Tell me what i need to know about CBD to make an informed decision - CBD 101

CBD and Inflammation:

CBD is being promoted as a panacea for just about anything that ails you if it's related to inflammation. Claims have been made that it lowers blood sugar, slows Alzheimer’s disease, cures cancer, and alleviates a wide range of psychological problems from anxiety to depression and PTSD to psychosis. But few studies have been done on cannabis and CBD to prove its effectiveness.

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol is the second most abundant of more than 100 cannabinoid compounds in the cannabis plant and is extracted as an oil. CBD does not have the psychoactive properties of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), another compound found in cannabis that produces a high. CBD affects the body’s endocannabinoid system, which regulates such functions as: Appetite Digestion Inflammation Memory Mood Pain Sensation Test-tube studies indicate that CBD works on endocannabinoid system receptors to decrease the body’s inflammatory response. Continuing studies also will have to determine appropriate doses, long-term side effects, and negative drug interactions. We had more than 47,000 opioid deaths in the United States in 2017 alone, but to my knowledge, there has been zero related to the use of CBD. However, because CBD oil is known to interact with certain medications such as calcium channel blockers, blood thinners, steroids, and HIV antivirals, among others, caution is advised. If anybody is considering using CBD for moderate to serious health conditions, we recommend they talk to their doctor first. Whenever there’s an injury to the tissues, immune cells immediately move to the affected area to find the irritants and eliminate them. This contributes to a quicker healing process. Inflammation gets rid of the irritant with the help of pro-inflammatory cells called cytokines. This is how inflammation functions in a typical scenario. Sadly, that’s not how it always works. In some cases, the immune system stops fighting inflammation and the cytokines employ an excessive amount of immune cells. That causes a big problem for the body. Our body’s natural defense mechanism then becomes our own worst enemy. The immune response turns upside down because of several factors, such as disease-causing germs and powerful irritants, genetic predisposition, autoimmune problems, and even your dietary choices and lifestyle.  

How Does Inflammation Affect Our Body?

Inflammation can aggravate disorders and diseases. Autoimmune diseases like Rheumatoid Arthritis can lead to systemic inflammation and affect various organs and joints. Inflammation of the joints causes permanent joint damage and deformities. With Crohn’s disease, inflammation leads to the growth of ulcers and is also responsible for thickening of the intestinal walls and adhesions. Multiple Sclerosis also gets worse due to inflammation in axon’s myelin sheath.  Inflammation also adversely affects epilepsy. Excessive cytokines render the neurons more excitable and that commonly triggers a seizure. There are a lot of medical conditions that get heightened due to inflammation.

How Does CBD Help with Inflammation?

CBD has great anti-inflammatory properties that help in lowering inflammation. CBD is as useful as THC in controlling inflammation, but it does not make you high like THC. It is also a strong antioxidant that protects the cells from excitotoxicity.

CBD binds to CB2 receptors linked to the hyperactive immune cells and revives a type of anti-inflammatory protein called the caspase. The newly revived caspase sends a signal that begins the process of cell death or apoptosis of the immune cell. It is only when the immune cells die through caspase revival that the production of cytokines decreases, dramatically slowing down inflammation.

CBD has the ability to stimulate immune cells so that they speed up their oxidative stress. As a result, the apoptosis of the immune cells start and there’s a reduction in the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines. That’s exactly what your body needs to fight inflammation.

Inflammation can help us and it can create problems for us as well. Fighting inflammation is essential if it starts to harm our body. CBD is just the right element if you want to bring inflammation under control. CBD has properties that keep inflammation in check, improving the general well-being of an individual. It is wise to consult a doctor or a healthcare professional before you use CBD products.        

How Do You Use CBD?

CBD products are largely unregulated, which makes it difficult to assess their quality. It’s also tough to decide which delivery system or product is likely going to be the most effective.     But here are some pointers to help ensure you are using a consistent quality product.
  • Make your purchase through a certified dispensary or reputable retail store. Look for manufacturers who use third-party testing to certify the amount and quality of CBD in their products. It’s important that these tests include a pesticide, mycotoxin, and heavy metals full panel test from a certified lab. If this information is not freely provided then it’s wise to move on to another company with higher standards.
  • Look for a pure, organically manufactured formulation of CBD oil that has a full-spectrum of cannabinoids to ensure the entourage effect is at optimal levels.
  • A topical cream applied to the affected areas may be helpful for localized pain and work effectively in reducing inflammation from the outer skin. However, many of these do not break the blood-brain barrier, limiting the absorption and impact the cannabinoids have.
  • Drops under the tongue from a tincture are intended for more generalized pain, and depending on dose size and consistency, are generally the most effective oral application. Tinctures left under the tongue for up to 30 seconds begin to absorb immediately whereas a capsule will take more time to work and can be adversely affected by things like not eating beforehand, incontinence, and stomach sickness. Poor absorption can be caused from long-term internal medication damage and other causes. Therefore it may be necessary to carry out a higher amount of CBD in more frequent intervals.
  • Smoking or vaporizing CBD oil has the most immediate effect, but also the shortest active period. Arthritis, anxiety, and depression seem to be the most common reasons for vaping because of the immediate effect. Most health care professionals will not advise this under any circumstances.
  • CBD may help with arthritis-related symptoms, such as pain, insomnia, and anxiety, however rigorous clinical studies in people with arthritis are required to confirm this.
  • While no major safety issues have been found with CBD when taken in moderate doses, potential drug interactions have been identified.
  • CBD should never be used to replace disease-modifying drugs that help prevent permanent joint damage in inflammatory types of arthritis.
  • CBD use should be discussed with your doctor in advance, with follow-up evaluations every three months or so, as would be done for any new treatment. It is important to find doctors who are informed about CBD due to their own inquiries and experience. Most physicians have not studied the issue or are generally uncomfortable adding non-traditional therapies such as CBD.
  • There are no established clinical guidelines to inform users. Experts recommend starting with a low dose every eight hours. If relief is inadequate, increase in small increments weekly.
  • Buy CBD products from a reputable company that are batch-tested for purity, potency, and safety by an independent laboratory. Laboratories provide a Certificate of Analysis (COA) for heavy metals, mycotoxins, pesticides, and other contaminants, all of which detract from the benefits of CBD. In some cases, one or more of these contaminants above prescribed levels may actually make CBD oil unsafe. Consult your retail outlet or pharmacy or other source of CBD and ask to see their COA for the particular product you are interested in.
We are just beginning to understand the transformative and renewing power of CBD. As we continue to study and learn more we are excited to witness this miraculous change in the health and well-being of our country.   -