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What Does CBD Stand for and What Are Its Health Benefits?



Have you noticed the letters CBD popping up more and more in your daily life? Have you wondered, “What does CBD stand for?” These three little letters represent what has become a multibillion-dollar industry. In this 2021 review, we’ll explore the compound behind these letters—cannabidiol. By the end of this guide, you’ll discover what CBD is, what it’s good for, whether it’s legal, and what health benefits you can expect. 

Discover what CBD is, what it’s good for, is it legal, and what health benefits you can expect.

Table of Contents

1. What Does CBD Stand for?
2. What Is CBD Oil Good for?
    2.1 Reducing Pain
    2.2 Reducing Anxiety
    2.3 Sleep Promotion
3. Hemp CBD vs. Cannabis CBD
4. Is Cannabidiol Legal?
5. Cannabidiol Oil Health Benefits
    5.1 Antitumor Properties
    5.2 Antipsychotic Effects
    5.3 Alleviating Asthma Symptoms
    5.4 Neuroprotective Properties
    5.5 Anti-Inflammatory Effects
    5.6 Movement and Muscle Effects
6. Concluding Thoughts

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1. What Does CBD Stand for?

 

The term “CBD” is the shorthand term used to describe cannabidiol. CBD is one of the most interesting and effective compounds produced by hemp plants. While it can be considered a sibling of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), these two compounds are vastly different. 

Unlike THC, cannabidiol is a non-impairing compound that does not produce any sort of high. Both CBD and THC are produced from the cannabinoid precursor cannabigerolic acid (CBGA). Hemp plants have been bred to produce high levels of CBD with substantially less THC. Specifically, hemp flowers are where we find the highest concentrations of CBD. [1]

Want to know the best part?

CBD is broadly considered to be safe and well-tolerated, with no evidence of public health problems associated with its use. Furthermore, CBD does not show any abuse or dependence potential (Click to tweet). Also, there is no evidence that CBD is converted to THC, in any form, inside human bodies. [1]

CBD is broadly considered to be safe and well-tolerated.

RELATED: A Thorough Look at the Safety Profile of CBD and Its Side Effects

2. What Is CBD Oil Good for?

 

CBD is an incredible compound that has been investigated for a variety of diverse conditions. Further research will help us learn more about the indications and therapeutic utility of CBD. For now, we do know that CBD demonstrates the following properties: [1]

  • Pain-reducing (analgesic)
  • Anti-seizure (antiepileptic)
  • Neuroprotective
  • Anxiety-reducing (anxiolytic)
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Reduces asthma symptoms (anti-asthmatic)
  • Antitumor 
  • Sleep-promoting (anti-insomnia)

When it comes to CBD oil, consumers report numerous interrelated therapeutic and clinical benefits.

When it comes to CBD oil, consumers report numerous interrelated therapeutic and clinical benefits. The self-reported list of benefits from using CBD oil is extensive and substantial. Generally, there are three primary categories of benefits most often reported by consumers: pain reduction, anxiety reduction, and sleep promotion. (Click to tweet)

The self-reported list of benefits from using CBD oil is extensive and substantial.

WATCHSOL*CBD Liposomal

2.1 Reducing Pain

Consumers of CBD oil all over the world have experienced benefits for a variety of pain states. While there are differences between acute, chronic, and neuropathic pain, individuals report benefits of using CBD oil for each. There appear to be connections with the anxiety-reducing and anti-inflammatory effects of CBD oil that come into play when discussing pain reductions. (Click to tweet)

Consumers of CBD oil all over the world have experienced benefits for a variety of pain states.

RELATED: CBD Cream for Pain: This is Why Topical CBD Helps in Relieving Pain

2.2 Reducing Anxiety

This is crazy but amazing:

So many people struggle with anxiety symptoms and quality-of-life impacts. CBD oil appears to help ameliorate anxiety and suffering in many situations. Scientific support for these claims comes from numerous studies, including one exploring public speaking. In 2011, a group of researchers found that CBD reduced anxiety in a simulated public speaking study. [2]

CBD oil appears to help ameliorate anxiety and suffering in many situations.

RELATED: CBD for Anxiety: How to Survive the COVID Crisis Stress-Free

2.3 Sleep Promotion

For those struggling with getting to sleep and staying asleep, CBD appears to provide substantial benefits (Click to tweet). One group of researchers released a large case series in 2019 that demonstrated improvements in sleep quality and duration from using CBD. Overall, it appears that CBD has a calming effect on the central nervous system, which underlies many of the benefits discussed here. [3]

CBD has a calming effect on the central nervous system.

