What should I know about cannabidiol, one of the active substances in cannabis?
Far from the narcotic use that one can imagine, CBD has beneficial virtues on health, and is in no way a recreational or harmful substance. Be careful, however, not to confuse CBD with hemp oil, which is obtained by pressing the hemp seeds, while CBD is obtained from the flowers.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol (or CBD) is a cannabinoid found in cannabis. It is the second most studied cannabinoid after THC, the plant's psychotropic substance. CBD is a major compound in hemp, just ahead of flavonoids and terpenoids. Cannabinoids are the substances that bind to receptors in our endogenous cannabinoid system. The best-known plant sources of CBD are cannabis (Cannabis sativa) and cocoa (Theobroma cacao). Yes, it is not only found in cultivated hemp!
The controversy surrounding cannabidiol
Cannabidiol suffers from a bad reputation due to its origin, since it is derived from cannabis. However, it is not an illicit or recreational substance: that is why it is used medicinally and cleared for sale. It is essential to differentiate it from THC, which is the active and recreational substance of the plant. It is this molecule that makes cannabis banned for sale and consumption in France as well as in other countries of the world.
On the other hand, cannabidiol-based products are not prohibited: they are even recommended in certain cases and have caused a significant increase in the consumption of CBD in recent years. They have nothing to do with the use of marijuana in the form of a soft drug. It is a simple plant extract like any other, with its own health effects. Its active ingredients act on various ailments, diseases and other health problems. They can provide relief to people who consume it, just like any other herb.
The benefits of CBD
Cannabidiol is a virtuous component of cannabis. In medicine, CBD is a substance used to treat and relieve various diseases and their symptoms. Here are the main benefits of cannabidiol, an exciting active substance, which is used in the composition of many drugs.
A considerable anti-inflammatory effect
CBD is an active substance, which exhibits significant natural anti-inflammatory effects. This is the case with all cannabinoids. For this reason, cannabidiol is a popular food supplement for athletes, who find it a source of relief for their muscle and joint pain. Likewise, people with chronic inflammatory pain can use cannabidiol to relieve and prevent them. Cannabidiol is a substance used medicinally to treat inflammation, among other things. It can of course be combined with other food supplements in this context such as Korean ginseng, for example.
Thanks to its anti-inflammatory effect, cannabidiol can also relieve swelling and joint pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis. It helps to slow the progression of the disease and reduce joint destruction.
A natural painkiller
In a 2019 study, cannabidiol was shown to be as effective as a conventional pain reliever in providing short-term pain relief. According to this study, cannabidiol has very important analgesic and anxiolytic properties. This molecule thus has natural virtues against all forms of pain.
Cannabinoids are immunomodulators
In addition to preventing and relieving pain, CBD is an effective remedy for acting on the cannabinoid system of our body. It therefore reduces inflammation, but also helps balance the immune system and protect us from oxidative stress. The immune system has different sensors for the cannabinoids that we consume in addition to those that our body produces.
The cannabinoid system that we have can be unbalanced by different factors: autoimmune diseases, inflammation, etc. The use of CBD helps to rebalance and support this system. It acts directly on immune cells and triggers several beneficial antioxidant and anti-inflammatory reactions.
Stress, anxiety and cannabidiol
As we said just before, cannabidiol has anxiolytic effects. This means that it helps the body deal with emotional stress and anxiety in general. This substance promotes rest and relaxation, which can be of real help for those prone to chronic stress and anxiety. It may even be of interest in the treatment of depression. This is one of the best known qualities of cannabidiol. In addition, the researchers believe that this molecule would also be effective against obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Epilepsy and other neurological disorders
CBD is a non-addictive active substance that has many benefits in terms of neurological disorders. Indeed, it has a very strong medical potential in the relief of various disorders such as dystonia as well as in the treatment of epilepsy. It acts as a real sedative, which helps prevent and relieve seizures. It also eases restlessness, especially in Parkinson's disease.
In addition, cannabidiol may be of benefit in the treatment of autism spectrum disorders as well as schizophrenia. Studies have shown that CBD is particularly effective in relieving symptoms of schizophrenia, especially when emotional expressions dull the patient, or in cases of social withdrawal. In this context, cannabidiol would be as effective as atypical antipsychotics, while causing fewer side effects.
Preventive properties against degeneration
Due to its properties on the brain system, CBD can significantly delay the onset of degenerative disease. It can relieve symptoms and reduce the rate of development of this type of pathology. Cannabidiol activates brain cells and against the effects of oxidative stress or toxic substances. It allows the cerebral vascular system to fight against damage that can affect it.
