10 Facts about CBD
Cannabidiol is a key ingredient in cannabis, one of more than 60 compounds unique to the plant and grouped under the umbrella term “cannabinoids.” Cannabidiol, otherwise known as CBD, and THC are usually the most common cannabinoids in the plant and are therefore the most widely studied.#2: Won’t Get You High
CBD does not get you high like THC does. THC causes euphoria by binding to special CB1 and CB2 nerve receptors in the brain. CBD does not bind to these receptors, so cannabidiol does not get you stoned.#3: CBD From Hemp is Legal
CBD can be made from medical marijuana plants or industrial hemp plants. Marijuana is illegal under federal law but legal in some states. Industrial hemp when grown in other countries can be imported legally into the United States, making it easier for consumers to get CBD treatment without breaking the law.#4: Cannabinoid Levels Vary
CBD and THC levels, known as cannabinoids, vary between plants. Marijuana plants grown for recreational use tend to be high in THC and varying amounts of CBD. Industrial hemp plants are very low in THC while medical marijuana plants are typically high in CBD.#5: No Prescription Needed
It is legal to order CBD made from industrial hemp plants online for use in any state without a prescription. Individuals ordering CBD products made from medical marijuana plants must live in a state where medical marijuana is legal and have a prescription.#6: Has Medical Value
Scientific studies show CBD provides therapeutic medicinal benefits. According to a 2013 review published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, soothes nausea and vomiting, acts as an anti-oxidant to reduce free radicals that cause neurodegenerative disorders, and works as an anti-inflammatory to reduce swelling. CBD also stimulates appetite and relieves pain.#7: Benefits the Mind
CBD also combats psychological issues, including working as an antipsychotic to combat psychosis. Additionally, CBD works to reduce chronic anxiety and depression disorders. These benefits of CBD are also helpful for patients struggling with temporary anxiety and depression resulting from a more serious medical condition.#8: Combats Cancer Spread
CBD products may reduce the spread of some types of cancer cells. The National Cancer Institute reviews several studies that show cannabidiol may have a protective effect against cancer. This review includes research investigating the benefits of CBD treatment for a variety of cancers, including breast, colorectal, and lung cancers.#9: Reduce THC Fallout
CBD counteracts the negative effects of THC. According to research published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, CBD seems to prevent THC-induced memory impairment. CBD may also ease paranoia and other negative side effects commonly associated with THC.#10: Helping Children with Seizures
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted University of California at San Francisco researchers permission to study the effects of the purified cannabidiol drug on children with uncontrolled seizures. Study participants are all between the ages of 1 and 18 years, and all suffer symptoms resistant to conventional treatments. Many participants have Dravet syndrome, a condition that begins in early childhood and causes frequent, disabling seizures on a daily basis. The FDA and Drug Enforcement Agency promise to monitor the research closely. Pending FDA approval, more institutions will take up the study.
What Are Cannabinoids? (CBD)
Cannabinoids are chemical compounds that naturally occur in the resin of the Cannabis sativa plant, commonly called marijuana. These chemicals have a drug-like effect on the human central nervous system and immune system, leading to altered moods, pain relief, and other temporary changes. Cannabinoids include THC, the well-known substance that causes the psychoactive (“high”) effect associated with marijuana use, but many other cannabinoids have shown promising medical effects in research studies without making the subject “high” (1).Isn’t Marijuana Use Illegal?
Yes, federal law prohibits the use, sale, and possession of marijuana. However, some states and the District of Columbia have legalized the use of marijuana with a doctor’s prescription for certain medical conditions (2).How Do Cannabinoids Work?
Over 20 years of research has revealed that human brain cells and nerve cells have two types of cannabinoid receptors, or special molecules that grab cannabinoids. When a cannabinoid meets a receptor, it can cause an effect to occur within the cell, similar to the way a locked door will not open until a particular key (cannabinoid) is inserted and turned in the lock (receptor).
The cannabinoid receptors are found in the parts of the brain that handle cognition, memory, psychomotor skills, feelings of rewards, and pain perception. When certain cannabinoids, such as THC, meet the receptors, the individual may feel a “high” effect. However, other cannabinoids, such as CBD Cannabidiol, interact with the receptors to reduce feelings of pain or anxiety.
