Cannabidiol (CBD) is an active substance most often extracted from hemp. Although it is also the second most prevalent substance in marijuana, CBD does not share the same psychoactive properties as THC. Instead, people are drinking it in CBD tea for mid day alertness, giving it to their dogs for a chill treat, and even putting it in their sports bras. But what does CBD do?
Early research has shown CBD to be a powerful supplement for a variety of treatment options for a healthier living. CBD by itself does not cause the same “high” as THC. It's not addictive, 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.” (White) CBD is currently prescribed to treat certain forms of epilepsy. As a supplement, it is being used to treat various forms of anxiety, stress, and depression. Most users describe CBD as lowering the volume of the world. Not a cure-all, but another tool to navigate the stresses of modern society.
Is it legal?
Hemp was legalized for cultivation in the United States in 2018. This means that CBD produced from a hemp plant should be considered legal in all 50 states. American farmers are now able to be the reputable source for this supplement. The hemp plant can be grown in the US, and fully processed before directly going to the consumer. Giving the consumer the ability to review lab results to ensure quality and potency.
What are the health benefits?
At the forefront of drug research, CBD is being used to treat advanced forms of epilepsy. The first drug to be approved by the FDA for prescription is Epidiolex. According to their website, the drug has been used to treat over 15,000 patients. (Greenwich). The results are stunning to watch. Many people’s lives are completely changed because of the vast reduction in seizures.
Users have taken CBD to treat anxiety, chronic pain, insomnia, nausea, depression, and stress. CBD can be used to supplement energy in the morning or to provide a more restful sleep. CBD users often report lower anxiety, especially in high stress situations. Many new research articles are emerging to further legitimize these claims, and to expand treatment. A study published in 2017 found that CBD lowered inflammation in the pancreas caused by type 1 diabetes in mice. (Lehmann).
Recent studies have also been published on the use of CBD to treat addictions such as cigarettes (Hindocha) and opioids (Hurd). The measured results were limited to psychological based addiction, such as cues, stress, anxiety, and heart rate. This means that although the findings could not claim that cravings or physical side effects were reduced, it could claim that the mental side of addiction can be treated. CBD is not going to solve the opioid epidemic, but it could be used as a tool in a part of a larger addiction recovery plan.
Users report that CBD as a topical cream can help reduce chronic pain. One study tested patients with neuropathy who described a significant reduction in pain (Xu). CBD could both lead to addiction treatment, and pain treatment. Hopefully these treatments could someday replace opioid use.
Research is early on the subject of CBD because of the stigma that has surrounded marijuana for many years. Now that hemp has been legalized, the doors have opened to far reaching research, especially into the human endocannabinoid system.
How does CBD affect the body?
The human endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a vast network in the body made up of cells and receptors that help maintain homeostasis. As a way to stimulate the ECS, endocannabinoids are released by the body. These molecules are effectively the same as the cannabinoid molecules found in cannabis. CBD products stimulate the ECS, to help it maintain normal functions… That’s a lot of big words to break down. Let’s look at it a different way.
The body has a set of systems to maintain living functions. The cardiovascular system moves blood throughout the body. Blood, in turn, moves oxygen throughout the body and fights infections. The skeletal system is self explanatory. And the nervous system is the web of feelers that sends impulses throughout the body. The endocannabinoid system runs many functions of the body to keep things in normal operations. This system is throughout the body, with cannabinoid receptors in the brain, organs, connective tissues and immune cells.
In simplified terms the endocannabinoid system would be like a system of alarms and monitors for the body. For example, when a person snacks on a hard boiled egg, they would feel full. The ECS is responsible for making that full feeling connection. As a person eats, the endocannabinoids are moving around, alerting the brain to fullness.
The ECS makes its own cannabinoid molecules similar to those in a cannabis plant. These endocannabinoids interact with the body to maintain body temperature, regulate alertness, or to activate the fight or flight function. These types of functions are often forgotten about until caught in an emergency situation or when the body is pushed outside of its normal functions.
