Cannabidiol (CBD) is the decarboxylated phytocannabinoid of CBDa found in heated cannabis. It was discovered in 1940 by Roger Adams and is the second most abundant phytocannabinoid found in cannabis. Because it mostly affects CB2 receptors instead of CB1, it produces no psychotropic effects, and its medicinal uses can be felt immediately. Any strain containing more than 8% CBD is considered a high CBD strain, as CB2 receptors bind to CBD much quicker and much easier than THC to CB1 receptors. CBD has been shown to have the largest variety of health benefits, assisting everything from seizures to cancerous tumors to autism, it’s received the most study and attention for good reason. As it does not affect the mental or physical functioning of an individual, CBD is more often than not psychologically unnoticed to the consumer. CBD is psychoactive, as it has antianxiety, antipsychotic, anti-craving and mood-elevating effects, but can be considered non-impairing, non-intoxicating and non-psychotropic.
Up until recently, CBD itself was incorrectly considered the same as THC by both the DEA and FDA. In June of 2018, however, CBD was federally reclassified from a Schedule I to Schedule V drug in the US, the least-restrictive category of drugs. In December of 2018, the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 was passed by Mitch McConnell, officially reclassifying hemp and CBD away from any drug scheduling and allowing the Department of Agriculture to manage it as a crop rather than the Department of Justice managing it as an illegal substance. This bill also allows interstate commerce of hemp and hemp products, including CBD, hemp farmers to purchase crop insurance, and additional research from pharmaceutical companies.
CBD in particular has been shown to assist with ADHD, ADD, hyperactivity, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, anxiety, OCD, stress, schizophrenia, arthritis, asthma, atherosclerosis, autism, bacterial infections, bronchitis, cancer, depression, diabetes, fibromyalgia, glaucoma, heart disease, inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, liver disease, hepatitis, hemochromatosis, cirrhosis of the liver, lupus, migraine, multiple sclerosis, nausea, pain relief, Parkinson’s disease, Meige syndrome, PTSD, seizures, epilepsy, spasticity, stroke, skin disorder, acne, dermatitis, psoriasis, eczema, substance abuse of heroin, methamphetamine, opioids, marijuana, nicotine and alcohol, and traumatic brain injury.
CBD typically goes unnoticed in the consumer as it does not produce a high, and negative side effects from its use are relatively unheard of in proper doses. A 2017 review of 25 studies conducted over the last two decades on the safety and efficiency of CBD did not identify any significant side effects across a wide range of doses, including acute and chronic dose regimens, using various modes of administration. Because of CBD’s approval throughout Europe, there is comprehensive knowledge on its metabolism, toxicology and safety. The standard dose for CBD is 10 mg. Clinical studies using doses of 1200 mg a day for 30 days resulted in no negative side effects throughout the trial period. At extremely high doses, such as those over 2000 mg (chugging 10 bottles of CBD tinctures, give or take), CBD can cause dizziness, headaches, anxiety, decreased appetite, drowsiness, diarrhea, fever, tachycardia or an increased heart rate, and jitteriness, though even these are rare and will fade away in a few hours if they appear. A 2019 study by the University of Arkansas for Medical Science was finally able to find the LD50 of CBD, the dose required to kill over 50% of recipients. In testing mice, they found an amount of 2460 mg per kg of weight was the lethal dose through liver failure. For comparison, the equivalent lethal dose for the average human, weighing 62 kg (137 lbs), is about 152,520 mg of CBD. This is roughly equivalent to drinking 9 liters of potent CBD tinctures.
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