What is CBD?

By Dr. Nathan Luczynski:

It seems like every time you turn around these days, you bump into CBD something, from your doctor's office to the gym, even at your local grocery store or pharmacy.  If you're curious what CBD actually does, and why people are so excited about it, Nathan's got you covered!

Aim Sports Medicine - CBD
What is "CBD"?

What is cannabidiol (CBD for short)?

CBD is a key ingredient in cannabis - one of over 100 compounds found in cannabis that belong to a class of molecules called cannabinoids.  Of these compounds, CBD and THC are usually present in the highest concentrations, and are the most recognized and studied. 

CBD is non-psychoactive because it doesn't act on the same pathways as THC.  Numerous studies suggest that CBD actually acts to reduce the intoxicating effects of THC.  

Again, it's worth repeating that CBD is not the same as THC.  CBD is found primarily in extractions from the hemp plant; THC is the main psychoactive component in marijauna.  

How does CBD work?

The recent identification of cannabinoid receptors in the human body has triggered an exponential growth of studies exploring the endocannabinoid system, and its regulatory functions in health and disease. 

This system has been implicated in a growing number of physiological functions, both in the central and peripheral nervous systems and in peripheral organs.   The endocannabinoid system (ECS) regulates many bodily functions, such as sleep, pain, mood, appetite and responses from the immune system. 

The receptors in the ECS are divided into 2 categories: CB1 and CB2. CB1 are typically found in the nervous system. These receptors affect sensations like appetite and concentration. CB2 are a huge part of the immune system. These receptors have a hand in regulating pain and other immune responses. 

How can CBD help me?

Studies have shown that CBD has many beneficial qualities in the human body, including:

Brain: antipsychotic, anti-depressant, anti-anxiety, antioxidant, neuroprotective

Eyes: vasorelaxant for glaucoma

Heart: prevents plaque buildup in arteries, anti-inflammatory

Stomach: anti-emetic, appetite control

Joints: analgesic for joint pain

Bones: stimulating new bone growth and strengthening bones affected by osteoporosis

Research has demonstrated CBD’s potential as a treatment for a wide range of conditions including: Crohn’s disease, arthritis, fibromyalgia, diabetes, MS, chronic pain schizophrenia, PTSD, depression, epilepsy and other neurological disorders. 

How do I use CBD?

There are different ways to "take" CBD, each offering different benefits:

Topical: We have cannabinoid receptors in the skin, so applying CBD as a lotion, oil, or gel is a highly effective way to spot-treat localized pain and inflammation (including chronic pain/arthritis).

Patch: A medicated, adhesive patch supplies CBD to the bloodstream through the skin.  It's great for long-term pain management that requires consistent dosage throughout the day.

Edible: Ingesting CBD rather than inhaling it provides a longer-term effect since the cannabinoid is broken down slowly through the digestive tract before entering the bloodstream, however it can take longer to notice an effect.

Smoking/Vaping: Inhalation is a fast-acting delivery method, however research is needed about possible additives to know exactly what you're consuming.

There's so much more information out there to learn about CBD, but we hope this answers some of your questions about this noninvasive, nonsurgical, and non-psychoactive method of pain relief. 🙂

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