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The science of CBD for non-scientists. This article is not about how to use CBD for pain, but rather how CBD works with the human body.
CBD, the initials derived from the substance known as cannabidiol, is one of the thousands of molecules found in cannabis plants.
Most folks, not involved with cannabis, are aware that cannabis is used to get high and is illegal almost everywhere. There is a thing made by the plant called THC, which is used by some people to get some sort of mental experience that is often called a ‘high’. The idea that cannabis has a medical benefit is not new, but it has been almost totally forgotten or ignored because so much emphasis has been placed on the illegal use of the plant to get high as part of the world's war on drugs. Most of us would prefer to obey the law, and even if it might be helpful will not consider illegal medicine.
The world is changing. Countries are making some form of cannabis, which contains varying amounts of THC (delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol which makes you high) much more available and even legal (UK USA are examples). The CBD part of cannabis does not make us high, is generally very safe and has many potential benefits.
Potential? Why? Because to make credible claims about benefits to patients/people research in people is needed to confirm that it is real. For decades cannabis has been illegal worldwide and considered equivalent to other drugs like heroin. In 1972 President Nixon in the USA had his Attorney-General declare cannabis a Level One Narcotic(dangerous with no medical value and not eligible for federal research except to prove harm). He also created the DEA, Drug Enforcement Administration, to help get that done. To this day, the effects of that decision have rendered research, in humans, into the potential medical benefits of cannabis, very rare indeed. Money is vital to research! All of that was due to the THC content, but we will leave THC for another day.
CBD, from the same kind of plant, is becoming regarded much more highly because it does not make us high and has potential medical uses. Why do plants have chemicals that are used by species like humans? Life may have started as a single cell. Once there were lots of them, they began to clump together. When that happened, the ones who survived were those able to communicate, to avoid danger or live better together.
Chemicals were one of those types of signals used to communicate. As time passed, signals became necessary for survival and survival resulted in living organisms passing those signalling chemicals on to the next generation. In the end, what happened was that similar signalling molecules and systems ended up in living things that looked very different.
We use plants and animals in research partly because we share many of the same signalling processes.
Those same signalling substances can be used as drugs or models for drugs in human medicine.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is just such a signalling molecule that exists in plants but works for human systems because we share a common life origin. The system in humans that recognizes the signalling molecules in the cannabis plant has been named the endocannabinoid system.
The name we use is based on this same idea. If the human body makes a chemical that works like one from the cannabis plant, we call it an ENDOCANNABINOID (a chemical we make that looks like and works like and is made in us).
There is now known to to be many of these chemicals, and you will hear a lot about two of them in particular; cannabinoids 2AG and anandamide. If the chemicals are made in the plant, it is called a PHYTO (plant) CANNABINOID. The best-known PHYTOCANNABINOIDS are CBD and THC. If we create a new compound in a laboratory or a factory that looks like and acts like what is found in the plant but is not identical we call it a Synthetic CANNABINOID. If you make THC in a lab and it is identical to the plant, it creates unnecessary confusion to call it synthetic. In the end, CBD is a cannabinoid made by the plant we know as Cannabis sativa, hemp or marijuana and had been synthesized in labs.
CBD interacts with a system in our bodies called the ECS, endocannabinoid system. The parts of the ECS where CBD acts do not change our consciousness resulting in a 'high'. CBD exerts most of its effects on the systems responsible for immunity, inflammation and pain where the potential benefits for CBD oil for pain relief are observed.
CBD is increasing in profile partly because it does not cause a ‘high’ and can reduce some of the harm caused by too much inflammation and pain. Other chemicals which act on immunity, inflammation and pain like prednisone, ibuprofen and codeine are known to almost everyone. Those drugs and their benefits come with extra baggage, the risks of which we know too well, and require a high level of caution to get the benefit without unacceptable damage. CBD comes with a much lower risk and toxicity. It is the main reason it's less tightly controlled. It is simply safer.
Only extensive human research, rendered almost impossible because it is still stigmatized with illegal marijuana, will give us the ability to makes compelling claims in human medicine, but that research is growing. However, the relative safety of CBD is not in much doubt. A 2018 report by the World Health Organization has found CBD to be generally well-tolerated and generally safe for human use.
The Amphora line of CBD products, which will be available for purchase in the UK in July 2020, is a superb example of how a safe CBD product can be used to support a healthy lifestyle and wellness regime. Amphora will offer best in class CBD infused products that may be able to help you with conditions associated with inflammation and pain. The Amphora Mend CBD vape oil formula may just be your CBD oil for pain relief.
That said, if you have severe medical conditions, taking strong prescription medications, you should be open with your medical prescriber about anything new you'll be putting in your body. We learned this so well with grapefruit!
Written by | Infused Amphora Team
The Infused Amphora Team is dedicated to creating resources to educate and engage consumers on the growing evidence of CBD benefits and the extensive health and wellness properties of CBD oil.
Contributors | Angus Taylor + Dr Gaylord Wardell
IPI is a pharmaceutical ingredient company that cultivates cannabis strains curated to extract specific cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids for the formulation of effects-based health and wellness products. Angus is an experienced public speaker, engaging stakeholders, governments and media. Angus was the co-founder of NewLeaf Cannabis, Canada’s most successful retail brand to date, and has been established as a well-known and recognized expert in the field.
Dr Wardell is a practising physician with over 40 years of clinical and educational experience in pain management, medical practices and education. Dr Wardell is past President of the Pain Society of Alberta, and current President of the Alberta Medical Association, section of Pain. He is a popular public speaker, an active blogger on medical and pain-related issues, and proponent for scientific validation for patients experiencing pain.
Infused Amphora “Learn” is intended for informational purposes only and is NOT a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.