Why Isn't CBD Toxic: Driving Into the Science Behind These Beneficial Cannabinoids

Reading time - 16 minutes

Many people have misconstrued views of cannabis due to its categorisation as an illegal substance, but this doesn’t tell the whole story. CBD is often assumed to be in the same category as street cannabis, and many still believe it is toxic upon consumption when this is far from the truth.

Here at Amphora, we pride ourselves on offering the most up-to-date education on everything CBD, and why you shouldn’t worry about trying it for yourself.

In this article, we will delve into the science to explain why CBD is considered to be non-toxic, while also breaking down some of the scientific literature which has demonstrated this. There will also be explanations on why CBD has been seen to have major health benefits for several consumers, including sufferers of chronic pain, anxiety, multiple sclerosis and more.

We believe our products here at Amphora are the perfect way to start your CBD journey - by offering high-quality vape oils that have a premium feel.

What is CBD?

CBD, formerly known as cannabidiol, is a naturally occurring chemical compound found in the cannabis plant. These compounds are known as cannabinoids, and there are 113 known to cannabis lab researchers today.

Unlike Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD has no intoxicating effects, meaning it won’t get you ‘high’. In fact, it has been associated with improved cognition and mental clarity, properties which don’t resonate with the effects of smoking cannabis. This is an important distinction to make as cannabinoids are often misunderstood and lead some people to associate CBD with toxicity.

Why do CBD and THC affect the body differently?

Cannabinoids affect the human body in different ways, and each has unique properties which set it apart. For example, CBN is known for its anti-spasmodic qualities and its ability to aid sleep, whereas CBC is known as an anti-inflammatory and has the capability to relieve pain. So, THC and CBD are very different, and the science reiterates this too.

There are two types of cannabinoid receptors - CB1 receptors, which are located in the central nervous system, specifically neurons in the brain, and CB2 receptors, which are located throughout the body, including your bones, liver and spleen.

CB1 receptors are proteins which allow the body to regulate brain functions, such as memory, processing sensory information, and releasing hormones. The cannabinoid that predominantly interacts with these receptors is THC, which is the compound responsible for the intoxicating effects of cannabis.

CB2 receptors are proteins which are predominantly involved with immune functions, which is why they are found all around the body. CBD - along with many other cannabinoids - interact with these receptors, helping to regulate immune function. This is why CBD reacts with the body so differently to THC and is the reason you don’t have to worry about intoxication (feeling high).

Every person has their own, unique endocannabinoid system which regulates cannabinoids in the body. This is a complex cell-signalling system and is how we process the chemical compounds in cannabis. This is what differentiates it from other supplements and herbal remedies on the market.

What is the endocannabinoid system, and how does it function?

The endocannabinoid system is a vast cell-signalling operation that is made up of cellular cannabinoid receptors. These receptors are found in the membranes of many different cells around the body. They are utilised by binding to endogenous cannabinoids (similar to cannabinoids from cannabis, but produced by the human body) which in turn signal that the body needs the endocannabinoid system to take action. This allows the body to regulate functions such as sleep, appetite and pain management. 

This system is part of our central nervous system and peripheral nervous system, which are both controlled by the brain. As you may already know, the mind is made up of billions of nerve cells, which are vital for processing communication through synapses. Once a signal has been sent from the nerve through the axon - the extension of the nerve - the synapse will release neurotransmitters which directs the signal to cannabinoid receptors within the endocannabinoid system.

Scientists are still in the process of building an in-depth understanding of exactly how this system works, and we still have a lot to learn, but it is known that every animal - apart from insects - has an ECS. Additionally, certain activities, such as exercise and mental productivity, can stimulate parts of it.  

CBD’s role in the endocannabinoid system

The endocannabinoid system is essential for achieving homeostasis - the mechanism by which the body finds a stable equilibrium between interdependent components for maintaining psychological processes in our body. This may sound confusing at first, but once it is broken down, it is relatively easy to understand.

An example of this would be the body sweating when it is too hot and shivering to warm up. The ECS and the endocannabinoids in our body are also involved in processes of homeostasis and play an important role in regulating a variety of systems. CBD works in a similar way to our own cannabinoids to regulate things like immune response, mood, pain management, and appetite and is why it has been seen to be an excellent supplement for improving our health and wellbeing.

By ingesting CBD, a consumer can, therefore, influence the regulation of their own endocannabinoid system. It is also thought that if you use CBD consistently, it helps promote the growth of more CB2 receptors, which is why many users experience heightened benefits of CBD after two to four weeks of use.

So why are people replacing medications like sleeping pills or painkillers with CBD? The reasoning is simple. The beauty of CBD is there are almost no side effects, while research also suggests there are no adverse effects from taking “too much” of the supplement.

For example, it is known that sleeping pills worsen your REM sleep, which is vitally important for optimal rest, whereas CBD has been shown to improve REM sleep. This is why you might feel groggy and tired when you wake up after taking a sleeping pill, but with CBD, users describe their sleep as revitalising. The body already uses endocannabinoids to regulate these processes, meaning CBD does not disturb natural, bodily functions; instead, it assists them.

How can CBD help you?

