Did you know that cannabis has been cultivated as a crop for thousands of years, mainly because of its medicinal effects? However, science has only recently begun to explore the incredible potential of this medicinal plant. In this article, you can find out what effects cannabis has, whether side effects need to be considered and whether it is legal at all.
1. WHAT IS CBD?
CBD has a number of health benefits.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a naturally occurring compound. It is a non-psychoactive phytocannabinoid from hemp, a plant whose history as a medicine goes back thousands of years. It was discovered in 1940 and is one of 113 known cannabinoids from the cannabis plant that accounts for up to 40% of the plant extract.
Preliminary clinical research on cannabidiol included studies on anxiety, cognition, movement disorders and pain.
Compared to the better-known cannabinoid THC, CBD is neither intoxicating nor addictive, but it offers a huge range of health benefits.
In medical terms, cannabidiol has an antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, anxiety-relieving and anti-nausea effect in many mild to severe diseases. The therapeutic properties of CBD are currently being tested and confirmed by scientists and physicians around the world.
Cannabidiol interacts agonistically with the cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2. It also acts as an antagonist to the G protein-coupled receptor GPR55. It can be taken in various ways, e.g. by inhalation of cannabis smoke or vapour, as a spray for the mouth and as a drop. It is often taken in the form of oil containing CBD as the main active ingredient.
Cannabidiol is not water soluble; at room temperature, it is a colourless crystalline solid.
1.1 CBD AND CBD OIL EFFECT
CBD is one of the numerous ingredients of the hemp plant. CBD has a very wide spectrum of action due to the fact that it interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system, which runs throughout the entire body. The CBD effect can help with minor ailments as well as serious illnesses.
- Many users take CBD to get rid of headaches or to sleep better.
- Others suffer from anxiety or chronic pain, which can also be relieved with CBD.
- CBD can even help with severe conditions such as fibromyalgia or cancer.
Recent studies suggest that CBD may inhibit tumour growth, but in any case, it is effective against the typical side effects of chemotherapy.
Click here for the full list of CBD effects.
1.2 THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CBD AND CBDA
What are the differences between CBD and CBDA?
In natural CBD products, the CBD content should always be understood as the ratio of CBD to CBDA. Pure CBD can only be found in chemically processed isolates. CBDa, short for cannabidiolic acid, is one of the primary cannabinoids of the hemp plant.
It is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid and it is the precursor of CBD. It is found in the leaves and flowers of some cannabis varieties. CBDA is generally regarded as a key component of the medical spectrum of cannabis and its multiple therapeutic uses.
In the presence of CBDA, for example, the body can absorb twice as much CBD. Read more about CBD and CBDA in this article.
1.3 THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FULL SPECTRUM PRODUCTS AND ISOLATES
In addition to CBD, natural full spectrum products contain over 100 other cannabinoids as well as terpenes and flavonoids.
All ingredients of the hemp plant have health benefits, but if they are consumed together, the so-called entourage effect occurs. This means that the combined effect of these active ingredients is stronger than the individual effects. More about full spectrum CBD products can be found in the following infographics:
2. WHAT IS CBD OIL?
Those who cannot get a medical cannabis prescription from a doctor or who are looking for products without the intoxicating THC can reach for CBD oil. CBD oil can be easily ordered on the Internet, as it is offered in the form of freely available dietary supplements, at least as long as it does not contain more than 0.2% THC, which is the legally permitted upper limit in Germany.
The appearance of effective CBD oils on the market has changed the therapeutic landscape and public opinion about cannabis. It is no longer a question of whether cannabis is effective as a herbal remedy – today the main challenge is to find out how CBD oil can produce maximum therapeutic benefits. Because of the low-risk profile, many people use CBD oil as an addition to their traditional treatment plans.
CBD oil is available in different concentrations. Normally CBD oils contain between 3% and 20% CBD. Depending on the user and health condition, an appropriate dose of CBD is selected. Since the active ingredients can enter the body directly under the tongue via the mucous membranes, CBD oil bypasses the digestive tract and the CBD thus enters the bloodstream directly.
In the beginning, you should always take CBD in the night, before going to bed. Later, after your body has become accustomed to the change, it can be taken every 6 hours or four times a day.
Once you have reached your ideal daily CBD dose, you can decide whether to stick with it or increase the dose. This way you can see what is best for your endocannabinoid system.
If CBD oil is produced by CO2 extraction, all other effective ingredients of the hemp plant are retained in addition to CBD. These influence each other and increase each other’s efficiency, which is called the entourage effect. For example, the presence of CBDA allows the body to metabolize twice as much CBD.
A high-quality CBD oil is therefore perfectly suited as a natural supplement to classical therapies as well as for the prevention or alleviation of numerous symptoms.
3. CBD SIDE EFFECTS
According to previous studies, cannabidiol is very well tolerated and side effects occur only in exceptional cases. It is often claimed that CBD has no side effects. While it is true that CBD has very few, weak potential side effects, you should check the list before taking CBD. Some of the most common side effects are:
- Dry mouth (that can easily be resolved by drinking water)
- Changes in appetite
- Slight drop in blood pressure shortly after ingestion
- Slight increase in intraocular pressure
Pregnant women, however, are generally advised against using CBD.
4. CBD DOSAGE
How does one find the correct CBD dosage CBD? The answer to this question varies from person to person, as each person reacts differently to cannabinoids. The most reliable source of information on the correct dosage of CBD is other users who share their experience with CBD products.
Normally you start with a 5% CBD oil and take it twice a day (5-10 drops in the morning and evening). Then slowly increase the CBD dosage if there is no effect or too little effect.
In general, the CBD dosage can be determined by the symptoms experienced by the user.
- For minor complaints such as headaches or problems falling asleep, a CBD oil of 5% is normally sufficient. The combination of CBD oil and hemp tea is particularly suitable for problems with (falling asleep).
- In the case of more serious issues such as migraine or anxiety disorder, users recommend reaching for a CBD oil with at least 8%, as this allows a sufficient effect to be achieved with fewer drops.
- In the case of serious illnesses such as cancer or fibromyalgia, CBD can help particularly well against the side effects of chemotherapy. For this, a product with 15-30 % CBD content is recommended.
In this article about CBD dosage, you will learn more about how to find the right dose and CBD product for you.
5. CBD CAPSULES
CBD capsules are a popular alternative to CBD oil because they have several advantages over CBD oil.
The most common factor for choosing capsules is that they are tasteless. Some users do not like the taste of natural CBD oil and can avoid it by taking capsules.
Furthermore, CBD ingestion and dosage are much easier with CBD capsules – just take one capsule and you’re done, without drip counting and the risk of loss of the oil while dripping.
6. IS CBD LEGAL IN THE UK?
An important question before buying CBD oil is the question of legality. And you can read everything about the legal status of CBD in the UK here.
7 CBD VS. THC – DOES CBD ALSO HAVE AN INTOXICATING EFFECT?
The best known cannabinoid is THC. It is said to have a number of health benefits. THC is often contained in medical cannabis products that can be obtained with a prescription.
The problem, however, is that it is intoxicating and therefore not an option for many patients. CBD, on the other hand, has a similar spectrum of effects but has no intoxicating effect. It only has a relaxing effect on the body. You can read more about the differences between these two cannabinoids in this article.
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