How can CBD help benefit your body?
You might be asking yourself what is CBD? CBD is the health and wellness substance that everybody seems to be talking about. Linked with relieving the symptoms of a variety of illnesses and diseases ranging from depression, anxiety to epilepsy. The benefits of CBD are the reason more and more people are interested in how it works in the body.
CBD is endorsed constantly by athletes who use it for pain relief or as an anti-inflammatory and by the latest celebrities who are using it to manage stress and anxiety. It feels like more and more famous faces are advocating CBD every week and that hemp derived CBD products are currently sold just about everywhere on the high street where CBD is legal in the UK.
We break down all you need to know about CBD in this guide. Use the links below to jump to a particular section or read on.
Since the rise of CBD and it becoming such a household topic of conversation for some people, it has started to reduce the stigma of cannabis as a whole.
Recently, a debate has been sparked worldwide about CBD and what positive effects it will bring, we have the overall applications of marijuana and hemp and how they can both be incorporated more into our day-to-day lives. From changing legal status to increasing clinical studies, CBD has really helped grow the cannabis industry.
What are the health benefits? What side effects should you know about? And, is there anything else you should know about CBD before consuming it?
What is the benefit of CBD and what does it mean?
To answer what is CBD, it is short for cannabidiol, a molecule that is found exclusively within the cannabis, or marijuana plant. Cannabidiol belongs to a category of compounds called cannabinoids, of which there are currently 113 discovered that exist naturally within the cannabis plant.
Clinical studies conducted on all cannabinoids have linked them with having specific medicinal properties. This includes probably the most famous compound contained within cannabis, tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. What asking what is CBD you often must ask how is it different to THC.
CBD is gaining ground in the popularity game against THC because it appears to have medicinal benefits, but unlike THC, it doesn’t exhibit the same psychoactive effects. This means it won’t get the user ‘high’ or ‘stoned’ and hence has no chance of being abused recreationally.
Cannabidiol (CBD) oil is simply a form of cannabidiol that has been extracted from the buds/flowers of cannabis, purified and then suspended into a carrier oil, such as hemp oil, coconut oil or MCT oil. These oils are then generally consumed sublingually (placed under the tongue) for five minutes and are commonly used to treat chronic pain or for reducing inflammation.
Cannabidiol can be taken/consumed in multiple different ways, not just as CBD oil. The buds/flowers from a cannabis plant can be inhaled by either smoking or vaporizing them. Cannabidiol can also be extracted from the plant and placed into different sprays, creams, balms and e-liquids. All which can have different uses, bioavailabilities and different associated health benefits.
What's the difference between CBD marijuana and hemp?
A common misconception found not only on the internet but also in national media and even from people selling CBD products, is that CBD is something that is found exclusively in hemp plants, which is incorrect. To understand why we first need to understand the difference between hemp, marijuana and cannabis to understand what is CBD.
Marijuana and hemp are variants of the species called Cannabis sativa, which is known to have 3 subspecies called sativa, indica and ruderalis. All three of these subspecies can be classified as marijuana or hemp depending upon one property – their THC content.
Literally, the only thing that differentiates marijuana and hemp is the amount of THC that is present within the plant. A marijuana plant is a plant within the species C. sativa that contains more than 0.3% THC and a hemp plant is one that contains less than 0.3% THC. The amount of CBD is irrelevant.
The distinction between both marijuana and hemp was made for purely legal purposes, because THC is the main psychoactive component and has the potential to be abused. Authorities needed a way to separate cannabis with high THC from cannabis with low THC because the cannabis plant has multiple industrial uses. It’s not just something that people consume recreationally or medicinally.
It’s worth noting that if a company is selling hemp oil or cannabis oil that this doesn’t tell you anything about the CBD concentration within the bottle. The oil could possibly be made from the seeds of the hemp plant which contains no cannabinoids at all. Therefore, it is always important to check that the bottle explicitly states it has CBD inside.
In order to do this you should look at the product description for both the amount of mg of CBD there is in the bottle and the % of CBD stated.
Why is CBD oil so popular?
