It seems that everywhere one turns, there’s someone selling a CBD product. It is often talked about in the mainstream media – with stories of how awesome it is. They make it sound like CBD is a cure-all for whatever ails a person.
But is this really true?
The biggest worry among newbie CBD users is whether or not it can cause a “high”. Many people want to take advantage of the many CBD oil benefits without having any psychoactive effects.
As more experienced users know, there is no “high” from CBD oil use.
Looking at the components of CBD vs. THC – there is one major difference – the mind-altering effects. That’s not to say that THC doesn’t have health benefits too. In fact, both compounds have been proven to positively affect the nervous system and relieve pain naturally.
So, let’s dig in to the details of CBD and how it’s different from THC…
CBD VS. THC: WHICH ONE IS BETTER?
Both THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol) come from the plant Cannabis sativa and can be found in the oil of the plant. THC is the active ingredient that produces mind-altering effects while CBD does not.
The chemical structure of CBD and THC are exactly the same! Both contain 21 carbon atoms, 30 hydrogen atoms and 2 oxygen atoms. The major difference between the two compounds is the way these atoms are arranged. The tiny differences from one chemical structure to another has a huge impact when it comes to the effects of these compounds.
There is a huge difference between the psychoactive effects of these molecules. THC gives a “high” feeling while CBD actually modulates these mind-altering effects. THC is the most psychoactive compound among all cannabinoids while CBD has antipsychotic activity and protects against some of the negative psychological reactions caused by THC.
In plain English, this means that THC and CBD balance each other out.
When scientists started studying the benefits of cannabis, especially THC, they discovered a biochemical communication system in the body – which is now called the endocannabinoid system. We are just beginning to understand how this system works – but the belief is that it’s one of the most important psychological systems involved in maintaining our health. It plays a role in balancing out different bodily systems, which is called homeostasis. This ensures that the body is stable at all times and is well-functioning.
The endocannabinoid system is made up of receptors that respond to the cannabinoid compounds found in the cannabis species plants as well as a number of other plants. The receptors are found throughout the body as well as the brain. There are 100+ cannabinoids that have been identified with THC and CBD being the most extensively studied.
Researchers have found two major types of cannabinoid receptors… known as CB1 and CB2. Current research is looking for additional types of receptors. The receptors respond to chemical stimulation and produce an effect within our cells.
CB1 receptors are found in the brain and central nervous system while CB2 receptors are found in the immune system. Recent discoveries suggest that more than half of all the different receptors in the brain are cannabinoid receptors!
We have “endogenous cannabinoids” (made within the body) which are brain chemicals known as neurotransmitters that bind to the cannabinoid receptors. “Exogenous cannabinoids” are chemicals not made in the body like THC which also bind to the same receptors… which means that the use of weed mimics the messages produced within the human body.
In plain english, this means that the use of THC or CBD can have beneficial effects on many body parts and bodily processes.
We know that THC works as a chemical messenger, but the role of CBD is less clear. CBD doesn’t act as a messenger for CB1 and CB2 receptors but it does have an effect on non-cannabinoid receptors – including serotonin (a “good-feeling” neurotransmitter) and the TRPV1 receptor which influences pain perception.
It may also activate receptors that control cancer, cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer’s. Also, CBD is believed to reduce CB1’s ability to bind with THC, which weakens the “high”.
What happens when the endocannabinoid system becomes overactive or underactive? The body begins to malfunction and can no longer stay in homeostasis. This is clinically known as “clinical endocannabinoid deficiency” and may lead to chronic pain, fatigue, inflammation, arthritis, autoimmune disorders (like Hashimoto’s thyroiditis) and mood disorders.
Like any other body system, endocannabinoid deficiency can be caused by poor diet, poor lifestyle and other issues. This explains how using CBD and other cannabinoids can be very therapeutic.
CBD VS. THC… HOW THE HEALTH BENEFITS COMPARE
Here’s a list of the benefits of each:
Relaxes the nervous system
Reduces muscle spasms
May reduce tumor growth in cancer cells
May prevent tumor growth
Improves anxiety, stress and PTSD
Fights depression and mood disorders
May prevent tumor growth
Research has show that CBD has a better safety profile than other cannabinoids… including THC. High doses are well tolerated by the body (it seems difficult or impossible to overdose). Unlike THC, CBD does not alter heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, psychomotor or psychological functions.
FULL SPECTRUM CBD VS. ISOLATE
Full spectrum (whole plant) CBD means that the product contains other cannabinoids as well as CBD that are naturally found in the hemp plant. CBD isolate, on the other hand, means that the product is processed to only leave CBD.
Research has shown that full-spectrum CBD has a synergistic effect, which means that the combination of different cannabinoids has an even more powerful effect than pure CBD. This has been called “the entourage effect” … researchers believe that combining CBD with these other cannabis compounds produces the most potent effect.
