CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of the many compounds found in the cannabis plant. Unlike THC, the psychoactive component of cannabis, CBD does not produce a high or alter the state of mind. Instead, CBD has various therapeutic properties that can help with a range of conditions and symptoms. In this article, we will explore what CBD does, how it works, and what are some of the potential benefits and side effects of using it.
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How does CBD work?
CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system (ECS), a complex network of receptors and molecules that regulates various functions in the body, such as mood, pain, inflammation, stress, sleep, appetite, memory, and more. The ECS produces its own cannabinoids, called endocannabinoids, that bind to the receptors and modulate the activity of different cells and organs. CBD can influence the ECS by either enhancing or inhibiting the effects of the endocannabinoids, depending on the situation.
CBD can also interact with other receptors and enzymes in the body that are involved in various processes, such as serotonin receptors (which affect mood and anxiety), TRPV1 receptors (which mediate pain and inflammation), and cytochrome P450 enzymes (which metabolize drugs). By doing so, CBD can have a wide range of effects on different systems and functions.
What are the benefits of CBD?
CBD has been studied for its potential benefits for various conditions and symptoms, such as:
- Chronic pain. CBD can reduce pain and inflammation by activating the TRPV1 receptors and inhibiting the transmission of pain signals in the nervous system. CBD can also enhance the effects of endocannabinoids that regulate pain perception. Several studies have shown that CBD can help with chronic pain associated with conditions such as arthritis, neuropathy, fibromyalgia, cancer, and multiple sclerosis .
- Anxiety and depression. CBD can modulate the activity of serotonin receptors, which are involved in mood regulation and emotional responses. CBD can also reduce stress and anxiety by affecting the amygdala and hippocampus, two brain regions that are involved in fear processing and memory formation. Several studies have shown that CBD can help with anxiety disorders such as generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder . CBD can also have antidepressant effects by stimulating neurogenesis (the growth of new brain cells) in the hippocampus.
- Epilepsy. CBD can reduce seizures by inhibiting the activity of sodium channels and calcium channels, which are involved in the generation and propagation of electrical impulses in the brain. CBD can also enhance the effects of endocannabinoids that regulate neuronal excitability. Several studies have shown that CBD can help with rare and severe forms of epilepsy, such as Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome .
- Neurodegenerative diseases. CBD can protect the brain from oxidative stress, inflammation, and toxicity by acting as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotectant agent. CBD can also modulate the activity of glial cells, which are involved in immune responses and neuroinflammation in the brain. Several studies have shown that CBD can help with neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis .
What are the side effects of CBD?
CBD is generally well tolerated and has a good safety profile. However, some people may experience some mild side effects when using CBD, such as:
- Drowsiness. CBD can have sedative effects by affecting the GABA receptors, which are involved in sleep regulation. This may cause drowsiness or sleepiness in some people, especially when using high doses or combining CBD with other sedatives or alcohol.
- Dry mouth. CBD can reduce saliva production by affecting the salivary glands. This may cause dry mouth or thirst in some people.
- Diarrhea. CBD can affect the gastrointestinal motility by affecting the CB1 receptors in the gut. This may cause diarrhea or abdominal discomfort in some people.
- Changes in appetite or weight. CBD can affect the appetite by affecting the hypothalamus, which is involved in hunger and satiety signals. CBD can also affect the metabolism by affecting the CB2 receptors in the liver and adipose tissue. This may cause changes in appetite or weight in some people, either increasing or decreasing them.
- Drug interactions. CBD can affect the activity of cytochrome P450 enzymes, which are responsible for metabolizing many drugs. This may cause changes in the blood levels or effects of some drugs, either increasing or decreasing them. Some of the drugs that may interact with CBD include anticonvulsants, antidepressants, antipsychotics, antibiotics, antihistamines, anti-inflammatories, opioids, and more. It is advisable to consult with a doctor before using CBD if you are taking any medication.
How to use CBD?
CBD can be used in various forms, such as oils, capsules, edibles, vapes, creams, CBD gommies and more. The choice of the form depends on the preference, purpose, and dosage of CBD. Some of the factors that may affect the bioavailability, onset, and duration of CBD effects include:
Route of administration.