Cannabidiol (CBD) has gained most of its notoriety in the US and Canada where medical marijuana is mostly legal and quite commonly prescribed to those who need it. The demographic of people using medical cannabis and CBD products can explain why it has been raised into a multibillion-dollar industry over the past few years. Cannabis isn’t just something that is used by the angst-ridden teenager anymore, it is now being used by aunties and uncles and even grandparents as they understand what CBD is.
CBD oil has also gained traction in the UK with the biggest rise being since medical marijuana was legalised in November 2018. It is being touted as a miracle substance with no known side effects and that has no potential for abuse or overdose limit and it can help with symptoms from multiple different ailments. But, how does CBD oil affect humans and has there been enough clinical trials to suggest that CBD is the wonder compound that everybody says it is?
How does CBD oil affect the human body?
The human body (and almost every other living creature on earth) has a network of receptors called the endocannabinoid system. These receptors fall into two main groups known as CB1 and CB2. When CBD interacts with receptors in the endocannabinoid system there appears to be a number of associated health benefits.
CB1 receptors are found predominantly in the central nervous system which consists of your brain and spinal cord. In fact, CB1 receptors are one of the most abundant receptor types in the brain. They are mostly associated with effects concerning sleep, memory and depression.
CB1 receptors are what THC binds to in order to elicit its psychoactive effects. CBD doesn’t physically bind to the CB1 receptors but in fact, changes how other molecules bind to it. Because CBD doesn’t directly bind to the CB1 receptors, it doesn’t cause the same psychotropic effects as THC.
In fact, it has been shown to alter the way in which THC binds to the CB1 receptors and hence it has been associated with reducing the intensity of the psychoactive effects of THC.
CB2 receptors are found predominantly in areas other than the central nervous system, so on tissues and organs as well as cells of the immune system. They are mostly associated with effects concerning immune response and inflammation.
CB1 and CB2 aren’t the only two types of cannabinoid receptor. They are just the most abundant, the first to be discovered and therefore the most studied and understood.
What health benefits have been associated with CBD?
The only FDA approved epilepsy medication containing CBD in the United States is Epidiolex, which is mainly used for rare forms of epilepsy, such as Dravet’s syndrome. In the UK, the situation is essentially the same. The only types of medication that can be prescribed are again for rare types of epilepsy as well as for multiple sclerosis.
However, if the wealth of stories on the internet are to be believed from celebrities, sportsmen and women, health professionals as well as your average, everyday person, there is more to CBD than what it is prescribed for. It’s association with it helping a range of different health conditions haven’t just formed from thin air. As they understand what is CBD we start to see progress!
Blair Gibbs from the Centre for Medical Cannabis who stated,
“The irony is that CBD hasn’t been proven in enough clinical studies to be classed as a medicine, so none of these companies that sell CBD oil can legally claim to have any medical benefit for the people buy them. But, anecdotally it’s a different story. It wouldn’t have got the level of 1.3 million regular users if people weren’t buying it, spending £25 a month or more if they weren’t receiving some benefit themselves.”
The range of conditions which people have claimed CBD helps with is astoundingly large. It has been linked with types of auto-immune conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, Crohn’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. It does this by controlling the auto-immune response, stopping the inflammation and pain symptoms that occur when the immune system falsely responds to invasion, attacking its own cells in the process.
CBD is also popularly used to help with skin conditions such as psoriasis and acne. These two conditions are also auto-immune conditions even though they are commonly considered skin conditions. Again, because CBD is an anti-inflammatory, it suppresses the inflammatory response from the immune system which helps to control the physical effects of these skin conditions.
In the UK, studies show that CBD purchased on the high street is mostly used to treat anxiety and depression, making up approximately 40% of purchases. People are using CBD as an alternative to pharmaceutical-based antidepressants. The CEO from chemical testing & analysis company, EoS Scientific stated,
- ‘Our research is identifying a worrying trend in the UK’s workforce – one that sees millions of people experience unhealthy levels of stress and anxiety as a result of increased working hours, less time for recreational activities and a financial squeeze on everyone, including those in full-time employment.’
- ‘CBD works by affecting the endocannabinoid system and, while further research is still ongoing into the long-term benefits of using CBD to treat anxiety, initial studies suggest that CBD oil has anti-anxiety, stress-reducing and antidepressant effects.’
