All about CBD
Cannabinoid CBD (Cannabidiol) has become a so-called celebrity of the hemp industry, thanks to enormous media support, which today can be seen on almost every corner. Shop counters offer products ranging from cannabis flowers to oils to vapes, promising customers the best effects of the best. But what is the reality? Is it really as miraculous an active substance from hemp as many people talk about it? Isn’t it just a placebo?
First of all, it should be remembered that even in this case, the substance is not the same as substance. Cannabis drops from one manufacturer or brand can have quite different effects than drops from another manufacturer or brand. Therefore, experience is not like experience. Secondly, it is worth noting that Cannabidiol works best when combined with other cannabinoids from the Hemp plant. In other words, this means that full-spectrum CBD oil with a higher amount of CBG or CBN, which is made from honest hemp extract, offers significantly better effects than pure isolate oil.
So what else do we know so interestingly about this sought-after cannabinoid?
What is CBD?
The substance CBD was discovered in 1940 as part of the chemical structure of hemp, which these days consists of more than 110 identified cannabinoids, including THC. Over time, however, it was also discovered that it has several potential therapeutic uses, including both anxiety and pain, as well as poorly functioning human cognitive functions. The greatest potential is therefore for mental health complications, when the interaction between cannabinoids and the endocannabinoid system, which affects several life processes, has the most noticeable effects. But to be able to praise this miracle of nature from every side, we need more scientific evidence with a very high level of quality, as is the case these days.
The cannabinoid CBD occurs naturally in hemp, where it is formed from the cannabinoid CBG (Kanabigerol), which is why the plant is used for so-called extraction. Through this professional activity, a highly-concentrated hemp extract with a rich amount of cannabinoids and nutrients, such as terpenes, is created, from which ready-made drops are then produced. Several methods are used for the extraction of substances, including the usual CO2 extraction at a super-critical temperature, when Carbon Dioxide gas is involved in the chemical process. This way, the material reaches stores and e-shops. In addition to CBD oil, these days it is also possible to get cosmetics, food, joints or the increasingly popular vape.
What CBD products are there?
As already mentioned, among the available products with CBD, oil in the form of drops dominates, where a practical pipette is available for dosing. However, vape is also slowly gaining attention, i.e. disposable and reusable electronic cigarettes that contain hemp distillates with cannabinoids and terpenes. However, cannabis flowers and hash (resin), including cannabis concentrates such as dab (wax) or shatter, are also sought after. In turn, tea, chocolate or gummy candies dominate hemp foods.
“The biggest differences between oils, edibles and vapes are the speed of delivery and how long the effect lasts. As claimed by Dr. Chin, vape relief is faster, but it also wears off faster – usually in about two hours.” HEALTH.COM
Benefits of using CBD via vape
The most popular ways to consume CBD include, among others, vape. Electronic cigarettes, which can take the form of a vape pen or a vape pod, do not create carcinogenic smoke with tar, but so-called water vapor. Aerosol is the product of a process called vaporization, when the dry matter is not burned, but only the liquid content is heated. The process is taken care of by the key component of the e-cigarette called the atomizer, which therefore has a significant impact on the quality of the water vapor created. In addition, CBD vape with organic hemp extract does not contain any PG, VG or glycerin as with regular electronic cigarettes for nicotine e liquid, so it can be safely said that it is significantly safer.
What are the effects of CBD?
CBD offers relatively universal effects that depend on several important factors. Therefore, it can be said that what the user has, in practice, different effects. Factors include the quality or type of product, as well as the current state of the so-called endocannabinoid system. As many of you have undoubtedly heard, it is a relatively important part of not only the human body, which affects several important processes, including sleep, mood or motivation.
It is therefore probably no great surprise that many specialized hemp products containing Cannabidiol are used to improve sleep quality or reduce anxiety or bad mood. The word specialized can also be understood as the fact that the manufacturer has added another related cannabinoid (CBG, CBN, etc.) to the content in a trace amount or in a higher concentration, thanks to which it strengthens the basic and at the same time creates completely new effects. But what does science or knowledgeable experts say about all this?
“CBD has often been touted for a wide range of medical conditions, but the strongest scientific evidence is for its effectiveness in treating some of the most severe childhood epilepsy syndromes, such as Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS), which typically do not respond to anti-seizure medications. In many studies, the substance was able to reduce the number of seizures, and in some cases even stop them completely. Epidiolex, which also contains it, is the world’s first FDA-approved cannabis-derived drug for these conditions.” HARVARD.EDU
How does CBD work?
The substance CBD works by binding to so-called cannabinoid receptors such as CB1 and CB2. Thanks to this, an interaction is created that positively affects the functioning of the aforementioned endocannabinoid system, which can then be reflected in better sleep or a better mood. Especially if it is a full spectrum product with a full spectrum of cannabinoids in trace amounts, including THC. The combination creates a sought-after accompanying (synergistic) effect that enriches the basic effects of not only the main substance. Therefore, full-spectrum CBD oil has more noticeable or intense effects than the significantly cheaper isolate oil (white powder with a very high concentration), where only one active substance is usually available. And that too with poor quality.
