The History. The earliest medicinal use of the plant, Cannabis, dates back to 1400-2000 BC but didn’t become a discussion until the late 1800’s, when William Osler identified this plant as a remedy for migraines. Fast forward to 1940, CBD (cannabidiol), one of the many constituents of the cannabis, plant was identified. In 1946, Dr. Walter S. Loewe tested CBD on animals and found that it did not create an altered mental state but in fact, a safe calming reaction. In 1980, Dr. Raphael Mechoulam found that CBD was a possible treatment option for epilepsy. Since the 1970’s approximately 114 cannabinoids have been identified in cannabis; THC being identified as the psychoactive substance. These constituents of the cannabis plant act upon the endocannabinoid system.
The Endocannabinoid System. This complex system is still under a significant amount of research; however, we know that it helps to regulate the nervous, endocrine (hormone), and immune systems. Not only can it help with memory and mood, but it also supports digestion, pain modulation, reproductive health, and temperature control. The two receptors that are most well known in this system are called, CB1 and CB2. We find CB1 receptors primarily in the central nervous system and CB2 receptors in immune cells and the gastrointestinal tract. It is important to note that THC most often acts upon the CB1 receptor to interact with the brain and central nervous system. Where CBD most often acts upon the CB2 receptor and has no psychoactive properties. CBD has a much stronger impact on the gastrointestinal tract and peripheral nervous system due to its interaction with the CB2 receptors.
First and foremost, if a person is looking to invest in CBD for the therapeutic benefits, purchasing a quality source is imperative! There are many CBD products on the market that have no CBD actually in them or a toxic combination of other constituents of the cannabis family.
CBD is obtained from hemp, which is classified as a variety of cannabis that contains 0.3% or less THC content. An extraction process occurs that creates pure CBD oil. Following that process, chromatography is used to remove other cannabinoids and plant materials. The result of a quality CBD product is a CBD isolate that is over 99% pure with 0.00% THC.
Be mindful of the source of the hemp plant because like most crops in the United States, we need to be mindful of heavy metals, pesticides, and other toxic exposures.
How does something derived from a plant have such great therapeutic effects on the body?
CBD oil and other essential oils contain plant materials, chlorophyll, oils, and terpenes. Terpenes specifically effect the CB1 and CB2 receptors and neurotransmitters of the brain. The most common therapeutic terpenes include: myrcene, caryophyllene, terpineol, and linalool.
Terpineol has been found to have anti-bacterial properties, antioxidant effects, aids in memory, and can support bronchodilation.
Linalool has a sedative effect, anti-anxiety, and analgesic. When these terpene-rich oils are blended with CBD isolate, the therapeutic effects are incredible.
Topical: very little CBD is absorbed via the skin, great for skin conditions, muscle and/or joint pain, often combined with an oral dose
Oral: absorbed via the digestive system, if taking orally it is recommended on a full stomach with healthy fats
Dosage. Before starting any supplement, always speak to your doctor first. For my neck pain, I use the 300mg CBD balm and rub a nickel size amount on my neck before I go to sleep. This is all I need. Work with a health professional to determine your dosage and application to help with your pain.
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