The fact that the human body contains these receptors suggests that cannabinoids play a natural role within the immune system. This theory is further supported by the existence of the endocannabinoid system, which includes naturally occurring chemicals with the human body that stimulate the cannabinoid receptors.What medical conditions and symptoms can be treated with cannabinoids?
Researchers still have a lot to learn about the benefits of using non-psychoactive cannabinoids such as CBD. So far, preliminary studies have indicated that these substances may (1):
* Inhibit tumor growth, making chemotherapy more effective without harming healthy cells and tissues
* Simulate the appetite and reduce weight loss
* Relieve pain and inflammation, including chronic pain and cancer pain
* Reduce nausea and vomiting
* Lessen anxiety
* Improve quality of sleep
* Fight viruses and viral infections
* Relieve the muscle spasms of multiple sclerosis
CBD, one of the most abundant cannabinoids (2), has shown remarkable potential in research studies for its ability to (3):
* Lower convulsions, anxiety, inflammation, and nausea
* Lessen the psychotic symptoms of schizophrenia
* Reduce or prevent metastasis in breast cancer and other types of cancers
Many patients have found cannabinoids useful for treating the side effects of cancer and cancer treatment.Can cannabinoids be used without using marijuana?
Yes. CBD and other beneficial cannabinoids can be extracted from the cannabis plant to eliminate the unwanted psychoactive side effect. Synthetic cannabinoids can also be produced in a laboratory to mimic natural cannabinoids and stimulate similar medical effects.References
- (1) Questions and Answers about Cannabis. Retrieved from http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/cam/cannabis/patient/page2.
- (2) Learn about Marijuana. Retrieved from http://adai.uw.edu/marijuana/factsheets/cannabinoids.htm.
- (3) Cannabinoid. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannabinoid.
Drugs that May Interact with CBD Oil
Research has clearly shown that cannabidiol, or CBD, has the potential to effectively treat many different ailments by manipulating the endocannabinoid system with very few unintended effects. However, some of cannabidiol’s side effects can be dangerous if they are not properly understood. One such effect is the inhibition of the cytochrome P-450 enzyme system.What is the Cytochrome P-450 System?
The cytochrome P-450 enzyme system is a system within the liver that is responsible for metabolizing 90 percent of the drugs you consume. According to Davis’s Drug Guide, this system contains more than 50 enzymes that process and eliminate toxins.Why Does it Matter?
In order to determine appropriate dosages of medications, doctors make calculations using the average amount of time it takes for various drugs to be processed by this system. If only one drug is being processed and the system is generally healthy, these averages are usually correct. However, certain drugs have the ability to affect processing times within the cytochrome P-450 system, thus making other drugs metabolize faster or slower than they would have on their own. Similarly, if the system is unhealthy because of liver problems or other pre-existing conditions, drugs may not metabolize as they should.Cannabidiol in the Cytochrome P-450 System
Cannabidiol can inhibit the cytochrome P-450 system’s ability to metabolize certain drugs, which leads to an overall increase in processing times. This leads to higher levels of the drug in your system at one time, which can cause unwanted side effects and even overdose. Thus, if you are taking a drug affected by cannabidiol, you may need a dosage adjustment in order to take both drugs safely.Drugs that Interact with Cannabidiol
Any drug metabolized by cytochrome P-450 enzymes could potentially interact with cannabidiol. According to the Indiana University Department of Medicine, drugs known to use the cytochrome P-450 system include:
- HMG CoA reductase inhibitors
- Calcium channel blockers
- HIV antivirals
- Immune modulators
- Beta blockers
- Angiotension II blockers
- Oral hypoglycemic agents
Keep in mind that this list does not necessarily contain every medication that could be affected by cannabidiol. Likewise, not every medication in each of the categories listed will cause an interaction. For this reason, you should consult with a medical professional before taking any combination of drugs at the same time, as alternative medications or dosage adjustments may be required. If you are worried that you P-450 enzyme system may not be functioning properly, physicians can test the system to ensure that the medications you take are metabolizing as expected.