What is CBD?
Cannabidiol, or better known as CBD, is one of over 100 cannabinoids (or substances) found in the cannabis plant. The two main active cannabinoids are THC and CBD. While THC has long been used for its psychoactive properties, CBD is not psychoactive and has been shown to have various medicinal uses. All CBD products you see will have some ratio listed, which is the ratio of CBD to THC. The highest CBD ratios from active cannabis are around 25:1 and have almost zero psychoactive effect. There are even products listed at 1:0, where CBD is extracted from the male hemp plant which has no THC at all. A CBD oil with a 1:1 ratio will have a much different effect and has its own medicinal applications. In recent years, due to legalization of cannabis in many states, there has been much more research done on CBD. Furthermore, President Trump signed a bill in December 2018, legalizing farming of hemp and effectively legalizing pure CBD products.
While CBD research is still in its infancy, it is already showing many medicinal benefits and ailments to various diseases. It is used commonly to reduce pain, anxiety, stress and nausea as well as to promote sleep. Research also suggests CBD can help patients suffering from neurodegenerative disorders such as Multiple Sclerosis, cancer, epilepsy, schizophrenia and PTSD.
CBD for Pain
The most commonly used medical application for CBD is to treat pain. CBD has pain-relieving, anti-inflammatory properties that can be used in place of addictive and harmful opioids. Common pain-relievers such as aspirin and ibuprofen can be hard on the stomach and can have a negative effect on your health if taken regularly long-term. Stronger pain medications such as opioids can be highly addictive and can come with all sorts of health risks. This is why CBD is a much better solution for chronic pain. A 2008 study, published on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) website, concluded that CBD can effectively treat central and peripheral neuropathic pain, rheumatoid arthritis and cancer pain with very few side effects.
CBD for Anxiety
Approximately 40 million Americans suffer from an anxiety disorder, almost ⅕ of the population. Additionally, a American Psychiatric Association (APA) poll taken in 2018, states 40% of Americans were more anxious than they were the previous year. While there are natural solutions to anxiety such as meditation and breathing techniques, these fail to work for many people suffering from anxiety disorders. Traditional medications such as Xanax have negative effects on your health and can affect your daily life. In addition, patients can develop dependencies on pharmaceutical medications that can become difficult habits to break once a natural solution is found.
CBD oil has been shown to be very effective in reducing anxiety with very little side effects. Numerous studies have shown that CBD can treat a wide variety of anxiety disorders such as panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, social disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, general anxiety, and even mild to moderate depression. CBD can reduce anxiety and stress without the negative numbing side-effects of traditional pharmaceuticals.
CBD for Nausea
Cancer patients going through chemotherapy suffer may side-effects from their treatment. Extreme nausea is almost guaranteed after a round of chemotherapy and traditional meds to offset this effect come with a long-list of side effects themselves. Taking medications to relieve symptoms caused by other medications can lead you patients down a rabbit hole of pharmaceuticals, which is often the last thing a patient facing a life-threatening illness wants to deal with. However, CBD has strong anti-nausea properties with very few side-effects, of which are mild for the few that experience them. Cancer patients tend to prefer CBD oils with a higher CBD to THC ratio, like 1:1. The THC increases appetite and also has pain-relieving effects. These oils provide relief for many symptoms caused by chemotherapy.
CBD oils can also be very beneficial for those suffering from mild to moderate nausea caused by a variety of factors. As CBD products have either no or mild side-effects, they are often a great solution for any level of nausea.
How does CBD work?
We know that CBD can be a great solution to relieve a plethora of symptoms such as anxiety, pain and nausea, but how does CBD relieve those symptoms?
CBD directly interacts with cannabinoid receptors in the body. These receptors are part of the Endogenous cannabinoid system (ECS) that regulates neuromodulation, synaptic plasticity and the development of the central nervous system and peripheral system. The four main cannabinoid receptors are CB1R (CNS-cannabinoid receptor), CB2R (peripheral cannabinoid receptor), TRP (Transient receptor potential), PPAR (peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor). CB1R are found mostly in the brain and are responsible for inducing muscle spasm, insomnia, chronic pain, and appetite stimulation. CBD can interact with this receptor and has been shown to reduce muscle spasms including seizures. Additionally, it can reduce insomnia and chronic pain.
