CBD (Cannabidiol) 101

CBD (Cannabidiol) 101

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By DONNA SHIELDS

I’ve been a proponent of marijuana legalization since I heard about it in high school.  I lived in the UK in the 1970s when it was not easily available! So I was a legalization proponent before I’d ever touched the stuff. Nearly four decades later, it’s legal in many states, Canada and Uruguay and most — but by no means all — of the drug war hysteria is recognized for the idiocy it is. But while anyone who’s got stone and had the munchies knows that pot is a good appetite enhancer and antiemetic, there are now a bunch of claims being made about cannabidiol (CBD). So I thought we’d explore them. We’re including a video from ZdoggMD which gives a balanced view of the (appalling lack of) data so far, and an article from Donna Shields, co-founder of the Holistic Cannabis Academy. Donna, as you may guess, thinks it’s pretty useful. And while you think this may still be on the edge, a CBD company called Sagely Naturals won the recent G4A contest held by old world big Pharma company BayerMatthew Holt

Understanding CBD

It’s come onto the healthcare scene like a rocket yet most people don’t really understand what cannabidiol (CBD) is, how to use it and the results one can expect. Here’s a primer on the basics you need to know.

Do you know about the endocannabinoid system

We all have an endocannabinoid system; a network of receptors throughout the body whose job is to maintain homeostasis and well-being for all our organs. Like a master control system. And while our bodies make their own cannabinoids, life, through stress, toxins, poor diet and illness, has a way of depleting the in-house supply or making those receptors “less receptive”. This is when adding cannabinoids, such as CBD, can be a helpful boost.

Marijuana vs Hemp

The mother plant, called Cannabis sativa, can be cultivated to grow marijuana (the plant containing THC, CBD, and other cannabinoid compounds) or hemp, a crop with many uses from food products to building materials. Hemp also contains CBD (cannabidiol), but less than 0.3% THC. CBD is just one of over 80 different cannabinoid compounds found in both marijuana and hemp. Hemp-derived CBD products are available at retail stores and online; while marijuana-derived CBD products are available cannabis dispensary stores.

What’s it good for

There are many, many cannabinoids in the cannabis plant, but CBD is the mostly well studied and most understood. It’s CBD that’s responsible for reducing seizure episodes and provides anti-inflammatory benefits, helping to relieve pain that may originate from a variety of chronic health conditions. For those suffering from mood disorders, from anxiety to depression, it often can be valuable healing tool when used in conjunction with other modalities such as meditation, yoga and an awesome diet. So, while it’s not a miracle drug or a cure all for anything and everything that ails you, it can provide safe therapeutic benefits without the side effects that can occur with some pharmaceuticals

Integrating CBD with lifestyle medicine

There are many, many cannabinoids in the cannabis plant, but CBD is the mostly well studied and most understood. It’s CBD that’s responsible for reducing seizure episodes and provides anti-inflammatory benefits, helping to relieve pain that may originate from a variety of chronic health conditions. For those suffering from mood disorders, from anxiety to depression, it often can be valuable healing tool when used in conjunction with other modalities such as meditation, yoga and an awesome diet. So, while it’s not a miracle drug or a cure all for anything and everything that ails you, it can provide safe therapeutic benefits without the side effects that can occur with some pharmaceuticals.

CBD works much better when paired up with other positive lifestyle changes, such as a clean healthy diet, stress reduction techniques, exercise and mindfulness. If there isn’t a total whole body approach, then supplementing with CBD may only partially solve a health problem. Layering on various healing modalities (that resonate with you) in addition to CBD will typically get the best results in the shortest amount of time. So don’t think of CBD as the silver bullet but simply one tool in your holistic healing toolbox.

Expect more from your practitioner

Unfortunately, most healthcare professionals know very little about cannabinoid medicine; it was never taught in medical school or included in trainings for chiropractors, acupuncturists, nutritionists, nurses or health coaches. Luckily, progressive practitioner, caregivers and consumers now have options for getting credible, quality education on this topic. By demanding answers to your CBD questions, it improves healthcare for everyone.

Donna Shields, MS, RDN is a registered dietitian nutritionist and co-founder of the Holistic Cannabis Academy, an online medical cannabis/CBD training program for practitioners of all types.

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1 Comment on "CBD (Cannabidiol) 101"


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William Palmer MD
Jul 13, 2018

Anandamide and other eicosanoids are the true agonists of our endocannabinoid receptors. These are the molecules for which we have the receptors. These receptors were not put there in evolution to hook up with compounds from a plant, despite their happenstance avidity for these botannical analogues. We should be talking about these real agonist molecules which are the true neurotransmitters and messengers in our bodies. By falling in love with a plant we distract ourselves from the science.