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4 things you should know about CBD

Most people have heard of THC, which is a component of cannabis that makes you high. But lately, THC’s attention has shifted to the second ingredient called CBD – and for good reason.

Since it is difficult for some doctors to look beyond certain side effects of THC, CBD does not appear to have any long-term side effects as it is legal. On the other hand, there is increasing evidence of the medical benefits of CBD.

Here are some facts you should know about the our beloved CBD compound:

1. CBD is one of the most important components of cannabis

The CBD is one of over 60 elements found in cannabis and belongs to a class of molecules called cannabinoids. Of these elements, CBD and THC are present in the highest concentrations, which is the best known and best studied.

CBD and THC levels vary from plant to plant. Marijuana grown for recreational purposes often contains more THC than CBD.

However, through the use of selective breeding techniques, cannabis growers have been able to produce strains with higher CBD levels and without THC active ingredient. These strains are rare, but have become incredibly popular in recent years because they are incredibly healthy.

2. CBD is not psychoactive

Unlike THC, CBD doesn’t make you high. The CBD is therefore a bad choice if you just want to smoke and get wide for fun. However, CBD has significant medical benefits as doctors prefer treatments with few side effects. This is because CBD does not contain THC.

The CBD is not a psychoactive substance because it does not work like THC. The way THC affects you is that THC gets to your “CB1 receptors”, a highly concentrated center in the brain that lets you feel the THC and its ever changing effects.

A study published in 2011 in Current Drug Safety concluded that CBD “does not interfere with psychomotor and psychological functions”. The authors add that more studies suggest that CBD is not harmful even at high doses.

3. CBD has several medical benefits

Although CBD and THC affect the body differently, they seem to have many of the same medical benefits. According to a study published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology in 2013, CBD has the following properties:

  • Reduces antiemetic nausea and vomiting
  • Anticonvulsive suppresses seizure activity
  • Antipsychotic control of psychotic diseases
  • Anti-inflammatory fight against inflammatory diseases
  • Antioxidant fights neurodegenerative diseases
  • Anti-tumor / anti-cancer fight against tumor and cancer cells
  • Anxiolytic / antidepressant control of anxiety and depression

Unfortunately, most of this evidence is from animals, since fewer studies have been done on humans. Nonetheless, this means that you can give CBD to your pets, such as dogs or cats.

A pharmaceutical version of the CBD was recently developed by a pharmaceutical company in the UK. GW Pharmaceuticals which is now funding clinical trials with CBD to treat schizophrenia, sclerosis and epilepsy. It is making a big impact.

Also a team of researchers at the California Pacific Medical Center, led by Dr. Sean McAllister said they hope to start trying CBD as a breast cancer treatment.

4. CBD reduces the negative effects of THC

The CBD appears to offer natural protection against the side effects of THC. Numerous studies indicate that CBD reduces the effects of THC, such as memory disorders and paranoia.

CBD also appears to counteract the sleep-inducing effects of THC, which may explain why some cannabis strains are known to raise awareness.

A deadly overdose is not possible with either CBD or THC. To reduce possible side effects of THC, medical users can use cannabis with higher CBD levels for therapy.

Sources

  1. Ledgerwood, C. J., et al. “Cannabidiol inhibits synaptic transmission in rat hippocampal cultures and slices via multiple receptor pathways.” British journal of pharmacology 162.1 (2011): 286-294.
  2. Iffland, Kerstin, and Franjo Grotenhermen. “An update on safety and side effects of cannabidiol: a review of clinical data and relevant animal studies.” Cannabis and cannabinoid research 2.1 (2017): 139-154.

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