The abbreviation CBD stands for cannabidiol. It is a naturally occurring chemical compound from the resinous flower of the cannabis plant (hemp). While the hemp plant has been used as medicine for thousands of years, the therapeutic properties of CBD are now being tested and (at least partially) confirmed by scientists and doctors around the world. As a safe and non-addictive substance, CBD is one of more than a hundred phytocannabinoids that make cannabis so unique – and give the plant its robust therapeutic profile.
CBD is closely related to another important phytocannabinoid: tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is especially world-famous because it causes a feeling of intoxication. THC and CBD are the two scientifically most studied components of cannabis. However, research on CBD is still in its infancy.
What’s the difference between CBD and THC?
Both have significant therapeutic properties, but unlike THC, CBD is not psychoactive. So, if you consume CBD, you don’t experience a “high” feeling. This is because CBD and THC act in different ways on the receptors in the human body despite the similarities. Many people want the health benefits of cannabis without the intoxication – this is possible with CBD.
Cannabis is often colloquially associated with the drug of the same name, which is illegal in many parts of the world. The name cannabis, on the other hand, refers formally to the genus of the hemp plant. The hemp and marijuana come from the same plant, Cannabis Sativa, but are completely different. Until a few years ago, the best-known active ingredient in the female cannabis plant was delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is known to get high. In contrast, CBD is not psychoactive. This means that CBD has no intoxicating effects when consumed.
Over the years, illicit marijuana farmers have selectively bred their cannabis plants to achieve high THC levels and grow different strains. On the other hand, legal hemp farmers have not changed their plants and continue to produce thousands of products that come from commercial hemp and are used every day. The legal cannabinoid is extracted from these hemp plants, which may have a maximum THC content of 0.2% in the EU and 0.3% in the US.
How CBD works?
CBD belongs to the cannabinoids group. These natural substances from the hemp plant act on the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) – and interact with the so-called CB1 and CB2 receptors. With these receptors, the body can produce cannabinoids itself; the so-called endocannabinoids. While the receptors are found in almost all of our organs, a particularly large number of the CB1 receptors are found in our brain. There, the receptors primarily regulate the transmission of stimuli and muscle contractions.
Cannabinoids are very similar to the body’s own endocannabinoids. Therefore, CBD is “accepted” by the body without any problems. CBD docks on the CB1 receptor and acts in a variety of ways in the human (or animal) body. According to studies, in addition to CB1 receptors, CBD interacts with two vanilloid receptors, the glycine receptor and a sub-type of serotonin receptor, 5-HT1A, among others. CBD also affects adenosine signaling and has antioxidant properties.
Most important modes of CBD action:
- CB1 receptor – CBD interacts with the CB1 receptor in the endocannabinoid system – and can thus counteract the side effects of THC, among other things. In addition, CBD can inhibit the formation and uptake of the endocannabinoid anandamide in the body’s cells, which paradoxically leads to an increase in anandamide.
- Vanilloid receptors – CBD stimulates Type1 and Type2 vanilloid receptors. In addition, CBD can contribute to the development of autophagy (form of cell destruction) in vanilloid Type2 receptor. Animal studies in mice also show that CBD can relieve inflammatory and neuropathic pain by interacting with glycine receptors. This reduces the excitability of the nerve cells and reduces pain.
- Adenosine signaling – Adenosine blocks the release of neurotransmitters such as dopamine and norepinephrine, among other things. Adenosine also widens the blood vessels.
The ingredients of full spectrum CBD products: what’s actually in there?
CBD products provides the human body with many valuable ingredients – some of these nutrients are actually vital and cannot always be produced by the body itself. Whether cannabinoids, vitamins, unsaturated fatty acids, fiber, minerals or proteins in this section we take a close look at what makes CBD so healthy.
Cannabinoids are naturally occurring compounds from the cannabis sativa plant. Of the over 480 different compounds, about 80 are called cannabinoids. The best known among these compounds is the delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC) – this is the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis. Cannabidiol (CBD) is also an important ingredient that makes up about 40% of the plant’s resin extract.
|CBC||Has an analgesic and anti-inflammatory effect. It can also stimulate new cell growth.|
|CBDA||Appears to have an antiemetic effect. For example, it can help with nausea and vomiting. CBDA can also help treat cancer and stimulate the death of malignant cancer cells.|
|CBG||Stands for cannabigerol and is currently being investigated for its potential pharmacological properties. There are no clinical trials to date – but CBG appears to have antibacterial properties. Studies in rats also show that CBG could help with colitis, neurodegeneration and cancer.|
|CBN||Has a slightly psychoactive effect. It only occurs in very small amounts in the hemp plant and can help to relieve anxiety. CBN can also be a powerful neuroprotective. In a rodent study, researchers used CBN to treat ALS – and found that CBN could delay the onset of the disease. Even though human studies are still necessary, CBN appears to be a potentially effective tool in the fight against ALS and other neurodegenerative diseases.|
Terpenes are volatile hydrocarbon compounds. The cannabis plant and most other plants produce terpenes – but cannabis is the most terpene-rich plant known to humans. Although all terpene molecules are very similar, each molecule has its own and distinctive smell and taste.
