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Cannabinoid Science 101: What Is Cannabidiol (CBD)?

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CBD is a non-psychoactive component of cannabis. CBD gained popularity much later than psychoactive THC, but was isolated more than 20 years earlier. Currently, CBD is being extensively studied and studied for its medicinal uses in treating numerous diseases. Currently, CBD surpasses THC as the most famous cannabinoid in cannabis plants.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the best-known and intensively studied phytocannabinoids. As a mediator for the effects of THC, it is generally not considered psychoactive. However, research has shown that CBD has a calming effect. This may partly explain why high-CBD cannabis strains are known for their “stoned” (relaxed and calm) effect rather than their “high” (uplifted and energized) effect.

If you’re following the latest advances in health and wellness supplements, you may have heard of CBD products, even if you’ve never seen a cannabis plant. There is growing and compelling evidence that adding CBD supplements to your diet can potentially relieve and protect against a wide variety of medical conditions.

Chemical properties of the cannabidiol molecule

CBD has the same chemical formula and molecular weight as THC (C21H30O2, 314.46 g / mol), although the molecular structure is slightly different. Like THC and most other lipids, CBD is hydrophobic and lipophilic, which means that it doesn’t easily dissolve or emulsify in water, but dissolves in fat (as well as most organic solvents like butane and alcohol).

Under acidic conditions, CBD cyclizes (forms a new carbon ring) to THC. Under alkaline conditions (if water is present), CBD oxidizes to cannabidiol hydroxyquinone, which has not yet been adequately investigated, but can have an inhibitory effect on liver enzymes (liver enzymes), which are of crucial importance for the metabolism of ingested drugs.

The THC and CBD molecules show their extremely close similarity

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Cannabidiol in the endocannabinoid system

Although it is widely believed that CBD has no affinity for cannabinoid receptors, at least one study has shown that CBD acts as an inverse agonist of the CB2 receptor. An inverse agonist is a receptor ligand that induces an opposite response to an agonist. While THC increases the level of receptor activity above the intrinsic level found in the absence of a ligand, CBD decreases levels below that baseline. An antagonist, on the other hand, binds to a receptor and remains inactive, thereby blocking the actions of neighboring agonists.

The speculative new cannabinoid receptor GPR55 can be influenced by the effects of CBD. This receptor has been shown to respond to both CBD and THC, as well as the endocannabinoids 2-AG, anandamide, and noladine ethers (also known as 2-AG ethers). It has even been postulated as the CB3 receptor itself.

It is also believed that while CBD has low direct affinity for cannabinoid receptors, it can have various indirect effects. For example, CBD inhibits the breakdown of the endocannabinoid anandamide by inhibiting the enzyme that is responsible for its breakdown. This increases the endogenous levels and bioactivity of anandamide. CBD can also act on receptors that are not part of the endocannabinoid system but work in combination with it.

CBD effects on non-endocannabinoid receptors

CBD is a complete but weak agonist of the transient receptor potential Vanilloid Type 1 (TRPV1), which plays an important role in the response to heat and harmful stimuli. TRPV1 is a nociceptor: when there is sufficient excitation of the receptor, signals are sent to the brain that trigger a series of automatic responses, including the sensation of pain.

Various cannabinoids, including the endocannabinoids anandamide and N-arachidonoyl dopamine (a CB1 receptor agonist), affect the TRPV1 receptor. Conversely, several vanilloids affect cannabinoid receptors, including olvanil and pseudocapsaicin, but not capsaicin itself. The close chemical similarity between many vanilloids and cannabinoids has led researchers to conclude that research into vanilloid cannabimimetics (substances that mimic cannabinoids) is a great therapeutic one Offers potential.

CBD has also been shown to act as a 5-HT1a receptor agonist. This receptor regulates the expression of serotonin (5-HT) in the central nervous system and can explain many of the anti-anxiety and depression-relieving properties of CBD. In addition, the modulatory effects of CBD on the mu and delta opioid receptors involved in the analgesic and euphoric response can add to the overall effect of the cannabis user.

The dominant cannabinoid in industrial hemp is CBD

Cannabidiol and its potential for medicinal use

It has been reported that CBD is of even greater medical importance than THC. It is not psychoactive, so it can be used safely without fear of poisoning. In addition, it has numerous known beneficial properties and undoubtedly many that are yet to be discovered.

CBD has analgesic, antidepressant and anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) effects and is also being studied for its neuroprotective properties. Neuroprotection, in which the structures of the brain and central nervous system are protected from damage (including further damage in degenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease), is a growing area of ​​medicine that is of great importance.

Perhaps most excitingly, CBD has an inhibitory effect on cancer cell proliferation. It is believed that the effect of CBD on the CB2 and TRPV1 receptors could play a role here through the induction of oxidative stress. Systemic biological functions produce reactive oxygen species (ROS) such as peroxides, oxygen ions, and free radicals, which normally need to be detoxified to reduce cell damage.

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The best-studied medical use of cannabidiol is in the treatment of epilepsy. The case of Charlotte Figi, whose parents successfully used medicinal cannabis to reduce the seizures she suffered due to Dravet syndrome, led to the creation of the web cannabis strain Charlotte.

As more children were treated with this low-THC and high-CBD strain, scientists began investigating the remedies that CBD could have for seizure incidence and seizure termination. The ability of CBD to treat epilepsy has been investigated in several high quality, placebo-controlled add-on therapy studies. It is one of the few medicinal uses for CBD that has hard evidence of its medical validity. The exploration of everyone else is proceeding rapidly.

  • Disclaimer:

    This article is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always contact your doctor or other licensed health care practitioner. Do not hesitate to seek medical advice or to ignore medical advice because you have read something on this website.

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Robert Dunfee