The CBD - What is it, and what does it do?

So, one of the things that we love about the people we work with at Sacred Health is that it is SUCH a broad spectrum. The wide range of people we serve call for equally wide options for interventions, services, and treatments. And this exactly why we were so excited that we could introduce CBD Oil to our retail offerings. Because the impacts can potentially benefit such vast number of body systems, symptoms, chronic conditions, and symptoms. We, of course, need to do our due diligence and categorically say: We cannot make any medical claims about CBD/ hemp oil.

It is recommended that you conduct your own research or contact your doctor.

These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. Ahem, now that the disclaimer is out of the way, let's discuss what we can say, and answer some of the most common questions about use, delivery, and purported benefits.

What is CBD?

So, to start from the very beginning, CBD is a cannabinoid and a type of compound found in cannabis Sativa. There are over 100 types of cannabinoids in the cannabis plant - the most well-known being THC; the bit that gets you high.

However, (and this is important): CBD is not psychoactive in the respect that it doesn’t cause that euphoric, 'high' feeling.

As of now, cannabis (produced from the marijuana plant) remains illegal in most parts of the world thanks to its Schedule 1 status, which claims that it poses a high risk of abuse and has no medicinal value.

However industrial hemp, a low-THC/ high-CBD variety of cannabis sativa, is legal. Therefore, most of the CBD oils on the wider market are derived from hemp.

How does it work? (Watch out, I'm gonna go geeky rogue)

CBD was originally discovered in the 1940's, as a byproduct of research being done on THC at the time. At that point, it was believed that it had little value. However in the 1990's a research team led by Professor Raphael Mechoulam discovered what we now very commonly know as the endocannabinoid system (or ECS for short).

The ECS is a vast communication network of cannabis-like chemicals - called endocannabinoids - and receptor sites found across all cells in our bodies. It is known as a homeostatic regulator, meaning that its main action is to bring balance to our bodies and minds. The impacts that this has on the body and mind is more like a series of dimmers, instead of a series of light switches. Too dark over here, dim this light up a bit. Now it's too bright in that corner? Dim that spot down a bit. The whole purpose is to maintain balance, and the most stable and responsive environment in the body. THC was seen to activate this system because it is an almost perfect fit for the receptors in our brain and central nervous system, as well as partially activating those in our immune system and gut. The cool part is that CBD plays well with this system too, but it does it indirectly. Scientists have observed that CBD blocks an enzyme that breaks down anandamide: a key endocannabinoid otherwise known as the 'bliss molecule'. This means that taking CBD may allow more anandamide to be present in our bodies for longer, which is thought to potentially support and strengthen the endocannabinoid system.

The word “anandamide” originates from the sanskrit “ananda,” which roughly translates to “bliss” or “joy,” an indication of the cannabinoid’s properties as a mood enhancer. Also called N-arachidonoylethanolamine (AEA), anandamide interacts with the body’s CB receptors similarly to cannabinoids like THC. It’s a neurotransmitter and cannabinoid-receptor binding agent that functions as a signal messenger for CB receptors located in the body. Anandamide’s ability to bind to CB1 and CB2 receptors can profoundly impact a host of physiological mechanisms, including appetite stimulation, mood fluctuation, pain management, and even fertility.

Activation and binding of anandamide to our cannabinoid receptors results from our body’s constant pursuit to achieve and maintain homeostasis. When our cells, organs, and systems begin to shift away from their balance points, our endocannabinoid system kicks in.

  • Since the discovery of anandamide, several studies have indicated interesting results when subjects are exposed to high levels of it. A 2015 study on humans and mice found that high levels of anandamide were catalysts for both mood enhancement and fear reduction. In both mice and humans, an inhibited production of the enzymes responsible for breaking down anandamide also led to a decrease in fear and anxiety during times of perceived threat.

  • Additionally, a 2009 study showed that high levels of anandamide are imperative for ovulation and that the fluctuation of anandamide over the gestational period can affect fetal development. The study concluded that higher levels of it during ovulation can contribute to a successful pregnancy.

  • Increased levels of anandamide have been found in the bloodstream of those who have just experienced rigorous exercise, giving credence to the theory of a “euphoric high” that comes with vigorous, prolonged physical activity.

  • When looking at people that suffer from Schizophrenia and Depression multiple research studies have shown a correlation between Schizophrenia and high levels of Ananadamide. Which off the cuff sounds bad, but research team’s theory is that rather than triggering psychosis, the substance is released in response to psychotic symptoms to help control them. People with the worst symptoms might be unable to produce sufficient anandamide to prevent them.

And there are dozens upon dozens more pieces of interesting information about Anandamide. The important bit of information in all of this is this: CBD works indirectly on the ECS by inhibiting the breakdown of anandamide in the brain. And anandamide might just be the key to regulating a massive array of symptoms and systems in mental health, pain control, homeostasis, fertility, endocrine disorders, GI dysfunction, and more.

Rapid Fire Q&A

What is the difference between Cannabis, Hemp, and Marijuana?