CB2R are mostly located in immune system tissues, microglia, and vascular elements and moderate inflammation. CBD can reduce inflammation when interacting with CB2R receptors, playing a critical role in pain management.
CBD binds to TRPV1 receptors, also known as vanilloid receptors. These regulate pain perception, inflammation and body temperature. Therefore, they play a critical role in pain management.
PPARs, or peroxisome proliferator activated receptors, are located on the surface of the cell’s nucleus. Activating the PPAR-gamma receptor can prevent rapid growth of new cells, which results in an ability to induce tumor regression in human cancer. Further research on CBD’s interaction with PPARs could lead to amazing progression in cancer treatment. CBD’s effect on PPAR receptors also shows promise in reducing plaque causing Alzheimer’s disease. PPARs also regulate genes that are involved in energy homeostasis, lipid uptake, insulin sensitivity, and other metabolic functions. This means CBD could play a key role in treatment for diabetic patients.
Even though CBD research is only beginning to take off, there have already been so many life-changing discoveries for a variety of medical applications. It clearly has many healing properties and researchers are sure to discover even more medical applications in the future. Furthermore, CBD has few, mild side effects, making it a much better solution than traditional pharmaceuticals in the treatment of a variety of ailments and diseases.
Which CBD Product is right for me?
CBD can be absorbed by the body in many ways. Oils can be ingested or vaporized, which is the quickest way to get CBD into the bloodstream. For those that do not need immediate relief of symptoms, eating edibles such as CBD gummies or using topical creams can be easier methods to take CBD.
CBD oil is the most common form of CBD. These come in a variety of CBD to THC ratios and can come in bottles or pre-filled vape cartridges. Vaping is the preferred method for ingesting CBD and is the fastest acting. Oil vape pens are easy to use and manufacturers make pre-filled vape cartridges of different flavors, CBD to THC ratios, and sizes. Most pre-filled cartridges contain either a half gram or full gram of oil, but there are also larger cartridges available. For users that want the benefits of CBD without any psychoactive effect, there are 1:0 or 25:1 CBD to THC cartridges. For those looking for the added benefits THC offers, choose from 2:1, 1:1 or 1:2, from lightest THC to heaviest. Doctors often recommend a 1:1 ratio for cancer patients looking for relief of many symptoms.
In addition to pre-filled cartridges, there are bottles of CBD oil available that usually come with a dropper top. This oil can be ingested by dropping a few drops under the tongue or in a beverage. Of course, you can vape this oil as well. Those with a bit more experience with CBD and vaping often make their own flavors by mixing in CBD oil with nicotine-free vape e juice. With a refillable oil and e juice tank like the X6 atomizer, you can mix your own vape blend and attach the atomizer to a 510 box mod, like the Kamry box mod.
CBD Gummies and Other Edibles
For those looking for the benefits of CBD but are not interested in vaping, edibles are a great way to ingest CBD. There are countless types of delicious edibles on the market. Gummies and mints are probably the most popular as they have the longest shelf life and excellent flavor. As this market has been growing, the treats have gotten tastier and tastier.
This is also an easy way to dose. It’s possible to count puffs on a vaporizer for dosage, but the thickness of vapor and vapor quantity can vary greatly on a puff. This results in inconsistent dosage which does not matter too much with CBD, but could give unwanted results with oils containing higher quantities of THC. On any gummy or other edible packaging, the dosage will be listed. This makes it easier to gauge how much CBD or THC one is ingesting.
Using creams or ointments is another common way to take CBD. This is probably the easiest method but also takes the longest time to get into your body. Topical CBD products are great for people who want long-lasting, slow-release effects. For example, if you use CBD to lower general anxiety, stress or to assist sleep, a topical CBD application is perfect.
CBD topicals typically don’t contain THC as they have a lower THC absorption rate than other methods.
