The effect of CBD on the body differs from one person to the other. This article explains how CBD works, the mode of CBD administration, and the benefits of using CBD.
The buzz around CBD is increasing due to the health benefits it offers the body. For example, pain and inflammation relief, alleviating anxiety and stress, and improving sleep quality. Congress legalized hemp products after passing the Farm Bill in 2018. This led to the widespread production of various CBD products, such as gummies and capsules. Several states legalize the use of hemp-derived CBD, while a handful of states approve the use of marijuana-derived CBD. The legality of CBD and cannabis differ from one state to the other since they are mandated to develop their laws and regulations.
What is CBD?
CBD is a chemical compound derived from hemp and cannabis plants. CBD does not have a psychoactive effect on the user like THC. According to Watt & Karl (2017), THC is known for having a hallucinogenic effect. Marijuana and hemp are from the same cannabis family but tend to differ in the composition of compounds. Marijuana has higher THC levels than hemp, which has higher CBD.
CBD can be classified as full spectrum, broad-spectrum, or CBD isolates. CBD isolate does not have any additional compound from the plant and is thus considered the purest form of CBD, rated 98% pure. The broad spectrum contains flavonoids, terpenes, and all other cannabinoids, excluding THC. On the other hand, the full spectrum, or full plant CBD, has all the compounds from the plant, including THC. However, the legal THC amount is below 0.3% and is approved as non-intoxicating to the user.
Although many people avoid THC traces in their products, studies show that THC is essential for CBD to provide different health benefits, such as improving sleep and treating epilepsy. This is because CBD and THC have an entourage effect by complimenting each other's potency. Therefore, they all work for the well-being of the body.
How CBD Works
The human body contains the endocannabinoid system, which is key to emotional response, pain control, and immune response. The endocannabinoid system comprises receptors, neurotransmitters, and enzymes that enhance its efficacy. Cannabinoids from the plant tend to have a similar structure to the cannabinoid receptors in the body. The receptors are divided into CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors are mainly in the brain and the nerves, while CB2 receptors are in the immune system and other body organs. CBD acts by binding with the CB2 receptors, leading to the transmission of impulses that relieve pain and inflammation. On the other hand, THC activates CB1 receptors, which causes a psychoactive effect.
Ways of Administering CBD
CBD can be taken into the body in different forms, for example, topicals, tinctures, edibles, and vapes.
CBD vape juice is an e-liquid infused with cannabidiol and other vital components such as vegetable glycerin and propyl glycol. These ingredients enable the vape juice to be safely and efficiently inhaled into the lungs using a vape pen. The pens have cartridges and batteries. Furthermore, the juice is filled in the cartridge when exposed to a certain temperature, and the liquid changes to vapor, which is then directly inhaled into the lungs. CBD vapes have a higher bioavailability; thus, the effect will be felt faster. According to Darabseh et al. (2020), vaping is healthier than smoking, which involves full combustion of the content and thus affects the internal organs such as the lungs and liver.
Tinctures are made by soaking the cannabis leaves in alcohol, which acts as a base. The solution is used below the tongue, where it is absorbed. Tinctures come with a natural earthy taste and are thus bests for people who love the natural feeling. They have a faster effect since they do not have to be gut-processed.
Does CBD Kick in Immediately?
CBD's effects on the body and the time for the effect to the surface depends on different factors. For example:
Your body size and weight impact the effect of CBD. Plus-size individuals experience CBD differently from slim people. The plus-sized individuals take longer to feel the effect since the compound covers a wide surface area compared to small-bodied people. However, they might experience the effects longer since it is stored in the body's fats.
People with higher metabolism rates experience faster effects than those with lower metabolism rates.
Method of CBD Administration
There are different ways of taking CBD into the body. You can take CBD orally, topically, or sublingually. CBD is consumed orally through capsules, gummies, foods, and drinks. However, the effects take longer to kick in since the products have to be gut-processed. Tinctures and vapes have a more immediate effect since the compound is directly absorbed into the bloodstream.
Beginners have different experiences compared to veterans. This is because the veteran's body is used to the compound. Therefore, newbies can use smaller amounts of CBD and feel the effect immediately. Also, the more CBD the body can accommodate, the faster the effects kick in. On the flip side, the less amount the body takes, the longer the effects will take to surface.
Potency of CBD
Potency refers to the strength of CBD. There are highly potent CBD products, while some have lower potencies. This can be caused by different factors, such as the source of CBD and the extraction method. High potent CBD will kick in faster compared to low potent ones.
The amount of CBD you take can affect the kick in time. For example, a person who has had 50 mg of CBD will experience the effect faster than that who had 15mg.
Health Benefits of CBD
One of the main reasons for the wide spread of CBD is its ability to ease pain. According to Überall (2020), CBD can help with different forms of pain, such as nerve pain and muscle and joint pain. Also, it can reduce acute and chronic pains, such as arthritis and multiple sclerosis. According to Peyravian et al. (2022), CBD also alleviates muscle and skin inflammation. Moltke et al. (2021) suggested that CBD improves mood and sleep quality and reduces anxiety and stress.
CBD is a compound derived from hemp or cannabis plant. It does not have a psychoactive effect and thus cannot cause a high feeling in the user. This is because the compound binds with CB2 endocannabinoid receptors, unlike THC, which activates the CB1 receptors alone and thus the 'high' feeling. People react differently to CBD and experience it differently due to their body size, metabolism, dosage, CBD potency, and body tolerance. Taking CBD has different health benefits, for example, pain relief, and is thus used in treating arthritis and multiple sclerosis, health conditions with unmanageable pain.
Darabseh, M. Z., Selfe, J., Morse, C. I., & Degens, H. (2020). Is vaping better than smoking for cardiorespiratory and muscle function? Multidisciplinary respiratory medicine, 15(1).
Moltke, J., & Hindocha, C. (2021). Reasons for cannabidiol use: a cross-sectional study of CBD users, focusing on self-perceived stress, anxiety, and sleep problems. Journal of cannabis research, 3(1), 1-12.
Peyravian, N., Deo, S., Daunert, S., & Jimenez, J. J. (2022). The Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Cannabidiol (CBD) on Acne. Journal of Inflammation Research, 15, 2795.
Überall, M. A. (2020). A review of scientific evidence for THC: CBD oromucosal spray (nabiximols) in chronic pain management. Journal of pain research, 13, 399.
Watt, G., & Karl, T. (2017). In vivo evidence for therapeutic properties of cannabidiol (CBD) for Alzheimer's disease. Frontiers in pharmacology, 8, 20.
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