11 CBD facts every CBD user should know
There is no doubt that you will have heard about CBD at some point in the last few years. The health craze is certainly taking the wellness industry by storm and legislation has paved the way for new research.
While you have undoubtedly heard about it and may even regularly buy CBD online, there is no doubt that it is widely misunderstood by the majority. Education is the key to progression in what is a nascent industry.
First, let us begin by outlining what CBD is for those who may be unaware.
What is CBD?
The cannabis plant is comprised of over 100 different compounds, each with its own unique profile. The legality of the plant has acted as a barrier to widespread research, so there is no doubt that scientists across the globe are currently playing catch up in relation to other areas of healthcare.
While we are still learning, we have built up a reasonably solid understanding of two of the most dominant compounds found within the cannabis plant. These are tetrahydrocannabinol, commonly known as THC, and cannabidiol, or CBD.
THC is the psychoactive compound of cannabis that is responsible for causing the high typically portrayed in popular culture. CBD on the other hand is a non-psychoactive compound, meaning it will not alter the brain function of the user.
Now, we will cover 10 of the important facts regarding CBD that are all too often overlooked.
1. There are different types of CBD
There are three main types of CBD that every user should be aware of before buying.
- CBD Isolate – This is the purest form of CBD available. It contains no other cannabinoids, terpenes or flavonoids. CBD isolate is usually sold in either crystal or powder form.
- Broad Spectrum CBD – While obviously containing predominantly CBD, broad spectrum also contains a range of terpenes, cannabinoids and flavonoids, each with their own unique characteristics. Crucially, broad spectrum CBD does not contain THC.
- Full Spectrum CBD – Full spectrum CBD is arguably the most beneficial to one’s health as it contains the aforementioned range of cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids as well as THC. It is important to be aware of the legal THC limit in CBD products within your own jurisdiction. A quick Google search will no doubt reveal this.
2. CBD works with various systems within the human body
Much of the research into CBD has centered around its interaction with the endocannabinoid system. This is a complex system of communication within our body which consists of endocannabinoids – which cannabinoids such as CBD bind to – and the enzymes that break them down.
As far as we are aware, CBD works by binding to these cannabinoid receptors found within our endocannabinoid system as provide various results, depending on which receptor they bind to.
For example, one particular study conducted in 212 by Leweke et al (Cannabidiol enhances anandamide signalling and alleviates psychotic symptoms of schizophrenia) found that CBD alleviates pain by lowering the absorption of anandamide, which is the endocannabinoid responsible for pain regulation.
Other studies have also suggested that CBD interacts with other systems within our bodies. A notable example of this can be found in research published in 2009 by Zanelati et al (Antidepressant-like effects of cannabidiol in mice: possible involvement of 5-HT1A receptors) and found that CBD may trigger the 5-HT1A serotonin receptor in mice, that can aid the treatment of clinical depression and anxiety.
There is also the possibility that CBD could in fact combat chronic pain and inflammation by interacting with alpha-3 glycine receptors. This was suggested by Xiong et al in their 2012 study titled ‘Cannabinoids suppress inflammatory and neuropathic pain by targeting α3 glycine receptor.’
3. There is no standardized dosing for CBD
Unfortunately, there is no standardized recommended dosage for any specific ailment when it comes to CBD. This is largely due to the excess of individual factors that impact the effects of CBD.
For example, genetic mutation has resulted in a high degree of variation among CB1 receptors. Two otherwise biologically identical people with different CB1 receptors would react to CBD in completely different ways.
There are a wide number of alternative contributing factors that also impact how our body interacts with CBD. For example, metabolism, lifestyle, tolerance and diet all have major roles to play in how we react to CBD consumption.
When finding the sweet spot for you, it is recommended to start with a small dose and gradually work your way up in incremental fashion.
4. CBD can be used on animals
We all love our pets (some more than others!) and it never pleasant to see them in pain. Thankfully, research into CBD and its use among dogs in particular is quickly gathering pace.
One particular study conducted in 2018 by Gamble et al (Pharmacokinetics, Safety and Clinical Efficacy of Cannabidiol Treatment in Osteoarthritic Dogs) found that daily CBD use in arthritic dogs can not only increase their comfort, but also their activity.
