CBD (short for Cannabidiol) is one of the most studied cannabinoids, second only to THC. Being non-psychoactive, CBD provides numerous benefits without THC’s intoxicating effects. CBD promotes a good night’s rest, aids in relief, balances mood, enhances relaxation, promotes recovery, supports the immune system and more.
Cannabidiol, or CBD for short, naturally occurs within the tiny hairlike structures known as trichomes that grow on hemp and cannabis. The first cannabinoid molecule to be discovered in 1940, researchers have been studying CBD’s numerous benefits ever since. Cannabidiol exists in two states, CBD and CBD-a.
The 2018 Farm Bill legalized the production and sale of hemp and its extracts. Hemp, by federal law, cannot contain more than 0.3 percent THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). Anything with more THC is classified as marijuana, is considered a schedule 1 drug by the Drug Enforcement Administration and is federally illegal.
CBD that is extracted from Industrial Registered Hemp and contains less than 0.3% THC is legal. It is the consumer’s responsibility to know applicable state and local laws in regard to consumption of CBD.
CBD does not cause the mind-altering “high” that is often sought out amongst cannabis consumers. It’s another compound, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), that causes the mind-altering effects. It is for this reason that CBD is not considered psychoactive. However, the compound does have an effect on the brain and your mood. CBD and THC both engage the brain in different ways.
THC binds directly to special locations in the cell known as cannabinoid receptors. These receptors were named after the active compounds in cannabis, called cannabinoids. Both THC and CBD are cannabinoids. THC directly engages cannabinoid receptors, causing a near immediate psychoactive high. CBD, however, engages a different location on these receptors (like a side pocket). While CBD does not produce a stand-apart psychoactive experience by connecting with this location, the molecule does alter the effects of other compounds that try to link up to the same spot.
CBD promotes a good night’s rest, aids in relief, balances mood, enhances relaxation, promotes recovery, supports the immune system and more.
The FDA has approved CBD in the seizure drug Epidiolex and looks to approve many more CBD based treatment drugs as trials, research and effective case studies prove its effectiveness.
Inflammation is simply a response to any kind of trauma or any kind of immune event in your body, where your body needs an immune response. Okay, we have two different kinds, acute and chronic.
Acute is the kind that you probably know about. When you bump your elbow, when you get a scratch or a cut, and it gets swollen. It gets swollen and red, that’s simple inflammation.
Then, we have chronic inflammation. It’s the inflammation that’s occurring in our body all the time, really. It’s constantly happening. Sometimes, it’s worse than other times. This has to do with the fact that our cells become actually sick and we trigger and immune response, and then it cascades into this vicious circle, where the immune system responds even more, and more, and more, yielding to chronic inflammation.
Cytokines are signaling proteins that ultimately recruit inflammation to happen. Cytokines will trigger specific immune cells to release inflammation or actually even reduce inflammation, when given the right circumstances.
When we get down to CBD, CBD actually modulates the cytokine production. It works on cytokine production with very specific cells though. Since we don’t want to get rid of all the cytokine activity, we do want to get rid of it with specific things. So, very specific immune cells that overactive that are causing inflammation in our joints all the time or causing inflammation in our brain, they can be become reduced with the instance of CBD being in the equation, simply because now we have all the stimulation of these natural endocannabinoids to reduce that inflammation.
There’s one specific area of the body that reduces cytokine activity that’s exceptionally important, and that’s when it comes down to T helper cells. If you ever heard of T cells before, then you know that there are two kinds. There are helper cells and there are killer cells. The helper cells travel around the body and they slap a label on anything that is potentially bad. That label allows the killer T cells to come by later and designate that to be killed. Basically, has a label, and now the killer T cell goes ahead and it kills it, so they’re working in tandem, a two part equation here.
What CBD does is it limits the cytokine activity of these helper T cells, meaning they are not as activated in a bad way. If you have overactive T cells, T helper cells, they’re going to run around your body, running rampant, slapping a label on everything, triggering inflammation and triggering killer T cells to come around and start an attack on things that don’t need to be attacked. You can see how this can lead to a massive amount of chronic inflammation leading to joint pain, brain fog, digestive discomfort, all kinds of different things.
Prof Dedi Meiri is the head of the world’s leading cannabis lab in the Technion. In TEDxTelAviv he showed us how they treat patients with cannabis, so world leaders come to his lab to watch the wonder. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community.