So, you might now be wondering, how can CBD benefit you in your everyday life? Whether you are looking to use it for general health and wellbeing, or if you intend to use it to help with a specific condition, CBD is practical and versatile for your everyday needs.

Anxiety

We have all, at some time or other, had to deal with the mental angst of life, and it can be draining at the best of times. This can lead to stress and anxiety - and when these build up, getting a restful night's sleep can be a task on its own. But what if something could help?

Many studies have reported CBD can improve symptoms of anxiety and stress. While it isn’t scientifically proven as of yet, many people now include CBD in their supplement routine to combat these struggles.

One study on mice showed that CBD was having a similar effect to SSRI’s (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors), which are commonly used to treat anxiety disorders, and, in fact, were seen to work faster than SSRIs in targeting the serotonin system in our brains. The World Health Organisation in a 2017 report has now recognised that CBD has the potential to treat anxiety disorder. Although they expressed this with caution and subjectivity, this is a great sign that CBD is gaining legitimacy.

Human clinical trials are increasing in number rapidly and are further reiterating what we saw in animals. A study from the New York University of Medicine  states that “Evidence from human studies strongly supports the potential for CBD as a treatment for anxiety disorder”.

Chronic pain

Many people rely heavily on opioids to manage debilitating chronic pain which would otherwise leave them unable to function normally. While this medication is useful to start with and is highly efficient at relieving pain, opioids are associated with a whole host of side effects, and some patients eventually become physically dependent on them, which can lead to other issues with your health.

Researchers have investigated the potential of CBD for treating chronic pain, and the future looks promising. GW Pharmaceuticals published a review on the recent scientific research on CBD and pain management.  Regarding the use of CBD for pain management, they stated that “the future for cannabinoid therapeutics appears very bright, indeed”. This conclusion is promising for the future of CBD as a natural painkiller for a variety of different conditions.

Muscle recovery

Athletes and active people all over the world are now treating muscle soreness and recovery with CBD. This is because of CBD’s anti-inflammatory qualities, and as research gains more legitimacy, there is hope that CBD will be a staple supplement for physical activity.

The mechanisms underlying CBD’s anti-inflammatory effects are only just beginning to be determined, but one study produced by the biomedical centre at Uppsala University  has found that CBD inhibits COX-enzymes which are involved in inflammation processes. Cox-enzymes catalyse the production of prostaglandins, which are key mediators of inflammation. By inhibiting COX-enzymes, CBD therefore directly impacts the regulation of inflammation. The report also concluded that CBD inhibited COX-enzymes at a higher concentration range when compared to existing anti-inflammatory drugs.

There is a great body of scientific literature out there which builds on and corroborates these findings, which is very exciting and will hopefully pave the way for CBD to be classed as an anti-inflammatory therapeutic agent.

Medical conditions

CBD has been seen to work effectively for treating patients suffering from a variety of severe medical conditions. In some cases, CBD is the only hope for sufferers and has offered them a light at the end of the tunnel when it seemed nothing would work.

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a debilitating illness that severely damages the central nervous system. The consequences of the disease leave patients with slurred speech and reduced functional mobility, which can significantly affect their quality of life.

CBD has been seen to improve mobility and also to reduce spasticity- a common symptom of MS, which is diagnosed by frequent, involuntary muscle spasms. A study produced by the department of health and exercise at Colorado State University found that although more research is needed, their findings indicate that CBD is useful for improving mobility in MS patients.

Children who have severe epilepsy - such as Doose syndrome and Dravet syndrome - are often drug-resistant, meaning that the regular medication they offer these patients has no effect. CBD has been seen to decrease seizures in patients dramatically and significantly improve their quality of life.

Research has shown that CBD isolate has decreased seizures in patients by up to 50%. Due to the efficacy of the treatment at relieving the symptoms of epilepsy patients, there is now a CBD isolate available for private and NHS prescriptions. This was a significant moment for the CBD industry as it has gained wider acceptance and acknowledgement as legitimate in the UK, and slowly the stigma that has surrounded cannabis is whittling away.

Why is THC classed as intoxicating?

At Amphora, we want to educate you on all the facts, and we think it’s important to know the truth behind the most controversial cannabinoid, THC. None of our products contains this cannabinoid, but we feel it’s right to explain THC and how it works in the body. We want to put your mind at ease if you decide to use one of our products, as we understand it can be a daunting decision with all the negative stigma that has surrounded cannabis for years.

Over the years, the intoxicating effect associated with cannabis, which THC is responsible for, has got much more potent. According to the University of Mississippi research, cannabis in today's market is 57-67% stronger when tested against historical remnants. This gives users a stronger ‘high’ and is why many see cannabis as a dangerous drug, especially when consumed by developing teenagers and adolescents.

The reason for this rise in strength is because cannabis growers and cultivators have moved their focus to the female plants, which contain much higher levels of THC. The cannabis producers have focused exclusively on the tops of the female plants which haven’t been fertilised - this is called sinsemilla. Harvesters cut and trim the rest of the plant - such as the leaves and stem - to leave the remains of the more potent sinsemilla.

