CBD – What Is It Really?


In the past, cannabis was a taboo subject. But thanks to the promising active ingredient CBD, real momentum has emerged. And it is very likely that this dynamic will become more pronounced in the years to come.

However, there are still many factors that create disillusionment with CBD, including its legal status . Additionally, when it comes to the benefits of CBD , not everything has been definitively clarified yet. However, scientific studies aim to bring more transparency to consumers.

What is CBD?

What do the three letters “CBD” mean?

CBD is the short form of cannabidiol. CBD belongs to the groups of cannabinoids that are found in the cannabis plant along with other active substances like flavonoids.

Hemp plants contain such cannabinoids mainly in the form of carboxylic acids and belong to the terpenes phenols. In addition to the CBD, the THC, CBC, CBN, CBG and many other phyto-cannabinoids are also known as components of cannabis.

Due to its relationship with THC, CBD tends to be mistakenly associated with a ‘drug’. However, CBD does not produce an intoxicating effect and does not get you high.

CBD chemical formula
Photo: © Oasis Verte

In order to make products such as CBD oils , the hemp plants of the Cannabis Sativa plant are mainly used. From the start, their CBD content is very high and their THC content is very low .

How does CBD work?

Several scientists attribute to CBD – similar to other cannabinoids – analgesic, antispasmodic and antidepressant properties ( here is an interesting report ). But how is this possible?

Studies on CBD have found that the drug works with the body’s endocannabinoid system . CBD interacts with existing CB1 and CB2 receptors, which are distributed throughout the body and play an important role in different processes .

The system controls, for example, the development and transmission of pain, anxiety, mood, body temperature and memory. For this communication from one cell to another , messenger substances containing information are released.

And this is where CBD comes in: when ingested, it can block receptors or inhibit certain neurotransmitters in such a way that the impulse is transmitted only weakly. Consequently, the signal containing the information, for example, no longer reaches other nerve cells.

The interaction with the receptors of the endocannabinoid system (ECS ) can therefore be imagined as an electrical circuit. If the circuit is interrupted at some point, nothing or only little current will flow to another point.

Is it safe?

The consumption of CBD is considered harmless by the World Health Organization (WHO ), which confirmed in a report that cannabidiol is an active substance that does not cause physical dependence and does not pose any risk to health.

Very few side effects of CBD are known so far , and these are rather minor. This could be a great advantage over drugs on the market which are more aggressive on the body.

Nevertheless, you should be aware that CBD has not yet been thoroughly researched and that other side effects or interactions may occur.

But what’s so special about CBD?

More and more people want to try CBD. But why ?

We often hear about different people sharing their good experiences with CBD. Especially in patients with severe clinical signs, who have already tried everything to fight the disease . Or at least to relieve symptoms, and who share the surprising benefits of CBD .

cbd seniors
Photo: © WavebreakMediaMicro – Fotolia.com

Despite the fact that not all of the mechanisms of action of CBD have yet been researched, one thing is clear: the therapeutic potential of CBD appears to be very large.

According to studies by different researchers, CBD could be useful for the following diseases:

  • Addiction
  • Anxiety disorders and common post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Arthritis and osteoarthritis
  • Autism
  • Depressions
  • Epilepsy
  • Skin diseases (for example: acne)
  • Cancer
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Parkinson disease
  • Decreased appetite
  • Schizophrenia
  • Insomnia
  • Pain

Although in some cases the positive impact of CBD has yet to be conclusively proven by studies, several research findings and patient experiences indicate that cannabinoid therapy has effective properties.

New CBD products

As often, a newly developed market attracts an endless number of suppliers who all want to offer their own CBD products . It can be observed that the CBD boom has not only arrived in medicine or naturopathy , but also in the food industry. .

Even Coca-Cola was very interested in the cannabis market in the past. We’ll see if a CBD cola actually hits the market.

But there are also other types of CBD products, for example, CBD cosmetics . The active ingredients are extracted from cannabis and then made into the final product.

Here is a list of the most common CBD products:

  • Anti-aging CBD gel
  • CBD cream
  • CBD shower gel
  • CBD capsules
  • CBD crystals
  • CBD body oil
  • CBD liquids
  • CBD paste
  • CBD balm
  • CBD oil
  • Hemp butter
  • Hemp cookies
  • Hemp lemonade
  • Hemp pesto
  • Hemp chocolate
  • Hemp shampoo

Of course, this list is not exhaustive and there are still many, many, many more products. What not many people know is that hemp fibers can even be used as an insulating material for homes, suitcases, or car doors.

