What is CBD?
What is CBD?
CBD is an abbreviation of Cannabidiol, a phytocannabinoid found in Hemp. Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of more then 100 cannabinoids present in this plant, some of which are shown to naturally boost our native Endocannabinoid System (ECS).
Our bodies already produce cannabinoids which are collectively called endocannabinoids (endo meaning 'within'). Whereas cannabinoids obtained from Hemp are phytocannabinoids (phyto meaning 'from plant').
What is the Endocannabinoid System (ECS)?
To answer this, we need to get a little technical, but the first thing to say is that if you have never heard of this system before, don’t worry, you're not alone. Until relatively recently (the 1990's) little was understood about it's function or how cannabinoids interact with it.
The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) is now known to regulate many vital functions within the body including; mood, levels of pain, sleep, hormone levels, anxiety, stress and immune system response. Improving ECS performance, by boosting our cannabinoid levels with CBD, is a natural therapy shown as effective and safe in improving conditions including; chronic pain, anxiety, depression, epilepsy, ADHD, diabetes and many condtions symptomatic of an imbalance in our system.
Our ECS comprises of an extensive network of cannabinoid receptors found throughout the body. This same system is present in all mammals. Research over the last 20 years has identified the important role this system plays in monitoring and regulating our system, and most importantly, it's response to enviromental and conditional stresses that can prevent us from maintaining homeostasis (a healthy equilibrium).
The nomenclature of cannabinoid receptors and the system they form originates from research into Cannabis and how specifically it affects our body. Cannabis however is not the preferred source for CBD, in fact, the non-psychoactive plant Hemp is far richer in CBD.
Consumed CBD reacts with two cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) to stimulate our ECS. As mentioned previously, our bodies naturally produce endocannabinoids, namely, Anandamide and 2-AG.
Like any system our ECS may become deficient, a condition called Endocannabinoid Deficiency (ECD) which can impair regulatory function. This condition may contribute to the worsening of exisiting ailments or simply leave us feeling stressed or overwhelmed.
Maintaining healthy levels of endocannabinoids is therefore important to supporting good health and well-being. And the good news is that there are lots of ways we can do this. For example, diet, exercise, dancing and communal singing are all shown to give our endocannabinoid levels a boost, as demonstrated in the BBC program - Trust Me, I’m a Doctor - which demonstrates how our endocannabinoid levels are a tangible measure of well-being.
If you would like to know more about the science behind these topics, included below are additional references to studies on the ECS and CB1, CB2 receptors;
Study on the Endocannabinoid System: Cerebeum
Cerebrum. 2013 Nov-Dec; 2013: 14.
Published online 2013 Nov 1.
Bradley E. Alger, Ph.D
Study on the Pharmacology of cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 receptors
Pharmacol Ther. 1997;74(2):129-80.
Pharmacology of cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 receptors.
CBD Benefits & Research
According to a 2013 review published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, studies have found CBD to possess the following therapeutic properties:
Reduces nausea and vomiting
Suppresses seizure activity
Combats psychosis disorders
Combats inflammatory disorders
Combats neurodegenerative disorders
Combats tumor and cancer cells
Combats anxiety and depression disorders
Combats pain and pain-related disorders
Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2013 Feb;75(2):323-33.
Cannabidiol for neurodegenerative disorders: important new clinical applications for this phytocannabinoid?
Fernández-Ruiz J1, Sagredo O, Pazos MR, García C, Pertwee R, Mechoulam R, Martínez-Orgado J.
The six most researched cannabinoids to date are Cannabidiol (CBD), Cannabichromenes (CBC), Cannabigerols (CBG), Cannabinol (CBN), Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV). As you will see from the chart below, Cannabidiol (CBD) is the key component for a multitude of therapeutic abilities.
Potential Side Effects
There have been no cases of side effects involving human consumption and controlled application of CBD. The use of CBD can make the user feel relaxed (which is why it can be used as an aid to sleep). Cannabidiol may affect some enzymes in the liver (in same way as some foods will e.g. Grapefruit), which can interact with other medications. It is important to consult your doctor or physician for professional medical advice when starting any new health regime.
Full-Spectrum CBD and The Entourage Effect
Full-spectrum CBD oil consists of multiple cannabinoids, though in much lesser proportion to CBD, including; CBG, CBC, CBN, CBDL, CBL, CBE, CBT as well as plant botanicals (most notably Terpenes). These Full Spectrum products will also have trace amounts of THC and reputable manufacturers test for Hemp strains presenting less than the legal maximum of 0.2% THC.
Consuming full-spectrum oil is favoured by some to promote what is called ‘the entourage effect’, demonstrated to be somewhat more effective than consuming the CBD cannabinoid in isolation.
Br J Pharmacol. 2011 Aug; 163(7): 1344–1364.
