The cannabis plant, commonly known as marijuana, has two main chemical compounds which are THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol). These two have a lot of similarities and it is difficult to divide them. For instance, they have the same molecular formula which is C21H30O2, while each one of them has a mass clocking in at 314 grams per mole. Moreover, their chemical structure seems almost identical.
Despite them having a lot of similarities, one structural difference is that THC contains a cyclic ring while CBD belongs to the hydroxyl group. Their difference in biochemistry is the determining factor on whether or not one feels high upon consumption.
THC is the part of the cannabis plant that causes an individual to feel high, altering their mood as well as forming certain behaviours. CBD on the other hand, does not possess those qualities. Further explanation in this article seeks to understand the qualities that CBD possesses that makes it different from THC. (Harvard Health, 2020)
So, What is CBD?
When we talk of CBD, we are definitely talking about the cannabis compound that does not make someone feel high because it is non- psychoactive.
CBD helps individuals with insomnia, depression and anxiety issues. It is also known to create happiness and calmness upon stressful situations, and some doctors also prescribe it to help with other medical conditions, most common one being with cancer patients.
For years, the federal law had not legalized the use or possession of CBD products because they could not differentiate other cannabis plants from the hemp. However, on this day and time, the production, possession, as well as the sale of CBD products is now legal in the United States, thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill. The wide range of usage of CBD infused products in the present day, has highly influenced its tremendous growth in the health industry. I mean everyone wants to get in on it, including pets. For instance, CBD oil can be used to calm dogs, especially those with anxiety. (Harvard Health, 2020)
Is CBD Legal?
According to the 2018 farm bill, hemp as well as the CBD extracted from it, are legal in all the 50 states of the United States of America. In the present day, both in US and Canada, one can walk into a store and buy a cannabis infused product that contains CBD.
In addition, the United States transportation security administration updated its policy on the same stating that CBD products derived from hemp can be carried and transported on planes under certain circumstances.
However, when it comes to CBD food based products, the states laws are unclear on their guidance as to what is allowed and what is not. The food and drug administration in the United States has not yet legalized CBD on food products and purchasing them could land an individual into trouble with the law.
The sure bet approved CBD based product without any doubt is the medication for rare forms of childhood epilepsy prescribed by the doctors. (Howell, K, 2019)
What Does CBD Feel Like?
Unlike THC, CBD does not get one to feel high. Instead, it makes the individual to feel sudden happiness and calmness among many other good feelings.
In general, a cannabis sativa plant contains more than 60 compounds of cannabinoids. These are the chemical compounds that act upon the endocannabinoid system in the human body, which is responsible for regulation of an individual’s mind- body functions such as appetite, memory, mood and even pain.
As a result, these cannabinoids bind into two main receptors in the body, namely CB1 and CB2. When THC is consumed in the body, it acts on the CB1 receptor, which consequently affects the memory, body coordination and also concentration which gets you high. CBD on the other hand does not fit into the CB1 receptor due to its difference in shape from the hydroxyl group and hence it does not make anyone feel high. However, it binds in other receptors in a human cannabinoid system, which in return affect the pain perception, inflammation, anxiety and many more. (Seeker, 2019)
What is CBD Good For?
Cannabidiol has many health benefits. For instance, it helps with medical conditions like cancer in which studies have shown that it significantly reduces the size of the tumor. It has also helped in treating and reducing seizures in epilepsy syndromes such as Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS). This is one of the childhood epilepsy syndromes that failed to respond to antiseizure medications hence leading to the invention of the first cannabis- based medicine. Epidiolex was the first drug containing CBD to be approved by the FDA in the United States of America in June 2018.
CBD has also been reported to help with addiction causing lower cravings of drugs like tobacco. (Harvard Health, 2020)
Further studies have shown that CBD helps to control body pain and inflammation from arthritis by lowering it. This can be done mostly by applying it to the skin. (Breivik, H, 2006) In addition, CBD helps with insomnia and anxiety.
Does CBD Help With Anxiety?
CBD is very effective when it comes to anxiety by helping to calm the central nervous system of a human body. According to research, raising serotonin levels can aid in the treatment of anxiety. Basically CBD does the same job as the antidepressant and the anxiety medicine prescribed by doctors. Which is to regulate serotonin levels.
Several researches have been done over the years that proves that CBD works as well as the approved medicine on anxiety. In 2019 research was conducted to help investigate the effectiveness of CBD on anxiety and sleeping disorders. This research was conducted among 72 patients with symptoms relating to insomnia and anxiety disorders. With 79.2% of the participants, it significantly reduced their anxiety levels while with 66.7% of the patients with insomnia, it helped in improving their sleeping habits. They concluded that CBD was promising a future where it could be an alternative therapy for patients with anxiety disorder. (Skelley, J, 2020)
Best Ways To Take CBD
There are many different methods in which one can ingest CBD. One can do so through fluids containing like CBD tea, CBD water, juice, wine, beer, lemonades among many others. One can also absorb CBD through patches. In addition, ingestion of CBD can be done through edibles like gummies, cookies, sweets, brownies among many others. There is also CBD oil, soaps, lip-glosses, Butter, sprays etc. In addition, some individuals also prefer to smoke it on a rolled joint or through vaping.
Some of the safest ways to take CBD though, include the use of CBD sublingual spray where one sprays CBD in their mouth and it enters the bloodstream through the membranes in the mouth.
The second safest method of CBD ingestion would be eating it through edibles, like cookies, brownies where the CBD is absorbed into the stomach and takes a few minutes to kick in.
Another top recommended way of using Cannabidiol is through the use of CBD oil where an individual administers drops under the tongue which are absorbed through the sublingual veins found under the tongue. (Harvard Health, 2020)
Can You Get Addicted to CBD Oil?
Consumption of CBD oil which is a product of Cannabidiol cannot result in any kind of addiction. If anything it helps to reduce human dependency on other drugs such as THC, alcohol, heroin, tobacco among many others.
Furthermore, the World Health Organization (WHO) has identified pure CBD products as safe to use without potential for abuse. In addition, they proceed further to state that according to observation and studies done on the same, that CBD has not revealed any signs of harm to the human body.
CBD has been clinically tested for the treatment of anxiety, psychosis, and movement disorder in humans and has an exceptionally safe profile.
It also does not show any evidence of potential dependency and addiction to any human who has used it. The World Health Organization has recorded reports showing that usage of CBD does not result in habit forming. This fact is mostly facilitated by the fact that CBD is non- psychoactive. (Fitzcharles, M, 2020)
In summary, although more research has to be done as well as clinical assessments, CBD gives quite a promising future on alternative therapy. The kinds of therapy that could possibly mark a new beginning for people struggling with anxiety disorders, depression, sleeping disorders and possibly arthritis.
As expected, the usage of CBD is rising worldwide at a very high rate. In the absence of traditional therapy, a substantial number of responders say CBD efficiently treats their condition(s) with no serious side effects.
With more research on cannabis, who knows? Maybe more compounds can be found to cure rising conditions or otherwise be used for rising virus vaccinations like Covid-19. As a matter of fact, some drug manufacturing companies have come forward with claims that CBD can be used as a cure for Covid-19. As much as their claims are indefensible, there may be some facts and truth behind it.
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