Cannabis plants contain 80+, naturally occurring active compounds called cannabinoids. Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of these compounds found in all cannabis plants. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the most well-known cannabinoid and is associated with marijuana’s psychoactive properties. Unlike THC, CBD does not cause a HIGH or STONED feeling. There are two different types of Cannabis plants hemp and marijuana. These two plants differ in their cannabinoid types and levels, but come from the same plant Cannabis Sativa L. Both hemp and marijuana can be used to produce cannabidiol products. Dating back to the ancient civilizations, the cannabis plant has been used for many things from medicine to paper.
History of CBD
Ancient CBD/Hemp use
Archaeologists believe the plant species “Cannabis Sativa,” dates back 10,000 years. Hemp was discovered first in Taiwan where farmers used hemp seeds to condition their soil. These people also found that hemp seeds have high levels of protein, vitamins, and amino acids. During this time, hemp seeds were used so frequently that they became essential to human civilization. Around 6,000 B.C. hemp was published in the oldest pharmacopeia “Pen Ts’ao Ching” where the ancient Chinese found that cannabis plants have either male or female reproductive properties. This was the beginning of understanding the difference between ‘hemp’ and ‘marijuana’
In 2737 B.C. Hemp is recorded as being used by Chinese Emperor Shen-Nung as medicine. Text published, in Pen Ts’ao Ching suggests that the emperor extracted hemp oil from the plant’s seeds for pain treatment and made topical salves for treating skin rashes and irritation. Decades later, King Henry VIII required the cultivation of hemp in England which was used to make clothing and building materials. Then in 1616, settlers traveling from Europe brought hemp to North America, and by 1619 it was again mandated that the plants were cultivated for various purposes. By the 1700’s hemp became prevalent on the content of Africa, where amongst other uses, the plant was given to pregnant women before childbirth. In the 1800’s the medical use of hemp becomes more common in the US and Europe. Queen Victoria used CBD rich cannabis to treat menstrual pain.
Fast forward to 1900’s during the Mexican Revolution. With large amounts of Mexican immigrants coming to the US, who introduced the recreational use of cannabis and propaganda against these foreigners, sparked the criminalization of all cannabis products in the United States. This was a defining time in the cannabis industry and by the 1980’s marijuana cultivators worldwide were on one mission: to grow the most potent, most psychoactive cannabis on the market. Because of this, cultivation of plants that were rich in other cannabinoids like CBD was far less.
Then, in the 1980s, President Ronald Reagan poured millions of dollars into a study to prove that marijuana damages the human brain. But, rather than showing how marijuana harms the brain, the Reagan administration ended up subsidizing a series of studies that culminated in the discovery of the endocannabinoid system, expanding our understanding of how cannabinoids interact with the human body.
How CBD works
Unlike its cannabinoid cousin, Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) Cannabidiol (CBD) does not produce a psychoactive effect. This is because CBD does not affect the same receptors that THC does. The human body has an endocannabinoid system that receives transmissions signals from cannabinoids in the body.
CBD produces many beneficial effects on the human molecular pathway. As a matter of fact, there are more than 65 molecular targets of CBD in the body. A CBD rich product with little THC can convey therapeutic benefits without having a euphoric or dysphoric effect. In order for CBD to work properly, CBD SHOULD BE the main substance in any CBD Oil that you purchase.
Can you take too much?
Cannabidiol and other cannabinoids are known to be non-toxic, without any known fatal overdose levels reported. The previously mentioned study from 2011 indicated that chronic use and high doses up to 1,500 mg/day of CBD are reportedly well tolerated in humans. Furthermore the Department of Health and Human Services states, ‘no signs of toxicity or serious side effects have been observed following administration of cannabidiol to healthy volunteers (Cunha et al., Pharmacology 21:127-185, 1980), even in large doses of 700 mg/day (Consroe et al., Pharmacol, Biochem, Behav. 40:701-708,1991)
Full Spectrum and the Entourage effect
Many CBD oils on the market contain only CBD, and others are “full spectrum” or “broad spectrum” these oils contain a range of cannabinoids such as CBN, CBC, CBG and THCA. A wider cannabinoid spectrum can aid in what is known as the entourage effect. The belief that cannabinoids have greater therapeutic benefits when working together rather than acting as a single molecule. The interaction of more than one cannabinoid stimulates the endocannabinoid system and the molecular interaction.