The Science of CBD

The Biology

The endocannabinoid system is a biochemical communication system in our bodies that helps regulate everything from nerve function and muscle coordination to immunity and blood circulation. It’s made up of two types of cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2, which both promote neural sensitivity and efficacy. CB1 receptors are found in the brain and central nervous system and influence our emotions, mood, appetite, coordination, movement, and pain. CB2 receptors are found primarily in the immune system, but also in peripheral organs and tissues of the muscular and cardiovascular systems.

While our body naturally produces endocannabinoid compounds that react with the CB1 and CB2 receptors and help keep the body balanced, when we experience injury, disease or other deficiency of endocannabinoids, the compounds found in CBD, called phytocannabinoids, can help pick up the slack. But instead of interacting directly with CB1 and CB2 receptors like THC compounds, CBD compounds simply help to stimulate the receptors and get the body to recognize and use more of its natural cannabinoids and neurotransmitters. (Hence, no “high”.)

Full Spectrum CBD vs CBD Isolate

Full Spectrum CBD:

If a product is full spectrum, it means it is created from a whole plant extract. This means that as well as getting a healthy dose of CBD and trace amounts of THC under 0.3%, you can expect the product to include other components such as terpenes, essential vitamins, fatty acids, protein, and more. These additional components deliver synergistic medical benefits encapsulated by the term the entourage effect.

CBD Isolate:

This is 99.9% CBD and doesn’t include any other components. So when it was extracted from hemp, it went through a refining process that removed THC and other components like flavonoids and terpenes. However, it is important to remember that more CBD doesn’t simply mean it’ll have greater effects, it just means that for some people, who specifically want the benefit of CBD alone, that this is a good option for them.

What happens

The magic of CBD in comparison to THC is that it doesn’t act directly with the CB1 and CBD2 receptors. Rather CBD influences them and other receptors in the brain and body indirectly, meaning you don’t get the same psychoactive effects you do with THC.

CBD works in two main ways:

First, it has the ability to turn ‘orphan receptors’ into active or inactive receptors of G-proteins, according to the need of the body.

Second, CBD has been shown to act as a serotonin 5-HT1A receptor partial agonist. An action that is considered to be responsible for its antidepressant, anxiolytic, and neuroprotective effects.

It is important to note that study into the effects of CBD products across a range of conditions remains in their infancy, however, large parts of the clinical community have heralded CBD as a huge forward shift in the way we could treat medical conditions in the future. So, while the indications are unanimously positive, as a responsible retailer we feel it is important to help you understand that this is a young and extremely exciting industry that is gaining further credibility, day in day out.

Dosing with CBD

Taking a higher dosage of CBD will, in most cases, both increase the effects of CBD and also decrease the amount of time it takes to feel it. However, even with higher dosages, the type of CBD product and how it’s consumed will still be the main determining factor of how long absorption takes.

It’s important to note that dosages differ widely and are not currently regulated by the FDA, but the dosages of certain products—like oils, tinctures, and edibles—tend to be more standardized than others. Be sure to read product labels very closely so you know just how much you’re ingesting. When testing a new dosage, it’s especially important to give yourself ample time to learn how quickly a new dosage affects you and ensure that you are not affected negatively in any way. As we like to say, “start low and go slow.”

How long it takes to feel the effects of CBD will be different for everybody and depends on a number of factors:

  • A person’s body weight and metabolic rate
  • Type of CBD product
  • CBD Dosage
  • Cannabidiol strain and quality

How CBD affects different body types

Each CBD user’s body is a different size and make-up, and the combination of those factors will determine how CBD affects you. Often, it will take more time and higher dosages for people with higher body masses to feel the same effects as people with smaller body masses. However, metabolism also plays a role in CBD absorption. A high metabolic rate—in a person of any size—can mean the body will process CBD faster, reducing the amount of time it takes to feel the effects, whereas a lower metabolic rate increases that time.

CBD Dosing Examples:

Chronic Pain: 2.5-20mg for 25 days

Epilepsy: 200-300mg up to 4.5 months

Huntingtons Disease-related issues: 10mg/kg for 6 weeks

Sleep Disorders: 40-160mg

Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms: 2.5-120mg THC-CBD combo for 2-15 weeks

Glaucoma: 20-40mg (Doses over 40 mg may actually increase eye pressure)