CBD Hype: Fact or Fallacy?

Chemical formula of Cannabidiol (CBD)

Chemical formula of Cannabidiol (CBD)

The use of cannabidiol (CBD) as a healthy cure-all has increased dramatically in recent years, primarily on the basis of anecdotal evidence, but scientific research is catching up fast. Will the benefits claimed by CBD proponents prove to be fact or fallacy?

Evidence, in many cases, points to the former.

What is CBD?

CBD is one of over 100 chemical compounds called cannabinoids that are found in cannabis. It was the first cannabinoid to be isolated in 1942 by chemist Roger Adams, whose research also isolated tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the cannabinoid responsible for the psychoactive effects of cannabis.

CBD can be found in different varieties of the cannabis plant, including hemp, which was first recognized for its medicinal properties in Persia 2,700 years ago. While CBD does not provide the euphoric effect of THC, it has been described by some users to provide a “body” high consisting of balancing and smoothing sensations, while also having a calming effect on the mind.

CBD has been noted by many users to not only mediate the psychoactive effects of THC, but also to help with a variety of ailments. Just how it does this is the subject of new and ongoing research, but there is definitely enough anecdotal evidence to suggest that CBD is helpful to many cannabis users in a number of different ways.

CB1 and CB2 receptors are located throughout the human body

CB1 and CB2 receptors are located throughout the human body.

How does CBD Work? What is it good for?

CBD acts on a person’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is believed to play a part in regulating processes related to appetite, inflammation, pain sensation, mood, memory, sleep and immune system functions. It does this by interacting with various cannabinoid receptors in the endocannabinoid system.

One of the best-known properties of CBD is its ability to act as an antagonist to CB1 and CB2 receptors, which reduces the psychoactive effects generated by THC. Interestingly, this interaction can also extend the duration of those same psychoactive effects.

In a CBD & Cannabis Special Episode of the Ben Greenfield Podcast, Greenfield discussed how CBD affects hormones, fat loss, athletic performance, sleep, and recovery with medical practitioners Michael Mallin, Matt Dawson and Dr. Taylor Bright, a CBD chemist and researcher. The group had all kinds of ideas with regards to CBD, a few of which are summarized below.

CBD’s perceived ability to work as an anti-depressant with anti-anxiety and neuroprotective properties are believed to be due to its role as an antagonist to a pair of receptors know as 5-HT1A and TRPV1. Both receptors are involved in mitigating the panic and fear responses to stress, which has been one of the most studied effects of CBD. As a result, for some people, CBD removes the reason to use unhealthy and sometimes addictive treatments for depression and anxiety.

CBD’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects are thought to be due primarily to its effects on adenosine receptors, so much so that the U.S. government once took out a patent that gave them rights to the antioxidant properties of cannabis. CBD is also believed to work as an allosteric modulator of opioid receptors, which is why it has become known for its ability to reduce pain and the effects of chronic inflammation.

It’s almost impossible to overdose on CBD, which is important when you compare it to other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs that can cause problems in higher doses. Additionally, CBD has been shown to decrease plasma cortisol levels, which is why a lot of people are using it for sleep. And finally, a 2010 study found that cannabis strains with a higher ratio of CBD to THC may reduce the short-term memory loss some cannabis users experience.

Cannabinoid Receptors

Cannabinoids such as THC, CBD and terpenes fit into special receptors found in the endocannabinoid system called cannabinoid receptors.

CBD is here to stay.

CBD products have exploded in popularity over the past few years. What began with word-of-mouth evangelists has now gone mainstream, claiming health benefits in areas related to pain, inflammation, anxiety, depression, sleep and more.

And while much of the evidence regarding the health benefits of CBD may be anecdotal, the numbers are impressive and the future of CBD appears to be very bright. CBD is already showing up in everything from health, beauty and fitness aids to pet products and jellybeans, and it’s now making its way into the fast food and luxury retail markets.

According to the American Botanical Council, CBD overtook turmeric in 2018 as the best-selling herbal dietary supplement, and scientists are currently experimenting with extracting CBD and recombining it in precise measures with different individual cannabis compounds to discover more about this amazing cannabinoid.

Delta 9's CBD Skunk Haze

Delta 9's CBD Skunk Haze

Delta 9 offers a number of cannabis products containing CBD, including one of our most popular high percentage CBD strains, CBD Skunk Haze, and there will be many more new CBD products arriving with Cannabis 2.0.

Research firm Brightfield Group reported that CBD product sales are expected to increase over 700% and exceed $5 billion in 2019, with the CBD industry’s total market value in North America predicted to be over $23 billion by 2023.

Nobody spends that much money on a fallacy.

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