CBD TincturesCannabidiol (CBD) products are trending in the medical and consumer marketplace. From tinctures to edibles, many people use CBD products because of their purported health benefits. The results from animal and human trials indicate that cannabidiol may help alleviate chronic pain, as well as symptoms from several health conditions.

This article explores what CBD is, how CBD interacts with the body, and how it can potentially treat pain.

What is CBD?


Cannabis sativa, or marijuana, plants carry hundreds of chemical compounds known as cannabinoids. The two most common cannabinoids are:

    THC, which is responsible for the “high” experience that people feel, and
    Cannabidiol, or CBD, which has anti-seizure, anti-anxiety, and anti-inflammatory properties.

CBD oil is an extract from the Cannabis sativa plant. The breeding process directly affects the concentration of CBD in a plant. CBD oil usually comes from industrial hemp, which has higher concentrations of CBD than marijuana.

Hemp Seed oil is not the same thing as CBD oil. Whereas CBD oil is an extract from the Cannabis sativa plant, hemp oil is an extract from the seeds of the hemp plant. Hemp seed oil does not contain any cannabinoids but is chock full of healthy omega fats with hydrating properties.

What are CBD Tinctures?


CBD tinctures are not quite the same as oils. Tinctures are specifically designed to maximize the absorption of CBD into the body. The main difference between the two is that tinctures typically include other ingredients, such as a carrier oil, herbs, and flavors, to maximize the health benefits and improve the taste.

CBD is extracted from strains of hemp or marijuana with high concentrations of CBD using a chemical solvent or CO2 process ( Eden's Herbals only uses CO2). Some makers use vinegar, oil, or glycerin as a solvent others may use alcohol. These tinctures may not be as potent as those extracted using CO2. The CO2 maximizes the efficiency of CBD by increasing the absorption rate. How quickly CBD works depends on several factors, such as body weight, dosage, tolerance, and severity of the symptoms. Tinctures are taken orally by design and take effect in a matter of minutes.

CBD and the Body


The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is an intricate cell-signaling system that plays a role in balancing several processes and functions in the body. Although the extent of the ECS is not fully understood, experts know that it is involved in regulating:

  •     Appetite
  •     Sleep
  •     Fertility and reproduction
  •     Mood
  •     Memory

There are three main elements of the ECS: endocannabinoids, cannabinoid receptors, and enzymes.

Endocannabinoids


The body produces endocannabinoids naturally. These molecules bind to cannabinoid receptors and help regulate processes within the body. There are two vital endocannabinoids:

  • Anandamide (AEA)
  • 2-arachidonoylglyerol (2-AG)

These endocannabinoids develop from fat-like molecules in cell membranes and spawn on-demand. This means that the body creates endocannabinoids as necessary.

Endocannabinoid Receptors


The body contains numerous endocannabinoids. They attach to cannabinoid receptors to trigger the ECS. There are many cannabinoid receptors in the body, but the CB1 and CB2 receptors are the most prominent. CB1 receptors are abundant in the brain and are responsible for interacting with THC to produce the “high.” CB2 receptors are rich in other systems throughout the body, like the immune system. Endocannabinoids can connect with either receptor. The response of the ECS depends on the endocannabinoid and the location of the receptor.

Metabolic Enzymes


The last major component of the ECS are metabolic enzymes. Enzymes are responsible for eliminating used endocannabinoids. The two major metabolic enzymes are:

  •     Fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH)
  •     Monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL)

FAAH deteriorates anandamide, and MAGL deteriorates 2-AG. These enzymes regulate endocannabinoid use by ensuring that they are only used when necessary. This differentiates endocannabinoids from other molecular signals, such as neurotransmitters, which are often in stock and readily available for use.

What is the link between CBD and the ECS?


CBD can bind with endocannabinoid receptors. Researchers do not fully know what CBD’s role is when interacting with the ECS. Many experts hypothesize that CBD works by preventing enzymes from breaking down endocannabinoids. This extends the amount of time that the cannabinoids can process in the body. Other researchers believe that CBD works by binding to other unknown receptors.

Evidence from recent studies suggests that CBD helps relieve symptoms associated with several medical conditions. These studies provide insight into CBD pathways and their potential for use as a natural treatment for common ailments, such as chronic pain and anxiety.

The Health Benefits of CBD Tinctures


CBD is trending in the health and wellness world as scientific studies confirm its healing properties. CBD has a wide range of applications, some of which include:

  •     Alleviating chronic pain and preventing inflammation
  •     Easing symptoms of anxiety
  •     Treating epilepsy and other seizure disorders
  •     Protecting against neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s
  •     Combating drug withdrawal and tobacco use

These health benefits are only based on a limited amount of research. Additionally, many of the studies were on animals. More research is needed to verify the efficacy of CBD on a larger scale. However, initial reports are promising and highlight the versatility of CBD as a potential health treatment.

CBD Tinctures for Chronic Pain


A hallmark of CBD is its potential as a treatment for pain. People who suffer from chronic pain and rely on medications may benefit from CBD, as opioids have a high potential for misuse and have several negative side effects. A review of the pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, efficacy, and safety of cannabinoids reveals that they may be more useful for treating chronic, rather than acute, pain. The review included studies examining the effects of CBD on neuropathy, fibromyalgia, and cancer pain. The evidence indicates that CBD is effective for overall pain relief and lacks negative side effects.

Inflammation


Inflammation occurs as a response to damage or infection. The body sends fluids and immune cells to eliminate damaged tissues and remove germs. If this process lasts longer than necessary, more damage can occur. Auto-immune disorders are a result of immune system malfunctions in which the inflammatory process lasts too long or attacks healthy cells. Studies show that CBD may assuage inflammation by suppressing the immune system’s response to certain endocannabinoid activity.

Arthritis Pain


A study from 2016 analyzed the effects of CBD use on arthritic rats. A topical CBD product applied to affected joints reduced pain and swelling in subjects, without any obvious side effects. A 6.2mg dose of CBD applied to the joints daily was significant enough to provide pain relief. Larger doses did not provide any noticeable additional pain relief. These results are promising for research into treating arthritis pain. However, human clinical trials are essential to confirm or deny these findings.

Multiple Sclerosis


Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a progressive autoimmune disease that interrupts nerve transmissions in the brain, and between the brain and the body. Muscle spasms are characteristic of MS, and they can be so severe that they cause consistent pain. Short-term CBD use may reduce the severity of these spasms. Only one report provides evidence supporting this claim. More human clinical trials are necessary to explore the value of CBD use for treating MS.

Cancer


Studies into CBD use for cancer investigate the potential of the compound to manage pain associated with cancer and cancer treatment. A study from 2010 evaluated the effectiveness of a THC-CBD extract as a supplement to opioids for treating cancer-related pain. The results indicate that the THC-CBD/opioid combination was more successful in providing pain relief than opioids alone.

Takeaway


CBD is the new trend for treating some common health issues. It interacts with the endocannabinoid system, which is responsible for regulating several functions and processes in the body. Anecdotal evidence indicates that CBD shows the potential for managing chronic pain. The lack of negative side effects may make CBD a major player in providing pain relief, especially in comparison to opioid medications. Most research on the efficacy of CBD comes from adult human and animal trials. There is very limited research available on the effects of CBD on children. More studies are necessary to evaluate the full healing power of CBD. Although the research is promising, it is important to discuss using CBD tinctures with a physician before trying it for the first time.

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