What is Cannabidiol (CBD)?

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The cannabis plant contains over one hundred chemical substances known as cannabinoids or phytocannabinoids. Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is one of the most abundant and well-studied cannabinoids. CBD is distinctive because it is non-intoxicating with little to no psychosis affect and has been shown to possess a broad range of potential medical and therapeutic applications.

THC vs CBD

THC (tetrahydracannabinol) is typically the most abundant and well-known cannabinoid in cannabis. CBD is the second-most abundant cannabinoid in the majority of cultivars. THC binds with the cannabinoid 1 (CB1) receptors and produces a “high” or sense of euphoria. CBD binds mostly with the cannabinoid 2 (CB2) receptors in the human brain, and very weakly to CB1 receptors. For this reason, CBD does not produce an intoxicating high. In some cases, CBD can actually disrupt the binding of THC and moderate the intoxicating effects of the cannabinoid.

Cannabis plants can produce both of these cannabinoids in large quantities. Hemp plants produce CBD and very small amounts of THC, as they must contain less than 0.3% THC by definition to be considered hemp.

CBD Products

Activation

The cannabis plant manufactures cannabinoid acids, which are then activated (through heat) and turned into the cannabinoids that consumers are seeking. Cannabis produces a chemical known as CBDA (cannabidiol acid) which is converted into a neutral cannabinoid (CBD) when decarboxylated.

Therapeutic and Medical Benefits

CBD is a promising therapeutic compound with a wide range of potential medical benefits. The strongest scientific evidence regarding CBD is for its effectiveness in alleviating some of the most treatment- resistant forms of childhood epilepsy syndrome including Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. In numerous studies, CBD was able to reduce the number of seizures among children suffering from these ailments. Several videos that show how CBD can help these children and their seizures have gone viral on the Internet over the past few years.

Many cannabis consumers report that CBD can help with anxiety, stress, inflammation, pain, sleep disorders and depression. There is some early evidence, mainly from animal studies and in vitro experiments, that CBD may have neuroprotective, anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties.

Many cannabis consumers report that CBD can help with anxiety, stress, inflammation, pain, sleep disorders and depression.

How Does it Work?

CBD influences a wide range of receptor systems in the brain and body. A few of these receptors are components of the endocannabinoid system, also known as the ECS. CBD binds to both the CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors in the ECS, but interestingly, it binds in the opposite way of THC. CBD also binds to every receptor found in the endogenous cannabinoid system. Many of the cannabinoid’s reported anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving benefits may occur through these neural pathways.

CBD also appears to have an impact on the serotonergic system as it binds to the serotonin 1A receptor. Serotonin is known as the “happiness hormone” and is linked with mood-enhancing properties. Serotonin also regulates the central nervous system and affects the function of the digestive system. CBD’s interaction with serotonin can help to explain the wide range of reported therapeutic benefits associated with the cannabinoid, including its anti-anxiety, anti-depressant and anti-addiction qualities.

Truverra CBD

CBD Regulations Across the World

Cannabis, hemp and CBD regulations vary immensely and are constantly changing across the world. Some countries, such as Canada, have fully legalized the plant and all of its compounds. Other countries, such as China, Iraq and North Korea, still promise the death penalty for possession of any cannabis product.

The Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (ECDD) of the World Health Organization (WHO) published a letter on January 24, 2019 recommending that the United Nations should re-classify cannabis within international law. The ECDD also recommended that “preparations containing pure CBD should not be scheduled under the international drug conventions” because CBD has not demonstrated potential for abuse or to produce dependence. This may signal a change in the global perception and regulation of CBD.

USA

Unlike in Canada, the United States federal government regulates CBD derived from hemp differently than CBD derived from cannabis. The 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp in the U.S., but the legal status of hemp-derived CBD remains to be officially determined. Some experts say that drafting and administering these regulations could take years.

At the federal level in the United States, CBD-infused foods and drinks are completely prohibited. This is because the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act forbids adding even approved drugs to human or animal food.

Europe

Medical cannabis and CBD laws are vastly different across the EU. For example, CBD is fully legal in Germany while it is completely prohibited in Slovakia. Industrial hemp is legal to cultivate across most of Europe. However, only certain low-THC genetics are allowed to be grown.

CBD is legal in the United Kingdom as long as it is derived from an industrial hemp strain that contains less than 0.2% THC. CBD is not considered a controlled substance in the UK and therefore no restrictions around marketing or distribution of the cannabinoid are in place.

Asia

Cannabis and its derivatives are widely illegal in most of the region. India is the only country in Asia with unclear laws surrounding CBD, cannabis and hemp. Growing hemp is allowed with special permission and it is said that cannabis medicines are available as “Ayurvedic” medicine.

For cultural and religious reasons, the consumption and possession of “bhang” (a drink made from cannabis) is allowed in India. Asian countries such as Japan and Singapore state that CBD products aren’t a controlled substance if they contain less than 1% THC.

Africa

CBD is permitted in South Africa but is widely illegal across the rest of the continent. In May of 2019, CBD was moved to Schedule 4 of the Medicines Act in South Africa, meaning that pharmacies can sell the substance to those with a prescription.

South America

The only country in South America that has legalized CBD (and cannabis as a whole) is Uruguay. Several other countries including Brazil, Colombia, Argentina and Peru have decriminalized the substance. CBD is fully illegal in a few South-American countries including Venezuela and Guyana.

Australia

Since 2016, Australia has allowed the non-prescription use of hemp-derived CBD oil extracts and foods. Under Australian law, medical cannabis is available for those that receive a prescription from their doctor and is solely distributed through licensed pharmacies.

The Caribbean

Cannabis and CBD is decriminalized in Jamaica and holds some cultural significance in the country. Cannabis and CBD is widely prohibited in the rest of the Caribbean region.

Middle East

CBD and cannabis is fully prohibited in the Middle East region.

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