CBD is one of many compounds, known as cannabinoids, in the cannabis plant. Researchers have been looking at the possible therapeutic uses of CBD.CBD oils are oils that contain concentrations of CBD. The concentrations and the uses of these oils vary.
Is CBD marijuana?
CBD oil may have a number of health benefits. Until recently, the best-known compound in cannabis was delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This is the most active ingredient in marijuana. Marijuana contains both THC and CBD, and these compounds have different effects. THC creates a mind-altering “high” when a person smokes it or uses it in cooking. This is because THC breaks down when we apply heat and introduce it into the body. CBD is different. Unlike THC, it is not psychoactive. This means that CBD does not change a person’s state of mind when they use it. However, CBD does appear to produce significant changes in the body, and some research suggests that it has medical benefits.
Where does CBD come from?
The least processed form of the cannabis plant is hemp. Hemp contains most of the CBD that people use medicinally. Hemp and marijuana come from the same plant, Cannabis sativa, but the two are very different. Over the years, marijuana farmers have selectively bred their plants to contain high levels of THC and other compounds that interested them, often because the compounds produced a smell or had another effect on the plant’s flowers. However, hemp farmers have rarely modified the plant. These hemp plants are used to create CBD oil.
How CBD works
All cannabinoids, including CBD, produce effects in the body by attaching to certain receptors. The human body produces certain cannabinoids on its own. It also has two receptors for cannabinoids, called the CB1 receptors and CB2 receptors. CB1 receptors are present throughout the body, but many are in the brain. The CB1 receptors in the brain deal with coordination and movement, pain, emotions, and mood, thinking, appetite, and memories, and other functions. THC attaches to these receptors. CB2 receptors are more common in the immune system. They affect inflammation and pain. Researchers once believed that CBD attached to these CB2 receptors, but it now appears that CBD does not attach directly to either receptor.Instead, it seems to direct the body to use more of its own cannabinoids.
Resourse: Medical News Today
Medical cannabis is most frequently administered either by smoking or vaporization or in the form of edible preparations. None of these approaches has been standardized, however, and the effectiveness of edible cannabis preparations has not been evaluated in clinical trials. Smoked cannabis has been evaluated in a small number of randomized controlled trials involving patients suffering from neuropathic pain conditions. In each of the trials, patients experienced a reduction in pain intensity at THC concentrations of 3.9 percent or higher.
A zero percent THC dose was used as the placebo condition; this formulation was created with cannabis from which all cannabinoid substances had been removed by alcohol extraction. Adverse events from these studies were mild to moderate and included drowsiness, dizziness, and dry mouth. No serious or severe adverse events were reported.
The primary purpose of medical cannabis use is symptom relief and improved function and overall quality of life. Reductions in doses (if not complete cessation) of other medications should be strongly considered. Clinical evidence of such outcomes is lacking, however, and it remains the responsibility of the treating physician and the patient to work toward the achievement of mutually agreed-upon goals.
A major safety concern associated with medical cannabis is the possibility of medical use encouraging or transitioning into recreational use, which is associated with side effects that range from acute to chronic. Acute effects include intoxication, impaired cognition and motor function, elevated heart rate, anxiety, and psychosis in predisposed individuals. Chronic effects include bronchitis (from smoked cannabis), psychological cannabis dependency, loss of motivation, and cognitive deficits. By and large these effects seem to disappear on abstinence.
Medical cannabis may be riskier and perhaps contraindicated if a patient has a personal or family history of psychosis, unstable cardiac disease, and lung disease. Medical cannabis users are advised by physicians not to use tobacco, either alone or mixed with cannabis. They also are advised not to drive or operate machinery while initiating or changing doses and if impaired by the drug. Apart from possible synergistic effects of cannabis with other psychotropic medications, such as sedatives and hypnotics, there are no known major drug-drug interactions.
Marijuana is a tricky drug, alternately demonized as a gateway drug and lionized for its medical promise. And while the juries remain out on both sides of the coin, one thing is clear: its use is on the rise. According to the US Department of Human Health and Services, the number of people in the United States who admit to smoking pot in the last month climbed from 14.4 million in 2007 to over 18 million in 2011.
This increase may in part be due to the lack of strong evidence supporting the suspected risks of cannabis use. Indeed, though marijuana smoke carries carcinogens and tar just as tobacco smoke does, definitive data linking marijuana to lung damage is lacking. And a recent long-term study that seemed to conclusively link chronic marijuana initiated in adolescence to a lowered IQ in New Zealanders was quickly challenged by a counter-analysis that pointed to socioeconomic status as a confounding factor. According to survey data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cannabis use increases in teenagers as marijuana’s perceived risks decline, and researchers—and undoubtedly some parents—are anxious to get to the bottom of the matter.
Resourse: The Scientist