  • All are actually cannabis plants. However, hemp or industrial hemp is a term commonly used for cannabis strains that contain very low levels of THC – to be precise below 0.3% THC. Marijuana, in general, is a word used for plants that contain high amounts of THC. Our grandfathers did not know anything about THC (that it is psychoactive) and were just growing cannabis and calling it hemp. It’s only in modern times that the definition of hemp means low levels of THC. On street level, when a cannabis plant is analyzed it’s found to contain 1%-22% THC. Cannabis products can even contain up to 98% THC.

How does CBD make you feel?

  • One of the best qualities of CBD is its, personalized effect. It’s fair to wonder ‘what are the CBD effects?’ or ‘how will CBD make you feel?` It's a common misconception that CBD will make you feel ‘high’, like THC. However, CBD is non-psychoactive, which means it won’t give you that euphoric feeling associated with other strains of cannabis.

  • The reasons why people look to take CBD vary widely; sleep, energy, GI issues, etc. Which means that the individual effects are going to vary just as widely.

  • Some people describe CBD’s effects, as being slightly energized with an increased feeling of focus. Other people may feel more calm and relaxed which could help support better sleep. The beauty of CBD is that everyone's CBD journey will be different.

How long does CBD stay in your system?

  • When taking CBD the golden rule really is – everyone is different. Some studies show that CBD stays in your system for two to five days. However, this is also dependant on your metabolism. The amount of time it takes for the molecule to completely leave the human body depends on each person – as well as how much has been taken.

Is CBD Oil Safe?

  • So, the FDA hasn't approved CBD Oil use. But The World Health Organization released a paper stating that CBD Oil was safe, non-toxic, and having little to no side effects. They go on to say that the only relative concern would likely be with potential interactions with prescriptions that the individual was already taking.

So, what ABOUT those drug interactions?

  • As with all things, some pharmaceuticals are going to interact with other things we might choose to put in our bodies, and CBD is no exception to that possibility.

  • CBD and other plant cannabinoids can potentially interact with many pharmaceuticals by inhibiting the activity of cytochrome P450, a family of liver enzymes.

  • At sufficient dosages, CBD will temporarily deactivate cytochrome P450 enzymes, thereby altering how we metabolize a wide range of compounds.

  • A lot of modern pharmaceuticals need P450 to metabolize - and CBD basically competes to the key to that lock. Which means that drug levels of different pharmaceuticals could remain elevated past their normal time of metabolism in the blood stream.

  • The extent to which cannabidiol behaves as a competitive inhibitor of cytochrome P450 depends on how tightly CBD binds to the active site of the metabolic enzyme before and after oxidation. The excellent part is that this means that with creative dosages and spacing out medications, we can often avoid the issue of competition. But not always.

  • If the dosage of cannabidiol is low enough, it will have no noticeable effect on CYP activity. There is no clearly established cut-off dose, below which CBD does not interact with other drugs. A 2013 report on a clinical trial using GWPharmaceutical’s Sativex, a whole plant CBD-rich sublingual spray, found no interactions with CYP enzymes when approximately 40mg of CBD were administered. A subsequent clinical trial, however, found that 25mg of orally administered CBD had some impact on the metabolism of an anti-epileptic drug.

  • This is why it's wise to research the use of CBD, discuss its use with your doctor if you have a lot of pharmaceuticals in your cabinet, and to check out your medications for possible interactions.

In Closing

We believe a lot in the potential benefits and use of CBD. As a molecule it has been shown to have an impact on a vast array of body systems. Extensive scientific research – much of it sponsored by the U.S. government – and mounting anecdotal accounts from patients and physicians highlight CBD’s potential as a treatment for a wide range of maladies, including (but not limited to):

  • Autoimmune diseases (inflammation, rheumatoid arthritis)

  • Neurological conditions (Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, Huntington’s chorea, stroke, traumatic brain injury)

  • Metabolic syndrome (diabetes, obesity)

  • Neuropsychiatric illness (autism, ADHD, PTSD, alcoholism)

  • Gut disorders (colitis, Crohn’s)

  • Cardiovascular dysfunction (atherosclerosis, arrhythmia)

  • Skin disease (acne, dermatitis, psoriasis)

CBD has proven neuroprotective effects and its anti-cancer properties are being investigated at several academic research centers in the United States and elsewhere. A 2010 brain cancer study by California scientists found that CBD “enhances the inhibitory effects of THC on human glioblastoma cell proliferation and survival.” This means that CBD makes THC even more potent as an anticancer substance. Also in 2010, German researchers reported that CBD stimulates neurogenesis, the growth of new brain cells, in adult mammals. And while we realize that some of these things still require further research, we find the potential to be just as exciting as the things they have already scientifically proven. We are working with a substance that has an active role in a system innately factory installed in our bodies. And that feels a lot more promising when it comes to working WITH our bodies, instead of AT our bodies. If you have any more questions about CBD, please reach out to us at Sacred Health. If we don't know the answers, we would be happen to learn right along with you. Reach us at Now get out there and kick the tires and light some fires!

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