A further study conducted the following year by McGrath et al (Randomized blinded controlled clinical trial to assess the effect of oral cannabidiol administration in addition to conventional antiepileptic treatment on seizure frequency in dogs with intractable idiopathic epilepsy) found that CBD use reduced seizure activity in dogs by up to 50%.
5. CBD is legal in the UK
This is something that a surprising number of people are still not aware of. CBD has been legal in the UK since 2018, after a very brave, public campaign run by the mother of Billy Caldwell, who suffered from severe epilepsy.
The government decision was no doubt influenced by a renowned World Health Organization (WHO) report in 2018 that declared “To date, there is no evidence of recreational use of CBD or any public health related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.”
It is important to note that the legal THC limit in the UK is 0.2% and no CBD product should exceed this limit.
6. CBD may interact with other drugs
Just like many foods, CBD can negatively interact with some common medications. This is largely because of the impact that CBD has on the liver, which can affect the ability to detoxify and process certain chemicals.
The main medications that mean you should avoid CBD are blood thinners, anti-seizure medication and antidepressants. That said, the issue of contraindications is a complex one and you should always refer to your doctor or GP prior to starting CBD use.
7. CBD won’t get you high
As mentioned earlier in the article, CBD is often misconstrued by the uninitiated. There is no doubt that if you use CBD extrovertly, the classic ‘hippie’ and ‘stoner’ jibes have been directed at you at some point.
This could not be further from the truth. CBD is a non-psychoactive compound, which means that it does not get the user high, but also retains a glut of health benefits. Even full spectrum CBD products with trace elements of THC (remember that 0.2% legal limit!) are not strong enough to elicit a high of any kind.
8. Certain types of CBD will ensure you do not fail a drugs test
There is no doubt that many people who would benefit from CBD use are reticent to do so as a result of regular drugs testing through their employment.
Drug tests typically flag any excessive THC levels within your blood. This means that if you are subjected to regular drug testing, you should avoid full spectrum CBD products and probably broad spectrum too. As mentioned earlier, CBD isolate is the purest form of CBD and does not contain any other cannabinoids or THC for that matter. Opt for this!
9. CBD products could have misleading ingredients
Due to the novel nature of the CBD industry, there are a number of nefarious players that are yet to be weeded out. While the impending novel food status (which is progressing swimmingly…) will no doubt improve the state of the industry, it is crucial to always take responsibility for your own body.
This means that you must always request a third-party Certificate of Analysis (CoA) that has been curated by an independent lab. Not only will this ensure the ingredients are as advertised, but it will also confirm the absence of harmful additives such as heavy metals or pesticides that can plague poorly manufactured CBD products.
10. CBD delivery methods exist for every need
The rapid growth in interest has meant that product innovation has really gathered pace in recent years. While 10 years ago, a user would be faced between a choice of CBD oils or CBD capsules, the choice now can be overwhelming.
Transdermal CBD patches are now commonplace in the CBD market, alongside CBD e liquids, dissolvable CBD sublingual wafers and even CBD-infused foods and beverages.
Each delivery method has its own pros and cons, and it is always important to experiment in order to choose the right product for you.
For example, if you were suffering with a chronic pain condition, then CBD patches would probably be a great choice for you. This is because they have a consistent 24-hour delivery system, which means there is no tapering off period where your pain may flare up.
On the other hand, if you were struggling with indiscriminate anxiety attacks, then you may want a faster delivery method. While CBD patches last much longer, they also take longer to have an effect. CBD e liquid on the other hand delivers the effects in 2-5 minutes, meaning that the relief is far more instantaneous.
11. CBD should be taken for a minimum of 8 weeks
This is where the vast majority of people make a major error. Many expect CBD to work like paracetamol or a sleeping pill, whereby you take it when required. This could not be further from the truth.
CBD builds up in your endocannabinoid system over time and must be taken consistently over a period of at least 8 weeks in order to experience the full benefits. You are far more likely to notice the impact of CBD when you stop taking it after a prolonged period.
Story by Lewis Olden