Endocannabinoid System

CBD: What it is, how it affects the body and who it might help.

CBD has exploded onto the market, leaving a lot of confused consumers in its wake. Get up to speed with this beginner’s guide.

BY: DANIELLE KOSECKI

This story discusses substances that are legal in some places but not in others. You shouldn’t do things that are illegal, and this story does not endorse illegal drug use.

If it seems like you’re seeing CBD products everywhere, that’s because you are. Thanks to the passage of the US Farm Bill in 2018, which legalized industrial hemp, and the legalization of medical and recreational cannabis at the state level, CBD products have exploded in availability and popularity over the last year.

Depending on where you live, you can find them at CVS, your local gas station, pet stores — even Carl’s Jr. And the industry shows no signs of slowing down: Sales of CBD products are expected to exceed $5 billion this year, a 706% increase over 2018, according to the Brightfield Group, a cannabis-focused research firm.

The only thing spreading faster than CBD appears to be confusion over what exactly it is and who it’s for. Whether you’re already a user or are just CBD curious, this primer will help you cut through the misinformation and get up to speed.

What is CBD?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a chemical compound from the cannabinoid family that naturally occurs in the cannabis plant. Scientists have isolated 108 different types of cannabinoids in cannabis.

Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is probably the best-known thanks to its psychoactive properties — it’s the one that gets you “high” — but CBD is quickly gaining ground due to its potential therapeutic benefits.

How does CBD work?
CBD (and THC) work by interacting with our body’s endocannabinoid system, a regulatory system made up of naturally occurring cannabis-like molecules. These endocannabinoids, as they’re called, work like neurotransmitters, shuttling messages through the body to help maintain homeostasis. Cannabinoids like CBD and THC interact with the endocannabinoid system at two known receptors: CB1 and CB2.

Here’s Why Gen-Z Are Turning To CBD Skincare

Zoe Wong Contributor

Health trends come and go but one wellness phenomenon that shows no sign of slowing is CBD. CBD, otherwise known as cannabidiol, is indisputably one of the hottest health topics right now, with CBD products now available on the high-street in food and beverages and no longer restricted to supplements from a pharmacy. According to the Cannabis Trades Association U.K., the number of CBD users has doubled over the past year from 125,000 to 250,000 and the acquisition of This Works, the British beauty and wellness brand, by Canopy Growth, the world’s largest cannabis company, is just one of many examples highlighting the growing presence of CBD in the U.K. market. 

Used for a variety of ailments from pain relief to anxiety and depression, CBD oil should not be confused with cannabis use, which has previously been linked with causingdepression in teenagers by the NHS. Shiona Redmond, CBD expert and creator of Graces London, a luxury CBD oil beauty and lifestyle brand, explains that CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid from the cannabis plant, whereas tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the psychoactive cannabinoid that creates the “high” commonly associated with marijuana use. Because CBD contains less than 0.2% of the psychoactive THC it is, therefore, legal to buy and consume in the U.K. 

The increasing popularity of CBD in the U.K. is perhaps a delayed reflection of the success in the U.S., where legal sales of marijuana products surpassed $10 billion in 2018. Bolstered by a growing cohort of Gen-Z consumers, who are twice as likely to use CBD than the national average, it’s no surprise that CBD uptake in the U.K. has grown so quickly, given that 1 in 5 young adults have a diagnosable mental health disorder.

CBD as a Superbug Antibiotic?

June 24, 2019 — Cannabidiol, or CBD, already being researched and used for anxiety, insomnia, epilepsy and pain, may be the next superbug fighter for resistant infections, a new study suggests.

The researchers tested CBD against a wide variety of bacteria, ”including bacteria that have become resistant to the most commonly used antibiotics,” says Mark Blaskovich, PhD, senior research officer at the Centre for Superbug Solutions at the Institute for Molecular Bioscience at the University of Queensland in Australia.

The development is important, as antibiotic resistance is reaching dangerously high levels, according to the World Health Organization.

What the Research Shows

CBD is a non-psychoactive compound taken from cannabis and hemp; it does not produce the high that regular marijuana does. To date, the FDA has only approved CBD for treating rare and severe forms of seizure, although it is promoted for many other health benefits.

Blaskovich presented the research Sunday at the American Society for Microbiology annual meeting. The research includes work in test tubes and animal models. Research presented at meetings should be viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.

“The first thing we looked at is CBD’s ability to kill bacteria,” he says. “In every case, CBD had a very similar potency to that of common antibiotics.”

The researchers tested the CBD against some strains of staphylococcus,which cause skin infections, and streptococcus, which cause strep throat.

They compared how effective CBD was compared to common antibiotics, such as vancomycin and daptomycin. “We looked at how quickly the CBD killed the bacteria. It’s quite fast, within 3 hours, which is pretty good. Vancomycin (Vancocin) kills over 6 to 8 hours.”