CBD for dogs and other pets
CBD is not just beneficial for humans. It has a wide spectrum of benefits for pets as well. As any dog owner knows, your best friend can get anxious when you leave them alone, take them for a long road trip, or on a plane. Many cat owners use CBD products on their kitties before taking them to the vet or a new house. CBD can also be used to help older dogs and cats stay calm who suffer from dementia.
In addition to these symptoms, CBD can provide pain-relief to pets suffering from pain, especially with chronic pain associated with arthritis. Many big dogs suffer from arthritis in old age and CBD can drastically improve a dog’s quality of life.
Lastly, just like in humans, CBD can help reduce seizures in pets. Seizures are fairly common in older cats and CBD could add a few lives to your aging cat.
CBD for dogs and other pets can come in several forms. CBD oil is a simple solution that works well and is easy to administer but companies, like Honest Paws, are now making tasty CBD-infused treats as well. The majority of CBD products for pets are designed for dogs. If you want to administer CBD to your cat or other small pet, we recommend you buy a product designed for cats. This will help you dose your feline friend properly.
CBD vs THC
While both CBD and THC come from the same plant family, they are very different from each other. CBD is not psychoactive, a quality typically associated with Hemp, a plant within the Cannabis Family. Extracting just this molecule from the plant results in natural relief from many symptoms with very few, mild side effects. CBD can provide relief from pain, anxiety, and nausea. It has also been shown to reduce seizures and help treat other psychological disorders. CBD research is still in its infancy so we are sure to see many more applications for CBD in the future.
THC is a psychoactive compound, and provides the high effect typically associated with Marijuana which is also under the Cannabis Family of plants. While cannabis has been used recreationally for centuries, it has many medical benefits as well. THC can be used for pain relief, sleep induction and appetite stimulation. It is often recommended in conjunction with CBD. Depending on the symptoms of a patient, a doctor may recommend different ratios of CBD to THC. Some typical ratios from highest CBD content to lowest are 1:0, 25:1, 1:1, and 1:2. Both CBD and THC work well in conjunction with each other, providing the full benefits of the cannabis plant.
- Watch your dosage - CBD is fairly harmless, but it is always best to start with a low dosage and slowly increase the dosage to treat symptoms.
- Wait for absorption before taking more CBD - Vaping works fairly quickly, but if you take CBD edibles or use a topical application, it could take an hour or two to feel the full effects. Make sure you wait for the CBD to be absorbed before taking more.
- Consult a doctor - If you are unsure of what CBD product to buy or the correct dosage for your condition, it is best to consult a doctor who specializes in CBD or medical marijuana.
Legislation and Why CBD Has Become So Popular
CBD research really took off after medical marijuana was legalized in various European countries and many US states. California was the first US state to legalize medical marijuana in 1996. By 2016, 20 years later, a majority of states had legalized cannabis for medical purposes. In the beginning of medical marijuana, little was known on the effects of CBD vs THC. Most recommendations were made based on trial and error on different strains containing more or less CBD. As medical marijuana has become more mainstream, and federal regulation has relaxed, more and more research is being done on the medical benefits of cannabis overall and CBD in particular. It is now a commonly accepted medicine in many households across America.
Furthermore, the farm bill signed by President Trump in 2018, allows legal production of the Hemp plant, different from the Marijuana plant, but both are under the Cannabis Family. The Hemp plant specifically, contains only trace amounts of THC, making it ideal for 1:0 CBD oils and topicals. This major step forward will give the CBD market unlimited growth potential and we are sure to see many more CBD products in the next decade.
Where to Buy CBD
As CBD becomes more popular, it is easier and easier to find CBD products in everyday retail shops. If you live in California or Colorado, most medical marijuana dispensaries will carry a plethora of CBD products. However, 1:0 and 25:1 CBD products can be found all over, from head shops and vape shops to gas stations; you can even find CBD pet products in many pet shops today. Nowadays, you can conveniently buy CBD products online from the comfort of your own home from sites like nyvapeshopcbd.com, with guaranteed quality choices and free shipping.