Different combinations of terpenes are responsible for the different flavors of cannabis strains. Terpenes have been used for aromatherapy for thousands of years. For example, the scent of citrus mainly consists of a combination of lime and pine – it is believed that these terpenes can elevate the mood. Terpenes can also support muscle and joint function and improve general well-being. On top of that, terpenes enhance the effects of cannabinoids by acting on the cannabinoid receptors.
CBD offers many valuable vitamins. Above all, vitamin E is present in large quantities, which can slow down the aging process of the skin and have antioxidant properties. It protects the cells and can even prevent strokes, heart attacks or Alzheimer’s. CBD also contains B1 and B2 vitamins.
|B1||Vitamin B1 prevents complications in the nervous system, brain, muscles, heart, stomach and intestines. It also participates in the flow of electrolytes into and out of muscle and nerve cells and regulates our serotonin levels. Among other things, vitamin B1 can improve our mood!|
|B2||Vitamin B2 helps break down proteins, fats and carbohydrates – and plays an important role in the body’s energy supply. Among other things, it ensures the conversion of carbohydrates into adenosine triphosphate (ATP). The human body produces ATP from food – and ATP produces energy when the body needs it.|
Minerals and essential trace elements:
Whether iron, copper, manganese or magnesium: cannabidiol contains many important minerals and trace elements, essential for the human body:
|Calcium||Calcium is extremely important for the viability of our body cells. Since the body cannot produce calcium itself, we have to ingest calcium through food. Then calcium plays a central role as a building material for bones, cartilage and teeth. Calcium provides the necessary hardness and stability for our bones and teeth.|
|Iron||CBD contains a lot of iron. The trace element improves oxygen transport in the blood. Iron binds the oxygen absorbed through the lungs to the oxygen-carrying pigment, hemoglobin.|
|Copper||Copper strengthens the immune system and is important for the formation of red blood cells. It also facilitates the absorption of iron, has an anti-inflammatory effect and promotes the build-up of hair, bones and skin. Copper also contributes to energy generation and ensures proper thyroid function.|
|Potassium||Potassium regulates the water balance in the human body. It supports the nervous system, can lower blood pressure, protect the heart and improve muscle function.|
|Sodium||The mineral sodium is important for nerves and muscles. For example, sodium affects the transmission of nerve impulses and muscle contractions. Sodium also ensures that the fluids in the human body are balanced.|
|Manganese||Manganese plays an important role in strong and healthy connective tissue. It activates various enzymes in the body that are involved in a variety of processes – even the bones, cartilage and connective tissues require manganese for a healthy build-up.|
|Magnesium||Magnesium improves the immune system and our blood circulation. CBD contains large amounts of magnesium – for example, magnesium can regulate high blood pressure, reduce cancer risk, or help with depression, migraines, or mood problems.|
|Phosphorus||Phosphorus is also an important building block for teeth and bones. In addition, phosphorus plays an important role in the building of cells – a lack of phosphorus can therefore lead to growth arrest.|
|Zinc||Zinc fulfills a variety of functions in the human body. For example, it is involved in metabolism and is important for skin, hair and nails. Zinc also improves the immune system, helps with diabetes mellitus or allergies and promotes the regeneration of our skin. Zinc is essential for over 300 enzymes in the human body.|
Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids
Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are extremely important for the human body – especially if they are in the right balance. CBD oil is the only vegetable oil that offers you the perfect ratio of 1: 3. The fatty acids can accelerate the regeneration and renewal of cells, protect cell membranes and inhibit inflammation. In addition, the two fatty acids have a positive effect on blood pressure. Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids are also known as essential fatty acids because, unlike other fatty acids, the body cannot produce them itself.
Gamma-linolenic acid is anti-inflammatory. Therefore, the acid is suitable, for example, for people suffering from neurodermatitis or psoriasis. Gamma-linolenic acid can help with numerous skin problems and improve general complexion.
Chlorophyll is a plant substance and ensures the green color of the CBD oil. This plant substance has a similar impact on our body as hemoglobin and improves cell respiration among other things. Better cell respiration increases cell cleansing and detoxification. This increases the supply of fresh oxygen and strengthens the immune system.
Carotenoids are plant pigments and are responsible for the golden yellow color of cannabidiol oil. In the human body, carotenoids primarily have an antioxidant function – they bind to free radicals, strengthen the cell membrane and protect the immune system. This prevents premature aging, improves the cardiovascular system and prevents vasoconstriction (artery constriction). The body also converts some carotenoids into vitamin A, which is important for vision, among other things. Carotenoids also have anti-inflammatory properties.