CBD (Cannabidiol) oil comes from hemp. Lots of people confuse hemp with marijuana, but hemp is really a different plant. Marijuana and hemp may share the exact same scientific name, Cannabis sativa, but they are not the same.
Marijuana is cultivated primarily for the psychoactive cannabinoid, a chemical compound called tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, for recreational and medicinal use. Marijuana contains both THC and CBD.
Hemp contains only a trace of THC, significantly less than 0.3% compared to marijuana’s hefty 5-35%. The key cannabinoid in hemp is CBD oil, but there are over 100 other cannabinoids in hemp, in addition to compounds that produce tastes and scents called terpenes (e.g. citrusy smell of oranges, unique aroma of pine trees, or sweet flower smell of lavender).
For thousands of years, hemp has been cultivated for food, clothing, fiber, and fuel. It is one of the world’s oldest domesticated crops. In the first days, hemp was an essential crop in the U.S. Throughout the 1700s, colonial farmers grew hemp mainly for the strong fiber.
However, hemp production stumbled on a screeching halt once the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 was passed. Mainstream attitudes towards cannabis started initially to sway greatly towards the negative. Hemp became the “evil weed” since it shares the exact same species as marijuana though it doesn’t contain marijuana’s abundant THC.
Over time, many have speculated that the true reason for the anti-cannabis campaign boiled down seriously to the worry that hemp could become a low-cost replacement paper pulp. American industrialist William Randolph Hearst and the DuPont family had major investments in the timber and newspaper industries. They initiated a smear campaign to destroy the lucrative hemp market for fear that the rise of hemp would undercut their profits. Nevertheless, years later, it became known that hemp doesn’t include a high enough concentration of cellulose to be a fruitful paper substitute.
Eighty long years later, hemp finally regained its legal status in the U.S. following the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill. Hemp, defined as cannabis with significantly less than 0.3% THC, is taken off Schedule I controlled substances. Hemp-derived goods are legal provided that they come from licensed hemp growers. More and more universities and hospitals have begun to examine it. Americans are now able to use CBD legally. It can be ordered online and shipped to all 50 states.
Marijuana laws will also be changing at a rapid pace across America. Although it remains illegal on the federal level, many states have legalized marijuana. For the residual states, some have allowed it for medical use and some recreational use.
The Human Endocannabinoid System (ECS)
Cannabinoids made by our personal bodies are called endocannabinoids (the prefix “endo” means within). In the 1990s, researchers made an astonishing discovery that the ECS plays a significant role within our overall health.
The ECS maintains constant communication with every organ system in the body.
This communication involves messenger molecules called endocannabinoids and cannabinoid receptors on every cell that accepts them. Think of it as a “key and lock” system. The receptors are locks and the endocannabinoids are keys that bind to these receptors and unlock them.
You can find two main types of receptors within the ECS – cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1) and cannabinoid receptor type 2 (CB2).
Researchers found a lot more than 1,000 receptors in the body. CB1 receptors are found largely on nerve cells in mental performance and spinal cord, in addition to the attention and retina. CB2 receptors are predominantly found in the immunity system and in the organs and tissues, such as for example brain, spleen, blood cells, gastrointestinal, and urinary tracts.
The body produces two types of endocannabinoids – anandamide and 2-AG. They are transported to the cells through the CB1 and CB2 receptors. Once we age, the body becomes less efficient in producing anandamide and 2-AG. The appropriate functioning of the ECS also is dependent upon the adequacy of omega-3 in the diet.
Lots of people have experienced the feel good sensation or “high” after strenuous exercise. The lifted mood arises from the release of endorphins. Researchers now know that it’s also from a growth in anandamide, which targets mainly the CB1 receptors and, to a smaller extent, the CB2 receptors.
The other endocannabinoid, 2-AG, transmits signals across mental performance cells and activates both CB1 and CB2 receptors. 2-AG supports brain health, immune health, in addition to insulin sensitivity.
Researchers have now found that both endocannabinoids, anandamide and 2-AG, have a considerable impact on a number of functions including appetite, energy and balance, immunity, memory, metabolism, nervous system, sleep, and stress response.
Evidence For CBD Health Benefits
The Cannabis plant contains over 100 cannabinoids. These compounds closely resemble the human endocannaboids. The key cannabinoid in hemp is CBD, and in marijuana, THC.
Unlike THC, CBD doesn’t bind straight into our cannabinoid receptors. Nevertheless, it does stimulate the activity of both CB1 and CB2 receptors without directly tapping into them. A study by the National Institute of Health discovered that CBD causes the body to produce more endocannabinoids, especially 2-AG. Moreover, CBD inhibits the degradation of anandamide.
Scientists are now actually beginning to discover lots of CBD’s health benefits:
CBD has been touted for a wide variety of health interests, however the strongest scientific evidence is for the effectiveness in treating two rare drug-resistant childhood epilepsy conditions, namely Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) and Dravet syndrome (DS). The FDA has approved the first ever CBD-derived drug Epidiolex for these conditions. In several studies, CBD surely could reduce the number of seizures, and in some instances it surely could stop them altogether.
CBD may offer an option for treating different types of chronic pain: fibromyalgia, gout, HIV, multiple sclerosis, neuropathic, and rheumatoid arthritis. Studies discovered that applying CBD oil entirely on the issue area helps to lower pain and inflammation. CBD works by impacting cannabinoid receptor activity within the body, reducing inflammation, and reaching neurotransmitters.
Researchers also discovered that subjects didn’t develop a tolerance to the results of CBD, so there was no need to increase dosage continually. Unlike some pain medications, CBD isn’t addictive and does have no intoxicating effects, offering much relief for folks who have chronic pain.
An oral spray called Sativex, which is a mix of CBD and THC, has been approved in several countries in Europe and Canada (but not in the U.S.) to treat pain and muscle spasms related to multiple sclerosis.
Another controlled study discovered that Sativex significantly improved pain during movement, pain at rest, and sleep quality in people who have rheumatoid arthritis.