The CBD also disrupted the biofilm, the layer of ”goop” around bacteria that makes it more difficult for the antibiotic to penetrate and kill.

Finally, the lab studies showed that “CBD is much less likely to cause resistance than the existing antibiotics,” Blaskovich says.

The CBD ”is selective for the type of bacteria,” he says.

He found it effective against gram-positive bacteria but not gram-negative. Gram-positive bacteria cause serious skin infections and pneumonia, among other conditions. Gram-negative bacteria include salmonella (found in undercooked foods) and E. coli (the cause of urinary tract infections, diarrhea, and other ailments), among other bacteria.

In another study, also presented at the meeting, the researchers tested topical CBD to treat a skin infection on mice. It cut the number of bacteria after 48 hours, Blaskovich says, although it did not clear the infection. That research is ongoing.

 

You & Your Endocannabinoid System

Most people have heard an earful about the health benefits of CBD — its effects on stress-response, inflammation & immunity, pain, mood, and more — but the question of how and why CBD works opens a window onto a vast & complex system that science is still making sense of: the Endocannabinoid System (ECS).

The outlines of the ECS emerged during the 1960s and 70s, from research into the effects of cannabis on the human body.

Scientists were able to isolate numerous phytochemicals from the cannabis plant — phytocannabinoids (“phyto” means “plant”) — and by studying their effects revealed a web of receptors, enzymes, and biochemical pathways involved in manufacturing & using the body’s own form of cannabinoids: endocannabinoids (“endo“ means “originating within the body”).

Although research focused primarily on humans and other mammals, it turned out that we share these neurochemicals with most members of the animal kingdom, including mammals, birds, amphibians, fish, and even sea urchins. It’s now clear that the endocannabinoid system (ECS) evolved almost 600 million years ago.

Because the ECS arose so early, as animals evolved into more complex beings it became connected to many different physiological and neurological functions — which we’ll explore more in future articles. For now, here is a brief introduction to this vital system…

Stars of the Endocannabinoid System

  • Endocannabinoids (eCBs)
  • Cannabinoid receptors (CB receptors)
  • Enzymes that synthesize and break down eCBs

Endocannabinoids (eCBs)

Neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine are chemical messengers of the nervous system. Similarly, endocannabinoids (eCBs) are the messengers of the ECS, and are produced throughout your body.

The two key eCBs circulating in your body are anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol. Just like the phytocannabinoids in cannabis, these neurotransmitters are built from lipids (fats or oils). (The lipid-based structure of cannabinoids is the reason why THC and CBD are fat-soluble…and why your typical cannabis or hemp extract is delivered in an oil base like coconut or butter.)

Anandamide was discovered in the 1990s and gets its name from the Sanskrit word ananda, or “bliss.” This molecule operates throughout the endocannabinoid system and is involved with appetite, memory, and pregnancy, to name just a few of its functions. It’s even been identified as the source of the “runner’s high” experienced during or after intense exercise.

CBD Eases Anxiety and Cravings of Heroin Addiction, New Study Finds

Every day, more than 130 people in the U.S. die after overdosing on opioids, according to a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services report from 2018. Addressing the opioid crisis with all the resources possible must be a top priority for government and scientists. The misuse of and addiction to opioids – including heroin, pain relievers, and synthetic opioids – is a snowballing, serious national crisis that affects public health.

A new study finds cannabidiol, the non-psychoactive ingredient in hemp and marijuana, could treat opioid addiction. 

The intense craving is what drives the drug use. If we can have the medications that can dampen that [craving], that can greatly reduce the chance of relapse and overdose risk,” noted Yasmin Hurd, the lead researcher on the study and director of the Addiction Institute of Mount Sinai. The study found that CBD immediately helped reduce cravings among heroin users, and it also noted the effects seemed to last seven days after the subjects were administered CBD, well beyond the time the drug is expected to be present in the body. The results of the study are published in the American Journal of Psychiatry.  

A team of New York-based scientists suggest CBD may have a role in helping to break the cycle of addiction.  Researchers at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York found a promising new use of CBD: a reduction of cravings and anxiety in individuals with a history of heroin abuse.  This is certainly welcome news as CBD may help break heroin drug addiction.

To address the critical need for new treatment options for the millions of people and families who are being devastated by this epidemic, we initiated a study to assess the potential of a nonintoxicating cannabinoid on craving and anxiety in heroin-addicted individuals,” explained lead study author Yasmin Hurd.

 

New CBD Flower in Wisconsin! Just $20 1/8th ounce

When quality flower is becoming more and more scarce, One Health WI
has reliable, 3rd party tested flower at over 20% cannabinoids.

What is CBD flower good for?  Here are just a few examples:

First, there are LOADS of recipes you can use and here are some
samples to get you started.  It may also save you money, depending on
your needed dose of CBD.

