Cannabidiol, or CBD derives from the hemp plant; more specifically from the seeds, stalks and flowers of the hemp plant and can be extracted, independent of other cannabinoids in oil form. Unlike the cannabinoid Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD is non-psychotropic and is also non-addictive.
Cannabinoids, which can be either consumed or produced naturally by the body, are chemical compounds that interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system.This system manages homeostasis, the state of equilibrium, and affects bodily processes such as appetite, mood and sleep. Because of this interaction, scientific research has shown that CBD may help manage many conditions.
CBD and Hypertension
High blood pressure affects around 75 million American adults per year. Out of this number, only half have their condition under control. Uncontrolled Hypertension raises the risk for heart disease and stroke, which are the leading causes of death in the United States.
Scientific research supports that dosing with CBD has the potential to significantly lower high blood pressure. This occurrence is directly linked to CBD’s ability to decrease stress and anxiety, which also lowers skin blood flow, stroke volume and heart rate. It’s important to monitor your blood pressure when taking CBD, especially if taking blood pressure medications, since the combined effect may result in an adverse response which may cause dizziness or increase fall risk.
CBD and Pain
Chronic pain is the number one cause of long-term disability in the United States and over 100 million Americans suffer from it.
Our bodies contain two types of cannabinoid receptors that are named cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1) and cannabinoid receptor type 2 (CB2). CB1 receptors are found mostly in the brain, whereas CB2 receptors are located throughout the body and play a significant role in regulating the immune system and reducing pain and inflammation. In fact, nearly every type of human disease, including pain-related illnesses, involve some sort of change in CB2 function. CBD also interacts with additional pathways in the body that may support reduction of pain such as the TRPV1 pathway.
In addition, research reflects that CBD interacts with pain-related receptors outside of the cannabinoid system to promote homeostasis, the state of equilibrium. Research has observed pain-relieving effects from CBD modulation of the TRPV1 pain pathway, and also reduction of the inflammation marker TNFa. CBD also interacts with Glycine receptors, which may reduce the perception of pain. Thousands of additional studies have found that cannabinoids like CBD enhance the capabilities of these receptors, supporting cannabinoid therapy for targeting pain management and treatment.
CBD and Anxiety/Depression
Depression and anxiety disorders are common mental health conditions that can have lasting effects on a person's health, social life, ability to work and overall well-being. Furthermore, depression and anxiety are also connected to conditions like inflammation, and structural brain changes resulting from trauma or chronic stress.
CBD has shown promise in initial studies as a treatment option for both depression and anxiety, and it may cause fewer side effects than prescribed pharmaceuticals.CBD is also neuroprotective and may decrease or halt degenerative neurological disorders contributing to mental health symptoms.
In addition to fighting inflammation in the body by optimizing the endocannabinoid system, CBD can also reduce anxiety and depression by lowering activity in the amygdala and increasing prefrontal cortex activation, two parts of the brain that are associated with anxiety and depression. There is also evidence that suggests CBD may regenerate new neurons, which can balance gamma-aminobutyric acid and glutamate levels to reduce anxiety and depression. Research also supports that CBD increases serotonin in the brain, making it a viable option to potentially reduce reliance on SSRI’s used to treat depression through the same mechanism.
CBD and Sleep
Approximately one in four Americans develop insomnia each year, and 35 percent of U.S. adults do not get the recommended seven hours of sleep each night. Research indicates that CBD may improve sleep by stimulating receptors in the brain that govern the body’s daily sleep/wake cycles. CBD can also help manage anxiety and pain symptoms, both of which can make it harder to fall asleep or stay asleep.
CBD and ADHD
ADHD is a highly genetic syndrome that alters neurotransmitter balance and may cause disruptive behavior and functional impairment.
These brain operations are collectively referred to as executive functioning skills and include attention, concentration, memory, motivation, effort, impulsivity, hyperactivity, organization and social skills.
The endocannabinoid system is a network of cell receptors and compounds that regulate bodily functions. The body creates endocannabinoids that send messages to the CB1 and CB2 receptors to promote health balance. Sometimes the endocannabinoid system becomes unregulated, contributing to disorders like ADHD. CBD helps manage the symptoms of ADHD by binding to the above mentioned receptors to optimize the endocannabinoid system.
CBD and Diabetes
Diabetes is caused by improper regulation of glucose levels in the bloodstream. In healthy individuals, the pancreas produces ample amounts of a hormone called insulin, which works to transport glucose molecules across cell membranes and into cells for energy production. In diabetics, depending on whether they suffer from Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes, the body is either unable to produce ample insulin, or it is unable to use it in a way that is sufficient enough to maintain glucose at a healthy level in the bloodstream. More than 30 million people in America have diabetes and it is the 7th leading cause of death.
CBD binds to the CB1 and CB2 receptors located throughout the body to help optimize the endocannabinoid system to promote homeostasis. Through this process, CBD may help balance blood glucose levels, and decrease the symptoms associated with diabetes.Cannabinoid receptors are located in the brain, nervous system, and in the islet cells of the pancreas — the cells where insulin is produced. Research suggests that the stimulus of islet cell receptors may increase insulin production.
Epilepsy and Other Neurological Disorders
Epilepsy is a neurological disorder marked by sudden recurrent episodes of sensory disturbance, loss of consciousness, or convulsions, associated with abnormal electrical activity in the brain.
On June 25, 2018, GW Pharmaceuticals’ Epidiolex label became the first ever natural CBD-based medication to gain approval from the FDA. It is currently prescribed for two rare forms of epilepsy (Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome), but many other non-diagnosed epilepsy/seizure patients choose to self-medicate with CBD oil.
If you suffer from any of the above mentioned conditions and are contemplating taking CBD or are already consuming CBD, please take our survey to help us expand our research!