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New to CBD or just want to learn more?

As the owner of a CBD Brand, I spend a fair amount of time talking customers who are new to CBD and want to know more. So, with this I wanted to write an article that hopefully explains some of this to you in a clear and precise way so you can make the best decision for you.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is now very popular and a multimillion-pound UK market. Many people use CBD for medical purposes despite the producers’ inability to make medical claims. It is now common for doctors and pharmacists to be asked about CBD products.

Different types of CBD

CBD is commonly used in a variety of methods. Most commonly it is ingested in an oil, capsule, or gummy. It can also be vaped in the form of a concentrate or as a vape juice.  The hemp flowers (like cannabis flowers but contain no THC) can also be smoked or vaporized) it can also be applied topically to the skin in the form of a balm, cream or absorbent patch.

Ingest able CBD

Most CBD oil you buy in a shop or online usually comes in 10ml (sometimes 30ml) glass dropper bottles. The CBD is melted into a carrier oil. The most common carrier oils are MCT oil (Coconut oil derivative), hemp seed oil or olive oil. You may also see CBD in capsules or as gummy sweets. This has been brought to market because many people seem to dislike the taste of CBD. The oil is the best way to consume CBD because if you place the desired drops under the tongue or rubbed into the gums and hold for 20 seconds minimum, this will increase the bioavailability allowing you to absorb more cannabinoids. Taking CBD in this way will last for around 6-8 hours.

Smoking/vaporizing CBD

Smoking or vaporising CBD is the quickest way to get cannabinoids into the bloodstream. You can buy CBD hemp flowers, hash or concentrates known as crumble or shatter. Currently CBD/Hemp flowers are illegal in the UK but the others are not. The concentrates are usually a form of distillate with added terpenes where as CBD vape juice is CBD mixed in a glyceryl base. Taking CBD in this format is almost instant in its effect and can last for up to around 3 hours.

Topical CBD

CBD balms or creams are applied directly to the skin and do not enter the bloodstream. As the largest organ in the human body the skin is an effective barrier against potentially harmful matter. However, it can also act as an effective molecular pathway, able to deliver beneficial substances that are directly absorbed, at the point of application. This administration method can affect skin, muscle, and organs. So balms and creams can work directly at the source. This is why it can be used for a variety of things from sore muscles to face creams. (You can read more about this in another blog post by us)

 How the CBD is extracted from the Hemp Plant

You may see CBD labelled in differently, that is because it can be extracted in different ways. The three types of CBD you will see are Full Spectrum, Broad spectrum and Isolate or synthetic CBD. 

Full Spectrum

CBD oil uses a refined CBD extract. The key compounds of cannabinoids and terpenes will be present along with some flavonoids. The fats, lipids, waxes, and chlorophyll have usually been removed resulting in a very high-quality CBD oil. Full-Spectrum CBD oil fully benefits from the entourage effect. Full-spectrum CBD oil will contain controlled cannabinoids such as THC, CBN, or THCV. If the combined total amount of controlled cannabinoids is over 1mg per container, then the product is classed as a Schedule 1 drug under the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001 and is not legal to sell over-the-counter.

 Broad Spectrum

Broad spectrum CBD oil uses a further refined CBD extract. The key compounds of cannabinoid and terpenes will be present with trace amounts of flavonoids. The fats, lipids, waxes, and chlorophyll have usually been removed. Controlled cannabinoids such as THC, CBN, and THCV have also been removed or largely removed. If the residual amount of controlled cannabinoids is less than 1mg per container then the broad spectrum product will be legal to sell over the counter as a food supplement. Broad spectrum CBD oil benefits from the entourage effect although not as much as full spectrum due to the loss of direct receptor binding cannabinoid such as THC CBN or THCV.

Isolate or Synthetic 

Some products use isolate or synthetic CBD. Isolate CBD is made from whole plant, but all cannabinoids and terpenes have been removed These oils do not benefit from the entourage effect and the effectiveness can be biphasic once hitting optimal dosage effects begin to reverse or diminish even when dosages are increased. Isolate or synthetic CBD does not contain controlled cannabinoids like THC, CBN or THCV. Therefore, they are not classified as schedule one drugs and may be sold as a food supplement. The advantage that CBD isolate has is that WADA approves it for professional athletes. The WADA does not approve the use of any other cannabinoid in competition, whether controlled or not. Isolate CBD or synthetic CBD are usually consistent and more pharmaceutical than plant-based products

Dosage & Labelling

Most CBD oil should be labelled correctly, explaining what type of CBD is in it and the dosage. The total amount of cannabinoids usually come measured in milligrams (mg), although they may also be measured in percentages so for example.

500mg is 5% 1000mg is 10% etc

Dosing is a difficult issue, The FSA (food standards agency) recently set their recommend daily dose of CBD to 70mg. We are not aware of any scientific research for this recommendation. Indeed, as the average dose of CBD for medical benefits is between 60-100mg per day, then adhering to the 70mg per day many consumers will miss out on the potential benefits.

The Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society said in their recent pamphlet ‘CBD recommendations for good practise’ (of which we are a recommended company and you can find links to on our website) that as doctors and consumers, CBD products should be labelled correctly. They believe all CBD products should be labelled as the following.