Taming THC: potential Cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid-terpenoid entourage effects
Ethan B Russo
The History of CBD
The CBD compound was first isolated in the 1960s when a young Israeli researcher, Raphael Mechoulam, curious to know why the current literature on Cannabis at the time had not discovered the active component, studied what would be become known as cannabinoids. Mechoulam was able to isolate the CBD compound in 1963 and a year later, THC (delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol) the psychoactive component responsible for the "high". His team went on to be the first to isolate many other components of the plant. Subsequent research was slow, but with an opioid epidemic happening (in 2016 the equivalent of 66.5 opioid prescriptions issued per 100 adults in the US) and clinical proof Cannabis was helping people break opioid dependency, the Medicinal Cannabis industry was encouraged. This development funded further research and better understanding into which strains of the plant offered the most therapeutic benefit. With realisation that CBD is the single most important component in providing these benefits, many Medicinal Cannabis companies switched to growing Hemp to meet the needs of a more knowledgeable market with a preference for therapeutic benefits, without a high.
Hemp vs Cannabis
Hemp and Cannabis share a common taxonomic family but diverge at species and genus. The legal definition of each species favours chemical analysis of the cannabinoid profile as cross breeding and hybridisation can make visual assessment inconclusive. For this reason, all producers and retailers should have 3rd party lab test results and make these available to you.
By legal definition, Hemp has a chemical makeup including no more than 0.2% THC and is therefore non-psychoactive.
Cannabis (also called Marijuana) has a chemical makeup including typically between 5%-20% THC and is likely to cause a psychoactive effect.
What is a Premium Quality CBD Product?
From seed we start with the best Hemp stock grown organically in non-GMO, pesticide free soil. This is important as Hemp is a highly effective phyto-mediator, meaning it is great at extracting whatever is in the soil. As an example of this, in Eastern Europe Hemp was widely used to 'clean up' abandoned industrial land following the collapse of the USSR. Planting it was an effective way of drawing out heavy metals and other soil pollutants. We wouldn't recommend using those plants as the basis for a therapeutic remedy!
Our approach in choosing the all natural method is a trade off. Using natural growing techniques will reduce yield, and so our approach is bit more costly.
The method of extraction used is important. Steam or solvents are commonly used to keep costs down when producing a botanical distillate from Hemp. Both methods diminish the quality of the final distillate with solvents also adding a negative environmental impact to the process.
Our method of extraction uses recycled Co2, pressurised and cooled to a temperature at which it takes on properties of both a gas and a liquid. This purges Hemp waxes and oils from the plant without need of heat, or toxic solvents. Again, it is a more expensive solution, but it safeguards both the environment and the quality of the final product by creating the most natural and intact distillate currently available.
We believe that the potential CBD offers as a natural therapy should never be diminshed by using poor quality Hemp, or industrial shortcuts for extraction. And, through the returning customers we speak to, we are completely convinced this adds value far greater then any savings they might find in purchasing less expensive CBD products elsewhere.
See our guide on buying the best value CBD products here.
Will CBD make me 'high'?
CBD is non-psychoactive unlike the cannabinoid THC (delta-9 Tetrahydrocannabinol). Consuming CBD will not create a “high” or induce intoxicating effects. Infact, because CBD has anti-psychotic properties it’s impossible to consume enough to create a high.
CBD and the Legality
CBD is legal in the UK and most countries around the World.
The team at CBD and You have tried and tested products containing CBD since early 2015. We are proud to offer CBD products which include CBD at its maximum potential benefit, organically grown and free of any dangerous contaminants.
The Hemp plant is a great Phyto-mediator which means it absorbs a variety of heavy metals and toxins from the soil. Industrial Hemp, which is commonly grown for industrial applications (like rope for example) can be used in some CBD products. It is possible that industrial Hemp can contain contaminants, and this is why it is important that you choose CBD products from trusted sources. At CBD and You we only stock products that have quality assurance from organically grown Hemp, free of pesticides and from non-GMO soil so you can rest assured that you are only absorbing the finest natural ingredients.
CBD consumption and Dosage
The endocannabinoid system interlinks with several points around the brain and the body which means CBD absorption is available in a variety of methods including:
- Oral (Tinctures, Capsules, Mouth Spray)
- Body applications (Lotions, Soap, Bath Bombs, Roll-on)
CBD levels are typically measured in milligrams (mg). Everyone is different and it is advised that dosage is best sought by experimentation, starting low and increasing if required. Don't worry, you can't overdose on CBD, so you can start on high doses if preferred. We wrote an article as a giude to finding the right doseage.
*We advise you to seek advice of your physician before consuming CBD if you are currently taking other medications.
Updated: March 2019
CBD research is ongoing and the team at CBD and You continually update all facts and information to provide you with the latest CBD news. Please sign up to our newsletter to hear about our community events, browse our blogs, or contact us for further information and discussion on CBD.