Cross-breeding and strain selection have also contributed to the increase in THC strength. The cannabis industry in recent years has decided to shift its focus onto breeds with a higher concentration of THC. Cultivators have been using these strains to create hybrid crosses, which further intensifies the intoxicating properties of the plant. In the 1990s, most strains came in around 10%, now strains are consistently pushing 30%, and a ‘medium strength’ strain would be classified as approximately 20%.

While THC can cause paranoia and anxiety, research suggests it does have its health benefits when used in patients who suffer from severe conditions. You only have to do a quick google search to find out how it has dramatically helped children who have severe epilepsy. Murray Grey - a child who sufferers from Doose syndrome - was reportedly having 600 seizures a day. He has been taking THC oil for one year and hasn’t had a seizure since.

THC has also been seen to be effective in small doses in CBD oils. This is called the ‘the complete entourage effect’, where all the different cannabinoids work together to create a more significant and long-lasting effect on the body. These types of oils mostly only contain 2% THC and wouldn’t produce an intoxicating effect.

At Amphora, you don’t need to worry about intoxication because all of our products are completely THC free. If you want to see for yourself, check out our certificate of analysis which contains all the information and data on each of the cannabinoids and terpenes in our product.

Why choose Amphora vapes?

With the broad range of CBD products and the variety of different ways of administering CBD, it can be a daunting task to select a product that suits you. At Amphora, we pride ourselves on offering premium quality CBD to suit your individual needs, while also prioritising transparency, so you know what’s in our products. So look no further, and discover whether Amphora vape oils are the right choice for you.

We know it’s incredibly important to have products tailored to your specific needs, which is why we are launching four different vape cartridges, with each having their particular categorisation and effects. Our products contain premium quality CBD, as well as a range of terpenes, each with unique effects and benefits.

Peace (Anxiety)

We have developed the peace vape oil for people who are looking for calm to combat the stresses of life. The combination of sweet wood, peppercorn and grapefruit not only tastes smooth and serene, but it also has all the qualities you need to de-stress after a long hard day. Research suggests that CBD can reduce anxiety, so why not give it a try?

Sleep (Zzz)

In the process of creating our vape cartridge designed for sleep, we wanted to create a combination of flavours which are commonly associated with relaxation and revitalisation. That’s why we chose juniper and lemon - a classic combination that will ease you gently into a restful night's sleep.

Muscle Recovery (mend)

Soreness is something we can all relate to, and while we always have the option of over-the-counter painkillers, sometimes they just don’t cut it. That’s why we designed a vape cartridge that focuses on a set of flavours which are sure to offer the repair and relief you need, including stone fruits, herbs, which is delightfully topped off with a pine finish. In combination with the anti-inflammatory properties of our high-quality CBD, our muscle recovery range will mend you in no time.

General Wellness (Inspire)

Unsure where your needs lie? Look no further and be inspired by our general wellness vape oil. Designed to suit your everyday needs, this combination of earthy, lilac and citrus tones will help you seize the day. The variety of flavours nestled next to our premium CBD will enable you to think differently, be creative and find clarity.

All of our cartridges can be used with our cleverly designed vape pen and battery. We had convenience in mind, so you can easily screw in the cartridge without dealing with the hassle of squeezing the vape liquid into a chamber. Portability we felt was imperative too - we have designed our vape pen so it can easily fit in your pocket so you can use it at a moment's notice.

We want to build our brand on trust, which is why we have formulated high-quality CBD which tastes luxurious without the hassle.   

Why vape?

So you might be asking, why vape instead of using a tincture or a capsule? There are a few significant advantages to vaping when compared to other forms of ingestion.

One of the most significant benefits is the speed of absorption. When you consume CBD through your lungs, you get an almost immediate effect, which is unrivalled when you compare it to sublingual oils (20 minutes) and capsules (50 minutes). Since when vaped CBD is not metabolised in the stomach and none is lost in the digestive tract, it enters the bloodstream at a much faster rate.

Secondly, vaping has a very high bioavailability - this term refers to the percentage of CBD that is effectively absorbed by the body. Our bodies can’t absorb all the CBD that we ingest, but some methods are more effective than others at allowing CBD to reach where it needs to get to. Research has shown that vaping has a bioavailability of 50%-60%, compared to around 15% when taken orally. Sublingual oils (consumption under the tongue) is the only real rival to vaping in terms of bioavailability, with a percentage range of 20% to 35%, but which is still significantly lower.

Many people also find vapes easier to use than sublingual oils,  and they can be more discreet too. Passers-by would not immediately suspect that you are using the CBD oil in your vape. It is easily administered - just take your vape pen out of your pocket and enjoy the blissful flavours that Amphora have to offer.

 

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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 

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Angus Taylor    |    LinkedIn   IPI website
CEO Infused Products International Ltd.


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 Gaylord Wardell BSc, MD, FRCP    |     LinkedIn   IPI website  
Chair, Infused Products International Ltd., Science Advisory Board       



Dr Wardell is a practising physician with over 40 years of clinical and educational experience in pain managemen
t, 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.   

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Infused Amphora “Learn” is intended for informational purposes only and is NOT a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.