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Why Doesn’t Cannabidiol Make You High?

By | Cannabinoids explained, Elixinol product reviews, Health effects of cannabinoids, Hemp Seed Benefits, Uncategorized | No Comments

Why Doesn’t Cannabidiol Make You High?

If you have heard of CBD that stands for Cannabidiol. But what are the differences between CBD and THC? What is the difference between hemp and marijuana? One of the reasons why many people prefer high-CBD hemp extracts that contain little to no THC is that they aren’t psychoactive – they won’t get you “high”. But why is this the case? If both THC and CBD act on the brain, using the cannabinoid receptors, and are closely related, why is CBD so different?

The “high” caused by THC involves the CB1 receptors, which are concentrated in the brain and nervous system1. While both THC and CBD can interact with the CB1 receptors, THC binds very well with them, but CBD only has a weak affinity. If you think of THC as an electric plug and the CB1 receptor as a socket, the THC is a perfect fit. CBD would be an ill-fitting plug that obstructs the THC plug when in the way. Therefore, CBD is thought of as an antagonist of substances that activate CB1 receptors.

You may remember the infamous drug Rimonabant, which is a CB1 antagonist and had its clinical trials stopped due to severe side effects. CBD is more like a modulator of the receptors’ effects, so it won’t completely stop them from working. The most common effects of CB1 receptors are relaxation and euphoria (a happy high), but also anxiety and short-term memory impairment, especially in large amounts. When those who partake in recreational cannabis use strains with higher levels of CBD, they often report fewer negative effects. However, many recreational strains have been bred to produce less CBD, in order to maximise the “high”. This would also significantly impair many therapeutic effects. In one study, participants who were given CBD before THC were much less likely to suffer from psychotic symptoms and paranoia2. They were also largely spared from episodic memory impairment, another common side effect of THC. Episodic memory is our memories of specific events, such as what you were doing last night at that party.

Cannabidiol-vs-THC

Along with CBD, the other cannabinoids in hemp are not psychoactive either, despite being related to THC3. Cannabichromene (CBC) is another cannabinoid, which may have anti-inflammatory and analgesic (pain-relieving) abilities. In mice, it was also found to reduce THC toxicity. Therefore, like CBD, there is no reason to condemn CBC on moral grounds. It works in a similar way to CBD, by increasing the available levels of our own cannabinoids, which may have a more balancing effect than a possible over-stimulating one. Cannabigerol (CBG) seems to also work this way, and could also have anti-depressant properties by acting on the serotonin receptors. CBD has been found to act on the serotonin receptors too, as a stimulant4. This could help to relieve nausea, depression, anxiety and even psychotic symptoms. Additionally, it has also shown effects on the dopamine receptors. Dopamine plays a critical role in aspects of cognition such as motivation and reward, as well as affecting co-ordination. With all of these potential therapeutic effects, CBD doesn’t need to stimulate the CB1 receptors directly.

References

1: https://www.leafly.com/news/science-tech/cbd-vs-thc-cbd-not-psychoactive

2: http://jop.sagepub.com/content/27/1/19.short

3: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3165946/

4: https://www.leafly.com/news/science-tech/what-does-cbd-do

Hemp May Reduce Workplace Medical Absenteeism

By | Elixinol product reviews, Health effects of cannabinoids, Uncategorized | No Comments

Hemp may reduce workplace medical absenteeism.

Increasingly outdated beliefs surrounding cannabis and hemp would tell you that consuming these plants will turn you into a lazy, jobless stoner. However, a recent study has actually shown that workplace absences due to sickness have declined in US states that allow at least medical cannabis1.

This study was based on the Current Population Survey, a monthly survey of sixty thousand households performed by the Census Bureau. Researchers were partly motivated by a previous study showing that alcohol consumption dropped after medical legalization. Titled The Effect of Medical Marijuana on Sickness Absence, this study found that the strongest effects were in states with the most liberal regulations, full-time workers and middle-aged males, the demographic most likely to have medical cannabis cards2. There was an 8% reduction in medical leave among the whole sample, and an 11% reduction among the full-time workers. In states with more liberal laws, medical absences dropped by 13%. Why is this important? The cost of absenteeism to the US economy is around 24 billion dollars a year. Much of this would have otherwise been spent in turn on things that lead to creation of more jobs. It has also been estimated that the wage offset of a 1% increase in the absence rate is 56 cents. Therefore, it could also reduce costs to the employers.

Hemp bracelets with coloured beads.

Hemp bracelets, far from the only way that it can keep people in paid work. Source: Debra Roby

 

Some of the causes of workplace absenteeism are physical illness, depression and caring for children or aged relatives3. One of the problems hemp may help to relieve is depression and anxiety4. Both of these are affected by issues with serotonin function in the brain. Research has shown that cannabidiol (CBD) could act on the receptors that control release of serotonin into the brain, as mice given drugs that block this receptor had no benefit from CBD. Similarities between CBD and a known stimulant of this receptor were also observed in a study where people with social anxiety experienced significant relief after CBD administration. Additionally, chronic pain, from issues such as inflammatory disorders or old injuries, can be a cause of repeated workplace absences. Studies have found that CBD may reduce levels of chemicals produced by the body that promote pain and inflammation5. Other cannabinoids such as CBC and CBG have also shown analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects, and so have some terpenes including beta-myrcene.

To put human faces onto this, one woman speaking to the Victorian Law Reform Commission in Australia said that after she started using cannabis for chronic pain, she was able to return to work6. Previously, she had suffered from chronic pain and resulting intense nausea as a result of past injuries. Another woman who also stated she was suffering from chronic pain, this time from prolapsed discs and arthritis. As morphine made her sleep 22 hours a day, she couldn’t work or study. With cannabis, she said she could stay awake for the whole day. Overall, hemp has economic benefits beyond that of its own industry, the negative stereotypes from its association with its psychoactive cousin are both inaccurate and unfair.

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References

1: https://www.leafly.com/news/science-tech/promising-2016-cannabis-research

2: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/305367155_The_Effect_of_Medical_Marijuana_on_Sickness_Absence

3: http://www.forbes.com/sites/investopedia/2013/07/10/the-causes-and-costs-of-absenteeism-in-the-workplace/#3e9620c3bd30

4: https://www.medicalcannabisclinic.com.au/medicinal-cannabis/anxiety-depression-treatment/

5: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2503660/

6: http://lawreform.vic.gov.au/content/2-use-cannabis-medicinal-purposes

 

Introducing CBD Rescue Balm & CBD Topical

By | Cannabinoids explained, Elixinol product reviews | 2 Comments

Global CBD leader Elixinol continues its product expansion to meet its customers diverse needs with Rescue Balm a naturally soothing CBD topical salve for targeted areas.  

Each pleasantly scented application, applied directly to the skin, muscles or joints delivers 125mg of full-spectrum CBD topical hemp oil, combined with key ingredients such as Virgin Ucuuba Butter, Virgin Andiroba Oil, and a key terpene Nerolidol. In addition to targeted-area relief, Rescue Balm  also promotes a healthy, youthful skin appearance. Read More

Product review: Hemp Oil Drops 100mg CBD

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Hemp extracts have been used for many health purposes throughout the ages thanks to their ability to promote overall wellness. Containing naturally occurring cannabinoids, hemp oil is extracted from industrial hemp, the only variety of this plant specifically cultivated for industrial production and containing minimum psychoactive substances.

Hemp oil and drops are virtually free of THC, the psychoactive compound in cannabis, so they won’t make you high. On the other hand, these extracts are rich in CBD and other cannabinoids with proven health benefits, so they’re an excellent addition to anyone’s diet. Read More