- ‘The number of UK users and sellers of CBD oil has almost doubled in the last year, with many claiming the cannabis-based products are a more natural and easily accessible way to manage their mental health’
Research in the United States has shown that medical marijuana is mostly prescribed for chronic pain relief. Ex-NFL stars are running campaigns within the US to get opioid medication replaced with CBD for the management of acute and chronic pain injuries.
In contact sports it appears players are currently advised to play through symptoms of pain by taking opioids, causing cases of severe opioid addiction. CBD has shown to have no addictive qualities and anecdotal comments from these sports stars indicate that their pain symptoms are reduced. What is it about CBD that helps?
CBD has also been shown to help with glaucoma, hypertension, addiction, insomnia, stress, appetite problems, muscle spasms amongst many other conditions. Even dogs have been known to have separation anxiety and many CBD dog products now exist.
What are the side effects of CBD?
When consuming CBD oil, assuming little to no THC is present, the intoxicating effects are so mild to the point of being non-existent. It is weaker than coffee and about the same as cough medicine.
CBD is biphasic – meaning that it in small doses it can act as a mild stimulant, helping to reduce anxiety, and in high doses it can act as a mild depressant, CBD helping you fall asleep. The amount of mg of CBD required before it acts as a depressant rather than a stimulant varies from person to person and is part of the current clinical trials.
CBD does not in any way have the same psychoactive effects as cannabis. However, it would be wrong to say that it isn’t psychoactive. Anything that causes an effect within the brain is classed as a psychoactive drug and therefore the world’s most consumed psychoactive drug is coffee or caffeine.
The fact that CBD benefits the body , feel relaxed or may help cure your anxiety all mean it is psychoactive, but that’s not a bad thing. Much of the internet may be wrong in their description of CBD when they say it isn’t psychoactive, but they simply mean that it doesn’t cause you to get ‘high’ or ‘stoned’ in the same way that cannabis does.
A similarity between both CBD and medical cannabis is that they both have been reported to cause dry mouth. This is because when the endocannabinoid system is involved with the inhibition of saliva production. This is a mild side-effect that can be quenched by drinking water.
Is CBD a drug?
The definition of a drug is a chemical compound that when administered to a living organism produces a biological effect. So yes, CBD is a drug. But if you were to be drug tested, would the test results advise that you were on a banned substance? The short answer is no. But, more explanation is needed…For a full guide to the laws on CBD in the UK read our full UK legal guide.
The rise in the number of people concerned about failing a drug test after consuming CBD is high. However, even though CBD is a substance derived from cannabis, it is not tested for in a drug test. The chemical compound that is generally illegal in cannabis is THC because of its psychoactive effects and potential for abuse. If THC was consumed then a drug test could come back positive. It's critical to understand what is CBD and how it contains no THC and how it passes regular drug test as a result.
It is important to note at this point that some (but not all) CBD products may contain some amount of THC. Hence, it is important to go with companies who comply with regulations and permit to independent third party testing on their products and make these tests available for the consumer. If you may have to take a drug test at any point, purchase CBD oil that has no THC in which have lab results to back their claim.
There have been a number of stories emerging where positive drug test results have emerged on the back of people consuming CBD oil that they believe the product is THC-free. So, this stresses the importance of purchasing CBD from a reputable company.
Regulations in most western countries dictate that CBD products must be derived from industrial hemp as opposed to marijuana. As previously stated, the difference between industrial hemp and marijuana is only the THC content. Cannabis is the species and hemp and marijuana are two varieties.
When deriving CBD products from hemp, you are minimising the amount of THC produced. Which helps companies and authorities because it means less controlled substances are being produced, so less policing. It also means that less processing is needed following the extraction of cannabinoids to remove the undesirable THC from the CBD oil.
In theory, a false positive test from CBD is relatively impossible. However, because the regulations for CBD are not as enforced as they should be, there is no guarantee that a product doesn't contain THC, so purchase with caution.
Is CBD a pharmaceutical medicine?
