1. Exactly What is CBD Oil? – The Basics
CBD is short for cannabidiol that’s “Can-a-bid-eye-ol”. It’s an oil which comes from cannabis plants, but it doesn’t get you high. The high associated with Marijuana is from THC, an entirely different chemical.
2. How are CBD and THC Different?
Another way of answering our initial question, “What is CBD oil?” is to say what it’s not. CBD and THC are not the same in two major ways. Look at how the two chemicals are different. At the bottom you’ll notice a one-atom difference between both of them.
What’s the big deal about one atom?
A LOT! Everyone knows that atoms are tiny things, but even changing the place of a single atom makes them have very different effects on the body.
That brings us to the second difference. Chemicals like THC and CBD work because they bind to receptors in the body. CBD binds to a receptor scientists call CB2. THC binds to receptors called CB1. This sets CBD oil apart from marijuana-containing compounds that have THC.
3. CBD Oil Won’t Give you a High
Remember CB2 receptors, the ones that CBD oil effects? Well, they’re found mainly outside the brain. Because of this, they simply don’t have the psychotropic ability.
More recent research has found that there are a small number of CB2 receptors in the brain. But when these receptors were studied in mice, no psychotropic effects were found. However, other interesting effects were!
4. CBD Oil Binds THC Receptors in a Unique Way
When scientists talk about chemicals and their receptors they love to compare them to locks and keys. Many chemicals work like keys which unlocks the receptor and activates it. Like turning on a car. On a CB2 receptor, this is how CBD works. CBD works a little different.
CBD works on CB1 receptors like rust on a lock. It makes it a little harder for that key to work and unlock the receptor. So products like CBD oil weaken the ability of THC to act on CB1 receptors. This is one of the reasons why synthetic cannabinoids are so dangerous – they bind too strongly to CB1 receptors and don’t have THC there to weaken the effect.
5. CBD Oil May help with Anxiety and Addiction.
Remember fact three when I said that CBD had some interesting effects in the brain, where we have a tiny number of CB2 receptors? Well research is starting to show that it can reduce anxiety and addictive behaviors through modulating the dopamine pathways.
This fifth point is the last really nitty-gritty scientific answer to the question “What is CBD oil?” Now, let’s get into some of the fun research!
5. CBD Oil Has Anti-Inflammatory Properties.
Those CB2 receptors we were just talking about. Well guess where a lot of them are found? In part of our immune system called T-Cells. When T-Cells become activated it can lead to inflammatory problems.
When CBD binds the CB2 receptors on T-Cells, researchers found that it reduces the activation and inflammation of the T-Cells. The potential future therapies are exciting, and many people are already reporting that it’s helping them with problems like IBS.
6. CBD Oil May be able to Treat-Autoimmune Diseases
The same T-cells responsible for inflammatory reactions also are involved in autoimmune responses. Research is starting to show that CBD oil may help with auto-immune diseases, when used as a part of a focused treatment. Remember, always consult your doctor before starting supplements like CBD oil!
7. What is CBD Oil’s Legal status?
In *Most* states CBD oil is legal, as long as it’s derived from Hemp. If the CBD oil is derived from marijuana, it gets murkier and may or may not be legal depending on the state. Also keep in mind that marijuana, is still illegal on the federal level (as of the time of this writing). Here’s a great WebMD article on the legality of CBD oil.
In no state can companies claim that CBD oil can treat or cure a condition. There’s a lot of exciting research that’s starting to say CBD oil MAY help with anxiety, depression, inflammation, auto-immune, and so on. But company’s can’t claim that without FDA approval.
8. Will CBD Oil Cure my Health Problem?
No company can claim that CBD oil can treat or cure any health condition or impart any health benefit. There’s a lot of exciting research that’s starting to say CBD oil MAY help with anxiety, depression, inflammation, auto-immune, and so on. But a company’s can’t claim that it can do these things without medical trials and FDA approval. Many companies will be tempted to answer the question “What is CBD Oil” with the claim that it’s some sort of miracle drug. Don’t fall for it, and stay up on the research.
9. If You Plan on Taking CBD Oil, Tell Your Doctor!
CBD oil is a supplement just like any other. Ever hear that you drinking grapefruit juice will cause the Statins, a drug for high cholesterol, to work less well?
Guess what, CBD oil may cause other drugs not to work so well too! It’s really important that you always let your doctor know your plans and what you’re taking so he can work with you. Like we say in another post on the site – be your own best advocate!
10. Not all CBD oil is created equal
Question: What is CBD Oil when you grow it in polluted soil? Answer: Not something I’d recommend you take!
Most of the places that sell CBD oil gets it from Hemp – a natural filter. Make sure you research the types of ground the Hemp has been grown in before you buy the CBD oil. It’s great that hemp can filter soil this way, but you probably don’t want it passing those pollutants on into any sort of supplement you take!