CBD (cannabinoids) oils and products have significantly gained popularity over the past few years. There are various claims online about the health benefits of these compounds and how they work. However, not all claims have been studied and proven. There is still room for conclusive research. It is also important to note that CBD will not benefit every user. No group of compounds is ever ideal for everyone. There are various things to consider. Essentially, these are a group of compounds known as cannabinoids found in the cannabis sativa or hemp plant. It was formerly thought that THC (Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol) was the only compound in marijuana, but research later discovered the presence of cannabinoids. THC is associated with the psychoactive mind-altering side effects of cannabis. CBD on the other hand is believed to be safe and healthy. Understanding how CBD works is crucial to appreciating its benefits. Below is a brief review of how it interacts with the human body.
How CBD works
Cannabinoids are compounds found in both plants and animals. The human body produces cannabinoids of its own and has two main receptors for these compounds; CB1 and CB2 receptors. Although both receptors are distributed around the body, CB1 receptors are mainly found in the brain. They coordinate movement, emotions, pain, moods, memory, appetite and thinking. THC is known to attach to CB1 receptors. CB2 receptors on the other hand occur in the immune system and coordinate pain and inflammation. Until recently, it was believed that CBD attached to CB2 receptors. However, recent studies suggest that foreign CBD ingested from oils and supplements does not attach to any receptors. Instead it triggers the body to produce its own cannabinoids thereby increasing the overall amount.
The side effects of CBD on your body
Cannabinoids have a myriad of benefits and side effects on the human body depending on the person taking them. Various questions have been asked about the psychoactive potential and safety. For instance, if your work involves operating machinery or you still need to drive a car, you should probably ask ‘does CBD get you high?’ to determine whether it is safe to use while working. Most CBD products contain less than 1% THC so you will not get high unless you consume a large amount at once. Even then, there is no guarantee you will achieve the same high experienced with THC. This is because CBD does not break down in the body like THC does when exposed to heat.
The popular side effect of CBD is reduced inflammation and pain. Increase in the overall level of cannabinoids has been shown to affect responses to pain and chronic inflammation. Studies done on lab rats and mice indicated that CBD oil significantly soothed pain associated with chronic inflammation. It also reduced the inflammation.
Another researched area is using CBD to counter withdrawal symptoms associated with smoking. CBD is one of the recommendations for those who intend to quit smoking cigarettes and/or marijuana. According to studies on addictive behavior, cannabinoids can combat mood-related withdrawal symptoms including anxiety, insomnia and pain. Other side effects of CBD include managing epileptic seizures and neurological symptoms, fighting cancer and acne, managing type-1 diabetes and treating some of the symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Nonetheless, research on these areas is still inconclusive.
Cannabinoids extracted from the hemp plant have anti-inflammatory and anti-seizure properties. This is why CBD oil is offered for patients with pain, chronic inflammation and neurological issues. They can also help smokers gradually quit the vice. Nonetheless, you should research and compare existing offers before using any CBD product. Make sure you purchase from reputable suppliers and pay close attention to the percentage of THC present in your product.
For our readers in the UK & European Union you can also check out the following guide to the best CBD oils in the UK.