RELATED: Why New Liposomal Sleep Formula Is the Best Natural Sleep Aid

3. Hemp CBD vs. Cannabis CBD

 

When it comes to the differences between CBD found inside hemp and cannabis plants, there are differences but also similarities. Broadly speaking, CBD compounds are identical, no matter which variety of Cannabis sativa L. plant they come from. Overall, hemp plants have been bred to produce higher levels of CBD while minimizing THC production.

The biggest distinction between hemp and cannabis is a legal and technical one. Hemp is defined legally as plants that contain less than 0.3% THC by weight. These hemp plants have been bred and cultivated to meet these legal requirements while promoting higher CBD levels. 

As we learned earlier, THC and CBD are created from the same precursor compound within hemp plants, called cannabigerol (CBG). And so, increasing production of one tends to reduce production of the other, since there is only so much of this precursor to go around. While recreational cannabis attempts to maximize THC levels, hemp plants attain the opposite. 

Ultimately, the biggest difference between full-spectrum CBD oil derived from hemp and cannabis is the precise chemical profile. Inside hemp-derived CBD oil, you will never find more than 0.3% THC by weight. In legal cannabis markets, we see CBD oils with much higher levels of THC, such as balanced CBD oils. These products have a ratio of around 1:1 for THC to CBD. [4]

This is crazy:

Outside of this major difference, the minor cannabinoids and terpenes found in hemp and cannabis can vary. Depending on the exact strain of cultivar, hemp plants produce different sets of terpenes and minor cannabinoids than cannabis. Make sure you check out the third-party laboratory test results to find out what you’ll get inside your CBD oil product

Hemp plants produce different sets of terpenes and minor cannabinoids than cannabis.

RELATED: Hemp CBD vs. Cannabis CBD: There's a Difference 

4. Is Cannabidiol Legal?

 

Based on our discussion above, we now know that CBD oil products are completely legal as long as they contain under 0.3% THC. In states with legal medical and recreational cannabis, you can find a greater variety of legal CBD products as well. Overall, CBD itself is a legal compound that can now be found throughout the United States. 

The legal status of hemp-derived CBD changed with the release of the 2018 Farm Bill. It was this document that set the 0.3% THC standard that is now used to define legal hemp (Click to tweet). That said, there are still strong regulations that restrict the way CBD can be sold and marketed. 

As far as medicines containing CBD, there is only one medicine approved by the FDA. Epidiolex contains purified CBD and is approved for the treatment of seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome or Dravet syndrome. [4]

The legal status of hemp-derived CBD changed with the release of the 2018 Farm Bill.

RELATEDWhy the FDA Just Approved Cannabidiol for Epilepsy

5. Cannabidiol Oil Health Benefits

 

CBD has been shown to have numerous health benefits alongside the potential for many more to be revealed in the coming years. As we just saw, CBD has been approved in the form of Epidiolex for the treatment of certain seizure-producing conditions. While this health benefit is the most well-studied topic, there are other areas of research to help us identify cannabidiol oil health benefits.

5.1 Antitumor Properties

While much more research is needed, there is some laboratory evidence to suggest a potential role for CBD in the growth of tumors and cancers. A neoplasm is an abnormal growth of tissue, like with cancer—and these anti-neoplastic properties have been investigated by researchers in labs but not at a clinical level. [5]

At the laboratory stage, very high levels of CBD and other cannabinoids often (but not always) block the growth of cancer cells. Furthermore, we know that CBD can help play a symptom management role for those undergoing cancer treatments. [5]

We do not yet know the dosage, timing, or side effects of using CBD as an antitumor agent. But there is hope that we’ll discover when and where CBD can be helpful for people dealing with tumors or neoplasms.

There is hope that we’ll discover when and where CBD can be helpful for people dealing with tumors or neoplasms.

RELATED: How to Dose CBD Oil for Cancer

5.2 Antipsychotic Effects

CBD is known to counter some of the major effects of THC. This is why public health messaging around cannabis encourages individuals to increase their CBD intake while decreasing THC levels. (Click to tweet)

Psychosis involves the development of errors or distortions in the way our brains process information. Symptoms like delusions, hallucinations, paranoia, agitation, and incoherent speech all fall under psychosis. Schizophrenia is an extreme condition characterized by psychosis symptoms and more. In these situations, individuals basically lose touch with reality. [6]

But here’s the kicker:

The evidence we do have at this stage suggests that THC has detrimental effects for those with a family history of schizophrenia (in other words, THC does not cause this schizophrenia, but it can potentially trigger it or make it worse). On the other hand, CBD has been shown to have antipsychotic and anti-schizophrenic properties. [5]

CBD has been shown to have antipsychotic and anti-schizophrenic properties.