CBD is classified as both a health and wellness supplement and as a medicine. It is manufactured and sold on the high street and it is also prescribed by doctors for conditions such as epilepsy in the UK. This puts CBD into a legal minefield if the product is being produced for general sale as a supplement, because although it may be prescribed for cases such as Billy Caldwell for his rare form of epilepsy, Dravet’s syndrome. No companies who are selling it can make medical claims about it. We may understand what CBD is but without clinical evidence no reputable seller can make claims.
Medical advice can only be sought and given legally via a medical professional. So, anybody self-medicating with CBD oil from the high street who has obtained medical advice from anyone who isn’t a doctor, but is selling CBD oil, has been advised illegally. Any companies who are caught not adhering to these regulations could be prosecuted.
A good indication of whether a company is reputable or not is if they are making medical claims about CBD. A company making medical claims either does not know enough about the regulations to know that they shouldn’t be making claims, or they simply don’t care. Either way, they are to be avoided. Medical cannabis and CBD are now available in the UK.
How does the World Health Organisation classify CBD?
The current consensus in the medical world is that CBD is on the journey to being considered a wonder drug in the field of medicine. But, in order to understand fully what is CBD, more clinical trials are needed to confirm the full effects of CBD. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), CBD is being researched as: –
- A Neuroprotectant – Something that stops the loss of brain cells over time. A neuroprotectant can help with stopping the spread of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease. This operates because CBD acts as an antioxidant in the brain.
- Anti-epileptic – The type of drug used in the treatment for people with epilepsy. They mainly either prevent or reduce the severity of seizures. You may also see CBD referred to as anti-spasticity, which means it stops the shaking associated with certain conditions.
- Anxiolytic – A medication that inhibits anxiety. They can either reduce the severity, frequency or the duration of anxiety attacks.
- Antipsychotic – Medication used to manage the symptoms of psychosis. These can help reduce delusions, hallucinations, paranoia or disordered thought. Studies suggest that CBD may help with schizophrenia and other mental disorders.
- Analgesic – Is the scientific name given to painkillers. Anything that provides relief from pain by acting upon the nervous system. CBD oil is commonly prescribed in some countries for chronic pain issues.
- Anti-inflammatory – Medication that reduces inflammation, which is the uncomfortable side effect of the body trying to heal itself. Inflammation is the main side effect of a lot of conditions and CBD has confirmed as an anti-inflammatory. Hence, CBD is linked to help with lots of conditions.
- Anti-asthmatic – Medication that prevents asthmatic attacks.
- Anti-addiction – Medication that reduces addiction. CBD appears to block the reward pathways associated with activity related to addiction. Studies have been conducted showing that CBD helps with nicotine, alcohol and opiate addiction.
- Anti-tumour – CBD has shown that it may have the potential to inhibit tumours. Currently only tested in test-tube and animal studies, but it has shown to help reduce the spread of breast, colon and lung cancer. Commonly used in conjunction with other medication when used.
- Diabetes – In animal studies, CBD has shown to significantly reduce the onset of diabetes.
Currently, the only conditions CBD is prescribed for in the UK is for certain rare types of epilepsy and for multiple sclerosis. Until more clinical trials are conducted that are peer-reviewed and fully confirm that CBD help with other conditions, we won’t see it in hospitals. However, it does appear to be just a matter of time.
Cannabis oil side effects
According to the World Health Organisation and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), CBD oil is completely safe for consumption. However, just like any substance, it may trigger certain side effects in some people.
These include: –
- Dry Mouth
- Loss of appetite
- Mood swings
- Nausea and sickness
It is also strongly advised to speak to a doctor before taking CBD if you are currently taking medication or are about to start taking medication so you can know his opinion on what is CBD. It is also strongly advised to avoid any cannabis products, including CBD oil if you are pregnant or nursing.
If the cannabis oil you are taking has THC, then you may experience some of the associated psychoactive effects. If this is a concern then purchase the best UK THC-free CBD oil from a reputable vendor who third-party tests their product.
How to take cannabis oil?
Whether you have been prescribed cannabis oil by a doctor for epilepsy, multiple sclerosis or to reduce the sickness associated with some cancer treatments. Or, you have purchased it as a supplement to reduce inflammation, help with chronic pain or for anxiety. The way in which CBD oil is administered is very simple. You can understand what is CBD but its just as important to understand how to take CBD.
