As medical science is on its way dealing with the problems at hand everyday & the research for a solution to those problems under the microscope, CBD oil has been the recent wonder in the lanes of herbal science world over. It won’t be wrong to say that CBD oil has made a superhero entry with a promise for protecting the users from a range of troubles. Not just this, like a normal superhero, CBD doesn’t is a holistic hero who handles troubles of humans & animals alike & helps them get the best out of life. The users have been drawn by the magnetic charm of the benefits that it ensures but at the same time are also not very clear about all benefits of it as well as about what it does.
Here, we shall answer such questions to clear off the confusions on CBD oil.
CBD OIL- FROM PAST TO PRESENT
CBD oil is actually a historic stuff which was passed on to us from our forefathers but was dropped somewhere on its way to the future. Spanning its way to humanity since over 4000 years, CBD is believed to have originated in China & India. Chinese Emperor & Father of Chinese medicine, Shen Neng had a lot of faith in cannabis’s health benefits & used to drink tea made of cannabis leaves regularly. He had even mentioned the benefits of Cannabis leaves in his text Pen Ts’au which a respected relic in Chinese medicine referred even today. Even early Chinese records show the importance & cultivation of hemp as a primary crop. “Xia Xiao Zheng” – the oldest recorded agricultural treatise, referred to hemp as one of the main crops grown in China.
Even in India, hemp has been popular religiously, medically, recreationally & spiritually. The usage is still found in India in the form of a drink named Thandai that features cannabis leaves’ paste with a mix of milk, ghee (form of butter) & spices. In the Atharvaveda, cannabis has been referred to in the ‘Kingdom of Five Herbs’ .
From Asia, CBD found its roots spreading out in Egypt & the Arab region & also in the African zone. Also, when Alexander was on a hunt to expand his emperor, a Greek Physician named Pedacius Dioscorides had his hand on Hemp when the conquest reached Indian & Chinese regions. He even mentioned it in his book Materia MEdica which contains mention of 600 other herbs that he encountered during the Greek conquest.
In present times, it was not until 1940s that CBD was discovered. It was Dr. Roger Adams who had discovered it but had no idea on what he had discovered. It was Dr. Raphael Mechoulam who actually not just found out CBD but also explained the atomic structure of CBD.From there onwards, CBD & its sister compound where into a lot of troubles due to their association with the cannabis family. It was in 1998 that GW Pharmaceuticals was given permission to grow hemp & find out its benefits by the U.K government. Since then, the fight continued for CBD & now it’s legal in both the U.S.A & the U.K. All this has been possible due to constant demand & research which have given CBD its deserved importance. With legalization, CBD has got its wings to fly as the research continues to find out more & more about the wonder extract from Cannabis & Hemp plant.
CBD & THC- SAME ORIGINS, DIFFERENT FULFILLMENTS
CBD or Cannabidiol & THC Or Tetrahydrocannabinol are two of the most concentrated extracts found in the cannabis & marijuana plants. THC is mostly the one with the lion’s share in terms of composition among all other 100+ extracts while CBD comes second with around 40% share. However, when it is industrial hemp (the legally approved form of cultivating cannabis), THC extracts don’t go beyond 0.3% while CBD extracts occupy a majority.
It’s a surprising revelation that both CBD & THC have similar molecular arrangements with 21 Carbon, 30 Hydrogen & 2 oxygen atoms, & hence they are almost identical twins but a difference in atomic arrangements gives us the difference in the way they react. CBD is a non-psychoactive compound while THC is just the opposite of it.
Every mammal’s body has its own built-in system for producing cannabinoids which is called the ECS of the Endocannabinoid System. This system is responsible for the various physiological activities that include pai, memory, appetite, inflammation, etc. the system has two major receptors (CB1 & CB2 receptors) that interact with the two cannabinoids.while THC reacts with CB1 receptors which gives the user a sense of high & elation into another dimension by numbing the senses & throwing the mind into euphoria, CBD exerts its influence on the CB2 receptors. Not just this, when taken together, CBD also dampens the psychoactive effect of THC often.
WHAT DOES CBD OIL DO?
