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The effects of CBD: Where nature meets science

10.11.21 6 min. read

‘Medicus curat, natura sanat’.  The physician cares while nature heals. Almost 2,500 years after Hippocrates uttered these words, we, too, look to nature's resources. And we are beginning to see more and more clearly that current research might just scratch the surface of the healing powers that are inherent to (and possibly remain hidden in) nature.


For a long time, the effects of the cannabis plant were — erroneously — equated with the psychotropic effects of THC. Today we know that cannabidiol (CBD) from the leaves and flowers of the hemp plant is being used in some parts of the world to supplement conventional medicine and even open up new ways of treatment. And all of this without any hallucinatory or ‘trippy’ effects.


The research on CBD’s effects on epilepsy, among other things, is quite impressive, with only minor side effects, indicating promising treatments


Cannabidiol is also said to have possible benefits on well-being, sleep, relaxation and pain relief. But how do CBD and CBD oil actually affect the body, and when is it too early to jump to conclusions?


The basis for CBD's effects: endocannabinoids vs. phytocannabinoids.


CBD isn’t just any ordinary substance. We are all born with cannabinoid receptors within our own bodies that are responsible for the production and regulation of components called endocannabinoids — in other words, cannabinoids that come ‘from within’ — in a network called the endocannabinoid system.


At the same time, cannabis plants also contain cannabinoids, which are called phytocannabinoids. And it is precisely these components that, when used and dosed out appropriately, could plug into the cannabinoid receptors in our body.


Why is that so important? In order to answer that question, we must look at which body functions our endocannabinoid system plays a role in regulating [1] [2]:


  • Pain management
  • Motor function
  • Emotional regulation
  • Appetite regulation 
  • Nutrition & digestion 
  • Sleep

And indeed research shows that phytocannabinoids, like the CBD found in our product line, might possess beneficial properties that could aid treatment of some conditions.


Five fields where CBD might make an impact

 

1. Pain and inflammation

Studies in rodents suggest that CBD could relieve chronic inflammatory and neuropathic pain to a significant degree, giving hope for chronic pain treatment [3].


In another animal study, researchers found that topical CBD gel could alleviate osteoarthritis: It significantly reduced joint swelling and, depending on the dosage levels, even led to a decrease in inflammation levels [4].


CBD’s potential effects also provide hope for period pain management. There’s a hormone called prostaglandin that’s essential for menstruation and its concentration may be up to four times higher in women who suffer from period cramps [5]. Evidence suggests that a precursor to CBD could inhibit the production of a precursor to prostaglandin [6].

 

2. Sleep disorders

Studies have shown that the endocannabinoid system is also involved in the regulation of our sleep cycle [2]. Phytocannabinoids are increasingly being used as sleep aids, as many people have shared that CBD has a sleep-inducing effect.


A few open studies are still investigating the effects of CBD on sleep. However, existing research indicates that CBD might not only help us fall asleep better but also help us sleep better through the night [7].

 

3. Topical skin treatment

According to recent findings, it’s possible that the endocannabinoid system is involved in regulating processes in our skin, whereby an imbalance could make one more prone to developing acne, oily skin, allergic dermatitis, itching, pain, psoriasis and hair growth disorders, among other conditions [8]. 


Initial small-scale studies already indicate a possible effect of CBD: Patients with psoriasis and neurodermatitis who used topical CBD for three months to treat scarring saw a significant improvement [9]. 


In short: Many scientists conclude that CBD’s effects could be beneficial for treating inflammatory skin diseases. 

 

4. Stress and anxiety

Whether it’s during especially stressful situations or in everyday life, our mood can have a decisive effect on our well-being. Consciously maintaining peace of mind is thus an active part of self-love.


Promising studies show that CBD could alleviate jitters and feelings of anxiety. When administered in appropriate dosages, CBD turned out to be potentially anxiolytic in a simulated public speaking test [10]. 


This effect was also observed in another study with a similar set-up among patients with anxiety disorders [11].

 

5. Epilepsy

Various studies have explored CBD’s effects on epileptic seizures.

