By I. smiley G. Calderón | firstname.lastname@example.org
CBD is very popular nowadays – and it should be. It’s the federally legal phytocannabinoid with powerful and safe anti-inflammatory properties without unwanted psychoactive effects. But what does CBD stand for anyway, and where does it come from? Keep on reading because in this column, we’re going to go over the CBD basics, and we’ll see if CBD is right for you (spoiler alert: it is). Let’s see how CBD can make you smile.
CBD stands for the chemical cannabidiol. It belongs to a group of terpeno-phenolic, highly lipophilic compounds collectively called ‘cannabinoids’ found in the resin of the trichomes of the cannabis plant. (Trichomes are sparkly ‘frost’ sometimes seen on cannabis flowers) Although this incredible plant has been used safely by humans for millennia and for many therapeutic purposes, the CBD chemical was only isolated in 1940. Its structure was only clearly understood as recently as 1963. Another popular phytocannabinoid in this plant’s resin is the infamous THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, known for its psychoactive, potent high. THC was not isolated and understood until a year after CBD, in 1964. Yet these two cannabinoids are not the only ones found in the Cannabis plant to date. There are over one hundred other cannabinoids in the plant that have been shown to possess therapeutic properties. Cannabis may offer a whole spectrum of medicinal and therapeutic health benefits. Some have even investigated its impact on immunity – something especially interesting during this coronavirus pandemic. Cannabis research is a relatively new industry, and more investigation is needed to fully explore all of the rich and valuable chemicals in this plant.
For example, cannabichromene (CBC), another non-psychotropic cannabinoid found in cannabis, has potential clinical use in adult neural stem progenitor cells (NSPCs) viability. These NSPCs are significant for healthy brain function and in the etiology of epilepsy and seizures.
We all have heard about and are familiar with essential body systems like our nervous system, circulatory system, or integumentary (skin) system. But not many people (including physicians) know much about their endocannabinoid system (ES) – one of the most powerful and vital body systems we possess. Our ES is dynamic and is interconnected with all of our other body systems. Phytocannabinoids activate our ES, which is made up of G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) called CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors are concentrated in the brain. There are more CB1 receptors in our brain than any other receptor. Plus, CB1 receptors are also found in lower concentrations throughout the body in peripheral tissues. CB2 receptors are primarily found in the cells of the immune and hematopoietic systems but are also found in the brain, liver, pancreas, and bone. These important receptors are found throughout your body.
What’s curious about the steric selectivity of CB1 and CB2 receptors is that CBD has a low affinity for these receptors. CBD does not bind to CB1 or CB2 receptors or activate our ES like THC, and other cannabinoids do. The mechanism of CBD action in the body is a bit unclear, to be honest.
But, we know that it works.
CBD is effective for anti-anxiety, anti-convulsive, anti-nausea, anti-inflammatory, and anti-tumor properties. Exactly how and why is a little elusive. Is CBD’s effectiveness due to its powerful antioxidant properties? Are these properties due to a currently unknown and undiscovered cannabinoid receptor(s) in our body that tightly binds CBD with high affinity? Or, could it be because CBD enhances anandamide signaling and inhibits its degradation? (Anandamide is a naturally occurring fatty acid neurotransmitter endocannabinoid that your body naturally produces. It was the first endocannabinoid ever discovered – only a few decades ago, in 1992 – it binds to your CB1 and CB2 receptors and positively activates your ES). As CBD increases the amount of available anandamide in the brain, it has demonstrated effectiveness in exerting anti-psychotic effects in treating schizophrenia. CBD is amazing.
Another non-psychoactive phytocannabinoid, cannabigerol (CBG), is also pretty impressive. It seems to activate pharmaceutical activity at the CB2 receptor – the receptor mainly found within the cells of your immune system. CBG has shown promising results in the research laboratory treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). It reduces nitric oxide production of macrophages modulated by the CB2 receptor.
CBG also reduces oxidative stress within intestinal epithelial cells – a potential treatment for IBS patients.
Cannabinol (CBN) is another crucial non-psychotropic phytocannabinoid. And so are Cannabivarin (CBV) and Cannabicitran (CBT) – demonstrated to be effective in reducing Intraocular Pressure (IOP). And we can’t forget Cannabidivarin (CBDV) – another powerful non-psychoactive phytocannabinoid that has shown promise in treating epilepsy with its anticonvulsant properties.
As you can see, there are a lot of exciting, non-psychoactive phytocannabinoids that you can safely and confidently use to help with a whole host of real-life debilitating conditions that you may be dealing with – all without getting ‘high’ or experiencing any unwanted intoxication. What might surprise you is that you can easily purchase therapeutic lotions and balms filled with CBD, CBG, CBN – what we call ‘Broad Spectrum CBD’ – to help reduce muscle and joint inflammation and pain topically all over your body. Effectively dosed lotions (1000mg+) and balms with CBD and the other Broad Spectrum non-psychoactive phytocannabinoids can effectively ease migraines and PMS cramping.
Pills, oil-based tinctures, and vape pens are also great ways to ingest and holistically self-administer Broad Spectrum CBD to therapeutically help with anxiety, depression, insomnia, and many other conditions.
Of course, Broad Spectrum CBD is no panacea to cure every disease and in no way is this column promising any specific results or health outcomes. The FDA prohibits anyone from making clinical claims or health promises about cannabis and its phytocannabinoids – I can’t call it ‘The Miracle Cure’ – even if I believe it to be true. But what this column is trying to say is that if you’re in pain and suffering from exhausting inflammation or with any of the symptoms and conditions mentioned above, you may want to keep an open mind when it comes to cannabis and its phytocannabinoids.
This column aims to introduce you to the beautiful world of Broad Spectrum CBD. The goal is to encourage you to see and try for yourself if including CBD, CBG, CBN, etc., in your daily routine might help you reach your health goals and live more comfortably and happily, to help you smile.
Wishing you health, happiness, and plenty of smiles in 2022.