CBD Education

An overlay of the word CBD and its molecular structure in black ink is complemented by a hemp burlap sack with a hemp flower and two amber-colored bottles and an eyedropper to indicate CBD oil.

 

The earliest known use of Cannabis Sativa for medicinal purposes was 5,000 years ago in ancient China, where it was prescribed as a natural remedy for muscle aches and pain. Over the centuries, growers recognized the many beneficial characteristics of Cannabis and bred the plant to separate those traits which led to Hemp.

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Hemp is a variety of Cannabis Sativa historically cultivated for industrial purposes such as making rope, paper, clothing, and fishing nets. Hemp Seeds, also known as hemp hearts, are an excellent nutritional source of essential fatty acids, protein, and micronutrients. The Hemp plant contains little tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the mind-altering cannabinoid found in Cannabis. Hemp and Cannabis are often contrasted as the drug-type (Cannabis) and the fiber-type (Hemp). Think about it like this: Tomatoes and eggplant are both parts of the Solanaceae or Nightshade family. Yet, they are completely different fruits. Cannabis and Hemp are similar—they are from the same family and share some characteristics but are more like cousins, not twins.

When THC was first extracted in the early 1960s along with CBD and the other Cannabinoids, it was assumed THC was the only active compound in Cannabis. Further research uncovered the medical benefits of CBD and the other non-psychoactive Cannabinoids.

A farmer outlined by morning light is standing in front of a tall hemp plant which is also outlined by the mid-morning sun.

 

Today, farmers grow agricultural Hemp for the same reasons as our ancestors with one exception. Cannabidiol (CBD) is produced in the leaves and flowers of industrial Hemp and can be extracted along with the other oils without the psychoactive risks associated with THC. In fact, the levels of THC are way too low to produce any changes in the brain since Hemp was first cultivated primarily for its fibers.

Hemp oil provides other phytocannabinoids (Phyto means plant) that contribute to CBD’s therapeutic action in the body. In fact, this combinatory synergy of compounds is referred to as the “entourage effect” by the scientists studying cannabinoids.

The medicinal benefits of CBD are being tested and confirmed by scientists, physicians, and the lay public. Researchers studying CBD consider it a multi-target drug because it works in so many different areas of the body to restore homeostasis (balance).

 

    How CBD Works

      

      PAIN

    CBD works through the body’s pain pathways to naturally inhibit the processing of noxious pain signals.
     CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system to restore balance to the body. CBD prevents the breakdown of the body's own cannabinoids by blocking the action of Fatty Acid Amide Hydrolase (FAAH), an enzyme that breaks down Anandamide our bliss molecule. 

      

      CALM

    CBD inhibits the enzymatic breakdown of the endocannabinoid Anandamide, which promotes feelings of happiness & wellbeing. Since Anandamide causes positive changes in emotions it was named after the Sanskrit word Ananda which means extreme happiness. 

      SLEEP 

    CBD supports the action of the sleepy neurochemical adenosine. During the day, adenosine builds up as a byproduct of energy production and by evening it saturates the brain suppressing arousal and promoting tiredness.

       

      CBD Bioavailability

      Bioavailability describes how much of something you ingest is actually utilized by the body. According to recent studies, only 6-12% of CBD is actually absorbed and made bioavailable to the body following oral consumption. That means you swallowed 100% CBD and only 6% made it to your cells. 

      Why is CBD difficult to absorb?

      CBD and other phytocannabinoids are lipophilic, which means they love fat and hate water. This makes CBD incompatible with the (hydrophilic) watery environment of the body’s drug delivery system. 

      Nanotechnology to the rescue!

      Nano refers to a molecule that is so small, you need powerful instruments like an electron microscope to see it. In the world of digestion, nanoparticles are smaller than a human cell and move easily through the body to their target sites. But that’s not the real magic. Nano-CBD is made compatible with water. That’s why Nano is so much better than just regular CBD which remains in a fat-loving state 

      An infographic on nano-CBD that visually communicates the absorbability of nano-enhanced CBD using an abstract human outline with an artery extended from the body and blood cells circulating amidst small nano-sized water droplets.

      CBD Nanotechnology for Maximum Bioavailability

      The research on Nanotechnology is still early but already shows promise as one of the best methods for maximizing the bioavailability of CBD and other fat-loving phytocannabinoids. Nano-CBD has the advantage of being more compatible with the hydrophilic (watery) systems of the body. This is because Nanotechnology takes something fat-loving such as CBD and makes it behave like a water-loving molecule. 

      Nano-CBD works

      Many industry experts predict that Nano-CBD is the way of the future. Already companies with advanced delivery systems such as Nano-CBD are receiving positive feedback from their customers. Nanotechnology is a promising tool that will make it easier to consume CBD without the worry that only a small percentage is made available to your cells. So the big question, how much Nano-CBD can actually reach your cells intact? Based on studies showing the effectiveness of nanotechnology in medicine, it’s estimated that 100% of Nano-CBD absorbs into the body. Compared to regular CBD, Nano-CBD provides 5x the anti-anxiety, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotective benefits!  We’ve found the solution by utilizing nanotechnology. Nano-Enhanced CBD has close to a 100% bioavailability, which means more CBD reaches your cells intact.

