CBD is the major non-euphorigenic component of Cannabis sativa. Some research is beginning to show that CBD is different than other well-studied cannabinoids. All cannabinoids function as ligands, meaning they dock onto the binding site of a protein and have the ability to modulate a receptor’s behavior. CB1 receptors are widely distributed, but are particularly abundant in areas of the brain, including those concerned with movement, coordination, sensory perception, emotion, memory, cognition, autonomic and endocrine functions.
Prescription opioids, such as codeine, hydrocodone, oxycodone, oxymorphone, fentanyl, and morphine are medications that are naturally found in the opium poppy plant. Besides relieving pain, they can make you relaxed and high. The problem is that opioids are highly addictive, and overuse and death are incredibly common as a result of opioids. This is true for prescription opioids, and people taking prescription opioids may become addicted and suffer from consequences. Yet doctors are still commonly prescribing opiods even in less serious cases (17).
17. Deiana S, Watanabe A, Yamasaki Y, Amada N, Arthur M, Fleming S, Woodcock H, Dorward P, Pigliacampo B, Close S, Platt B, Riedel G. Plasma and brain pharmacokinetic profile of cannabidiol (CBD), cannabidivarine (CBDV), 9-tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) and cannabigerol (CBG) in rats and mice following oral and intraperitoneal administration and CBD action on obsessive–compulsive behavior. Psychopharmacology (Berl) 2012;219:859–873. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]
All this talk about THC lands us nicely in the whole “Full Spectrum vs. Pure Isolate” debate. Once you begin shopping for CBD products, you’ll notice a lot of jargon that gets thrown around without much explanation. Now that we’ve introduced THC into the conversation, we can talk about the difference between, and relative benefits of, Full Spectrum CBD and CBD Isolate (and the lesser-known contender: Broad Spectrum).

CBD stands for cannabidiol. It is the second most prevalent of the active ingredients of cannabis (marijuana). While CBD is an essential component of medical marijuana, it is derived directly from the hemp plant, which is a cousin of the marijuana plant. While CBD is a component of marijuana (one of hundreds), by itself it does not cause a “high.” According to a report from the World Health Organization, “In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential…. To date, there is no evidence of public health related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.”
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The heat is very much on CBD oil sellers these days as the FDA continues to crack down on companies selling “questionable” (to put it nicely) hemp-based products. In fact, since 2015 – when the FDA first issued warning letters to multiple CBD sellers – the industry has been forced to clean up its act, at least in terms of manufacturing operations and brand transparency.
CBD has been touted for a wide variety of health issues, but the strongest scientific evidence is for its effectiveness in treating some of the cruelest childhood epilepsy syndromes, such as Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS), which typically don’t respond to antiseizure medications. In numerous studies, CBD was able to reduce the number of seizures, and in some cases it was able to stop them altogether. Videos of the effects of CBD on these children and their seizures are readily available on the Internet for viewing, and they are quite striking. Recently the FDA approved the first ever cannabis-derived medicine for these conditions, Epidiolex, which contains CBD.
Social media is blasting this one out lately, showing that different parents have been treating their children illegally (in states that are not classed as medical states) to help prevent their children from having seizures or deal with epilepsy. While there has been limited scientific evidence on the topic, 2016 was a major turning point for the plant as a major study was conducted by Orrin Devinsky, a neurologist at New York University Langone Medical Center, showing profound results.
Hemp oil (also called hemp seed oil) is extracted from the hemp seeds of the hemp plant and it contains very little or no THC. Cannabis, on the other hand, has THC levels above 0.3 percent (usually between 5-35 percent). Because of its low THC levels, you can use hemp oil without feeling “high” afterwards. Hemp is typically grown for industrial purposes, as it’s used to make clothing, paper, ropes, carpets, construction materials and plastic composites. 

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CBD is readily obtainable in most parts of the United States, though its exact legal status is in flux. All 50 states have laws legalizing CBD with varying degrees of restriction, and while the federal government still considers CBD in the same class as marijuana, it doesn’t habitually enforce against it. In December 2015, the FDA eased the regulatory requirements to allow researchers to conduct CBD trials. Currently, many people obtain CBD online without a medical cannabis license. The government’s position on CBD is confusing, and depends in part on whether the CBD comes from hemp or marijuana. The legality of CBD is expected to change, as there is currently bipartisan consensus in Congress to make the hemp crop legal which would, for all intents and purposes, make CBD difficult to prohibit.
Of course, there is a different side to the story also. It is true that the studies concluded so far have their limitations, and there is no saying what effects supplementation with CBD for more than 6 months could have. However, they suggest cannabidiol has the potential for treating some mental disorders, like anxiety and depression, seizure disorders like epilepsy, insomnia, and chronic pain.

Most traditional treatments come with side effects that – in many cases – seem worse (or just as terrible) as the anxiety itself. These side effects range from mood altering effects like depression, to weight gain or loss, to dependence (the need for higher doses to achieve the same effect and avoid withdrawal symptoms)… the side effects are often a deterrent. Only around 36.9 percent of anxiety sufferers receive treatment for their condition.


Where do you buy CBD oils? You may have noticed that CBD products are everywhere these days. You can easily find CBD oil and other products online and in certain health food/vitamin stores or spas. To separate the highest quality products from the rest, look for one that has a certificate of analysis, or COA. This means that the manufacturer tests the product for contaminants, and it meets lab standards.

As is the case with any plant that constitutes a crop, cannabis plants have been selectively bred over the years to bolster one or another desired characteristic. This means that some plants provide a more potent psychotropic effect, others possess more prominent seeds (used in the production of cooking oil traditionally), while others may make for sturdier textile fibers.
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