But does it work? And does taking CBD do us any good? Philip McGuire is a professor of psychiatry and cognitive neuroscience at King’s College London; he has a special interest in psychosis and started looking into cannabidiol about 15 years ago. One of the first experiments he worked on looked at how cannabidiol works in the brains of healthy people in comparison with the impact that THC has. The results were categoric. “We basically showed that the two compounds have opposite effects on brain function,” says McGuire. “So when THC is making you psychotic, it stimulates certain bits of the brain. And in these areas of the brain, CBD has the opposite effect, essentially, in the same people.” To boil it down: “CBD and THC seem to be pushing in opposite directions.”
“CBD has helped me across the spectrum,” says Horn. “It definitely helped in social situations, if I was finding it hard to be around people. It brings you more into the moment. I felt more relaxed.”
It can be tempting to see CBD as a triumph of hype or marketing, and Fayed advises caution: for starters, it needs to be really high quality. Farmacy’s CBD comes from Spirit of Hemp in Forest Row, on the edge of the Ashdown Forest in Sussex. It uses organic hemp, hand-harvested in Switzerland and Austria, and after the extraction process, it reintroduces steam-distilled terpenes (what Spirit of Hemp calls “the life force, the quintessential fifth element or the spirit of the plant”). “It’s a real shift in understanding of what Mother Nature has given to us,” she says. “The veil has lifted finally on its benefits, and it’s definitely the beginning of something really big in the natural medicine world. So I don’t think it’s a trend, it’s here to stay.”
“I’m not trying to be a killjoy,” says McGuire, “but, especially in mental health, the size of the placebo effect is enormous. That’s not to dismiss it, but that’s why in clinical trials, if you don’t give half the people in the trial a placebo, it’s considered junk. It’s not publishable, it’s not taken seriously because, in mental health, the placebo effect can produce a 40% change in symptoms.
If LDN CBD is the first, it certainly won’t be the last. Interest in CBD products is exploding: it is 2019’s avocado toast, this moment’s turmeric shot. Except there is a crucial difference. If CBD does what its advocates suggest – or even a fraction of it – this all-natural, side-effect-free, widely available chemical could genuinely be the wonder drug of our age. Adherents claim it is “adaptogenic” – that is, a natural, non-toxic substance that regulates your stress response – and it’s not hard to find people who will tell you it has helped with anxiety, acne, schizophrenia, menstrual pain, insomnia and even cancer. There are also dozens of CBD cosmetics products, CBD juices and coffees are now a thing, and some find it useful as a sexual lubricant. Bizarrely, it has taken off in pet products, too: everything from chews for anxious dogs to treating life-threatening ailments. New products include truffles, bath bombs, moisturisers, ice cream, CBD-infused spring water (available from Ocado) and, naturally, CBD turmeric oil. CBD doesn’t have an especially strong taste – fans call it “nutty”, others “boggy” – which means it can be added to food without overpowering it.
If you have a friend or family member suffering from some of the previously mentioned conditions, let them in on the secret – CBD works. Remember that they must talk to a doctor before consuming CBD to avoid any complications whatsoever. Better safe than sorry!
Struggling with sleep? If so, CBD might be the way for you to avoid long, restless night. The primary mechanism to deliver a good night’s sleep CBD appears to have is its potential anxiety-relief effects. If there’s something on your mind keeping you up at night, you may find relief if you take some CBD. Users report a feeling of calmness after taking CBD, leading them to fall asleep easier.
There are early indications that cannabidiol might delay the growth of tumors when taken regularly, yet research is ongoing. However, CBD may also serve as a support for cancer treatment by assuaging some of chemotherapy’s side effects.
CBD Interactions with Other Compounds
Lastly, as it could not be any other way with cannabis, you can also inhale it. However, instead of rolling a joint, you can vape CBD oil. Vaporized CBD will make you feel the effects very fast since CBD goes straight to the bloodstream through your lungs.
Also, make sure that you mention any underlying conditions that you may be having to know whether you are fit to take cannabidiol.
The way in which cannabidiol interacts with the body is mostly through the endocannabinoid system (ECS). This is a complex network of receptors, known as cannabinoid receptors, and enzymes spread all over our bodies. Cannabidiol attaches to the receptors and delivers its effects. There are two kinds of cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2. Each provides distinct therapeutic effects when interacting with CBD.
Does CBD do anything? A question people unfamiliar with CBD’s therapeutic potential ask around fairly often since the rise of CBD. If you are curious and plan on soon trying CBD yourself, it’s good for you to know all about it before buying it. That way, you will have a prior idea of what you will be getting yourself into, so there aren’t any surprises catching you off-guard.
On the other hand, marijuana-derived CBD products are extracted from marijuana plants that typically have higher levels of THC than CBD, although there are several CBD-rich cultivars on the market. Marijuana-derived CBD oil contains much higher levels of THC than hemp-derived products, so consumers may want to brace for the corresponding effects. These products are legally available on the adult-use market and in certain medical marijuana states, but they remain illegal on the federal level. For this reason, if you want to purchase CBD products that also contain THC, check your state marijuana laws first.
When a CBD oil product is labeled full-spectrum, that means the plant’s original terpenes and other types of cannabinoids, including cannabinol (CBN), cannabigerol (CBG), and importantly, THC, have not been filtered out during the extraction process. This oil will give you the full benefit of any entourage effect.
Depending on the treatment or therapeutic relief you seek, different CBD products may prove more beneficial than others. For instance, CBD-infused topicals have been reported to provide localized relief in pain-specific areas, while a CBD oil with a 1-to-1 ratio of CBD-to-THC could be better as a sleep aid, perhaps also producing an intoxicating feeling, depending on the level of THC.
Finally, there are also some human studies that suggest that CBD may have a negative effect on your immune system. As one study concluded, “the data overwhelmingly support the notion that CBD is immunosuppressive.”
When it comes to the purported effects of CBD oil products, you need to look beyond hemp-derived and marijuana-derived products. The additional cannabis compounds and ingredients (or lack thereof) also play a significant role in the consumer experience. There are major differences between broad-spectrum CBD oil, full-spectrum CBD oil, and CBD isolate.
Beyond CBD’s use to promote general wellness, studies and anecdotal evidence also suggest that it may offer therapeutic value in treating chronic pain, reducing inflammation, and helping reduce anxiety. It could also be a potential treatment for a range of other conditions such as nerve pain, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and more. More research is needed to reach any clear or certain conclusions regarding the beneficial properties of CBD.
CBD isolate is the most refined form of the non-intoxicating cannabinoid, containing upwards of 99% pure CBD. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps