Cannabidiol, or CBD for short, is one of the best-known Phyto-cannabinoids in the hemp plant. Due to its diverse potential, which can also be used medically, interest and scientific research relating to the cannabinoid has increased steadily in recent years. But why the hype about CBD and where does it come from? The chemical-sounding substance is of natural origin and has a very long history. The following article provides information on why and how we have been benefiting from the hemp crop for years and how the crop, and especially CBD, was rediscovered. You will also learn more about how CBD products work and how they are used, as well as current research results.
Did you already know
- Until the 1920s, about 60% of the prescribed pain relievers were cannabis-based
- Hemp oil, CBD and other valuable ingredients of the hemp plant have no intoxicating effect and can be used for health purposes. The WHO also classifies cannabidiol (CBD) as harmless.
- All parts of hemp can be used meaningfully in the spirit of sustainability
- Hemp as a useful plant requires a low level of polluting fertilizers and sprays and can therefore also contribute to achieving the climate targets
The medical use of the hemp plant was practiced 5000 years ago. Hemp is one of the oldest cultivated plants on earth and supports mankind in a wide variety of areas of life. From clothing to use as fuel, food and medicine, there are many possible applications for hemp. This is partly due to the cultivation. The nut plant brings a very high yield and requires little fertilizer and spray.
Basically, there are many other relevant ingredients in the hemp plants in addition to CBD. So far, about 489 essential components in the hemp plant have been determined. In addition to terpenes, flavonoids and other plant substances, the Phyto-cannabinoids, which also include CBD, are particularly popular.
How does CBD work in the human body?
The non-psychoactive ingredient cannabidiol binds to various receptor systems in the endocannabinoid system. This can be seen as a communication system that acts between the body and the brain and consists of various receptors to which molecules dock to ensure the transmission of signals.
Endocannabinoids, so-called active substances that are produced by the body itself, act within this system. In addition, there are exogenous cannabinoids that are very similar to human beings and act in a similar way in the endocannabinoid system, but must be supplied from the outside. Regardless of whether they are produced or supplied, the respective substances bind to the receptors in order to activate different processes.
Difference CBD & THC
CBD and THC are two of the best-known ingredients in the hemp plant. Compared to CBD, THC is responsible for the controversial psychological effects of cannabis. Like CBD, THC binds to the receptors CB1 and CB2. Compared to THC, however, CBD is not psychoactive and can even counteract the psychological effects of the THC in high doses and increase the pain-relieving properties of the THC. Other Phyto-cannabinoids, such as CBG or CBN, also have pharmacological effects, but have no or very little psychological effect.
In summary, CBD is an effective, well-tolerated and, above all, safe component of the hemp plant and is particularly interesting for self-medication due to the wide range of effects without dampening side effects. The use of cannabidiol is therefore becoming increasingly popular in the complementary field.
How is CBD made?
There are a number of different ways of extracting and isolating CBD – the most used method is extraction with supercritical carbon dioxide. In addition, a decarboxylation is necessary before and / or afterwards, i.e. the conversion of the carboxylic acid into the pharmacologically active cannabinoids.
To get pure CBD, there are the following options in summary:
- Extraction (= removal or isolation)
- Synthetic manufacturing
The Co2 extraction is one here to the most frequently used method. It is particularly popular because of its low environmental impact and non-existent toxicity. However, this method is also considerably more expensive than other extraction methods.
In addition, there are the following extraction methods:
- Ethanol extraction
- Hydrocarbon extraction
- Oil extraction
How does the most used Co2 extraction work?
During the Co2 extraction, the Co2 is in a state of transition from liquid to gaseous. This method is also used, for example, when decaffeinating coffee. When the liquid Co2 hits the flowers and leaves, the CBD and other plant compounds are released. The pressure and temperature are then regulated again so that the Co2 returns to the gaseous state and can be separated from the extracts. This makes it possible to obtain a very pure extract.
Other significant possible mechanisms of action of CBD:
- Relieves vomiting and nausea
- Inhibits cell growth in tumors and cancer cells
- Alleviates psoriasis
- Promotes bone growth
- Boosting the immune system
Application & use
As already mentioned in the previous paragraph, CBD can be used complementarily as well as preventively for health promotion in a very wide range of effects. There are already a number of freely available preparations to buy, from teas to cosmetics and oils, for oral use.