       

      A young female scientist in a lab with microscopes is wearing a protective breathing mask, and clear safety glasses while inspecting a vial.

       

      Is CBD safe?

      Yes, CBD is safe and well-tolerated by adults, and pets.  

      Is CBD legal?

       

      Yes, the 2018 Farm Bill signed into law by the president includes a provision that allows for the farming and cultivation of Hemp in all 50 states. 

      Why Broad Spectrum CBD is better than Full Spectrum?

      When companies extract CBD from the flowers and leaves of Hemp, they can either keep the entire spectrum of compounds which are naturally produced in the plant or remove some and keep others. Full Spectrum CBD contains the whole plant extract, meaning nothing’s left out. This includes all of the cannabinoids, even THC, terpenes, and plant nutrients. Advocates of Full Spectrum point out the superior benefits of the whole plant extract, which creates what researches refer to as the “entourage effect.” This describes the beneficial synergy of all of the compounds working together to relieve pain and protect the body from stress and anxiety. The downside to Full Spectrum is the presence of the mind-altering cannabinoid THC. If a customer works at a job that requires random drug screenings, Full Spectrum might put them at risk of failing a drug test. Even if the company claims there’s only 0.03% THC, over time this can build up in their system and result in a failed drug test.  

      Broad Spectrum delivers all the therapeutic benefits of Full Spectrum such as the “entourage effect” without the risks associated with the presence of THC. Even if you're not required to undergo drug testing for work, Broad Spectrum might still be the best option for you. Recent studies show THC might temporarily reduce the number of cannabinoid receptors in the body, meaning you would need to increase your intake of CBD to activate the full healing effects of the endocannabinoid system.  Bottom line, Broad Spectrum is the superior form of CBD that offers the same benefits as Full Spectrum without the potential hazards of THC.

      What is the Endocannabinoid System?

      The Endocannabinoid System was first discovered in the late 1980s by scientists studying the movement of THC in the brain. At that time, researchers had already identified several molecules from the Cannabis plant which they named cannabinoids. The endocannabinoid system takes its name after the plant that led to its discovery—Cannabis. Until recently, much of the available science on Cannabis and Cannabinoids was quietly circulating among a few researchers.

      The picture shows a square bottle with CBD oil on a stone counter and blurred background with hemp flower on the cap and the side of the glass container.

      With the legalization of Cannabis in many states, and the growing awareness of the medicinal benefits of Cannabinoids in treating chronic diseases and supporting general wellness, an explosion of information is being made available to the medical community and the lay public who are taking what is being discovered and transforming the lives of their patients and families.  

      • Cannabinoid: Is any naturally occurring compound found in Cannabis such THC and CBD. cannabinoids such as CBD are “well-keyed” into our biology.
      • Endo: Comes before a word to indicate anything produced in the body.
      • Endo-cannabinoid: Is a naturally occurring cannabinoid produced within the body. The most studied endocannabinoids are Anandamide, which takes its name from the Sanskrit word Ananda, meaning happiness, bliss, and 2-AG.
      • Phyto-cannabinoid (Phyto means plant) such as CBD is extracted from the leaves and flowers of Hemp for its therapeutic benefits.  
      • Cannabinoid Receptor CB1 is concentrated in the brain in areas that control movement, addiction, emotion, and memory.
      • Cannabinoid Receptor CB2 is located in areas involved in inflammation, pain, mood, and immunity.

       

      This image is an illustrative graphic of the human endocannabinoid system with text describing the benefits of the endocannabinoid system.

      The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) is made up of cell surface receptors, endocannabinoids, and enzymes. The ECS plays an important role in fertility, pregnancy, brain development, feeding, appetite, pain, mood & emotional memory. The cannabinoid receptors making up the ECS are found in almost every organ of the body, especially the brain, the body’s perceptual organ. Everything we feel and perceive occurs within our central and peripheral nervous systems. Scientists have discovered more cannabinoid receptors in the nervous system than any other type of receptor. The primary function of the ECS is to maintain balance within the body. Researchers studying the action of the ECS discovered that the endocannabinoids and enzymes of the ECS work backward to regulate physical responses to environmental and emotional changes. The overall stabilizing activities of the ECS support the ability to relax, eat, sleep, and forget.

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      Important Functions of the ECS

      • Endocannabinoids elevate to stabilize our stress response.
      • The ECS is integral in deleting painful memories (Our ability to forget traumatic events allows us to live without continually reproducing the emotions of those memories, e.g., PTSD).
      • Cannabinoids are created on demand to block the perception of pain.

