What is CBD (Cannabidiol)? Learn More About CBD Benefits
What is CBD (Cannabidiol)?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is often available in the form of CBD oil. CBD is a well-known botanical extract from the Cannabis Sativa plant (particularly industrial hemp variety). Aside from CBD oil, CBD can also be found in crystalline isolate, full spectrum extract, and CBD distillate form. Also, 98% pure CBD is available as a US FDA approved drug product indicated for two rare forms of pediatric refractory epilepsy. While available research is limited on CBD benefits, many proposed benefits of CBD oil and other CBD extracts are widely promoted.
CBD, which is an abbreviation for cannabidiol, belongs to a category of chemicals known as cannabinoids, which are native to the Cannabis Sativa plant. There are two common varieties of Cannabis Sativa. One is referred to as “marijuana,” which has been grown for high THC (Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol content, and “hemp” which has been grown for food, textile, and now high CBD content and contains minimal THC content. CBD is the second most abundant and common of the (at least) 113 currently known. CBD (and cannabinoids) are poorly water soluble, but readily lipid (fat) soluble. As a result, CBD has limited oral absorption, in the range of approximately 10%, with 90% being wasted. Formulations such as ELV Bioscience’s research grade CBD uses a proprietary advanced liposomal technology which significantly enhances CBD bio-availability and absorption to promote more effective research.
CBD, unlike THC, does not have psychoactive properties. CBD and CBD oil uses would therefore vary from those of THC.
Despite widespread claims of many CBD health benefits, there is still very limited clinical research on cannabidiol. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a plant-derived 98% pure CBD isolate in June 2018 for pediatric patients that are two years of age and older, suffering from rare forms of refractory epilepsy. The two types of epilepsy are Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. These diseases, and all refractory forms of epilepsy, do not respond well to the current standard of care drug options. Other than this FDA approved drug, CBD can only legally be used for research, regardless of its source. Even though the Farm Bill removed CBD from the Controlled Substance List, CBD is not permitted in foods, beverages, supplements, or cosmetics according to the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. CBD is not DSHEA compliant (Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act).
CBD should not be purchased from any source except for a reputable research chemical supplier because there are many reports of terrible quality control. Most CBD products on the market do not contain the claimed amount of CBD, if they contain CBD at all.
Based on limited research, but plentiful anecdotal reports, here are some common CBD Benefits benefits:
CBD and Anxiety:
CBD has been studied to determine its effect on anxiety. The study compared CBD (cannabidiol) with placebo and a control (a benzodiazepine). According to the study, CBD was mildly effective at a dose of 300mg, not effective at 600mg, and produced anxiety in some participants at 900mg. This suggests a bell-curve in CBD’s efficacy in treating anxiety. More research is needed to further explore CBD and anxiety.
CBD and Pain:
There is a lot of interest among people and the pharmaceutical industry to explore Cannabidiol and other cannabinoids for their potential ability to reduce certain types of pain. While it is suggested to be unlikely that CBD or other cannabinoids can replace opioids for pain management, they are being investigated for adjunct treatment to help reduce use, abuse, and dependence on opioid medications. CBD is suggested to have anti-inflammatory properties, so it may be beneficial in treating pain that is a result of inflammation. CBD pain benefits are currently being further explored in clinical research.
CBD and Acne:
Based on limited research, CBD may help reduce acne formation due to its anti-inflammatory properties and ability to potentially reduce sebum production.
Acne affects both teenage and adult patients. It is believed to occur due to various factors such as genetic pre-disposition, bacteria, inflammation, hormonal imbalances, and dietary causes. Acne is characterized by an over-production of sebum, an oily secretion produced by sebaceous glands underneath the skin. Further research is needed to validate how CBD treats acne.
CBD and Neuroprotective Properties:
Available research shows that CBD acts on the endocannabinoid system in such a way that promotes neuroprotective properties. In fact, the NIH (National Institute of Health) has patents for Cannabinoids for use as neuroprotectants and antioxidants. While more research is needed, given that CBD is effective for calming the excitatory neurological activity that promotes seizures, it is reasonable to assume that CBD has neuroprotective properties as well.
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