CBD oils and capsules are particularly popular – they can be ideally integrated into everyday life. Through the individual dosing using a pipette, the number of droplets can be adapted to your own needs. The capsules prove to be a practical companion, especially on the go or when traveling.
But CBD-containing cosmetic products are ideal for external use on the skin. Especially with regard to certain skin diseases and inflammations, these can be recommended for complementary treatment.
But how much CBD can you take in every day? Is too much CBD dangerous?
The dosage of CBD is very individual and can have different effects depending on the person. Unless otherwise prescribed, a small daily dose is about 20 mg of CBD.
Dosages over 200 mg CBD are understood as high daily doses. However, these are very expensive and only necessary in exceptional cases. Even small doses can be beneficial if the terpene entourage effect is used.
Therefore, unless otherwise prescribed, follow the recommendations for consumption stated on the product. Depending on your needs, you can gradually increase it until the desired effect is achieved and you have thus found your ideal dosage.
How to take CBD correctly?
In order to guarantee optimal absorption, it is advisable to drop the drops directly under the tongue on the oral mucosa and leave them there for about 30 seconds to one minute.
The capsules are absorbed with a slight delay in the stomach via the gastrointestinal mucosa. However, these can also be dissolved in the mouth.
Cannabidiol – market & standards
A large number of different products are already available in the market. Here it can be challenging for the end consumer to choose the right product and, above all, to be able to distinguish high quality products from others since business laws of CBD are very strict.
When buying CBD products, you should pay particular attention to the following:
Is the CBD / CBDA content specified?
CBD oils are standardized to cannabidiol / CBDa (carboxylic acid form) or to pure CBD. CBD oils from CO2 extraction are standardized at a concentration of 5% to 500mg CBD / CBDa per bottle, at a concentration of 10% to 1000 mg CBD / CBDa. A 10 ml container usually contains approx. 275 drops.
Which carrier oil was used?
Make sure that a high-quality oil has been used – at best, selected hemp seed oil was used as the carrier oil.
Are consumption recommendations given?
For guidance, the recommendations for daily consumption should also be given.
Is the product an isolate or a full spectrum?
A distinction is made between pure CBD products and products that contain other Phyto-cannabinoids.
You should also pay attention to whether current analysis certificates are listed or a seal of quality. This distinguishes particularly high-quality products.
Examples of use
The following is a list of possible diseases and complaints in which the intake of CBD can have a beneficial effect:
CBD concentrates 5% for Sleep problems
- Stress (chronic)
- Anxiety / restlessness
- Depressive moods
- Reduced appetite in weight management
- Nicotine / smoking cessation
CBD concentrates 10% for Inflammatory pain
- Menstrual problems
- multiple sclerosis
- Anxiety disorders
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
CBD concentrates with 18% or 24% are mostly used when higher CBD doses are necessary to achieve the health goal.
This excerpt is only an orientation and serves as a guide. General statements regarding the correct dosage and concentration can hardly be made, since everybody reacts differently to it. In most cases, small doses can be successful.
The following factors influence the correct dosage determination:
- Health goal
- Stage of the disease
- Biology and metabolism of the patient
- Subjective sensation / sensitivity of the patient as the most important factor
- Endocannabinoid system of the patient: functioning and response to the CBD
- Body weight
- Body chemistry, including medication and food taken.
There are already a large number of studies that point out and confirm the positive effects of the CBD. However, the studies were mostly carried out with small numbers of cases, on animals or on isolated cells in the laboratory. Further clinical research is therefore necessary here. However, interest and the need for such studies are increasing.
CBD for animals too?
In addition to humans, animals can also benefit from the diverse spectrum of effects of the CBD. Like humans, they also have an endocannabinoid system in their body, which is why more and more pet owners are turning to CBD oils.
Dogs in particular are unique with regard to the endocannabinoid system because they have a higher concentration of receptors in the cerebellum and brain stem than other species and therefore have ideal conditions. The concentration or dosage of cannabis products in animals is fundamentally dependent on body weight and is lower than in humans.
It should also be mentioned that dogs, and especially cats, do not tolerate theobromine. Theobromine is included in chocolate, among other things. Consumption can cause poisoning and trigger various metabolic processes. Dogs and cats are very sensitive to certain substances.
In summary, it can be said that CBD does not experience such an upswing without reason. Thanks to its broad spectrum of activity, cannabidiol can be an ideal alternative to complementary treatment for a variety of complaints and diseases – both in humans and in animals.