CBD products offer many health benefits as millions of people around the world have discovered. While generally safe, CBD does carry some potential risks and side effects.
Discover the benefits of CBD and learn how to integrate this powerful cannabinoid into your wellness regimen.
What is CBD?
CBD or cannabidiol is a cannabinoid (a naturally occurring chemical compound) found in the hemp plant. CBD is the second most prevalent cannabinoid in the hemp plant, after the psychoactive tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). It accounts for up to 40% of the plant extract.
CBD is generally considered legal in all 50 states but there are some loopholes and exceptions to be aware of. Keep up with your local laws and state laws for the most up-to-date information on the legal status of CBD.
How CBD works in the body
CBD works in multiple ways. First, CBD has a physiological effect on the body and can be used as a mood enhancer. While not intoxicating like THC, CBD has mild psychoactive effects.
Some people report that CBD gives them a generalized feeling of relaxation, described as less “on edge” and more emotionally “even”. This feeling of relaxation, combined with CBD’s anti-inflammatory effects, could help the cannabinoid treat pain and insomnia.
However, lower doses of CBD can make people feel more awake. This makes CBD useful for relaxing during the day, but not necessarily at night. People who attribute sleepiness to CBD may be experiencing this effect due to their own endocannabinoid system (ECS) reduced anxiety throughout the day and the action of relaxing terpenes such as linalool, humulene, and myrcene.
How CBD and THC interact
CBD could be considered the opposite of THC, as CBD does not bind to cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2), and actually blocks THC from binding to CB1 receptors. This means that CBD dampens the effects of THC.
In addition, CBD can balance the effects of THC, and the patient can then take advantage of the medical benefits of THC with less psychoactivity. At the same time, CBD and THC work well in partnership and together they activate the entourage effect in the body.
Benefits and uses
Like any cannabinoid, CBD could be useful for a wide range of health problems. Perhaps the most promising areas are neurological conditions such as:
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Parkinson’s disease (PD)
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI) and stroke
Other areas where CBD has shown promise include:
- Chronic pain
If you look at the underlying cause of many of the above conditions, you will see that inflammation plays a major role in all of them. The anti-inflammatory effects combined with its ability to affect multiple receptor sites and the fact that it is extremely well tolerated by the human body are what make it useful as a medicine for so many health problems. CBD also has neuroprotective effects making it useful for traumatic brain injury (TBI), neuropathic (nerve) pain, and other neurological conditions.
Possible side effects and interactions
The potential side effects of CBD are generally mild. When using CBD products, you may experience:
- Dry mouth
In rare cases, you may experience diarrhea, constipation, or other gastrointestinal problems, but these side effects tend to be associated with high amounts of CBD.
Drug interactions with CBD are also possible. Consult with your healthcare provider before using CBD if you are taking any medications, especially antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, sedatives (especially benzodiazepines such as clobazam), and blood thinners such as warfarin. The use of CBD in combination with these medications could diminish their effect or cause other problems such as bleeding and toxicity according to Movies Flix.