What is the difference between CBD and THC?
Like CBD, THC also interacts with the CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors in the human body, both cannabinoids being derived from the cannabinoid CBG. However, the interaction is different, so to speak, so in practice the effects of these two active substances from hemp are also different. While THC causes psychoactive states, alters consciousness and creates euphoria, CBD is neither psychoactive nor euphoric. And since it does not work with a reward system, it is not addictive either.
According to the World Health Organization (or WHO) it has an excellent safety profile, which is one of the reasons why today products containing it are on every corner. And even without the existence of proper regulatory legislation, which is currently lacking in almost the entire European Union. We will probably have to wait another year for the long-announced Novel Food regulation.
CBD in Slovakia
Is CBD legal in Slovakia? Yes, Cannabidiol has been removed from the list of narcotic and psychotropic substances, so it can be said that it is legal in our country. However, if we are not talking about cosmetics or vape, but about food, then all products, including CBD oil, which are consumed, are subject to authorization according to the Novel Food directive, which has been notified for a long time. The only question now is when we will see the so-called Novel Food catalog, where the products need to be registered. Until the arrival of European legislation, many consumer products will therefore be sold either for collector purposes or for rinsing the oral cavity.
Legalization of CBD and Slovakia
The long-awaited legalization of CBD in Slovakia became a reality during 2021. The elimination of the harmless cannabinoid took place a few weeks after the Slovak parliament voted in the second round to legalize Cannabidiol. This happened on May 1, 2021, while the sale of CBD in Slovakia started on this day. Slovak e-shops could finally start selling long-banned CBD products without facing a considerable penalty. Therefore, the active substance from hemp appeared on the shelves of Slovak stores almost immediately after it was removed from the list of narcotic and psychotropic substances. However, unlike CBD cosmetics or vape, many applications, including consumption, are subject to strict regulation.
The future of CBD
The CBD substance already has a firm place on the consumer market today. And this despite the fact that we still lack several key scientific researches that would clearly confirm the aforementioned therapeutic use of the cannabinoid. From what we know today, it can be deduced that Cannabidiol helps with several health complications, including stress, poor sleep or poor concentration or focus on one activity. But especially if the substance is combined with another related substance in a higher concentration, such as CBG (Canabigerol) or CBN (Cannabinol).
Stress and concentration
These days, CBD is used, among other things, to calm down at an increased level of stress, which can also help with better concentration. Available information from scientific works indicates that it is a cannabinoid with a so-called calming effect on the central nervous system, which also has a positive effect on concentration itself. Simply put, the substance stimulates the functioning of the endocannabinoid system, which affects several key processes in the human body, including the ability to resist stress or concentrate.
“The final sample consisted of 72 adults whose primary concerns were anxiety or poor sleep. Anxiety scores decreased during the first month in 57 patients (79.2%) and remained decreased for the duration of the study. Sleep scores improved during the first month in 48 patients (66.7%), but fluctuated over time.” NIH.GOV
Sleep and falling asleep
Since CBD has such a positive effect on the central nervous system, it is also effective for problems with sleep or falling asleep. Calming the body and mind leads to psychological well-being, which is key for every quality sleep. However, the best effects are achieved in this case if Cannabidiol is combined with sedative cannabinoids, such as THC or the closely related CBN (Cannabinol). Therefore, so-called full spectrum CBD products, where the full spectrum of cannabinoids are available, are best for improving sleep quality.
Is CBD also good for improving mood? Certainly yes, especially if we are talking about the full spectrum of cannabinoids, where, among other things, there is also a trace amount of the euphoric substance THC. Together with Cannabidiol, which, thanks to the interaction with the 5-HT receptor, creates so-called antidepressant and anxiolytic effects, it will prove to be relatively effective in regulating and thus also improving the mental mood of the user of the active substance from hemp.
“In addition to the release of endorphins, it has been shown that the good feeling after physical activity is partly due to anandamide acting on CB1 cannabinoid receptors, causing anxiolytic effects on the body. Thus, CBD’s activity at 5-HT receptors may drive its neuroprotective effects or its antidepressant and anxiolytic benefits, although the mechanism of action by which CBD reduces anxiety is still unclear.” NIH.GOV
Sensation, feelings, intuition or thinking. All these words are connected by the concept of cognitive functions of the human body, which the psychiatrist and scientist Carl Jung described in one of his professional books as the special mental processes of a person. These are essentially four main psychological functions that have a significant impact on whether a person is an introvert (closed) or an extrovert (open). Therefore, if the substance CBD can regulate mood or concentration relatively effectively, it will then also have a positive effect on the functioning of cognitive functions. And this can result in the reduction of, for example, such social phobia, which troubles more and more people.