CBD can be taken orally (by mouth), sublingually (under the tongue), topically (on the skin), or inhalationally (by vaping or smoking). Each route has different advantages and disadvantages in terms of absorption, distribution, metabolism, and elimination of CBD in the body.
Oral administration has low bioavailability (around 6%) due to the first-pass effect (the breakdown of CBD by the liver before reaching the bloodstream). However, it has a long onset (around 1-2 hours) and duration (around 6-8 hours) of effects. Oral administration is suitable for systemic effects (affecting the whole body) and long-term use.
Sublingual administration has higher bioavailability (around 20-30%) due to the bypassing of the first-pass effect (the absorption of CBD by the blood vessels under the tongue). It has a faster onset (around 15-30 minutes) and duration (around 4-6 hours) of effects. Sublingual administration is suitable for systemic effects and acute use.
Topical administration has variable bioavailability depending on the skin permeability and formulation of CBD. It has a slow onset (around 1 hour) and duration (around 5 hours) of effects. Topical administration is suitable for local effects (affecting a specific area) and chronic use.
Inhalational administration has the highest bioavailability (around 40-60%) due to the direct entry of CBD into the lungs and bloodstream. It has the fastest onset (around 5-10 minutes) and duration (around 2-4 hours) of effects. Inhalational administration is suitable for systemic effects and immediate use.
Dosage of CBD.
The optimal dosage of CBD depends on various factors, such as the weight, metabolism, tolerance, and condition of the user, as well as the potency, purity, and quality of CBD. There is no universal dosage of CBD that works for everyone, so it is advisable to start with a low dose and gradually increase it until the desired effects are achieved.
A general guideline is to take 1-6 mg of CBD per 10 pounds of body weight, depending on the severity of the symptoms. For example, a person who weighs 150 pounds and has mild symptoms may take 15-25 mg of CBD, while a person who weighs 200 pounds and has severe symptoms may take 20-120 mg of CBD.
Quality of CBD
The quality of CBD depends on the source, extraction method, and testing of CBD. It is important to choose a reputable and trustworthy brand that offers high-quality CBD products that are derived from organic and non-GMO hemp, extracted using safe and clean methods (such as CO2 or ethanol), and tested by third-party laboratories for potency, purity, and safety. Some of the factors that indicate the quality of CBD products include:
Certificate of analysis (COA). A COA is a document that shows the results of the laboratory testing of CBD products, such as the amount of CBD, THC, and other cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids, as well as the presence of any contaminants, such as pesticides, heavy metals, solvents, and microbes. A COA should be easily accessible on the website or packaging of the CBD product or by scanning a QR code.
Full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or isolate. These terms refer to the type and range of cannabinoids and other compounds that are present in CBD products. Full-spectrum CBD products contain all the naturally occurring cannabinoids and other compounds in the cannabis plant, including THC (up to 0.3% by law). Broad-spectrum CBD products contain all the cannabinoids and other compounds except THC. Isolate CBD products contain only pure CBD and no other compounds. Full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD products may have more benefits than isolate CBD products due to the entourage effect (the synergistic interaction of different cannabinoids and other compounds).
Customer reviews. Customer reviews can provide valuable feedback and insights on the quality, effectiveness, and customer service of different CBD brands and products. It is advisable to read customer reviews from reliable and unbiased sources, such as online forums, blogs, social media platforms, or websites that specialize in reviewing CBD products.
CBD is a versatile and beneficial compound that can help with various conditions and symptoms by interacting with the endocannabinoid system and other receptors and enzymes in the body. CBD can be used in different forms, such as oils, capsules, edibles, vapes, creams, and more. The choice of the form depends on the preference, purpose, and dosage of CBD. The quality of CBD depends on the source, extraction method, and testing of CBD. It is important to choose a reputable and trustworthy brand that offers high-quality CBD products that are derived from organic and non-GMO hemp, extracted using safe and clean methods, and tested by third-party laboratories for potency, purity, and safety.
I hope this article has answered your question about what does cbd do. If you want to learn more about cbd or cannabis in general, you can visit this website for more information.