If you have CBD oil with a dropper, placed the amount of CBD oil required under the tongue for at least five minutes to ensure it has been absorbed before swallowing with water.
Cannabidiol can also available as a spray, which you spray under the tongue, as an e-liquid which you vape with a vaporizer pen or e-cigarette, or in the form of edibles such as CBD gummies, which you eat.
If you are using CBD and understand what is CBD and now you need to understand how to treat specific pain injuries or skin conditions, it can also be applied directly to the skin in the form of topicals such as balms, lotions and creams. Acne creams containing CBD like poko CBD are becoming better known.
Different methods of consuming CBD oil have different level of effectiveness, relating to the bioavailability of each method.
Why the bioavailability of CBD products is important?
If you want to get the most out of your CBD products, then choosing the method of how you consume it is important. Once you choose a reliable UK CBD wholesale you then need to decide the methoi=d to ingest CBD.
Bioavailability is the amount of a substance which enters the bloodstream. Here are some of the more common methods of consuming CBD and their associated bioavailabilities: –
- Smoking CBD – Combusting the hemp buds and inhaling the smoke results in the CBD being carried via the smoke into the lungs where it is subsequently absorbed into the bloodstream. The bioavailability of smoking is about 15-50%.
- Vaping CBD – You can heat the CBD buds up more gently, so the plant material doesn’t combust, but atomises into a vapour and then inhale that vapour. You can also extract the CBD into e-liquids that can be vaporised. The bioavailability of vaping CBD is 50-90%.
- Edibles – CBD can be extracted from the flower and place into a foodstuff that can then be eaten. The bioavailability of edibles is 5-20%. This is because once they enter the digestive system and are processed by the liver with very little absorption.
- CBD oil – CBD that is extracted from the buds can be placed into a carrier oil. These can be consumed sublingually (placed under the tongue). This has a bioavailability of around 75%.
- CBD Balms/Cream – These work by applying locally to the skin. They don’t have an associated bioavailability because they don’t enter the bloodstream.
Can you make your own CBD oil?
The range of different CBD oils available is astonishing. All made with different extraction methods with varying amounts of CBD in. Some are THC-free and others claim to be a specific blend of cannabinoids for specific needs, such as chronic CBD pain relief or anti-anxiety.
How do you tell a high-quality CBD oil from snake oil? How do you know if the CBD oil you are purchasing is CBD rich like it says it is. It is possible to make your own homemade CBD oil in the comfort of your own home with a crockpot and some olive oil, coconut oil or MCT oil and some hemp buds.
If you have access to hemp buds and are willing to do it, you can make cannabis oil as strong as you desire it to be for a fraction of the price of oils that are on general sale. Just look for CBD-rich strains of cannabis and guides which use a slow cooker/crockpot.
What are the other kinds of cannabinoids?
Let's take a closer look at some more cannabinoids and their impressive qualities.
What is CBG?
Cannabigerol, also known as CBG, is the non-acidic form of cannabigerolic acid or CBGA. CBGA breaks down when exposed to sunlight or through the natural ageing of the plant. CBGA breaks down to form other cannabinoids, such as:
- Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA)
- Cannabichromenic acid (CBCA)
- Cannabidiolic acid (CBDA)
Through exposure to heat or sunlight, in a process known as decarboxylation, these compounds then go on to form THC, CBD, and more.
What are the benefits of CBG?
Since its discovery in the 1960s, the effects of CBG have been explored. The list of benefits discovered thus far is quite impressive.
Although a relatively minor compound, CBG works in a very interesting way. As we know, the body contains naturally occurring cannabinoids, anandamide being one of them. These naturally occurring cannabinoids play an important role in regulating bodily functions such as our appetite, our memory, and even our sleep.
Anandamide, in particular, helps to boost motivation and mood. CBG works by boosting anandamide levels within the body, helping to lift one’s mood and increase motivation.
Bone formation and healing
Researchers found that CBG, and other cannabinoids, may be able to help in stimulating bone formation and healing. In the 2007 study, researchers found that bone marrow stem cells could be stimulated indirectly through CB2 receptors. This means that CBG could potentially be used to help with the healing of bone fractures and injuries.