Although the ECS is distributed throughout the body, it could be visualized to look like a control panel, tucked away in some long forgotten corner of the office behind a bunch of file cabinets. There would be a twin headed cartoon snake running the terminal. His nametag would say CB1 and CB2. In front of him, the control console is a cascade of LED lights and buttons. Various monitors surround the creature, an EKG monitor blips the heartbeat line. A thin thermometer puts the red line at an optimal 98.6 degrees fahrenheit. There’s a sleep gauge about halfway between F and E. In the middle of the console is a locked glass shell with a switch that points to two options: FLIGHT / FIGHT. Next to that, a giant red button. The creature sits quietly behind the desk, reading memos about this and that, and sending out its own subtle mass communications.
This is a gross oversimplification of a newly discovered bodily function that requires a ton of more research. The human endocannabinoid system holds a wealth of secrets and science is just beginning to crack the surface.
Is CBD safe and how is it taken?
CBD does not have the same psychoactive properties as THC. As mentioned by the World Health Organization, there is no potential for abuse. The effect is described as a turning down of the internal volume.
The biggest concern for a user should be the delivery method of the CBD. This means the drink, tincture, oil, etc. that contains the CBD. Because there are so many CBD products coming to the market, the user has the option to choose what is right for them.
Leaf Teas are a water soluble CBD product, as opposed to the majority of other CBD products on the market. Water soluble CBDs offer a much higher bioavailability when compared to CBD oils. Because of the extraction process, no added chemicals or processing goes into a water soluble CBD. Instead, Leaf Teas infuses their CBD to the timeless remedies of chamomile, ginger, chai and others.
Most products use CBD oil, which is much less efficient for the body to absorb. Most CBD oils are made by ethanol extraction, which adds chemicals to the process. This extraction process has proven safe for the majority of products. But water soluble CBD represents a higher standard through bioavailability and delivery. One study showed that water soluble CBD has 4.5 times more bioavailability than oil based CBD (Hobbs).
Leaf Tea allows a drinker to be more precise with dosage than a tincture. A brewed cup of Leaf Tea has 10 mg of CBD. This makes for an easily uniformed microdosing per day. Compare this to an oil based tincture, which is usually delivered through a dropper. Not only is it difficult to confirm the amount of mg per drop, these tinctures are made using the industry standards of butane or CO2 pressurization. Leaf Tea offers the ideal combination of a precise dosage without chemical additives.
CBD offers a multitude of exciting new prospects for therapy and recovery. With additional research and combined therapy, CBD has the potential for vast application. The market is now booming with products and users have the exciting opportunity to find a CBD product that works for them. Leaf CBD Tea offers one of the only water soluble CBD products on the market, which is the most effective way to supplement with CBD.
Hobbs, J. M., Vazquez, A. R., Remijan, et. al (2020). Evaluation of pharmacokinetics and acute anti‐inflammatory potential of two oral cannabidiol preparations in healthy adults. Phytotherapy Research, 34(7), 1696–1703. https://doi.org/10.1002/ptr.6651
Greenwich Biosciences. (2021). About Epidiolex® (cannabidiol). EPIDIOLEX.com. Retrieved January 17, 2022, from https://www.epidiolex.com/about-epidiolex Hindocha, C., Freeman, T. P., Grabski, et. al (2018). Cannabidiol reverses attentional bias to cigarette cues in a human experimental model of tobacco withdrawal. Addiction, 113(9), 1696–1705. https://doi.org/10.1111/add.14243
Hurd, Y. L., Spriggs, S., Alishayev, J., et. al (2019). Cannabidiol for the reduction of cue-induced craving and anxiety in drug-abstinent individuals with heroin use disorder: A double-blind randomized placebo-controlled trial. American Journal of Psychiatry, 176(11), 911–922. https://doi.org/10.1176/appi.ajp.2019.18101191
Lehmann, Christian et al. ‘Experimental Cannabidiol Treatment Reduces Early Pancreatic Inflammation in Type 1 Diabetes’. 1 Jan. 2016 : 655 – 662.
White, J. (2018, June 7). Who | cannabidiol critical review. WHO CANNABIDIOL (CBD) Critical Review Report. Retrieved January 17, 2022, from https://www.who.int/medicines/access/controlled-substances/CannabidiolCriticalReview.pdf
Xu DH, Cullen BD, Tang M, Fang Y. The Effectiveness of Topical Cannabidiol Oil in Symptomatic Relief of Peripheral Neuropathy of the Lower Extremities. Curr Pharm Biotechnol. 2020;21(5):390-402. doi: 10.2174/1389201020666191202111534. PMID: 31793418.