In one of those said studies, for every fifth participant who received a placebo, the number of seizures was reduced by over 50%. However, in the group that received CBD, the occurrence of epileptic seizures was reduced by more than 50% in over a third of the participants [12].


Hemp oil, hemp seed oil, CBD oil, cannabis oil — Different name, same effect?


As our awareness of the potential effects of CBD and CBD oil continues to grow, more and more hemp products continue to enter the marketplace. However, the term ‘hemp’ unfortunately does not say much about a given product’s potential effects.


That’s why it’s especially important to make a distinction between the different ingredients in each product and understand which processes were used to produce it, as these factors can determine the quality and effectiveness of the product.


Hemp is another name for varieties of cannabis that contain negligible levels of the psychotropic cannabinoid THC and often significant levels of CBD. In this way, hemp oil and CBD oil are often used interchangeably to refer to oil that’s been fortified with CBD-rich extracts from the hemp plant — extracts that can also be made into CBD creams or CBD gels meant for topical use. Yet it’s always important to know where the CBD in these products come from, how much CBD they contain and if they contain any THC as well. 


The term cannabis oil is even more confusing because it’s not at all clear which cannabinoids are contained in the product — or if it contains any cannabinoids at all. (There’s a reason some people call it ‘snake oil’... ) We recommend extra caution when it comes to this ambiguous term.


Hemp seed oil or cannabis seed oil is a completely different kind of product that’s produced using an oil seed press, much like how sunflower seed and other nut oils are created. While hemp and cannabis seeds are considered to be superfood and can be, for example, added to muesli or ground into flour, the oil produced from these seeds contain little to no cannabinoids. Many products claim to have CBD in them when really they are made with hemp seed oil or cannabis seed oil.

The cannabinoid CBD and its potentially healing effect is contained in CBD oil. But again, not all CBD oil is created equal. In other words, the source of the ingredients and the production process are crucial for the quality of the product.

In addition, CBD is also used for external application in CBD creams or CBD gels.

 

CBD: Properties and potential


We shouldn’t expect miracles from CBD. And yet the increasing number of CBD’s potential properties can’t be denied either. The herbal remedies that CBD might provide naturally have made it the focus of much attention, both in and outside the scientific community.


Even today, when administered with the proper dosage and in conjunction with accompanying therapies, there is much potential for CBD across a wide range of uses. Perhaps it could become an important building block in the holistic treatment of chronic pain, skin diseases and anxiety.


After being held back by a long history of stigma and vilification, a new era for cannabis has begun in the form of CBD. And we believe it’s far from being over.


Source:
[1] Endocannabinoids can do more

https://www.pharmazeutische-zeitung.de/inhalt-06-2005/titel-06-2005/


[2] Cannabinoids, Endocannabinoids and Sleep
find outhttps: //www.ncbi.nlm. nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7388834/


[3] Cannabinoids suppress inflammatory and neuropathic pain by targeting α3 glycine receptors

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22585736/


[4] Transdermal cannabidiol reduces inflammation and pain- related behaviors in a rat model of arthritis

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4851925/


[5] Endogenous levels of prostaglandin F2alpha and its main metabolites in plasma and endometrium of normal and dysmenorrheic women

https : //pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/637076/


[6] Cannabidiolic acid as a selective cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitory component in cannabis

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18556441/


[7] Cannabidiol (CBD) - what we know and what we don't

https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/cannabidiol-cbd-what-we-know-and-what-we-dont-2018082414476


[8] The endocannabinoid system of the skin in health and disease: novel perspectives and therapeutic opportunities

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2757311/


[9] A therapeutic effect of cbd-enriched ointment in inflammatory skin diseases and cutaneous scars

https: //pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30993303/


[10] Cannabidiol presents an inverted U-shaped dose-response curve in a simulated public speaking test

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30328956/


[11] Cannabidiol Reduces the Anxiety Induced by Simulated Public Speaking in Treatment-Naïve Social Phobia Patients

https://www.nature.com/articles/npp20116

 

[12]

Efficacy and Safety of Cannabidiol in Epilepsy: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30390221/



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