Researchers revealed that they found CBG, alongside CBD and CBC, can slow the growth of tumours in some patients. In a 2009 article, it was revealed that these cannabinoids, in particular, inhibited the growth of new cancer cells, slowing the formation of tumours. This means that CBG, among other cannabinoids, could help to extend the lives of those who are battling cancer.
When investigating the use of non-psychoactive cannabinoids, in a recent study, it was found that CBG was also effective in treating anxiety and depression. As a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, CBG has the potential to be a widely used, effective treatment, as it doesn’t produce a “high”, like THC.
What is CBD?
Discovered in 1940, cannabidiol is one of the most prevalent of the active compounds found in cannabis. Also known as CBD, this substance has gained popularity over recent years with many users claiming various health benefits.
What are the benefits of CBD?
Many people use CBD to treat many different conditions, from epilepsy to acne. As more funding is poured into research, the stigma surrounding CBD is slowly melting away. Every day, more information about CBD becomes readily available online as research findings are published and anecdotal evidence is shared.
Most recently, CBD has gained unprecedented popularity with skincare brands, in particular. Many of the most well-known brands are choosing to release CBD-infused products to help users control a range of skin-related issues.
What is CBDA?
Cannabidiolic acid, or CBDA, is a cannabinoid which converts to CBD when exposed to heat. Similar to CBD, this cannabinoid is typically found in capsules, tinctures, and topical lotions, balms, and oils. Some users even choose to juice raw cannabis to get their daily CBDA dose.
Most cannabinoids bind directly with either Cb1 or Cb2 receptors, in the body – CBDA doesn’t work in this way. CBDA actually interacts with the endocannabinoid system, where it inhibits the cyclooxygenase-2 enzyme (aka COX-2 enzyme).
What are the benefits of CBDA?
COX-2 enzymes are associated with the inflammation or swelling caused by injury or infection. By inhibiting these enzymes, CBDA can help to relieve inflammation and the pain which is associated with it.
Balancing serotonin levels
A study, published in 2013, revealed that CBDA has been found to have affected serotonin levels in rodents. Nerve cells produce serotonin and use it to send signals. Serotonin plays a vital role in maintaining good digestion, appetite, sleep, motor skills and emotional stability. Serotonin also helps regulate your mood naturally, helping you to feel more focused, happier, calmer, and motivated.
Excess serotonin in the body, however, can lead to feelings of nausea and vomiting. Some people find that they can use medication to control vomiting. However, medication rarely helps eliminate the feeling of nausea. This causes great discomfort for patients undergoing radiation or chemotherapy. As CBDA has been found to affect the body’s serotonin levels, it is possible that a medication could be developed, using the cannabinoid, to help control nausea and vomiting.
It is also possible that CBDA could effectively fight some forms of depression, according to this study. CBDA works in a similar way to a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant medications. These medications are currently being used to treat both anxiety and depression, with good results.
CBDA medical-use patents
To date, most CBDA studies are preclinical non-human studies but more funding is being invested in research. When testing CBD as an anti-seizure treatment, GW Pharmaceutical company was required by the FDA to also conduct research on CBDA. This was required as CBDA is a precursor of CBD. Whilst conducting research, the company also filed more CBDA medical-use patents. These included treatments for inflammatory skin diseases and cancer treatments.
What is CBC?
Discovered 50 years ago, cannabichromene (CBC) is one of the most prominent cannabinoids in current medical research. Stemming from CBGA, CBC is a non-intoxicating compound, as it binds poorly to CB1 receptors.
What are the benefits of CBC?
CBC does bind with other receptors quite effectively. CBC binds well to both the vanilloid receptor 1 (TRPV1) and the transient receptor potential ankyrin 1 (TRPA1)- both of which are linked to pain perception. According to this study, CBC is also an effective anti-inflammatory. This means that it could be useful in treating pain, inflammation, and swelling caused by injury or infection.
Like CBG, CBC works with the natural endocannabinoids in the body, boosting the release of anandamide. CBC, however, also inhibits the uptake of anandamide too, which means that it remains in the bloodstream longer. CBC inhibits the growth of new cancer cells, second only to CBG. This means that, alongside CBG, CBC has the potential to be used as a chemopreventive agent.
