What is CBD Oil? Where does it come from? What does it do?

What is CBD Oil? Where does it come from? What does it do?

May 29, 2019

No doubt you've watched the news and you hear daily reports about Hemp Oil, Cannabidiol, or CBD oil as it's more commonly called.  There are a lot of reported health benefits that this oil can provide but you may wonder what it is, where does it come from, and how it can help you.  At the end of this you may be asking where can I get cbd oil.  This article is not all inclusive but more of a crash course on CBD and seeks to answer some very common questions.

What is cannabis?

Cannabis Sativa

Cannabis is the genus of a type of flowering plant in the  Cannabaceae family. Depending on who you ask there are are two or three species of Cannabis: Indica, Sativa, and Ruderalis.  What we're focusing on is Sativa as ALL HEMP comes from sativa.  We'll not focus on different strains, but think about all the varieties of tomatoes, big boy, better boy, black prince, all of these are different varieties of tomato plants in the same way you can have many varieties, or strains of Sativa plants. 

Where does CBD oil come from?

cannabis trichomes

CBD or Cannabidiol is a phytocannabinoid that was discovered in the resinous parts of the cannabis plant and is one of the over 100 cannabinoids found in the plant. The resinous parts are called trichomes and are located on the buds and the surrounding leaves. 

Over the years many of the studies and negative attention has been on THC, but CBD is an abundant non-psychoactive cannabinoid that can provide potential health benefits as we've learned recently.  We're still learning about the other cannabinoids but for now just know we've been majorly deprived of something wonderful.

 cbd cannabis molecule

How does CBD work?

More recently discovered is a endocannabinoid system which are lipid based retrograde neurotransmitters that are expressed in the Central (think brain and spine) and peripheral nervous system.  As we've learned it plays a part in regulating a number of processes in the body.  We have two different receptors, CB1 and CB2 and CBD binds to these to help regulate functions like sleep, mood, anxiety, immune system, pain management among other things.  An example is the runner's high that many people get from, well, running.  It is now thought that this is the result of the endocannabinoid system and a chemical it releases called anandamide.  

Does CBD get you high?

Many people are concerned that since CBD is extracted from the same plant that THC comes from, there is a chance it will get you high.  This is far from the truth and does not have any psychoactive properties like THC and will not get you "high".  

Will CBD oil make me fail a drug test?

That's a complicated question. CBD oil by itself, which is an ISOLATE, will not make you fail a drug test.  Most tests look for a metabolite of THC and this will cause a positive result.  Full spectrum oils that contain all the cannabinoids of the plant do have the potential to test positive on a quick test.  The send out confirmation test should return it back as a false positive and be below detectable limits.  For further reading see Will CBD make me fail a drug test?

How do i use CBD oil? How Long will it take to work? How long will it stay in my system?

CBD comes in multiple varieties of oils or tinctures (same thing), capsules (for those that don't like the amazing flavor) gummies, Vape oils, patches, salves or ointments, suppositories.  There are pros and cons to each route and each way we take it is absorbed differently at different rates.  Its called bio availability.  Many see results the same or next day.  For some it takes longer.

In short, sublingual oil is the most popular. start with it.  For further reading see the article How should I take CBD oil?

The following information is directly from UpToDate, a leading medical reference text.  For Cannabidiol (in this case they're talking about Epidiolex) they report that the onset of action is "within 4 weeks", high fat-high calorie meals increases absorption, it is >94% protein bound, metabolized by CYP2c19, CYP3a4, UGT1a7, UGT1a9, UGT2b7.  Half life is 56-61hours.  Time to peak is 2.5-5hours.   

For further research about the pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics, please see the information from GW Pharmaceuticals

What dose should I take?

Many different sites will tell you to start at a high dose, or a low dose, or somewhere in between.  Different ailments and different people respond to different doses.  I see most people taking between 10-20mg a day.  My son has Lennox Gastaut Syndrome and takes 120mg of CBD twice daily.  Once again, it varies.  I personally would titrate up and see what works for you.

Should I take an Isolate of Full Spectrum Oil?

In short, an isolate is CBD that has been isolated from the other cannabinoids.  You get the benefits of CBD but without the added benefits of the other cannabinoids.  Full Spectrum Oils contain all the cannabinoids and give you the most benefits but also has the potential for failing a drug test. Here is further information on Full Spectrum vs Broad Spectrum vs Isolates

What all does CBD help with?

It's easier to say what CBD doesn't help with. I firmly believe that CBD has a lot of uses but I will not say it's a cure all for everything.

Many uses of CBD oil include: reduction of pain and inflammation, reduction of anxiety, improve seizures, improve sleep, pain and symptom relief from cancer, improving a variety of skin conditions like acne and eczema.  Some report that it helps with heart disease.

What are the drug interactions?

CBD interactions

CBD is metabolized on via the cytochrome p450 3a4 enzyme (CYP3A4).  It is known as a CYP3a4 inhibitor.  It can increase and decrease levels of many medications.  If you are on multiple medications and want to start CBD I suggest speaking with your healthcare provider before starting a regimen.

What else?

This is a new and exciting sector that we're cautiously and optimistically navigating.  We firmly believe it has a lot of potential and we are learning more every day.  I'm excited to share what I learn.  If you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask and I'll either reply by email or make it the focus of an upcoming blog post.

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