So all the benefits of CBD are amazing, but how is this actually happening inside the body?
There are existing compounds in our bodies called “endogenous cannabinoids” which were named based on their similarities to the compounds found in the cannabis plant. So in our bodies when we consume CBD and THC these compounds interact by mimicking the effects of our already existing endogenous cannabinoids compounds. Together these compounds and how they interact are referred to as the endocannabinoid system.
The endocannabinoid system in our bodies has five major functions in the brain that influence neuronal synaptic communication affecting biological functions:
- learning and memory
- growth and development
- multiple functions within the nervous system
Discovery and exploration of the endocannabinoid system is supporting the advancement of the understanding of health and disease. Because the compounds are so similar to those within our own bodies, we are connected on a biological level with this plant. This helps to explain why this plant is so widely used even during the time of it being illegal. Today the legalization of cannabis in certain states within the US has opened the door for regular use of this medicine and even more study.
By addressing dysfunction in our endocannabinoid systems we can improve our every day experience; our mood, energy levels, digestion, immunity, blood pressure, bone health, metabolism, and stress. Basically if we do not address underactive or overactive endocannabinoid system then essentially we develop dis-ease. And when we regulate this system, we can slow or in some cases completely stop the progression of disease.
Back in the 1980’s when marijuana became illegal and a crime to posses it by the Federal Government, the CBD healing potential was hidden. Then in 2018 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) came to recognize that cannabidiol is in fact a real medicine when they approved a brand called Epidolex. This medicine was created by the pharmaceutical industry with the purpose of treating severe seizure disorders in children.
The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) responded to this medicine by removing it from Schedule 1 classification (most dangerous drugs) to Schedule V classification (least dangerous drugs). This was the first time the Federal Government made a change to the classification of Cannabis and CBD medicine since the 80’s and allowed the path for CBD healing to reveal itself to those who need it.
The reason we don’t see more of this historic Epidolex medicine is because it is not covered by insurance and costs an exorbitant amount to obtain. So, luckily there are many companies making affordable CBD oils and products today.
HEMP VS CANNABIS CBD
Even though there have been dramatic shifts to the availability and legality of hemp and cannabis products, it still varies state by state what is legal to buy. There are many stores online and in person where you can find a wide range of CBD products. Some of them have pharmaceutical grade CBD oils and unfortunately some are low quality and have other additives like corn syrup or artificial flavors.
In some states you can find CBD and THC products because they are legal in that state. In other states where cannabis is not legal, you will find hemp derived CBD which contains no more than 0.03% THC. It is known that the effects of CBD can be enhanced and more effective when combined with varying levels of THC in a full spectrum product that contains various compounds from the cannabis plant.
In conclusion, hemp derived CBD is an effective medicine legal and more widely available in retail settings. The cannabis derived CBD products also contain THC compounds and other compounds in a full spectrum product that show evidence to be more effective for people in some cases.
When shopping for CBD medicine it is important to consider the quality of the oil, purity of the compounds, and explore various combinations of CBD and THC to get the best results. It is not just a miracle one size fits all medicinal product, exploration and a bit of research will go a long way in maximizing the support of the medicine for each individual.
Physicians are still not well versed in how to use this medicine for their patients, so many of these success stories have been by trail and error and willingness by the patients to use CBD for healing. It is not known all of the possible interactions of CBD with other pharmaceutical drugs. As time goes on and more and more people discover their own unique relationship with the cannabis and hemp medicines we will see a rise of healthy endocannabinoid system functions in our bodies and ultimately learn more about this magical plant.