Cannabidiol (CBD) is exploding across the supplement market. But where does it come from? What does it do? Is there any scientific proof to back it up? Who should take it? How can it help? We'll get to all of that, but let's start with CBD, itself.
CBD comes from the L. Sativa plant, is generally sourced from the stems of industrial hemp, and is the most prevalent compound found in hemp stalks. Unlike THC, the "high" compound concentrated in the flowers of L. Sativa, CBD is completely non-intoxicating. When combined with the 400-plus other lipids, terpenes, and phytocannabinoids, CBD can be refined into the oil you've been seeing all across the news.
But supplement fads come and go.
Cold, hard facts--for starters. Not only has the FDA just approved the patent for Epidiolex, the first hemp-derived anti-seizure medication, but scientists have been studying the possible pharmacological application of this treatment-diverse plant for decades.
Here are some of the interesting facts observed in the lab, and cited appropriately.
CBD works in the body in a variety of ways now undergoing more rigorous investigation. The most emphatic effect might lie in CBD's interaction with your body's Endocannabinoid System.
You have cannabinoid receptors practically everywhere. Your cells, immune cells, neurons, bones, organs, and glands are filled with receptor sites that can cooperate with CBD. These receptor sites respond to the natural cannabinoids your body already produces. The most prevalent of these endocannabinoids is called anandamide.
Anandamide comes from the sanskrit word ananda, which means bliss, joy, or happiness. This neurotransmitter regulates mood, digestion, cognition, cell growth, and a variety of other important jobs that support balance and homeostasis. CBD seems to work by limiting the production of FAAH, the acid that decreases your body's natural reserves of cannabinoids. Think of CBD as a cup of coffee that gives anandamide and other natural cannabinoids a boost so they can stay up longer and do their job in your body.
CBD and other cannabinoids found in Broad-Spectrum Oil resemble the neurotransmitters your body naturally produces. The phytocannabinoids in hemp fit like little plugs into the outlets of your Endocannabinoid receptors. CBD doesn't fit perfectly the way THC does (which is one of the reasons THC makes you feel high). CBD might have a much more subtle effect in the way it limits the production of harmful compounds and benignly communicates with other receptor systems in the body, including dopamine, opioid, and serotonin.
This holistic, system-wide approach is a hot topic in the world of science. Researchers want to pin down exactly how, at what point, and by what processes CBD performs the natural feats it appears to assist with. What we do know is how powerful and necessary the Endocannabinoid System is, and that CBD appears to support the maximum efficiency of that system.
When it comes to understanding CBD, you should always refer to data. The more you know, the easier it will be to make a decision if CBD might be the right addition to your self-care regimen. Research suggests CBD is non-habit-forming and may hold promise in the future areas of pain, inflammation, calm restoration, nausea, wear-and-tear oxidation, cell protection, athletic recovery, cognitive support, and overall mood. You be the judge of whether or not CBD is just another fad.
The data is promising.