CBD oil has numerous benefits. It can be said to be a beacon light which takes sufferings like anxiety, depression, pain, arthritis, epilepsy, etc towards the exit gates. But, before understanding the benefits of it, we must understand how it works in order to have a clear concept on the matter. For this, we must talk about the brain.
Not just humans, but mammals have a system in their brain called the ECS or the Endocannabinoid System. This is the body’s own centre for production of cannabinoid. It was in 1988 that ECS was first discovered in the brain of a rat. By 1995, it was found that not just in rodents, but this was a system found in all mammals including humans. There were two main receptors identified in these studies which was CB1 & CB2 receptors. It was then concluded that the ECS was important in maintaining homeostasis in the body viz a viz the various physiological functions like pain, immune system response, memory, emotion, etc. it was concluded that while THC influences the way how CB1 receptors work, CBD was influential in the working of CB2 receptors. Thus, the benefits of CBD oil come as a result of its influence on the CB2 receptors.
Now that the working of the ECS has been mentioned, it is important to mention the various benefits it carries which are as follows:
- Anti-pain & Anti-inflammatory
Marijuana has a history with treating paining going as back as into 2900 BC. Since CBD influences the working of the ECS & has anti-inflammatory properties, so while being the body, it minimises pain. This is especially beneficial to those who deal with chronic pain & has been found very helping in cases like injuries, multiple sclerosis, arthritis, etc. CBD hence works with the brain receptors’ working & reduces inflammation & minimises pain. Even in case of animals, those affected with arthritis & inflammations show mobility with more comfort than when CBD wasn’t given to them.
Apart from this, CBD is also being used by athletes world over due to this property as injury & pain is an inseparable part of their athletic life. In case of multiple sclerosis, CBD is given along with THC for pain relief.
- Relief from Anxiety & Depression
In a very popular study, it was found that CBD reduces anxiety as after a dose of CBD to those affected with SAD (Social Anxiety Disorder), they were seen to be at ease & comfort while speaking before people. With depression being the largest contributor of disability & anxiety being the sixth on the list as mentioned by a WHO report, this is a very positive thing.
The impact of CBD on anxiety & depression is because of its role in swaying the levels of serotonin hormone – regulator of mood & social behaviour. Extremely low levels of the hormone pull down the sufferer in depression & hence it’s important that the levels of serotonin are kept under check.
In case of pets who suffered from Separation Anxiety, CBD has emerged as a good option for the furries. Also, pets often end up being scared & traumatized by loud noises & thunder. Under these cases too, CBD works wonders for them & helps them with calmness & balanced behaviour.
In addition to this, CBD has also been a friendly option for relief from anxiety & depression because unlike other anxiolytic & anti-depressant medicines, CBD has no chance for substance abuse. The side-effects are rare & even if there are any, they aren’t much serious unlike the pharmaceutical medicines. This has made CBD a preferred option by those who seek a shade away from the harsh side-effects, be it the physician or the user.
- Tackling Nausea & Loss of Appetite
CBD doses have been found extremely helpful to counter nausea & loss of appetite, specially during illness & treatments. In a study on chemotherapy patients, it was found that CBD oil dose not just eased the pain but also reduced the sensation of pain,nausea & loss of appetite.
Also, a very bright side of CBD may turn out to be its anti-cancer property which will fuel in cancer treatment with new energy. In in-vitro & animal studies, it was found that CBD causes death of human breast cancer cells & in mice, it prevented the aggressive growth & spread of cancer cells.
This gives high hopes of CBD as a possible warrior against cancer we could count on in future.
- Acne Reduction & Skin Purification
Topical lotions & skin creams infused with CBD have been seen very beneficial for the skin & have recently gained popularity too. This is because of their impact on the sebaceous glands’ production of sebum which prevents the growth of acne. Also, it has the ability to repair the damage caused due to UV-rays & environmental pollutants thus ensuring good skin health.
However, it is important to use quality CBD products as the low quality ones can’t penetrate into the skin & hence wouldn’t make any impact.It is hence necessary to buy CBD products for the skin that are transdermal.
- Neurological Regeneration
It has also been found that CBD is also a friend for the brain. Neither does it protect the brain cells from damage, but, it also helps in neurological regeneration. Thus, it helps maintain the health of the brain. Besides, its ability to impact the ECS has made given researchers a reason to look up to it as helpful in neurological disorders.