RELATED: CBD Oil and Your Brain Have an Amazing Relationship

5.3 Alleviating Asthma Symptoms

Smoking hemp products is not recommended for those with asthma and other respiratory conditions. That said, there is a role for CBD and other cannabinoids in the treatment of asthma. The reasoning behind this comes from preclinical findings that the endocannabinoid system plays a role in regulating the smooth muscle tone of bronchioles (the airways inside your lungs). [5]

Experimental studies have explored the role of CBD in asthma models. One of these studies found a beneficial role for CBD in these situations. Specifically, CBD decreased inflammation and remodeling processes in this laboratory model. These benefits were mediated by the impacts of CBD on the endocannabinoid receptors in the lungs. [7]

You might be wondering:

We do not know what dosage or delivery method is best, but the evidence suggests that CBD oil may help provide benefits for those with asthma. Without further agitation to your airways, oral consumption of CBD oils is able to provide only the benefits of CBD. 

Experimental studies have explored the role of CBD in asthma models.

RELATED: How CBD May Help with Inflammation and Allergies

5.4 Neuroprotective Properties

Preclinical studies have explored the role of CBD in a variety of cognitive conditions. For example, in Alzheimer’s disease models, we have seen neuroprotective and antioxidant effects from the administration of CBD. Furthermore, CBD has demonstrated neuroprotective effects that could be useful in the management of glaucoma. [5]

Here’s the deal:

Much of this research is preclinical in nature, but we also have intriguing clinical trial data to explore. A great example involves the use of CBD in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. While the evidence is mixed overall, CBD has been demonstrated as having benefits around symptoms and the quality of life of those suffering from Parkinson’s disease. [5]

Multiple sclerosis is another condition involving damage to nerves and cognition. One very interesting study found that topical administration of CBD demonstrated neuroprotective effects in a simulated model of multiple sclerosis. This treatment provided benefits to symptom intensity and immune system functioning. [5]

Topical administration of CBD demonstrated neuroprotective effects.

RELATED: How CBD Oil Has Been Used For Multiple Sclerosis

5.5 Anti-Inflammatory Effects

Many of the effects already discussed relate to human immune responses and inflammation. Numerous inflammation-related conditions have been explored, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gastrointestinal system disorders, and pain states. 

What’s the bottom line? 

There have been several clinical and prospective case series studies that have shown a protective role against inflammation for CBD. Various studies have shown that CBD reduces intestinal, lung, nervous system, and skin inflammation. Taken together, there is mixed evidence that is nonetheless highly promising as it relates to numerous conditions involving inflammation. [5] 

Various studies have shown that CBD reduces intestinal, lung, nervous system, and skin inflammation.

RELATED: Here's Why CBD Is Inflammation’s Worst Enemy

5.6 Movement and Muscle Effects

One of the most well-studied effects of CBD relates to seizure-related conditions. We already mentioned this topic when discussing the approval or Epidiolex. CBD also has benefits in conditions we already mentioned, such as Parkinson’s disease, plus many others. When it comes to recovering from spinal cord injury, CBD appears to be beneficial in restoring motor function and reducing the extent of injury in mouse models. [5]

Furthermore, CBD has been shown to delay dystonia progression and reduction of related symptoms. Dystonia is a common symptom of muscle disorders that involves involuntary and uncontrollable muscle contractions and body part movement. [5] 

CBD has been shown to delay dystonia progression and reduction of related symptoms.

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6. Concluding Thoughts

 

Congratulations on starting 2021 the right way. You’ve now discovered what CBD stands for and so much more. We have discovered that CBD oil can help you reduce pain, anxiety, and sleeping problems. Furthermore, we learned that CBD is legal and that it possesses numerous health benefits, including antitumor, antipsychotic, neuroprotective, and anti-inflammatory properties—and more. As we head into the year 2021, let us continue to seek better health together through the use of CBD.

Sources:

  1. https://www.who.int/medicines/access/controlled-substances/CannabidiolCriticalReview.pdf
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3079847/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6326553/
  4. https://www.fda.gov/news-events/public-health-focus/fda-regulation-cannabis-and-cannabis-derived-products-including-cannabidiol-cbd#legaltosell
  5. https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/drugs-medication/cannabis/information-medical-practitioners/information-health-care-professionals-cannabis-cannabinoids.html#a4.9.9
  6. https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/schizophrenia/what-is-schizophrenia
  7. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30481497/

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