It is believed that CBD has the most health benefits among all the non-psychoactive cannabis compounds – and the CBD works even better when combined with these other compounds.
Although full spectrum CBD contains other cannabis compounds, the THC level are still less than 0.3% when the product is made from hemp. This means that consumers can use full spectrum CBD and achieve greater benefits without getting high.
Here’s a breakdown of the differences between CBD isolates and full spectrum CBD products:
No THC/Other cannabinoids
Delivers all CBD benefits
No risk of tolerance
Full Spectrum CBD:
Contains CBD and other cannabinoids
Contains less than 0.3% THC
Undergoes less processing
Delivers “entourage effect”
Works synergistically with THC
Considered safe and legal
No risk of tolerance
HEMP-CBD PRODUCT LABELS
For now, products containing CBD cannot be considered dietary supplements according to the FDA. This means that CBD product labels can be confusing for consumers as there is no set standard for how CBD products must be labeled. That means it’s important to stick with a reputable company.
There are a few things that most CBD products should indicate on the label when they are following the regulations of the 2018 Farm Bill. CBD oil product labels should include:
Extraction Information: CBD Isolate or full spectrum CBD
Serving Size: Some products indicate the amount of CBD in the entire bottle; others are per serving.
Grown from organic or conventional hemp
Certificate of analysis (COA) or third party tested
Ingredient list: For full spectrum CBD, this will indicate what other plant compounds are present.
Amount of THC present: Some products indicate that they are “THC free”, that there’s “no detectable (ND) THC” or that there’s “Trace amounts of THC”.
CBD VS. THC: WHAT IS LEGAL IN THE UNITED STATES?
The 2018 Farm Bill that was passed in the U.S. Senate and signed by President Donald Trump states that hemp, a plant that is part of the cannabis species, but because it has different properties than marijuana – can be grown and made into products legally. Because of this new law, hemp production is managed by the Department of Agriculture as a crop. It’s no longer categorized as an illegal substance according to the Justice Department.
So why is hemp legal, but not marijuana? The critical difference is the level of THC that’s present in the plant and plant based products. Industrial hemp – which is used to make CBD oil and hemp oil – contains no more than 0.3% THC, so it’s considered legal. There are still some restrictions so hemp farmers and manufacturers have to follow strict guidelines. To further confuse things, states have different regulations that residents must be aware of to produce, sell and use hemp legally.
Products made from marijuana are still considered schedule 1 drugs by the Federal Government – that means there is no legitimate medical use for those products. The key is the higher level of THC which causes a high.
Some states have passed laws for adult marijuana use… either medically or recreationally, but each state has different laws.
So here’s the bottom line: CBD oil is legal if the THC content is less than 0.3% according to the Federal Government.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON CBD ISOLATE VS. FULL SPECTRUM
There are so many CBD oil products on the market today. Many different terms are used to describe the type of solution that’s being used. Full spectrum CBD contains an array of cannabinoids and tends to work better than CBD isolate.
With all the potential benefits of using CBD, what could be wrong? The problem is… we don’t know yet. Many small-scale studies show that adults tend to tolerate a wide range of doses. There is no standard dose! The most common side effects of CBD are fatigue and diarrhea. But there is still no data on long-term safety and no studies involving children.
One of the biggest concerns regarding CBD and other holistic remedies is that there are some disease processes that require science-driven treatment. Patients should therefore follow their medical doctors recommendations regarding treatment of ailments.
Although CBD may be a promising treatment, it is not the sole or best treatment for many conditions. In fact, CBD may interfere with and even hinder the effects of proven treatments, so it really should only be used under a doctor’s supervision.
HERE’S ANOTHER THOUGHT TO CONSIDER…
People using CBD in its various forms are looking for relief… from pain, anxiety, depression, inflammation, etc. As with pharmaceutical drugs, the CBD only treats the symptoms – not the cause. That means that shortly after the patient stops using CBD, all of the original problems are likely to return. The root cause of each health issue is not addressed.
Another way to treat health concerns is to use Functional Medicine… which does get to the root cause of the problems. How does that work?
Functional medicine looks at things like hormone levels, digestion issues, parasites in the gut, leaky gut and food sensitivities (that often make people miserable). It encourages lifestyle changes as far as diet, sleep habits, exercise, stress levels and possible use of supplements.
Most of the time – when a client makes a sincere effort with the program – the root causes of health issues are identified and corrected. As long as the client complies with the recommendations of the program, which basically means leading a healthy lifestyle, the causes of the health issue will not return. The client has handled their issues permanently and can lead a long, healthy life.
PS: If someone is suffering and are looking for an alternative way to handle their health issues, a free 30 minute consultation is available. Just visit www.stopneckpainnaturally.com and click on “Get One-On-One Help.”