      Endocannabinoid System Deficiency

      Everyone has a certain baseline Endocannabinoid Tone or Function that reflects the levels of the two primary endocannabinoids Anandamide and 2-AG. The Endocannabinoid Tone includes the functions of the Endocannabinoid Receptors (CB1, & CB2), and the activity of the enzymes that create and breakdown Anandamide & 2-AG. The current theory states that Endocannabinoid Deficiency underlies many conditions such as chronic pain, migraines, and depression. Research suggests that if Endocannabinoid Function is decreased, it leads to a lowered pain threshold, digestive inflammation, anxiety, and possible sleep disturbances. Each of these areas is stabilized by the Endocannabinoid System. Phytocannabinoids like CBD can restore Endocannabinoid Functions by preventing the inactivation of endocannabinoids like Anandamide and 2-AG.  

       

      References

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      2. Crippa, José Alexandre S, Guilherme Nogueira Derenusson, Thiago Borduqui Ferrari, Lauro Wichert-Ana, Fábio Ls Duran, Rocio Martin-Santos, Marcus Vinícius Simões, Sagnik Bhattacharyya, Paolo Fusar-Poli, Zerrin Atakan, Alaor Santos Filho, Maria Cecília Freitas-Ferrari, Philip K. Mcguire, Antonio Waldo Zuardi, Geraldo F. Busatto, and Jaime Eduardo Cecílio Hallak. "Neural Basis of Anxiolytic Effects of Cannabidiol (CBD) in Generalized Social Anxiety Disorder: A Preliminary Report." Journal of Psychopharmacology 25, no. 1 (2010): 121-30. doi:10.1177/0269881110379283.
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      4. Maione, Sabatino, Fabiana Piscitelli, Luisa Gatta, Daniela Vita, Luciano De Petrocellis, Enza Palazzo, Vito De Novellis, and Vincenzo Di Marzo. "Non-psychoactive Cannabinoids Modulate the Descending Pathway of Antinociception in Anaesthetized Rats through Several Mechanisms of Action." British Journal of Pharmacology162, no. 3 (2011): 584-96. doi:10.1111/j.1476-5381.2010.01063.x.
      5. Zanelati, T., Biojone, C., Moreira, F., Guimarães, F., & Joca, S. (2009). Antidepressant-like effects of cannabidiol in mice: possible involvement of 5-HT1A receptors. British Journal of Pharmacology,159(1), 122-128. doi:10.1111/j.1476-5381.2009.00521.x
      6. Bakas, T., Van Nieuwenhuijzen, P., Devenish, S., McGregor, I., Arnold, J., & Chebib, M. (2017). The direct actions of cannabidiol and 2-arachidonoyl glycerol at GABA A receptors. Pharmacological Research, 119, 358-370. doi:10.1016/j.phrs.2017.02.022
      7. Carrier, E. J., Auchampach, J. A., & Hillard, C. J. (2006). Inhibition of an equilibrative nucleoside transporter by cannabidiol: A mechanism of cannabinoid immunosuppression. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 103(20), 7895-7900. doi:10.1073/pnas.0511232103
      8. Corroon, J., & Phillips, J. A. (2018). A Cross-Sectional Study of Cannabidiol Users. Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, 3(1), 152-161. doi:10.1089/can.2018.0006 
      9. Fine, P. G., & Rosenfeld, M. J. (2013). The Endocannabinoid System, Cannabinoids, and Pain. Rambam Maimonides Medical Journal, 4(4). doi:10.5041/rmmj.10129 
      10. Blessing, E. M., Steenkamp, M. M., Manzanares, J., & Marmar, C. R. (2015). Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders. Neurotherapeutics, 12(4), 825-836. doi:10.1007/s13311-015-0387-1
      11. Welty, T. E., Luebke, A., & Gidal, B. E. (2014). Cannabidiol: Promise and Pitfalls. Epilepsy Currents, 14(5), 250-252. doi:10.5698/1535-7597-14.5.250 
      12. Bruni, N., Della Pepa, C., Oliaro-Bosso, S., Pessione, E., Gastaldi, D., & Dosio, F. (2018). Cannabinoid Delivery Systems for Pain and Inflammation Treatment. Molecules, 23(10), 2478. doi:10.3390/molecules23102478 
      13. Battista, N., Di Tommaso, M., Bari, M., & Maccarrone, M. (2012). The endocannabinoid system: an overview. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 6. doi:10.3389/fnbeh.2012.00009
      14. Chanda, D., Neumann, D., & Glatz, J. F. (2019). The endocannabinoid system: Overview of an emerging multi-faceted therapeutic target. Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids, 140, 51-56. doi:10.1016/j.plefa.2018.11.016 
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      16. Russo, E. B. (2016). Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency Reconsidered: Current Research Supports the Theory in Migraine, Fibromyalgia, Irritable Bowel, and Other Treatment-Resistant Syndromes. Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, 1(1), 154-165. doi:10.1089/can.2016.0009