Interestingly, a research team have recently investigated the effects of cannabinoids on acne. In this study, CBC was found to be a powerful inhibitor of acne. Acne is caused by excess sebum production and sebaceous gland inflammation. CBC a powerful anti-inflammatory. It also suppresses excessive lipid, or oil, production in the sebaceous glands. Thus, skincare experts believe it could be used as an effective anti-acne treatment someday.
Delta 9 THC & THCV & THCA
There are four major types of THC present in the cannabis plant:
- Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA)
- Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV)
- Delta-8-Tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta-8 TCH)
- Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta-9 TCH)
What is THCA?
Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) exists in the stems, leaves and flowers of the cannabis plant. THCA’s structure means that it cannot bind to CB1 receptors. This means that it the only type of THC that has no psychoactive properties.
THCA is broken down when exposed to heat or light, forming other types of THC. This naturally occurs when the plant is exposed to sunlight or through the natural ageing process of the plant. However, this process can be enhanced by applying heat in other ways, i.e. via decarboxylation. Heating the THCA molecules change the shape, thus allowing it to bind to CB1 receptors in the body.
What are the benefits of THCA?
Similar to CBG and CBC, THCA has been found to help in the treatment of nausea and vomiting and in anti-seizure treatments. THCA is also known to have anti-inflammatory qualities.
What is THCV?
Another by-product of THCA, tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) works in a slightly different way to the other types of THC. THCV only has psychoactive effects when consumed in large quantities. Interestingly, the effects do not last as long as the effects felt from delta-9 THC.
What are the benefits of THCV?
Delta-9 THC increases appetite, but contrastingly, THCV is known to suppress it. Thus, a combination of THCV and CBD may work better for people who are trying to manage their weight.
THCV also has the potential to help in managing diabetes. According to this study, has been found that THCV may have the ability to regulate blood sugar levels and reduce insulin resistance.
What is delta-9 THC?
Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta-9 THC) is the main psychoactive compound found in the cannabis plant. The substance appears in high concentrations in the female plant and appears in lower concentrations in the male plant.
What are the benefits of delta-9 THC?
Delta-9 THC not only has a calming effect on the mind and body, it has the potential to have many medical uses too. Studies have shown that delta-9 THC can be used to treat spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis (MS). Delta-9 effectively treats painful spasms and central pain. This means that people with MS might be able to use delta-9 THC to treat their symptoms.
Studies are ongoing to investigate the effectiveness of Delta-9 THC in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. Experts believe that this particular type of THC may be useful in treating symptoms of Huntington disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.
CBDV and CBDVA
Cannabidivarian (CBDV) is formed by heating cannabidivarin acid (CBDVA). On a molecular level, CBDV strongly resembles the structure of its cousin, CBD.
In a rather unique way, CBDV doesn’t interact with CB1 or CB2 receptors in the body. Instead, it activates or desensitises our transient receptor potential channels (TRP channels). Our sensory cells are linked to TRP channels, to put it simply. This means that they play an integral role in how we react to stimuli like pain, temperature, and pressure.
What are the benefits of CBDV?
Preliminary studies have shown that CBDV could be used to desensitise one particular TRP channel, which is linked to several types of epilepsy. This means that people could use CBDV to restore balance to TRP channels, and reduce the occurrence of seizures.
Mutations in TRP channels are often the cause of neurodegenerative diseases. Investigations are ongoing to see if CBDV can be beneficial to sufferers of Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease.
It is also worth noting that CBDV has very low water solubility. This means that the body finds it difficult to absorb it into the bloodstream when taken orally. This may pose some challenges for pharmaceutical companies who wish to pursue the use of CBDV in their medicines.
The Key Take-Aways
Now you understand what is CBD and you are trying to get to grips with ‘what is CBD oil' and are they different let me introduce Hemp oil, essentially it is oil from the seeds and does not contain CBD, so don't confuse the two when purchasing. The claimed health benefits are evolving at a rapid pace along with the clinical trials and it can be hard to keep up. There are also new hemp-derived CBD products everywhere and to know which one you require can be puzzling.
Hopefully, with our Complete Guide to CBD, this process can be made a little easier and we have answered the question as to what CBD is.