Cannabinoids are a class of compounds that interact with receptors throughout your body. CBD is just one of dozens of cannabinoids found in cannabis, including tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the one responsible for marijuana’s famous high. Medical cannabis is technically any cannabis product used for medicinal purposes, and these can contain THC or CBD or both, said Nick Jikomes, a neuroscientist at Leafly, a website that provides information about legal cannabis. “A common mistake people make is to think that CBD is ‘the medical cannabinoid’ and THC is ‘the recreational cannabinoid.’” That’s inaccurate, he said, because THC is a potent anti-inflammatory and can be helpful for pain.
Still, as the saying goes, absence of evidence isn’t necessarily evidence of absence, and there’s a reason we don’t have a ton of solid research on CBDs yet — “to study it, we need a good source, ” said Ziva Cooper, who is an associate professor at Columbia University and was on the National Academies committee. CBD is hard to get because it’s still technically a Schedule I drug, which limits its availability, Cooper said.
Last year, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine released a nearly 500-page report on the health effects of cannabis and cannabinoids. A committee of 16 experts from a variety of scientific and medical fields analyzed the available evidence — more than 10,000 scientific abstracts in all. Because so few studies examine the effects of CBD on its own, the panel did not issue any findings about CBD specifically, but it did reach some conclusions about cannabis and cannabinoids more generally. The researchers determined that there is “conclusive or substantial evidence” supporting the use of cannabis or cannabinoids for chronic pain in adults, multiple sclerosis-related spasticity (a kind of stiffness and muscle spasms), and chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. The committee also found “moderate” evidence that cannabis or cannabinoids can reduce sleep disturbances in people with obstructive sleep apnea, fibromyalgia, chronic pain and multiple sclerosis, as well as “limited” evidence that these substances can improve symptoms of Tourette’s syndrome, increase appetite and stem weight loss in people with HIV/AIDs, and improve symptoms of PTSD and anxiety.
What makes CBD so appealing is that it’s non-intoxicating, so it won’t get you high, though it “is technically psychoactive, because it can influence things like anxiety,” Jikomes said. Although much of the marketing blitz around CBD centers on the fact that you can take it without getting stoned, there isn’t much research looking at the effects of CBD when used in isolation, with a couple of exceptions. One is the use of CBD to treat seizures: CBD is the active ingredient in the only cannabis product that the Food and Drug Administration has signed off on — a drug called Epidiolex, which is approved for treating two rare forms of epilepsy. Animal models and a few human studies suggest that CBD can help with anxiety, but those are the only conditions with much research on CBD in isolation.
But, uh, what is it that CBD is supposed to do? I visited a cannabis dispensary in Boulder to find out what the hype was all about. After passing an ID check, I was introduced to a “budtender” who pointed me to an impressive array of CBD products — tinctures, skin patches, drink powders, candies, salves, massage oil, lotions, “sexy time personal intimacy oil” and even vaginal suppositories to treat menstrual cramps.
Price Range: $44.99
CBD Per Serving: 15mg/ mL
CBD Per Bottle: 750mg
Type of CBD: Isolate
Lab Results: Available
Refund Policy: 30-Days
Another positive about Balance CBD is the range of oils that they offer, but what’s most impressive is their pricing. They’ve transformed the CBD industry. Since Balance CBD has come to the market other companies have been forced to drop their prices. Balance CBD believes that everyone should have access to experience the benefits of CBD. They also have an award winning range of gummies, pet products, CBD flower and topicals.
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There’s been a lot of confusion between hemp and cannabis. Cannabis plants contain a higher percentage of THC than Hemp plants, for this reason the Farm Bill legalized CBD products derived from Hemp plants.
The cannabis plant is full of phytocannabinoids. The two most popular of these phytocannabinoids are THC and CBD. These two phytocannabinoids are also found in the hemp plant. (There’s only a minuscule amount of THC in hemp, though.) When looking for CBD products, the first decision you’ll need to make is whether to purchase cannabis-derived CBD products or hemp-derived CBD products. Thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp-derived CBD products can be found just about everywhere, including states where recreational or medical cannabis is not yet legal. This can actually be problematic.
The way CBD works is that it bridges the gap of neurotransmission in the central nervous system, including in the brain, by providing a two-way system of communication that completes a positive “feedback loop,” according to Dr. William Courtney, a medical marijuana expert and founder of Cannabis International. As opposed to a one-way transmission, which can promote chronic inflammation of healthy tissue, the unique two-way transmission system engaged by marijuana CBD mimics the body’s own natural two-way communications system.
Benefits of CBD
Hemp-derived CBD products are currently unregulated. Plenty of savvy entrepreneurs saw an opportunity and jumped on the CBD bandwagon. Unfortunately, they don’t all offer reputable products. Many aren’t tested, and they certainly aren’t held to as high of a standard as cannabis-derived CBD products. The FDA is in the process of determining how it will regulate CBD. Until them, purchasing quality hemp-derived CBD can be difficult. It’s vital that consumers ask for test results and verify the quality of the CBD products being sold.
One of the benefits of legalization has been the required testing. For consumers, this helps illustrate the makeup of particular products so they can shop wisely. Cannabis-derived CBD products and high-CBD strains are no exception. By clearly showing how much CBD and THC are present, as well as other cannabinoids, terpenes, or compounds, consumers can find products that better serve their needs and purchase items that have a more consistent formulation. For those who use CBD for medicinal purposes, the latter is especially important.
So individuals whose systems are compromised by autoimmune disorders, cellular dysfunction, chronic inflammation, cancer cells, and various other illnesses may derive a wide range of health-promoting benefits simply by consuming CBD. And one of the best ways to obtain CBD is to juice raw marijuana leaves and buds, according to Dr. Courtney, who currently runs a clinic in Luxembourg that provides raw cannabis medicinal services to patients in need.