The Cannabis sativa plant (“herb”) has been a candidate for many years to be offered as a therapeutic tool in a multitude of diseases and medical conditions. The problem? Its main bioactive component, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-9-THC or just THC), is guilty of getting “stoned” after consuming “grass”.
This has been the main barrier to the medical use of marijuana, the aforementioned “herb”, although in some countries around the world its medical use is beginning to be legalized for some specific pathologies. However, the molecule we are talking about today, Cannabidiol or CBD, is the second-largest bioactive component of the Cannabis sativa plant and does not have psychoactive effects (that is, you don’t get stoned). Currently, cannabidiol oil is widely used to help those struggling with stress, anxiety, sleeplessness, inflammation, and more.
Cannabidiol or CBD is an active ingredient present in the Cannabis sativa plant, without the psychostimulant effects produced by the “herb”. Relatively new in the field of supplements, the potential positive effects on health are being studied. Today we are going to focus on counting some of them.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol, commonly known as CBD, is a phytocannabinoid present in the Cannabis sativa plant, which is being studied because of its interesting properties in modulating pain and reducing muscle tone, improving anxiety, psychiatric disorders… Cannabidiol is the “good brother” of THC (9-delta-tetrahydrocannabidiol), which is the active ingredient of the “herb” to which its psychostimulating effects are attributed.
Is CBD psychostimulant?
CBD is less well known than THC, as “herb” has been used extensively as an illegal drug for recreational use, thanks to its ability to alter consciousness and perception. CBD flower has no psychostimulant properties, so recreational users of this drug looking for flowers with a higher THC density will never be too interested.
Therapeutic use of cannabis
The “herb” has been widely used in the clinical field for its effects on the endocannabinoid system (our body’s system that reacts with cannabinoids). Our own body produces agonists at cannabinoid receptors (hereinafter CB1 and CB2). Therefore, we should not consider phytocannabinoids or synthetic cannabinoids as “foreign” substances, since those that are already being marketed have been tested in humans and are called “cannabinoids” because they operate through this system that is no longer new to us. We know them very well, so their use is safe in the doses indicated by a health professional in each particular case.
The problem with THC, which is the main phytocannabinoid used clinically, is that its psychotropic effects limit the ability to use it as a protective agent because it produces adverse effects (nausea, vomiting, dizziness, depersonalization, psychosis…) in the doses that sometimes they are necessary to have a positive effect. In fact, there is a neurodegenerative effect due to the continuous use of THC, dose-dependent, whereby there is a significant reduction in the volume of gray matter in various fields of the brain.
Side effects of CBD
CBD is a compound very well tolerated in general by users. However, minor adverse effects may appear, including: diarrhea, drowsiness, pyrexia, anorexia, vomiting, increased risk of upper respiratory tract infections, hepatotoxicity, dry mouth and moderate fatigue. It should be noted that most side effects are seen in high doses ≥10mg / kg / day and with the quality of American products you never know if the adverse effects are due to CBD or not because of dry mouth. If you would like to read more about the potential side effects of CBD, then you can find Cannacares’ comprehensive guide to the topic right here.