What is CBD?
From high street health shop to your local pharmacy and even local vets, there aren’t many outlets that don’t stock CBD products. Nor are there many people we bump into these days that haven’t heard of CBD. CBD is a product that has staked a firm claim on shelves and takes pride of place within prominent glass cabinets.
With its wide ranging reported uses and anecdotal evidence which is supplied by satisfied consumers, it’s no surprise that it has secured a market. But what is CBD? How does it interact with us to create the reported benefits we continuously hear of? In this article we explore CBD and bring to you the facts from true studies and bring you up to speed on this rapidly expanding product.
A 2017 study into Cannabis Sativa (the herbaceous plant that is harvested to produce CBD) stated there are a total of 565 constituents including 120 phytocannabinoids present in the cannabis plant (Radwan et al., 2017). Phytocannabinoid is a term used to describe a molecule that is synthesised by plants and cannabidiol, or CBD as we all know it, is one of those phytocannabinoids. Another example of a phytocannabinoid is THC (scientifically recognised as Delta-9 Tetrahydrocannabinol). THC is the compound that is responsible for the ‘high’ that users experience when using recreational or medicinal cannabis. CBD is non-psychoactive, meaning it will not produce the high which is associated with its molecular counterpart, THC.
Now that we know where it comes from, what does it do and how does it create all the positive reports we hear from satisfied consumers?
CBD and other naturally occurring cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant react with humans (actually all mammals) because our biology is set up to receive and interact with them. In fact, your body is already creating and receiving its own purpose-built cannabinoids called Endocannabinoids; these are produced by your body, as required, to ensure our internal functions run smoothly (Healthline, 2019). Our bodies process our naturally created cannabinoids through receptors (Imagine your Bluetooth connection in your car. You can only connect to your phone using a specific pin number and if that pin number agrees with the car then you create a signal between the 2. Receptors work in the exact same way; they are waiting for the specific characteristics created by cannabinoids and when received they turn that into a signal which is transmitted into our bodies biological system. Our cars create a call or music whereas our bodies create an effect on a targeted area).
When we take CBD our bodies filter it through our endocannabinoid system and consumers report a myriad of effects and relief from various ailments and symptoms. A report from BioMed Research International stated that The National Cancer Institute (NCI) currently recognizes medicinal Cannabis sativa as an effective treatment for providing relief in a number of symptoms associated with cancer, including pain, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, and anxiety. A quick google search will reveal anecdotal evidence (anecdotal evidence is evidence collected in a casual or informal manner and relying heavily or entirely on personal testimony) which states relief from pain, reduced stress and anxiety, relief from menopausal symptoms, reduced intensity of acne and a reduction in frequency of convulsions for epileptics.
It is important to recognise that although there has been an increase in studies into cannabinoids over the last decade, clinical evidence is still relatively lacking.
CBD and other cannabinoid compounds remain significantly understudied but we are confident that this incredible compound will continue to reinforce itself as a major contributor to consumers wellbeing. Our advice is that you do your own research and ensure you purchase from a compliant brand such as Green Active who strive to follow guidelines and up to date research. If you need to know the facts on compliance and how to identify a trusted brand, then check out our article on trust and compliance here.
Healthline, 2019: https://www.healthline.com/health/endocannabinoid-system
Radwan M.M., Wanas A.S., Chandra S., ElSohly M.A. (2017) Natural Cannabinoids of Cannabis and Methods of Analysis. In: Chandra S., Lata H., ElSohly M. (eds) Cannabis sativa L. – Botany and Biotechnology. Springer, Cham