Our friends from Harvest, have these suggestions:

TWO ESSENTIAL TIPS FOR THE BEST CBD RECIPES
If you’re brand new to cooking or creating with cannabis, there are
two important factors to note when using flower in recipes, regardless
of whether you’re making food or body products.

Cannabinoids, both THC and CBD, need to be decarboxylated for maximum
benefit. Don’t let the term confuse you. It’s a simple process that
involves tossing your flower in the oven on low heat. Here are some
simple decarboxylation instructions.
Cannabidiol is fat soluble, which means it breaks down and is stored
in fat. This is why recipes often call for cannabis-infused oils or
butters, instead of flower.
7 CBD FLOWER RECIPES TO ADD TO YOUR RECIPE BOX
Here are a few ways you can incorporate CBD flower into your food,
supplements and personal care routines.

CBD COCONUT OIL
Some people believe that coconut oil is the best way to gain maximum
benefits from CBD. Because cannabidiol is fat soluble and coconut oil
is 80% saturated fat, coconut oil a great binding agent for
cannabinoids that supports efficient absorption in the blood stream
and across the rest of the body.

There are seemingly endless ways to use coconut oil. You can cook with
it, bake with it, add it to your coffee or rub it on your skin.
Whether you’re consuming it or applying it topically, by using
CBD-infused coconut oil, you get the benefits of both powerful
ingredients.

If you’ve never made CBD coconut oil, here’s our recipe.

CBD HONEY
There’s nothing like a little honey to soothe your body and soul. It
has a host of known health benefits. And few things go better with
honey than a little cannabis.

CBD-infused honey is just as simple to make as CBD oil. Plus, it’s
versatile enough to include in a variety of dishes. Break out the
baking pans, spread it on some toast or get out the baking pans.

CBD TEA
Speaking of tea… Cannabis flower makes a natural addition to homemade teas.

Tea is a lovely way to combine CBD with other herbs in order to get
specific effects. Consider blending your CBD flower with:

Peppermint CBD for upset stomachs
Chamomile CBD to reduce anxiety and promote a good night’s sleep
Black or green tea leaves mixed with CBD for a caffeine boost or to
knock out a headache
For more subtle effects, you can skip decarboxylation, dry out your
flower and toss it in a tea ball. If you want stronger results,
remember to pop your flower in the oven before making your tea blend.
And consider adding some coconut oil or heavy creamer to your tea to
increase cannabinoid absorption.

CBD KOMBUCHA
Kombucha has been consumed for more than 2,000 years to improve
digestion, along with a host of other benefits. Given cannabis’s
benefits for nausea, digestive issues and overall gut health, coupling
kombucha with CBD might just be a match made in heaven.

CBD-infused kombucha and other beverages are starting to pop up in
breweries across the country. But you don’t need to be near a trendy
pub to enjoy some CBD kombucha. You really can make it at home. Here’s
a simple recipe for cannabis kombucha. This one uses store-bought
kombucha, but if you’re feeling up for a challenge, you can certainly
make yours from scratch.

CBD SEASONING
If you’re just getting started using cannabis in the kitchen, one of
the easiest ways to include into recipes is to add it as a seasoning.
Just dry a batch of flower out in the oven and crush it up. CBD
seasoning makes a great addition a multitude of dishes, especially
those with an Italian flare.

If you want your CBD recipes to be nutritious and delicious, Here’s a
phenomenal guide to help you determine which recipes and herbs to pair
your CBD seasoning with.

CBD CAPSULES
Not everyone is a fan of the way cannabis changes the flavor of their
food. If you’re one of these people, there is an alternative way to
ingest your cannabinoids. Consider making CBD capsules.

Canna caps can especially be the right option for people who are
already taking vitamins or other supplements. This Leafly article has
a great recipe, plus tips for controlling dosage.

CBD BATH BOMBS
Topical products are great remedies for those using CBD for pain
relief. Bath bombs and bath salts can be a lovely way to incorporate
CBD into your body care routine. While you can find some of these
products at your local Harvest dispensary, they’re fun and easy to
make at home.

You can just toss your dried flower into your bath, but we recommend
making a CBD-infused coconut oil and adding the oil to a bath bombs
recipe. The coconut oil will enhance the effects of the CBD so you get
more health benefits from your medicine.

Beyond the basic CBD bath bomb recipe, consider using essential oils,
food coloring and shaping molds to customize your bath bombs.

GET STARTED MAKING YOUR CBD RECIPES
Although smoking cannabis flower has culturally been the most common
method of consumption, that doesn’t mean it’s the best. There are no
shortage of ways you can use CBD and other cannabinoids to enhance
your physical health.

So, pick up a bag of cannabis flower, break out your recipe cards and
start experimenting today. We’d love to hear how your CBD recipes turn
out!

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