CBD oil

The best known product is CBD oil (often referred to as cannabis oil). It is a CBD extract from the female cannabis plant that is often mixed with a base oil (eg: olive oil).

cbd oil pipette
Photo: © Oasis Verte

In principle, the oil contains other cannabinoids in addition to CBD, so that it benefits from the so-called entourage effect. However, only a limited amount of psychoactive substances such as THC can be contained in the oil. Therefore, the term cannabis oil is a bit ambiguous.

CBD oils are also available in different versions . The vials usually only contain 10ml of liquid and contain either 2%, 5%, 15% or 20% CBD .

CBD and THC – it’s the same thing anyway, isn’t it?

No, and this is also one of the biggest problems with CBD. Many people think that CBD is the same as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). However, the effect between the two phyto-cannabinoids is very different.

THC has a psychoactive and intoxicating effect. When you smoke THC, this component gets you “high”. It directly adheres to SEC receptors ( endocannabinoid system ) and transmits its substances. What’s more, the intoxicant THC also blocks the neurotransmitter GABA, which triggers the release of dopamine . This is why a happy and hazy state is experienced after smoking cannabis.

The problem with THC, however, is the fact that consumption results in much greater side effects . Concentration, mental performance and psychomotor abilities are impaired.

chemical formulas cbd thc
The chemical formulas of THC and CBD – Photo: Oasis Verte

In the worst case scenario, consuming THC leads to psychosis, anxiety, and panic attacks . It should also be taken into account that THC is regularly addictive, as it stimulates the reward center in the brain.

Cannabis is not just cannabis. We must differentiate between the cannabinoids present in this plant. It is better to take CBD rather than THC . Especially since CBD does not cause any physical or nervous damage.Learn more about the difference between THC and CBD!

Is CBD also suitable for children?

In principle, CBD can also be used for children. The effects of cannabidiol on ADD or ADHD are currently being examined . However, it’s also clear that little is still known about the long-term effects of CBD on the child’s brain, which is still growing.

cbd for kids
Photo: © Elroi – Fotolia.com

Therefore, CBD is not (yet) the first choice of therapy for children. However, it should be noted that according to the WHO and various studies, CBD is not a dangerous drug . CBD is not psychoactive and does not cause physical dependence. However, CBD treatment should be discussed with a doctor first .

Can I give my pet CBD?

Good news for your pet, because the effects of CBD aren’t just for humans. Our four-legged friends like dogs, cats and horses can also consume CBD .

Just like humans, animals have an endocannabinoid system in which CBD, as you already know, can interact with different receptors. Therefore, the mode of action of CBD can also have a positive effect on animals. .

However, be careful about the dosage. We recommend that you consult your veterinarian before administering CBD to your pet for the first time.More information on CBD for animals .

Is CBD Legal?

The regulation of the CBD in France keeps changing. Manufacturers and users are therefore still in legal uncertainty.

While the production, possession and purchase of cannabis plants containing THC are illegal in France, the situation is quite different for CBD. Basically, CBD products, according to Schedule I of the Narcotic Control Act , are not allowed to have a THC content above 0.2%.

cbd france legalization
Photo: © Gina Sanders – Fotolia.com

This would exclude an intoxicating effect. However, this exception only applies in cases where the product containing CBD is used for commercial or scientific purposes. These conditions are regularly subject to very high requirements .

However, it is questionable whether this regulation only applies to unprocessed products or also to processed products (e.g. CBD oil or cream). Some therefore interpret Annex I of the Narcotics Act (LStup) so that processed products are freely marketable. But even this is interpreted differently by lawyers, as can be seen in various cases.

In the case of the CBD flower, however, the legal situation is clear. These may only be marketed for commercial (i.e. to manufacturers) or scientific (i.e. for investigative or similar purposes) purposes. Because here the danger would be that the CBD herb or flower would be boiled in alcohol and the THC content would increase.

But don’t worry, as a rule, the authorities only act against manufacturers and producers and not against consumers. However, we recommend that you do not consume CBD flower as an unprocessed product.

Finally, we’re curious to see if politicians can finally clarify the situation or if a producer will be able to do so in the near future. The legalization of CBD may soon get a positive verdict.

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