1, CBD content and type, an indication of how much and what type of CBD the product contains

2, Dosing information / suggestion

3, Safety information, compliance with standards for contaminants, etc

4, Labelling, appliance with food labelling standard, warnings etc

5, Controlled drug legislation

6, No medical claims are made.

 Certificate of Analysis (COA)

Every batch of CBD once extracted is third party lab tested by the grower and often by any middle company. Then when I buy my CBD to make my products, I will be sent a copy of this lab report. You can usually find the COA in the lab reports section of the website. The lab report will mainly show the cannabinoid content of the CBD, showing the amount of CBD and other minor Cannabinoids. This will show that the product made from this is legal and not breaking any laws.

How Does CBD interact with the Endocannabinoid System?

Due to the law, we cannot make any claims into what CBD can do when ingested through an oil, gummy or vape but I can explain, using scientific research what happens when you consume CBD and how it interacts with your Endocannabinoid system (ECS)

The endocannabinoid system is a complex cell-signalling system identified in 1994 by Lumír Hanuš. Experts are still trying to fully understand the ECS. But so far, we know it plays a role in regulating a range of functions and processes, including:

  • sleep
  • mood
  • appetite
  • memory
  • reproduction and fertility

The ECS exists and is active in your body even if you don’t use cannabis. Read on to learn more about the ECS including how it works and interacts with CBD and other Cannabinoids.

How does it work?

The ECS involves three core components: endocannabinoids, receptors, and enzymes.

Endocannabinoids

Endocannabinoids, also called endogenous cannabinoids, are molecules made by your body. They’re similar to cannabinoids, but they’re produced by your body.

Experts have identified two key endocannabinoids so far:

  • anandamide (AEA)
  • 2-arachidonoylglyerol (2-AG)

These help keep internal functions running smoothly. Your body produces them as needed, making it difficult to know what typical levels are for each.

Endocannabinoid receptors

These receptors are found throughout your body. Endocannabinoids bind to them in order to signal that the ECS needs to take action.

There are two main endocannabinoid receptors:

  • CB1 receptors, which are mostly found in the central nervous system
  • CB2 receptors, which are mostly found in your peripheral nervous system, especially immune cells

Endocannabinoids can bind to either receptor. The effects that result depend on where the receptor is located and which endocannabinoid it binds to.

For example, endocannabinoids might target CB1 receptors in a spinal nerve to relieve pain. Others might bind to a CB2 receptor in your immune cells to signal that your body’s experiencing inflammation, a common sign of autoimmune disorders.

Enzymes

Enzymes are responsible for breaking down endocannabinoids once they’ve carried out their function.

There are two main enzymes responsible for this:

  • fatty acid amide hydrolase, which breaks down AEA
  • monoacylglycerol acid lipase, which typically breaks down 2-AG

What are its functions?

The ECS is complicated, and experts haven’t yet determined exactly how it works or all of its potential functions.

ResearchTrusted Source has linked the ECS to the following processes:

  • appetite and digestion
  • metabolism
  • chronic pain
  • inflammation and other immune system responses
  • mood
  • learning and memory
  • motor control
  • sleep
  • cardiovascular system function
  • muscle formation
  • bone remodeling and growth
  • liver function
  • reproductive system function
  • stress
  • skin and nerve function

These functions all contribute to homeostasis, which refers to stability of your internal environment. For example, if an outside force, such as pain from an injury or a fever, throws off your body’s homeostasis, your ECS kicks in to help your body return to its ideal operation.

Today, experts believe that maintaining homeostasis if the primary role of the ECS.

How does CBD interact with the ECS?

The other major cannabinoid found in cannabis is cannabidiol (CBD). Unlike THC, CBD doesn’t make you “high” and typically doesn’t cause any negative effects.

Experts aren’t completely sure how CBD interacts with the ECS. But they do know that it doesn’t bind to CB1 or CB2 receptors the way THC does.

Instead, many believe it works by preventing endocannabinoids from being broken down. This allows them to have more of an effect on your body. Others believe that CBD binds to a receptor that hasn’t been discovered yet.

While the details of how it works are still under debate, research suggests that CBD can help with pain, nausea, and other symptoms associated with multiple conditions.

What about endocannabinoid deficiency?

Some experts believe in a theory known as clinical endocannabinoid deficiency (CECD). This theory suggests that low endocannabinoid levels in your body or ECS dysfunction can contribute to the development of certain conditions.

A 2016 articleTrusted Source reviewing over 10 years of research on the subject suggests the theory could explain why some people develop migraine, fibromyalgia, and irritable bowel syndrome.

None of these conditions have a clear underlying cause. They’re also often resistant to treatment and sometimes occur alongside each other.

If CECD does play any kind of role in these conditions, targeting the ECS or endocannabinoid production could be the missing key to treatment, but more research is needed.

The bottom line

The ECS plays a big role in keeping your internal processes stable. But there’s still a lot we don’t know about it. As experts develop a better understanding of the ECS, it could eventually hold the key to treating several conditions.

If you managed to read all of that I salute, you. As you can CBD research is very new and we are all learning all the time about it potential role in new medicines.

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