to be relaxed and happy.
- Seizures: It is best to work with your vet to determine the best way to treat pets with seizures using CBD. It can help with dogs who have epilepsy, for example, by lowering the frequency of seizures. It is believed that the compound works to prevent nerves in the brain from over-firing like they do in seizures.
If you are thinking about using CBD for pets, have an open conversation with your vet about it first. Then, seek out a product that can offer comprehensive support to the dog or cat because it is made specifically for their needs. Be sure to carefully consider dosing amounts. Also, never give human-grade CBD to pets even in small doses.
Finding the Information You Need
Relax+Releaf is your local CBD store in Suwanee, Georgia. Our goal is to help you find the best information and products that can help you enjoy a better quality of life. We were found in 2020 with products that are simple, natural made with the very best ingredients, and lab tested for your needs. We’re your trusted CBD partner.