The CBD industry is flourishing on such a massive scale that by now, you’ve probably run into at least one product containing cannabidiol, better known as CBD. This plant extract is already added to breathe sprays, lotions, chewable gummies, tinctures, cheeseburgers, and more.
Cannabidiol, better known as CBD, is only one of the hundred cannabinoids in the Cannabis sativa plant. The other well-known cannabinoids are THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), the psychoactive cannabinoid which gives the ‘high’ feeling; CBN (Cannabinol) is primarily aged THC and thus contains mild psychoactivity; CBG (Cannabigerol) is known as the mother of all other cannabinoids as the other cannabinoids are derived from Cannabigerolic acid (CBGA), an acidic form of CBG.
Methods of ingesting CBD
Today’s market is so diverse and innovative that CBD is present in various forms. Since CBD is available over a wide range of products, consumers can select a product tailored to their particular needs and method of use. Here are the most commonly found forms of CBD:
- Capsules and pills. One can use CBD pills and capsules to treat digestive issues and seizure disorders. There’s one drawback of consuming capsule forms, however. The time from consumption to the onset of effect can take quite some time. Since CBD capsules are swallowed, and once they enter the stomach, some CBD is absorbed through the stomach wall, but most of the absorption occurs in the gut. Therefore, it takes some time for this process to be fully complete. Thus, the effect of the CBD takes longer to appear too.
- Oils and tinctures. CBD is a natural product that has no adverse and harmful side effects. CBD is generally available in oil, extracted from the hemp plant, and then mixed with a ‘carrier’ oil. Since it holds very trace amounts of THC, it is non-intoxicating and legal. In many countries, CBD oil has become a popular remedy for both humans as well as for pets. CBD Oil for pets can reduce pain and help in treating chronic diseases effectively. CBD oil is placed under the tongue with the help of a dropper. The oral mucosa (a membrane lining the inside of the mouth) is full of tiny capillaries that absorb the compounds quickly, sending them into the bloodstream immediately. CBD oil takes longer to go through the digestive system if ingested with food.
- Creams and lotions. CBD-infused topicals are utilised to treat joint and muscle pain. They may also help treat some skin conditions, like eczema and psoriasis. Information regarding the proper dosage of CBD to the skin is not very clearly mentioned. It is crucial to determine how many milligrams of CBD are present in the cream to measure whether there are sufficient cannabinoids to provide the therapeutic relief patients seek. A CBD cream with a high content of CBD will be more beneficial than one with lower concentrations.
- Edibles. CBD Gummies are one of the most comfortable and popular ways to consume CBD. They’re also portable, affordable, tasty, and discrete. Depending on the brand, potency, and flavour, they taste just like regular gummy bears, o’s, or worms. Sometimes, you may taste a hint of the earthy flavor typical of CBD, but mainly, the sugar covers up the taste entirely.
- Vaping. Inhaling CBD vape oil is the quickest way to experience its effects. The vapourised oil is inhaled and absorbed directly from the lungs, and sent into the bloodstream. Although the CBD used for vaping is sometimes called ‘CBD Vape Oil’, it does not contain any essential oil. This liquid should not have anything other than PG (Propylene glycol), VG (Vegetable glycerine), CBD extract, cannabinoids, and terpenes. If it does, it is unsuitable, mainly for inhalation.
CBD and the human body
Various studies have proven the presence of the endocannabinoid system in both humans and animals. The ECS utilizes the CB1 and CB2 receptors throughout the body to help control signals from other organs and glands to our brains. These receptors are present in the peripheral and central nervous systems situated in the brain, immune system, spinal cord, and organs. They are generally activated with the endocannabinoids created naturally by the body and the cannabinoids found in marijuana. Cannabinoids function as a primer for nerve endings, allowing the brain to interact more effectively with the body. The main goal of consuming CBD is to bring your body back to normal healthy levels or perfect balance called ‘homeostasis’.
The majority of the receptors that CBD communicates with are typically neurotransmitters linked with serotonin. CBD activates the 5-HT1A serotonin receptor that aids in relieving nausea, anxiety, pain, and vomiting and promotes happiness, optimism, and satisfaction.
Most patients who use CBD products report not feeling anything beyond the cessation of ailing symptoms. The “high” feeling of euphoria is associated with another cannabinoid in cannabis known as THC. Although CBD is technically psychoactive due to its anxiolytic properties, the THC content in the products is less than 0.3%. Therefore, users will not experience any severe change in their perception or thoughts.
Benefits of consuming CBD
- Anxiety. Scientists believe that CBD might have the capacity to alter the way the brain’s receptors respond to serotonin, the chemical that is connected to mental fitness. CBD can also interact with receptors linked to the limbic system’s nerve cells. The limbic system is a constituent of the brain whose function is to regulate emotions like anxiety and the human stress response of fight or flight.
- Insomnia. In a study on the effects of CBD, researchers found that the cortisol (the stress hormone) levels of users significantly reduced when they took CBD. These results indicate that CBD affects the release of cortisol, possibly acting as a sedative.
- Addiction. According to some research, CBD could help decrease cravings for heroin and tobacco under certain circumstances. Research has discovered that CBD can be of use in aid to overcome the withdrawal symptoms that are encountered by people battling drug addiction. Researchers found that CBD may have a therapeutic impact on people with cocaine, opioid, and psycho-stimulant addiction.
- Chronic pain. In a recent research study, when CBD was spread on the skin of rats suffering from osteoarthritis, it significantly decreased inflammation and joint pains. Scientists also found that continuous use of CBD contained further pain and nerve damage in the same joints. Other researchers are trying to identify how CBD inhibits neuropathic and inflammatory pain, usually difficult to treat.
With the number of countries legalizing cannabis increasing, the momentum around CBD is gaining speed. Manufacturers have little to no reason to stop the production of CBD products to satiate the growing consumer demand. While purchasing CBD, ensure that the company you are purchasing the CBD products is well established and is third-party tested. Refrain from buying CBD from companies that don’t provide lab reports that verify CBD concentration in the product. It is shrewd to consult with your doctor first if you already use prescription medicines. Since CBD is non-toxic, there is no lethal dose. But ingesting too much CBD will only become waste as the human body can only absorb a certain amount of CBD at a time. Over Consumption may cause diarrhea or irritable bowel. Therefore, it is always advisable to begin with smaller doses and then work your way up.
Helen Baumeister did her degree in psychology at the University of Hertfordshire. She is interested in mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.
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