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The most important things you should know about CBD (Cannabidiol) before you try

Published December 15, 2019

What is CBD?

The cannabis plant contains more than 100 naturally-produced cannabinoids called phytocannabinoids (phyto for plant).  Next to THC, CBD is the most commonly found compound in the cannabis plant; it’s found at its highest levels in the hemp varietals of the cannabis plant.  CBD provides many of the therapeutic benefits of THC without producing a psychoactive "high" like THC is known to do. CBD is fat-soluble and most effectively administered through ingestion in fats like oil or butters.

 

What is the endocannabinoid system (ECS)?

CBD works in humans by interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS).  The ECS is a neurotransmitter system that uses cannabinoid receptors to provide a chemical messaging pathway in the brain and body.  The ECS serves as a modulator of other neurotransmitter systems, helping the body reach and maintain homeostasis. By helping the body maintain homeostasis, the ECS influences mood, pain sensation, inflammation response, memory, and movement.   To read more about the ECS, see our post here.

 

How does CBD affect your body?

CBD interacts with both CB1 and CB2 receptors in the endocannabinoid system.  CBD has also been shown to interact, via endocannabinoid signalling, with serotonin receptors, opioid receptors, and receptors responsible for modulating inflammation (TPVR-1).  New research shows that CBD may interact with a receptor in the brain related to reward called GPR55.

 

Contraindications

CBD has been shown to inhibit the P-450 enzyme system.  This system is responsible for breaking down drugs that are processed in the liver (hepatic drugs).  When this system is inhibited, drugs that are processed by the system may be metabolized more slowly.  Always consult a medical professional before changing or adding to your medical regimen.

 

Studied effects of CBD

As with most of the medical information available on Cannabis products, the benefits of CBD demand further research.  The studies that are available are pre-clinical, and are not sufficient for users to treat, diagnose, or cure any disorder or disease.  The efficacy of CBD have not yet been proven in humans. Nevertheless, the medical information that is available is promising.