The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of CBD make it very interesting in the context of the treatment of ALS: amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. In addition, this molecule appears to reverse poor cognitive function in people with Parkinson's disease or Alzheimer's disease. CBD protects against brain damage and helps reduce blood flow. As a result, it protects the brain and prevents many neurodegenerative diseases.
CBD and skin health
Cannabidiol reduces lipid synthesis and regulates the activity of the sebaceous glands. It thus helps to prevent and treat acne. In addition, its anti-inflammatory effects on the sebaceous glands increase its potential as a therapeutic agent in the treatment of acne. In this way, the cultivated hemp helps control breakouts and make them go away faster.
In addition, cannabidiol is found to be equally beneficial in the treatment of psoriasis, eczema, redness and other skin conditions.
Other benefits of CBD
Cannabidiol is often used to counter the side effects of drugs or medical treatments, such as nausea and vomiting. It can accompany heavy treatments in this setting, such as chemotherapy. This active substance may also increase appetite, like fenugreek.
Due to its sedative and relaxing properties, CBD is a solution for those looking to promote falling asleep and enjoy better quality sleep. This is because it helps them find sleep more easily, which is ideal for insomnia. Likewise, this active principle improves the quality and quantity of deep sleep for people who use it in this context.
Promising effects have been seen against metastasized breast cancer thanks to research on CBD. It seems that the molecule deactivates the gene responsible for the proliferation of cancer cells in several types of cancer. More research is needed in this area, although the initial results are encouraging.
CBD consumption: what you need to know
Before using cannabidiol, there are some essential information you should be aware of. These relate to the probable contraindications and side effects associated with its consumption.
Contraindications to cannabidiol
You should be vigilant when you are prone to arterial problems or if you have a family history. Indeed, side effects have already been observed in the people concerned. Therefore, they should be extra careful and seek medical advice before using cannabidiol. On the other hand, pregnant and breastfeeding women should take precautions with regard to their consumption of products based on cultivated hemp. Medical advice is still essential, as CBD can have harmful effects on newborns. Presumably these effects are minimal or absent at low doses. Ideally, and as a precaution, these women should avoid using or consuming it.
When it comes to heart problems, they are incompatible with the consumption of CBD. There is a formal contraindication in this regard, in particular at high doses. In fact, cannabidiol can have undesirable and even harmful effects on a sensitive cardiovascular system. In addition, people who have Parkinson's disease should also seek advice from their doctor about products that contain it. Finally, there is an absolute contraindication that it is necessary to observe for people allergic to pollen of the botanical species Cannabis Sativa L.
Side effects or unwanted effects?
Cultivated hemp is an active substance which acts directly on the well-being of people. At low doses, it can be an important source of relaxation. But in high doses, it can also promote drowsiness. Indeed, CBD is often used to fight insomnia and sleep disorders. As such, it promotes falling asleep and deep sleep. We often recommend using this molecule in the evening. Of course, if you experience some drowsiness after using your CBD product, you should definitely not get behind the wheel or perform any potentially dangerous activities. You might lack vigilance.
On the other hand, consuming a lot of CBD can also promote the development of side effects. These are a feeling of dry mouth, digestive disturbances, dizziness, nausea, etc. It is essential to start cures with low doses of cannabidiol and increase them over the weeks. This makes it possible not to suffer from the side effects of this active molecule, and to derive only benefits from them.
How to use cannabidiol?
There are different cannabidiol products available on the market. In all cases, for each of these products, it is essential to respect the doses prescribed by the doctor. Or the doses on the packaging. CBD can be used in the form of an oil (CBD oil or hemp oil). This oil comes from hemp and can be used in the composition of cosmetics, for example. This oil is also very appreciated in the practice of sport.
You can also use the dried flowers and pollen of CBD (permitted forms), which are usually used as a dietary supplement. The cannabidiol is then consumed in the form of capsules or tablets, like any other commercial supplement. It also exists in crystals which can integrate the composition of food supplements or drugs. Finally, cannabidiol can be consumed in electronic cigarettes, which are an alternative to conventional cigarettes. Of course, this is not its best use when you factor in the negative health effects of smoking.
In case of doubt or for any question, it is still necessary to consult a healthcare professional. They will be able to tailor your supplementation and medical treatment to your needs.
CBD: what to remember about it
Cannabidiol is a virtuous component of a controversial plant: cannabis. It has many medicinal and therapeutic interests, which explains its use in modern medicine as in traditional medicine. It would be a shame to deprive yourself of its health benefits! You too can benefit from CBD by using it in the form of an oil or as a dietary supplement.