Brief History of Cannabinoids:
CBD stands for Cannabinoids. This is a one of the most important active components of cannabis or the marijuana plant… There are many misconceptions and misrepresentation of this powerful medicine in our modern society. Documented history of religious and medicinal use of marijuana is older than 3000 years BC.1 Over 200 medicinal activities of cannabis were described in Chinese medicine.1 In India, I remember the holy day dedicated to Lord Shiva, when people would work all day in meditative preparation of a marijuana-based herbal milk. This herbal milk was taken on the full moon night as a nourishing and uplifting drink called bhang. Herbal traditions across the world use marijuana or cannabis as a medicine and it is time that we modernize our understanding and use of this medicine.
Uses of Cannabinoids:
Specifically, marijuana or cannabis is useful because our body can use it to great benefit. Studies are wide-ranging and demonstrate the benefit of CBD in controlling inflammation2, auto-immunity3, degeneration4, pain5 and more. These wide-ranging effects are achieved because we have co-evolved with this herb through many millions of years. Additionally, we have our own endocannabinoid system that has a regulatory effect on many functions of the body.
Cannabinoid (CBD)-receptors are primarily located in the nervous system, as well as various immune and bone cells. The underlying component of most diseases is varying degrees of inflammation at the location of the problem. Our body responds to this inflammation by changing its physiology in ways that will reduce inflammation. Brain and rest of our body becomes especially more sensitive to cannabis in the state of inflammation.1 This gives us an opportunity to use cannabis-based medicine to treat various diseases.
How to Deliver Cannabinoids into the Body:
Most people hesitate to use cannabis because it causes impairment and intoxication. This is a good reason to use cannabis responsibly. The psycho-activity of cannabis is primarily associated with THC component of cannabis. CBD, on the other hand, is non-psychoactive and does not cause impairment. When we use CBD alone or in significantly higher concentrations compared to THC, most people can avoid psychoactive impairment and intoxication of cannabis.6
In my experience, CBD prepared in oil or butter has the best results. This is so for two reasons:
- CBD (and THC) are fat-soluble: This means they dissolve well in oil or butter fat. It makes a very stable and lasting preparation of CBD. This also makes it easy to create high concentration preparations.
- Fat is most easily absorbed in all tissues of the body. This makes CBD available to all tissues of the body including the most insulated ones like brain, joints, marrow, etc. The result is CBD oils/butters are retained longer and give a longer lasting effect.
Clinical and medicinal use of Cannabis is also a science. It involves a little bit of work, but gives great benefit in many painful conditions. Individuals, who may be otherwise dependent on pharmaceuticals like opioid pain killers, can reduce their dependence with right clinical use of this medicine. This is an important answer to counteract the opioid epidemic in United States. Learn more about clinical use of Cannabis in our following blog: Clinical Application of Cannabis, Cannabiniods (CBD).
- Di Marco V. A brief history of cannabinoid and endocannabinoid pharmacology as inspired by the work of British scientists. TRENDS in Pharmacological Sciences.
- Costa B, Colleoni M, Conti S, et al. Oral anti-inflammatory activity of cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive constituent of cannabis, in acute carrageenan-induced inflammation in the rat paw. Naunyn Schmiedebergs Arch Pharmacol 2004; 369: 294–9
- Zajicek J, Fox P, Sanders H, et al. Cannabinoids for treatment of spasticity and other symptoms related to multiple sclerosis (CAMS study): multicenter randomised placebo-controlled trial. Lancet 2003; 362: 1517–26.
- Silveira JW, Issy AC, Castania VA, Salmon CEG, Nogueira-Barbosa MH, Guimarães FS, et al. (2014) Protective Effects of Cannabidiol on Lesion-Induced Intervertebral Disc Degeneration. PLoS ONE9(12): e113161.
- Russo, Ethan B. “Cannabinoids in the Management of Difficult to Treat Pain.” Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management 4.1 (2008): 245–259.
- Wipperman S and Karst M. Cannabinoids against pain: Efficacy and strategies to reduce psychoactivity: a clinical perspective. Expert Opin. Investig. Drugs (2009), Vol. 18(2), 125-133.