Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychotropic phytocannabinoid found in cannabis and a species of hops. It is a decarboxylated variant of CBDa and an isomer of THC and CBC. CBD was first discovered in 1940 by Roger Adams and has a boiling point of 180°C (356°F). CBD is the second most abundant phytocannabinoid in cannabis and any strain containing more than 8% CBD is considered to have it in high concentration.
Up until recently, CBD was legally considered equivalent to THC by both the DEA and FDA- despite the former being entirely non-psychotropic (doesn’t make you high) and the latter being the most psychotropic (makes you high). In June of 2018, however, CBD was federally reclassified from a Schedule I to Schedule V drug in the US which is the least-restrictive category of drugs. In December of 2018, the Hemp Farming Act of 2018, which was introduced by Mitch McConnell, was rolled up into the 2018 United States Farm Bill and officially became law. It federally reclassified hemp and CBD away from any drug scheduling, allowing the Department of Agriculture to manage it as a crop rather than the Department of Justice managing it as an illegal substance. This bill also allows hemp farmers to purchase crop insurance and pharmaceutical companies to carry on with CBD research. CBD is not considered a dietary supplement according to the FDA.
CBD Uses In The Human Body
CBD mostly interacts with CB2 receptors instead of CB1 receptors in the endocannabinoid system, producing no psychotropic effects and its medicinal uses can be felt immediately. As it does not affect the mental or physical functioning of an individual, CBD is more often unnoticed by the consumer. CBD has been shown to have a large variety of health benefits, assisting everything from seizures to cancerous tumors to autism- it’s received the most study and attention for good reason. CBD is technically psychoactive, as it has antianxiety, antipsychotic, anti-craving and mood-elevating effects, but can be considered non-impairing, non-intoxicating and non-psychotropic.
CBD also interacts with the A2A, VR1, GPR55, 5-HT1a, vGPCR, and VEGFR-3 receptors, as well as the chemokine GRO-α and the ligand VEGF-C. A2A is an adenosine receptor associated with anti-anxiety, the regulation of blood flow and blood oxygen levels, and the down-regulation of the release of neurotransmitters like glutamate. VR1 is the vanilloid receptor associated with pain perception, inflammation, and body temperature, and might be the main reason why CBD acts as a neuropathic pain treatment. GPR55 is the receptor associated with cancer, and when it is active, cancer proliferation is promoted. CBD appears to inhibit this receptor.
5-HT1a is the serotonin receptor commonly bound to drugs like Lexapro, Prozac, and Wellbutrin- influencing addiction, appetite, sleep, pain, nausea, vomiting, anxiety, and depression. vGPCR is a viral G protein-coupled receptor that plays a role in the spreading of certain cancers with its chemokine GRO-α- both of which are inhibited by CBD. The vascular endothelial growth factor receptor VEGFR-3 and its ligand VEGF-C play a similar role in the spreading of certain cancers and are similarly inhibited by CBD.
What Is CBD Used For?
CBD has been shown to assist with ADHD, ADD, hyperactivity, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, anxiety, OCD, stress, schizophrenia, arthritis, asthma, atherosclerosis, autism, bacterial infections, bronchitis, cancer, depression, diabetes, fibromyalgia, glaucoma, heart disease, inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, liver disease, hepatitis, hemochromatosis, cirrhosis of the liver, lupus, migraine, multiple sclerosis, nausea, pain relief, Parkinson’s disease, Meige syndrome, PTSD, seizures, epilepsy, spasticity, stroke, skin disorder, acne, dermatitis, psoriasis, eczema, substance abuse of heroin, methamphetamine, opioids, marijuana, nicotine and alcohol, and traumatic brain injury.
CBD typically goes unnoticed in the consumer as it does not produce high and negative side effects from its use in proper doses. Because of CBD’s approval throughout Europe, there is comprehensive knowledge of its metabolism, toxicology, and safety.
How Much CBD Should You Have?
The standard dose for CBD is 10 mg. Clinical studies using doses of 1200 mg a day for 30 days resulted in no negative side effects throughout the trial period. At extremely high doses, such as those over 2000 mg (chugging 10 bottles of CBD tinctures), it can cause dizziness, headaches, anxiety, decreased appetite, drowsiness, diarrhea, fever, tachycardia or an increased heart rate, and jitteriness- though even these are rare and will fade away in a few hours if they appear.
A 2019 study by the University of Arkansas for Medical Science was finally able to find the LD50 of CBD- the dose required to kill over 50% of recipients. In testing mice, they found an amount of 2460 mg per kg of weight was the lethal dose. For comparison, the equivalent lethal dose for the average human, weighing 62 kg (137 lbs), is about 152,520 mg of CBD. This is roughly equivalent to drinking 9 liters of potent CBD tinctures. Drinking 6 liters of water is enough to kill a 73 kg (160 lbs) human.