Cannabidiol: A glimpse at the therapeutic cannabinoid
Cannabidiol (CBD) has become quite popular in the worlds of natural and pharmaceutical medicine. CBD is the second most occurring cannabinoid in the Cannabis plant after the popular psychoactive substance, Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and has been hailed for its major medical uses.
CBD was first discovered in 1940 by Dr. Roger Adams and his team of scientists at the University of Illinois in the United States. Despite being discovered in 1940, there was very little clarity on its structure until the 1960s.
The molecular structures of THC and CBD.
Cannabidiol is typically extracted from the hemp plant, which is a variety of Cannabis Sativa L that contains high levels of CBD in comparison to the marijuana plant. The cannabinoid may also be extracted from marijuana strains that contain the substance in ample concentrations. CBD which has been extracted from the hemp plant contains notably lower concentrations of THC in comparison to those extracted from marijuana strains.
Once extracted, CBD concentrations are often diluted with carrier oils to form potent CBD oils. The most popular carrier oils for these concentrates include:
- Coconut oil;
- Olive oil; and
- Hemp seed oil.
CBD concentrates may also be infused into alcohol to form CBD tinctures. Any oils or tinctures from the cannabis plant that contain more CBD than THC is automatically deemed a CBD product.
What are the health benefits of using CBD?
There are numerous health benefits associated with CBD use. These benefits cut across numerous sectors of both natural and pharmaceutical medicine. Here are some of the benefits:
- Treatment and management of mental health disorders
CBD and its by-products are used for treating and managing mental health disorders. Naturally, patients who suffer from any form of mental health disorders are advised to stay clear of marijuana. This is because certain cannabinoids, particularly THC, are known to exacerbate the symptoms of certain mental health conditions, including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder in the patients who consume them.
CBD, however, has proven beneficial to the treatment and management of several mental health disorders. There is bountiful research to back up this claim.
In one study, it was noted that CBD significantly reduced anxiety in patients it was administered. The cannabinoid did so without the repercussions associated with traditional pharmaceutical anti-anxiety medication.
With traditional medication, patients can witness awful symptoms, some of which include:
- Sexual dysfunction;
- Weight gain;
- Hormonal imbalances, to mention a few.
A survey by Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research in 2018 corroborated the abilities of CBD in managing anxiety. There, it was discovered that 62% of the pool witnessed an overall better standard of health when they began consuming CBD. In this pool, CBD was noted to manage anxiety as well as depression and chronic pain.
- Management of oxidative Stress
Oxidative stress is a natural occurrence in which the body witnesses an imbalance of free radicals and antioxidants. Free radicals are toxic by-products of oxygen which may cause damage to living cells and tissues if left unmanaged.
The effects of free radicals and oxidative stress on cells. These effects can be countered by antioxidants, one of which is CBD.
Oxidative stress plays a significant role in the natural aging process of humans. This process can, however, be exacerbated by a number of factors, such as:
- Environmental factors; and
- Health conditions.
If left unchecked, oxidative stress can contribute to the development of chronic and terminal health conditions such as diabetes and cancer.
CBD is excellent at neutralising the effects of free radicals and oxidants as it is full of antioxidants itself. Studies have proven that CBD has neuroprotective qualities due to the antioxidants it contains.
Final words: How can CBD be used?
CBD can be administered in four major ways:
- Sublingually; and
CBD oils can be consumed via inhalation through vaporizers and vape pens. Orally, they can be infused into food and drink items. Sublingual consumption involves placing a drop of CBD, whether oil or tincture, underneath the tongue until it is absorbed into the bloodstream. CBD oils can be applied as balms and creams directly to the affected area for topical consumption. The method through which CBD is consumed is up to the user.