Updated: Mar 9, 2020
CBD. It's everywhere. Your sister, grandma, and even doctor talks about it. It's in lattes, baths, chocolates and creams. So we thought as a modern, progressive spa we should do our research. And what we found was an amazing alternative therapy, that's actually on the horizon of becoming mainstream.
First things first: CBD alone will not get you high. It is important to note that most CBD is non-psychoactive and will not give you a "high" or euphoric feeling. Just want to put that out there.
Before we get started, I want to include a quick little vocabulary session below, so that we are all on the same page.
Cannabis: A marijuana plant. The term cannabis is used when describing a Cannabis Sativa plant that is bred for its potent, resinous glands (known as trichomes). These trichomes contain high amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the cannabinoid most known for its psychoactive properties. You get “high” from this.
Hemp: Also the marijuana plant, however, hemp is used to describe a Cannabis Sativa plant that is grown to contain only trace amounts of THC. Hemp is naturally high in CBD and low in THC. Hemp is typically bred for uses such as oils and topical ointments, as well as fiber for clothing, construction, and much more.
Cannabinoid: Any of the chemical compounds that are the active principles of marijuana.
CBD: (Cannabidiol) the major non-psychoactive component of Cannabis Sativa.
THC: (Tetrahydrocannabinol) the principal psychoactive component of Cannabis Sativa that gets users "high".
When trying to wrap your head around the differences between hemp and cannabis, it is important to begin with this simple concept: Both hemp and cannabis ultimately come from the same plant… just different parts. Whether you call something hemp or cannabis will depend on a variety of factors. However, despite the fact that the terms hemp and cannabis are often used interchangeably, they do have separate connotations. We’re interested in the therapeutic effects of CBD oil, so let’s dive into that.
What is CBD oil?
CBD is one of many compounds, known as cannabinoids, that are found in the cannabis plant.
Oils that contain concentrations of CBD are known as CBD oils. The concentration and uses of different oils vary.
Is CBD marijuana?
CBD oil is a cannabinoid derived from the cannabis plant.
Until recently, the most well-known compound in cannabis was delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This is the most active ingredient in marijuana. Marijuana contains both THC and CBD, but the compounds have different effects. THC is well-known for the mind-altering "high" it produces when broken down by heat and introduced into the body, such as when smoking the plant or cooking it into foods.
Unlike THC, CBD is not psychoactive. This means that it does not change the state of mind of the person who uses it. However, it does appear to produce significant changes in the body and has been found to have medical benefits. Most of the CBD used medicinally is found in the least processed form of the cannabis plant, known as hemp.
How CBD works
CBD primarily interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system, a grouping of millions of cannabinoid receptors found throughout your body, but are primarily clustered in the brain and central nervous system. While CBD is plant-based cannabinoid, your body also naturally produces cannabinoids, known as endocannabinoids. Almost every organ of your body, including your skin and digestive tract, contains cannabinoid receptors. The endocannabinoid system has four primary purposes including neuroprotection, stress relief, immune response, and regulating the body’s general state of balance, impacting faculties such as appetite, sleep, mood, and pain.
Unlike THC, CBD does not interact directly with the two classical cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2). This is why CBD does not cause any psychoactive effect. Instead, CBD inhibits the enzymes that break down endocannabinoids, leading to an increase in your body’s naturally-produced cannabinoids.
If your still stuck on the first sentence…I get it, so am I. Our body literally has receptors for this plant…interesting right?
Natural pain relief or anti-inflammatory properties
People commonly use prescription or over-the-counter drugs to relieve pain and stiffness, including chronic pain. Some people feel that CBD offers a more natural way to lower pain. A study published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine found that CBD significantly reduced chronic inflammation and pain. The researchers suggest that the non-psychoactive compounds in marijuana, such as CBD, could be a new treatment for chronic pain. CBD oil along with a combination of magnesium, lavender and a good massage are going to be my go to for pain relief from now on.
Helps fight cancer
CBD has been studied for its use as an anti-cancer agent.
A review posted to the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology notes that CBD appears to block cancer cells from spreading around the body and invading an area entirely.
The review indicates that this compound tends to suppress the growth of cancer cells and promote the death of these cells.
Researchers note that CBD may help in cancer treatment because of its low toxicity levels. They call for it to be studied along with standard treatments, to check for synergistic effects.
People with chronic anxiety are often advised to avoid cannabis, as THC can trigger or amplify anxiety and paranoia in some people.
However, because CBD oils and tinctures contain little to no THC, cannabis in this form may help to reduce the anxiety felt by people with certain anxiety disorders. Not everyone has PTSD or is clinically diagnosed but we have this endocannabinoid system that regulates our general state of balance with these cannabinoid receptors. Makes me feel like I should at least have this in my medicine cabinet like bandaids or neosporin.
Also, some people currently taking medications for anxiety report these medications often times lead to additional symptoms and side effects, causing people to look to more natural methods to feel better.
Researchers are calling for CBD to be studied as a potential treatment method.
Acne treatment is another promising use for CBD. The condition is caused, in part, by inflammation and overworked sebaceous glands in the body.
A recent study posted to the Journal of Clinical Investigation found that CBD helps to lower the production of sebum that leads to acne, partly because of its anti-inflammatory effect on the body.
CBD could be an effective treatment for acne vulgaris, the most common form of acne.
Initial research published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease found that CBD was able to prevent the development of social recognition deficit in subjects.
This means that CBD could potentially prevent people in the early stages of Alzheimer's from losing their ability to recognize the faces of people that they know. This is the first evidence that CBD has potential to prevent Alzheimer's disease symptoms.
We don't know about you but we find this all extremely exciting! It is so valuable to us, a center of wellness to find new, innovative and natural remedies and solutions for our clients.
I don't think we're blowing smoke here - I think we've found one...