Chinese Medicine has known the health benefits of cannabis seeds (Chinese herb huŏ má rén) for over 2,000 years. Now, modern medicine is catching up and learning about the health benefits of cannabidol (CBD). There is a tidal wave of CBD oil products hitting the market… here’s a quick overview of what they are and how they work.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a naturally occurring neurotransmitter in the human body that is regulated by the endocannaboid system in the nervous system (central & peripheral). CBD can also be harvested from the Cannabis plant.
How does the body produce CBD?
Omega-3 fatty acids* are converted to CBD in the central nervous system. There are two types of cannaboid receptors (for the science folks: CB1 and CB2) distributed throughout the body.
*Wait, what are Omega-3 fatty acids?
This could be a whole blog post, but here’s a quick explanation of Omega-3 fatty acids. There are three types:
- DHA (docosahexaenoic acid): Found in chlorella, fish oil, anchovies, wild-caught salmon, wild-caught herring, wild-caught mackerel, wild-caught tuna, wild-caught halibut, organic chicken liver or organic grass-fed beef liver.
- EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid): Found in wild-caught fish
- ALA (alpha-linolenic acid): Found in organic flaxseed oil, organic hemp oil
What does CBD do?
The CBD produced in the endocannaboid system helps maintains homeostasis (biological balance) throughout the body. If your body does not produce enough CBD, you may experience chronic aches and pain, headaches, migraines, insomnia, poor appetite, digestive problems (heartburn, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, irritable bowel), reduced immunity to bacteria and viruses, allergies, fertility issues, and/or memory problems. As you can see from this list, the endocannaboid system works hard to keep us feeling good!
What are plant based sources of CBD?
CBD is harvested from Cannabis (Cannabis sativa). CBD is the 2nd most abundant compound in the plant (the most abundant compound is tetrahydrocannabinol aka THC).
What can CBD oil products do?
Cannaboids derived from the plant Cannabis sativa have many therapeutic uses. Research studies show CBD reduces anxiety (including social anxiety disorder), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), epilepsy, and pain. There are links to research studies at the bottom of this post for reference.
Can CBD oil make me feel high?
No, but it does have a calming effect.
Is CBD oil legal?
Yes, hemp-derived CBD oil is legal to purchase and use in the US.
Who should not use CBD?
If you look at the latest research on pubmed.gov about “cannabidiol and pregnancy” or “cannabidiol and breast” you’ll see that CBD crosses the placenta and changes the morphology and physiology of cells in a developing fetus. Animal testing has demonstrated CBD is excreted in high concentrations in breast milk. The many benefits of CBD do not outweigh the risk it poses to fetal or infant development; therefore, we do not recommend it to pregnant or breastfeeding patients. There are much safer herbal alternatives available.
Book an appointment to find out if CBD is right for you!
Research on CBD…
- Esposito, G., Filippis, D. D., Cirillo, C., Iuvone, T., Capoccia, E., Scuderi, C., … Steardo, L. (2012). Cannabidiol in inflammatory bowel diseases: A brief overview. Phytotherapy Research, 27(5), 633-636. doi:10.1002/ptr.4781
- Feinshtein, V., Erez, O., Ben-Zvi, Z., Erez, N., Eshkoli, T., Sheizaf, B., … Holcberg, G. (2013). Cannabidiol changes P-gp and BCRP expression in trophoblast cell lines. PeerJ, 1, e153. doi:10.7717/peerj.153
- Russo, E. B. (2016). Clinical endocannabinoid deficiency reconsidered: Current research supports the theory in migraine, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel, and other treatment-resistant syndromes. Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, 1(1), 154-165. doi:10.1089/can.2016.0009
- Schier, A. R., Ribeiro, N. P., E Silva, A. C., Hallak, J. E., Crippa, J. A., Nardi, A. E., & Zuardi, A. W. (2012). Cannabidiol, a Cannabis sativa constituent, as an anxiolytic drug. Revista Brasileira de Psiquiatria, 34, S104-S117. doi:10.1016/s1516-4446(12)70057-0
- Wang, G. S. (2016). Pediatric concerns due to expanded Cannabis use: Unintended consequences of legalization. Journal of Medical Toxicology, 13(1), 99-105. doi:10.1007/s13181-016-0552-x
- Yoo, S. D., Fincher, T. K., & Holladay, J. W. (1994). Mammary excretion of cannabidiol in rabbits after intravenous administration. Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, 46(11), 926-928. doi:10.1111/j.2042-7158.1994.tb05717.x