CBD Oil…You Hear About it Everywhere.
We have heard about CBD Oil on the national news, in magazines, and seen it at stores. We know that CBD oil can be found in practically everything from gummy bears and salad dressings, to cosmetics and creams. From the 1990s to the 2010s we heard CBD oil is marijuana and it’s harmful to our bodies, and more lately we heard it’s curing people with rare diseases, stress issues, and many say its relieved some of their cancer symptoms.
What is CBD Oil?
It was only discovered a few decades ago, and scientists are just beginning to unravel the answer. CBD oil is short for cannabidiol a compound found in the cannabis plant, which effects the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), or its network of cells in the nervous system and brain. There are basically two types of Cannabis, the hemp plant, and it’s psychotropic cousin, marijuana — and CBD can be found in both of them. There are about 100 different cannabinoids inside the cannabis plant, and cannabidiol (CBD) is only one of them, while some of other popular ones are THC, CBD, CBG, and CBN.
Cannabis, Cannabidiol, Cannabinoids, Endocannabinoid, pretty confusing!
Let’s break it down.
• Cannabis describes the plant species and is either of the hemp or marijuana variety.
• Cannabidiol (or CBD Oil) along with about a 100 other varieties of compounds, like THC, CBG, and CBN, are all found in Cannabis plant species, and continues to be studied today at the National Institute of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.
• Cannabinoids (notice the “n") describes the 100 different compounds that come from the cannabis plant including CBD Oil (or Cannabidiol notice the “d”), THC, CBD, CBG, and CBN, which are all subsets.
• The Endocannabinoid System is a network of receptors that control our brain or nervous system’s functions for pain, appetite, memory, mood, sleep and inflammation. Cannabinoids are a like a cousin to Endocannabinoids — they are similar in chemical makeup, but are produced by plants and may theoretically “step-in” when there’s a need or deficiency.
Some Cannabinoids are beneficial, others are Controversial
There is still much to learn about cannabinoids and its effects on the endocannabinoid system, but a study by the NIH, suggests that some diseases like fibromyalgia, arthritis, migraines, and irritable bowel syndrome might be caused by a deficiency in endocannabinoids. Other studies, like one at Harvard Medical School observe that CBD oil and other cannabinoids may supply the chemicals necessary to control critical body functions: memory, learning, emotions, body temp, sleep, pain, hunger, immunity, and inflammatory responses.
The most controversial cannabinoid is THC, which is responsible for making people feel “high;” it is not considered a beneficial cannabinoid, a necessity for our Endocannabinoid system. THC is abundant in marijuana plants, while mere traces are found in hemp plants. As a matter of fact, The Farm Bill of 2018, removed hemp-based CBD oil — specifically defined as "oils containing less than .3% THC" — from the Controlled Substances Act, and deemed it an “agricultural product."
According to the National Institutes of Health, Cannabinoids, like THC, CBD, CBG, and CBN, are found most abundantly in the hemp and the marijuana plants. But traces of cannabinoids can also be found in food we eat, from carrots, to cloves, black pepper to broccoli. Some of these cannabinoids are only present in certain parts of the plant during different stages of development (seeds, stems, flowers, etc). For example, CBG is most abundant in the Cannabis plant during the bud and flower stage. And some say CBG oil may be more effective in treating migraines and muscle soreness than CBD oil, because it binds with two different types of receptors in the body, whereas, CBD oil may only bind with one. CBD oil is a more broad-reaching compound, while CBG is considered more specialized, but stay tuned to hear more about that later in a future blog article.
Scientists continue to try to understand CBD oil, and other Cannabiniods effect on the human body. Undoubtedly with 33% of the US population trying or taking CBD, there will be a steady stream of real-life, accurate human data for scientists to analyze, which will hopefully answer the CBD question more completely.