You’ve most likely heard of CBD. It is becoming an increasingly popular choice for an array of health complaints and conditions. It is one of 104 cannabinoids, which are specific chemical compounds found in the Cannabis sativa plant. Unlike its sister cannabinoid, THC, CBD provides all the benefits of Cannabis without the psychoactive effects. In other words, it won’t make you high. While many full-spectrum CBD oils contain trace amounts of THC, the amount is negligible and has no noticeable effects.
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CBD and other cannabinoids attach to specific receptors in the body found within what is referred to as the endocannabinoid system. In fact, up until recently, scientists didn’t know that these cannabinoids are actually naturally produced in humans and most animals. Some researchers speculate that an endocannabinoid deficiency may be the cause of many disorders and conditions. When CBD is introduced into the body, it binds to receptor cells called CB1 and CB2 receptors.
Naturally, the testimonies of these experts were based on a comprehensive literature review, an endeavor which we have also undertaken, albeit in a less official capacity. While many new products have been hailed as a panacea in their times, and many web sources certainly allude to this status for CBD, our objective was more modest – presenting ten possible benefits of cannabidiol where sufficient evidence exists to back up the claims.
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There has been a fair amount of confusion surrounding the legality of CBD oil. But while the vast majority of cannabinoids are controlled substances under the Misuse of Drugs Act, rest assured that CBD oil is legal across the UK for medicinal purposes, provided it has been derived from an industrial hemp strain that is EU-approved. These strains contain very little to no THC (the psychoactive cannabinoid).
Current studies, including one carried out by the UC San Diego School of Medicine, are looking into how the endocannabinoid system may be linked to reducing symptoms associated with autism. This is due to its role in social reward responsivity, neural development and circadian rhythm and anxiety regulation – all of which are often affected by autism. (52)
Then there is the matter of which part of the plant is used. THC tends to be more concentrated in the leaves of the plant, while CBD in its stem and seeds. It should be noted that these aspects are relative. Some degree of agreement exists that for the purest CBD, the stalk of a hemp plant (varieties of cannabis generally grown for fiber manufacturing, low in THC), or much less often the seeds. Taking into account the fact that CBD supplements are usually in an oil form, one may fathom the origins of the nearly ubiquitous hemp oil dietary supplements.
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