Cannabidiol or CBD is a non-psychoactive compound from cannabis and hemp plants, technically known as a phytocannabinoid. Recently, its been gaining attention for its ability to reduce anxiety, manage pain and depression, eliminate or minimize seizures, provide anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective benefits as well as tone down the psycho-activity of THC. Methods of administrating CBD, such as inhalation, sublingual tablets or oral tinctures will all affect the onset, distribution and elimination time of the substance in your system. Research has also taught us that CBD has higher medicinal value when used alongside other cannabinoids in what is known as full spectrum and whole plant medicine. To put it as simply as possible, CBD isolate is highly reactive with the endocannabinoid system but full spectrum-CBD packs the most powerful punch.
The way it works…
Endocannabinoids act as circuit breakers throughout the endocannabinoid system (ECS), a network responsible for regulating physiological and pathological conditions like inflammation, epilepsy, addictive behavior, appetite, sleep and immune function. Although CBD is a cannabinoid, it does not directly interact with the CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors in the ECS. Instead, it increases levels of endocannabinoids like Anandamide (AEA) by inhibiting the enzyme that breaks them down, stimulating anti-depressant, anti-inflammatory and anxiolytic effects. In addition to the ECS, CBD increases the synthesis and release of serotonin, important for mood and stress management, and also binds to TRPV-1, a G-protein coupled receptor that regulates body temperature, pain and inflammation. Furthermore, researchers believe that the antitumorol quality of CBD can slow the growth of the ID-1 gene, which causes several aggressive cancers.
What is the “Entourage Effect?”
Whole plant medicine and the “Entourage Effect” both refer to a concept that when CBD is blended with other phytochemicals like THC, CBN, CBG, and terpenes, the resulting formulation achieves a greater therapeutic benefit than its isolated profile. CBD can change the binding effect of other cannabinoids and therefore is theorized to alter “endocannabinoid tones”, beneficial for many symptoms and medical conditions. If you experience stress-related anxiety from THC, full spectrum products can be used to tone down this cannabinoid’s psycho-activity. Depending on whether the CBD is cannabis derived or Hemp derived and its method of extraction, “full spectrum” CBD products will differ in cannabinoid blends and effects!
Methods of Administration:
The route one chooses for CBD supplementation is largely dependent on ones medical requirements and tolerance. Inhalation offers high bioavailability (the degree of absorption once a substance transfers into the bloodstream) and is very effective when in need of quick relief. Sublingual tablets, strips, and sprays also bypass metabolism in the liver, offering a higher bioavailability than most oral capsules and tinctures. When you eat, drink or swallow a pill, the compound travels through the gastrointestinal tract and has a lower absorption rate with a longer lasting effect because of its extended elimination process. The bioavailability of an oral administration is increased when it is made into a water-soluble formulation. Advantages of the oral route include easy administration and the need to medicate less frequently. CBD topical application helps chronic skin conditions, and reduces inflammation and soreness on the surface by blocking pain receptors. Topicals are usually infused into oil and blended with therapeutic or aromatic herbs for increased performance, and suppositories have a quick uptake that work more effectively than oral concoctions for localized ailments.
Become your own advocate!
Cannabis therapeutics is a highly individualized experience. By getting involved as your own health advocate, you will gain a greater confidence and sense of control as you navigate different treatment options and consumption methods. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and seek guidance! Look for products that have been grown using organic ingredients and have batch results from being lab tested for pesticides, toxic solvents and other harmful additives. Do your research on companies you are interested in trying product’s out from and always talk to your doctor or pharmacist about potential drug interactions. Sign up for my newsletter and stay up to date about new and advanced ways to use CBD!