Most of us have some knowledge of what cannabis is. Still a lot of people are not aware that this plant contains more than a hundred various chemical compounds called cannabinoids. When ingested, these compounds interact with the body through the endocannabinoid system (discussed below). THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol) are the most well-known and occurring cannabinoids. Although both compounds come from the same plant, they have different effects on humans. People have used THC in different forms for medical and recreational purposes for decades, but CBD has only started gaining popularity recently and is quickly becoming more and more popular because of its potential positive health benefits.
What is CBD and how is it different from THC and traditional medicinal marijuana?
CBD is highly valued because of its high medicinal potential. Unlike THC, CBD does not bind to the body's CB1 receptors, and this makes it non-psychoactive. And the good news is - CBD can have a range of positive effects on the mind and the body. That is why a lot of CBD products have recently emerged on the market, providing the consumers with lots of choice and different ways of using CBD. Most CBD products typically have minimal to no amounts of mind altering THC in them which is why a lot of people prefer them to traditional medical marijuana and related products. Of course, you still have validate the THC content in the products you are buying by checking the product's specifications and asking your suppliers for third party lab tests, if available. This step is essential as many fake products are entering the market giving the rising popularity of CBD. Not only does CBD not make consumers high, but CBD can even help counteract the negative psychoactive effects of THC, which is so important to many patients. This also means that the non-psychoactive compound is ideal for chiropractors. And especially those who follow the philosophy of not utilizing prescription medicine or drugs on their patients.
Is CBD legal?
In short, CBD products derived from non-psychoactive parts of the cannabis plant are legal as long as the industrial hemp used in the process is grown and cultivated pursuant to an agricultural pilot program authorized under the Farm Bill. A more nuanced answer is that tensions between federal and state authorities still persist as the Farm Bill under which states can create their own pilot program regulations for hemp derived products while DEA is unwilling to cooperate until there is a federal law legislating hemp production. However, there are finally signs that this situation is likely to change for the better. As DEA public affairs officer recently told Business Insider, recent approval by FDA of CBD-based pharmaceutical drug, could give rise to CBD finally being distinguished from opioids. Considering all of the above, many chiropractors started using CBD products made exclusively from hemp as part of their treatment plans and aftercare.
How it works: The endocannabinoid system
Some people consume cannabis to get its mind-altering effects, while others take it to alleviate certain medical conditions. In either case, we would not experience the effects of cannabis if the body did not already have a biological system which can interact with the active chemical compounds such as CBD. In our bodies this is performed by the endocannabinoid system, which is responsible for regulating many essential biological processes. The endocannabinoid system has three main parts. First are the cannabinoid receptors which are on the cells' surfaces. These receptors take note of the conditions outside of the cells and transmit information whenever there is a change in the conditions to the cells' interior. This, in turn, kick-starts the cellular responses. Second are the endocannabinoids - small molecules which stimulate the cannabinoid receptors by binding to them. Finally, there are the metabolic enzymes which break down the endocannabinoids after utilization. Here it is important to distinguish between endocannabinoids and cannabinoids (sometimes called phytocannabinoids). The latter is derived from plants, mainly cannabis, while the former is produced by our own bodies.
CBD and the effects on body
Now that you know more about the endocannabinoid system, let us move to understanding the complex process of how CBD affects the body through the endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid receptors actually "prefer" THC, because CBD has a low attraction level to the same receptors. One of these major receptor classes is CB2, which controls many bodily functions including those responsible for the occurrence of inflammation. And here is where it gets interesting - CBD actually weakens the efficiency of the CB2 receptors, which is potentially beneficial to the body and is considered to have anti-inflammatory properties by many users. Similarly, due to potential anti-psychotic and neuro-protective properties, many users report pain relief and reduced anxiety after taking CBD supplements. And it has the potential to influence many other systems of the body both directly and indirectly. It is important to note though that CBD by no way is a silver bullet or will help everyone with their ailments. Our bodies have different endocannabinoid systems which have varying levels of ability to absorb CBD. Furthermore, ones history with cannabis based products, natural tolerance to such and usage of other pharmaceutical drugs may alter effectiveness of CBD. The less exposure a person has had to cannabis based products, the more likely it is that CBD will provide immediate benefits while another person might need 60-90 days before they will experience some benefits.
How is CBD helpful to chiropractors and their patients?
CBD oils and other products are now becoming extremely popular with chiropractors. One of the immediate reasons – they are very useful for patients in-between therapy sessions and treatments. Such products might help the patients achieve overall wellbeing by promoting their appetite, metabolism, immune responses, proper sleep, and more. Again, this is achieved when the CBD is absorbed and gets transported to all the different parts of the body. When this happens, the endocannabinoid system starts working, and you may start feeling the benefits of the said products. CBD comes in many different forms such as tinctures, capsules, topical salves, and more. Therefore, patients can consume them in the way most suitable for them. Chiropractors and other medical doctors may prescribe these products to their patients so they can get the benefits without having to worry about the negative side effects or the psychoactive effects ("high") that usually come from taking THC directly or through other traditional medical marijuana products containing THC. As we have mentioned already – hemp derived CBD products are considered legal in U.S. as well as in more than 40 other different countries all over the world. However CBD and CBD products derived from marijuana are not federally accepted or considered legal in all the states in the U.S. So, whether you are a chiropractor or a patient, it is important to always check the source of the CBD in your products and the laws in your locale, ensuring there are no restrictions or knowing the specific rules you have to follow to use CBD products. As a final note, when evaluating CBD products for the safety of your patience make sure that the CBD products you choose are made from natural rather than synthetic CBD. Although cheaper and potentially stronger at the beginning, the latter type of CBD has been making headlines for the number of people hospitalized due to the side-effects (which do not occur when using natural CBD). For the same reasons synthetic CBD products have even been banned by the US Army. Therefore, when choosing your CBD product supplier, make sure to do your due diligence and pick a reliable supplier. Hope this made for a clear and valuable round up. Liked this article? Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter / check other posts on our blog.
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