In human study, CBD has been found helpful in better sleep & life quality for those with Parkinson’s disease. Also in lab studies, it has been seen that CBD prevented cognitive decline on mice with Alzheimer’s Disease.
- Aiding in Dravet & Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome
Epidiolex – an FDA approved CBD medicine is prescribed to children suffering from Dravet & Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome. However, it can only be prescribed to children above 2 years of age. Thus, it is understandable that CBD is good for epilepsy & seizures too.
WHOM DOES IT BENEFIT?
While this fact is something which makes people a bit skeptical, it is absolutely true that it can be used to treat humans and animals alike. This is, as mentioned earlier, because of the presence of ECS in all mammals. Thus, CBD oil has become a very popular name for treatment among people for not just themselves but also for their parents solving their problems for both problems at the same time. Apart from this, the availability of CBD oil in various forms like tinctures, oils, capsules, concentrates, creams, salves, balms, lotions, gummy bears, etc.
This factor has also heaped praises on the wonder herb & hence has received legal recognition in the U.K & the U.S.A.Though the legality has only been given for CBD from industrial hemp, which is right, the fight is still long & has gathered pace in recent times with more countries adapting it into their legal list of medications.
SO WHAT ARE THE RESULTS?
It is indeed a legit question to know what results does CBD oil give when consumed. Though the magnitude of impact & working of it depends on the way of ingestion & dosage, yet the overall working is the same & have been laid down as below:
- Better Sleep
CBS has been found to induce sleep & that too, without a high. People dependent on sleeping pills have shown more inclination to CBD oil as going to sleep was more natural & softly diffusing unlike the drowsy feeling after taking pills.
- Improved Energy Levels
Better sleep leads to better working of the body as better rest ensures more activeness in the body. CBD has given people increased energy levels, which has made them feel much much better in terms of energy levels.
Since the brain is more active & well-rested, the focus, especially for those affected with anxiety & depression. Also, in case of pets, aggressive behaviour, restlessness, chewing on stuff, etc have been absent once CBD oil was given to them.
- Better Mood
It is true that CBD doesn’t cause a high. But this doesn’t mean that it doesn’t cause any sort of effect on mood. In fact, it affects the mood of the people by making it better. This, is because of its effect on serotonin which has been mentioned previously.
- Less Anxiety
By toning down overactive brain & getting the brain signaling towards the right direction, CBD helps in calming down the neurotransmitters, thus reducing anxiety among people.
With all of the above mentioned things, the various shades of CBD have been elaborated clearly. It has emerged as a very sought-after remedy for many problems these days given its multiple array of benefits & extremely limited radius of side-effects. The side-effects include:
- Change in weight & appetite might be there. Diarrhea might also be an effect. However, this isn’t much of a serious concern compared to the side-effects of other medications.
- The impact of CBD on the body. It is of attention for those going with other medications parallely alongside CBD oil. CBD’s breakdown in the body might be slower for those going with medications because the CYP3A4 enzyme is responsible for breakdown of CBD. However, certain pharmaceutical drugs, slower down the breakdown by inhibiting the enzyme.
- Dry Mouth might be one of the possible side-effects too because CBD decreases saliva secretion being a member of the cannabis family. This can simply be treated with water & juice intake.
- During pregnancy, things get a bit skeptical. This is because of an in-vitro study where CBD was found to increase permeability of the placental barrier of the foetus. This in turn can prove to be problematic for the foetus & hence is advisable to not be used during pregnancy.
With such side-effects, it is clearly understandable that CBD is almost harmless & needs attention & care before consumption only in certain cases. The availability in various forms also makes it super-friendly for the users at a time when the world population is extremely choosy. Totaling the impact & improvement it brings isn’t just ‘word of mouth’ but scientifically proven derivations under immense research. While the research has actually gained momentum of late after legalisation of hemp,there are hopes that the list of benefits will only increase. It is hence a happy time for the wonder herb as after a long spell of vacant clouds & gloom, there is finally some silver lining visible with signs of clear skies in coming times.