What is CBD? A Brief Explanation of CBD
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a naturally occurring substance produced by Cannabis. CBD has been studied as a treatment for numerous pain, inflammatory, autoimmune, and neurological conditions. Yet, when the chemical compound CBD was isolated in 1940 it was incorrectly thought to have no effect on the body.1
It wasn’t until nearly 50 years later that scientist discovered cannabinoid receptors in the brains of rats, sparking renewed interest in CBD and other cannabinoids.2
Since the early 1990’s the interest in cannabinoids and cannabinoid receptors has taken off and the growing body of scientific research has increased our awareness of CBD’s potential effects and uses.
Does CBD Come From Marijuana?
CBD is found in both marijuana and hemp.
While you may recognize the word “cannabis” as a pseudonym for marijuana, Cannabis is a genus of flowering plants that includes both marijuana and hemp. Both marijuana and hemp can actually be considered the same species of plant, but the ratio of CBD and other chemical compounds they produce differs. Like a pug and a golden retriever, hemp and marijuana are technically the same species, but with very different characteristics. Through centuries of selective breeding, hemp and marijuana have diverged into two different plants with very different uses.
Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is the primary psychoactive compound in marijuana that makes you “high.” Both marijuana and hemp contain THC, but in very different concentrations. THC in marijuana ranges from 4% to 14% and above.3‘4 Hemp on the other hand has THC concentrations between 0.09% and 0.4% and the U.S. Department of Agriculture defines ‘‘industrial hemp’’ as Cannabis sativa L. with a THC concentration of less than 0.3% on a dry weight basis.5‘6
Marijuana has been bred to increase the concentration of THC, and is grown for recreational and medicinal uses. Hemp has been grown since the dawn of agricultural when it was primarily used as a fiber for textiles. Today, hemp is used to make clothing, composite plastic materials, paper, rope, jewelry, biofuel, personal care products, food, and CBD.
The natural production of CBD and THC in Cannabis is generally an inverse relationship. Or more simply put, as one goes up, the other goes down. As such, hemp plants tend to produce more CBD than marijuana plants.
Our CBD products are manufactured from 100% organically grown hemp, which has been bred and cultivated to create a high concentration of CBD and a low concentration of THC. Our extraction process then eliminates any low level THC that is present in the plant, while preserving the CBD, other desirable cannabinoids, and terpenes. This results in a full spectrum CBD oil that is THC-free.
What are Cannabinoids?
CBD is one of more than 100 cannabinoids produced by the hemp plant. Cannabinoids are part of a diverse class of compounds that interact with receptors in our body. Cannabinoids can be produced naturally by animals (endocannabinoids), by plants (phytocannabinoids such as CBD), or synthetically derived in a laboratory.
How CBD Works in the Body
Currently, there are two recognized cannabinoid receptors in the human body, knowns as CB1 and CB2, but research continues to discover other potential modes of action and receptors influenced by CBD and other cannabinoids. In humans, CB1 receptors are primarily located in the brain and spine, but have also been found in the liver, lungs, and kidneys. Conversely, CB2 receptors are found in other regions of the body outside the brain, primarily the throughout the immune system.
Even though humans have been ingesting and using CBD from Cannabis for centuries, we are merely in our infancy of understanding how CBD actually interacts with our body. Studies have shown that rather than directly binding to CB1 and CB2 receptors, CBD indirectly acts as an antagonist to these receptors, dampening the effects of other compounds on these receptors.
Additionally, some research indicates that CBD may promote the body’s natural production of endocannabinoids which then act directly on CB1 and CB2. Lastly, there is reason to theorize that as CBD is metabolized by the body, other biologically active chemical compounds are produced that further cause an effect.
Potential Uses of CBD
The most exciting research on CBD relates to the potential uses of CBD to improve human health and well-being. Here are some of the research studies that have investigated CBD:
- Johnson et al. looked at the long-term efficacy of THC/CBD spray as a pain reliever for patients with terminal cancer. They found “that the long-term use of THC/CBD spray was generally well tolerated, with no evidence of a loss of effect for the relief of cancer-related pain with long-term use.”7
- Bergamaschi et al. studied the ability of CBD to reduce anxiety induced by simulated public speaking. Their research showed that “pretreatment with CBD significantly reduced anxiety, cognitive impairment and discomfort in their speech performance, and significantly decreased alert in their anticipatory speech.”8
- Zuardi et al. looked at CBD as a treatment for psychosis in Parkinson’s disease and found evidence suggesting “that CBD may be effective, safe and well tolerated for the treatment of the psychosis in [Parkinson’s Disease].”9
- Iuvone et al. investigated CBD as a treatment for neurodegenerative diseases and determined that CBD “may represent a very promising agent with the highest prospect for therapeutic use.”10
We, however, cannot overstate that our products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. As of writing, there is only one FDA approved drug using CBD. On June 25, 2018 the FDA approved Epidiolex, an oral CBD solution, for the treatment of two forms of epilepsy. This approval marked the first time that the FDA approved a drug containing a purified substance derived from Cannabis.11
Additionally, we’d be remiss if we didn’t ask that you please consult with a physician or other healthcare professional regarding any medical or health related diagnosis or treatment options. This article and website provides general information to empower you to improve your health and wellbeing, but is not intended to diagnose any medical condition or to replace your healthcare professional.
Yet, we are very excited about the potential of CBD and other phytocannabinoids to treat and manage numerous conditions. This is why we’re bringing you CBD products and formulations that are some of the highest quality products on the market.
- Adams, Roger, Madison Hunt, and J. H. Clark. “Structure of cannabidiol, a product isolated from the marihuana extract of Minnesota wild hemp. I.” Journal of the American Chemical Society 62.1 (1940): 196-200.
- Devane, William A., et al. “Determination and characterization of a cannabinoid receptor in rat brain.” Molecular pharmacology 34.5 (1988): 605-613.
- Changes in Cannabis Potency Over the Last 2 Decades (1995-2014): Analysis of Current Data in the United States.
- Not That High, Today’s marijuana is too strong, and that’s bad for new business. By Emma Marris. March 20, 2013. http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2013/03/marijuana_potency_returning_smokers_want_mellower_pot_strains.html
- Mechtler, Klemens, Josef Bailer, and Karl De Hueber. “Variations of Δ9-THC content in single plants of hemp varieties.” Industrial Crops and Products 19.1 (2004): 19-24.
- Statement of Principles on Industrial Hemp (81 FR 53395, August 12, 2016) – https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2016-08-12/pdf/FR-2016-08-12.pdf.
- Johnson, Jeremy R., et al. “An open-label extension study to investigate the long-term safety and tolerability of THC/CBD oromucosal spray and oromucosal THC spray in patients with terminal cancer-related pain refractory to strong opioid analgesics.” Journal of pain and symptom management 46.2 (2013): 207-218.
- Bergamaschi, Mateus M., et al. “Cannabidiol reduces the anxiety induced by simulated public speaking in treatment-naive social phobia patients.” Neuropsychopharmacology 36.6 (2011): 1219.
- Zuardi, Antonio Waldo, et al. “Cannabidiol for the treatment of psychosis in Parkinson’s disease.” Journal of Psychopharmacology 23.8 (2009): 979-983.
- Iuvone, Teresa, et al. “Cannabidiol: a promising drug for neurodegenerative disorders?.” CNS neuroscience & therapeutics 15.1 (2009): 65-75.
- FDA. FDA approves first drug comprised of an active ingredient derived from marijuana to treat rare, severe forms of epilepsy. June 25, 2018. Accessed at: https://www.fda.gov/newsevents/newsroom/pressannouncements/ucm611046.htm.