CBD – A Cannabinoid Deep Dive

Cannabis is widely known for its psychoactive properties and recreational use. Over the last few decades, however, knowledge surrounding the medicinal benefits of this plant has become more common. When it comes to cannabis compounds, THC is likely the most well-known, as it is responsible for the psychoactive effects that the plant produces. Another compound, though, has also taken the world by storm over the past several years. This compound is a phytocannabinoid known as cannabidiol. Cannabidiol, or CBD for short, is a prevalent cannabinoid produced by both high-THC strains of cannabis and industrial hemp.

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol, or CBD for short, is a prevalent phytocannabinoid produced by cannabis which was first discovered by an organic chemist by the name of Roger Adams in 1940. This cannabinoid, unlike the most well-known cannabinoid, THC, does not produce intoxicating or psychoactive effects. While high THC cultivars of cannabis are still listed as a schedule 1 substance per the 1971 Controlled Substances Act due to its potentially addictive nature and the intoxicating effects it produces, the World Health Organization has stated that  “In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential…. To date, there is no evidence of public health-related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.” Like other cannabinoids, CBD has been shown via research to offer a wide range of potential benefits, which are backed by millions of anecdotal stories and reviews.

Why is CBD Legal, but Cannabis Isn’t?

For many years, hemp was widely grown for its seed and fiber. However, in 1937 with the passing of the MJ tax act, hemp became illegal solely due to its relation to psychoactive cannabis sativa l. Since then, the cultivation of hemp has been illegal in the United States despite having a strong agricultural history in the country.

In 2018 however, with the passing of the farm bill, officially known as the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, hemp once again became legal in the US. This was, of course, with restrictions; however, today, you can buy a plethora of hemp products at your local grocery store.

Because of this change in the law and the fact that CBD is found in high concentrations within hemp cultivars, CBD was also legalized. That is, as long as the CBD was extracted from a hemp chemovar that consisted of less than .3% THC, as that is the regulated standard that classifies a psychoactive cannabis plant from an industrial hemp plant. 

How is CBD Used?

Like other cannabinoids found in cannabis, CBD can be utilized and consumed in many different ways. A lot of these ways are very similar and are the most common ways in which cannabis, in general, is consumed. On today’s market, you can find CBD oils, CBD edibles, CBD flower, CBD vape products, and topical CBD products such as lotions, salves, and creams, to name a few. There are also products such as CBD suppositories, CBD inhalers, CBD beverages, and more.

  • CBD OilsOils are one of the most common ways of utilizing CBD as it offers ease of use and precise dosing, and they are quick, convenient, and discreet to consume.
  • CBD EdiblesEdibles that contain CBD are also very common in today’s market. That is because many consumers like that they are not only easy to consume, precisely dosed, and available in a wide variety of products, but they are also quite tasty!
  • CBD Flower – Flower from hemp is commonly potent in CBD, and there are also cultivars of high THC cannabis strains that also contain high amounts of CBD. Flower that is high in CBD, whether it comes from hemp or psychoactive cannabis varieties can be consumed just like all other cannabis flower, with the most common methods being in a joint or bowl.
  • CBD VapingVaping CBD is a very common trend these days and a great way to experience the effects of CBD. CBD vape oil is available in a wide variety of strengths as well as flavors for your enjoyment.
  • CBD TopicalsTopical/Transdermal CBD products are rising in popularity within the health and beauty sector. CBD topical and transdermal products come in different varieties, including serums, lotions, salves, patches, cleansers, and much more.

Types of CBD Products

Not only are there a wide variety of different ways to consume CBD, but almost all of those products are also available in 3 different basic forms being full spectrum, broad-spectrum, or isolate CBD products. Let’s explore.

  • Full Spectrum CBD products contain much more than just CBD. They also contain all other phytonutrients and plant compounds from the plant from which they were extracted. This includes other cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, amino acids, and much more. Full-spectrum CBD products offer not only the benefits of CBD but also the benefits of other cannabinoids and plant compounds. Full-spectrum CBD products are sometimes known as whole-plant products.
  • Broad Spectrum CBD products are very similar to full-spectrum CBD products; however, they have had all THC content removed.
  • Isolate CBD is considered to be one of the purest forms of CBD that you can consume. That is because it has been completely isolated from all other plant compounds, including other cannabinoids and terpenes from the plant. CBD products made from CBD isolate offer 99% pure CBD and are the safest bet if you are looking to avoid THC altogether.

What are the Benefits of CBD?

When it comes to the potential benefits of CBD, if you read the millions of reviews and anecdotal stories available online, it would seem like this cannabinoid can do just about anything. While we cannot make claims about the health benefits that CBD may offer, we can discuss the research that has been conducted to date regarding the potential therapeutic benefits that this vital cannabinoid may hold. Below are ten potential therapeutic benefits of cannabidiol.

Mental Health and CBD

Research to date has shown that CBD may hold the potential to relieve many common mental health conditions, such as anxiety, depression, and PTSD. Studies published in the Brazilian Journal of Psychiatry found that CBD had the ability to significantly reduce anxiety in those given 300 mg of CBD prior to undergoing a simulated public speaking test. In studies conducted on mice, CBD has been shown to offer anti depressant effects similar to that of a common antidepressant known as imipramine.

Post-traumatic stress disorder, also known as PTSD, is very prevalent among veterans as well as the general population today. A study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine showed that when CBD was administered in combination with routine psychiatric care for a period of 8 weeks that the majority of participants experienced an overall decrease in PTSD symptoms, with the treatment being generally well tolerated.

CBD for Cancer

According to research, there is some pretty good evidence that supports the use of cannabinoids in cancer treatment. This is because research studies in animal models of cancer have proven cannabinoids have the ability to reduce tumor growth in certain types of cancers. Two studies from 2019 found that CBD held the ability to instigate cell death. Additionally, one study also showed that CBD increases the sensitivity of glioblastoma cells to radiation without affecting healthy cell growth. A study from 2010 also shows that CBD could help to significantly reduce breast cancer cell invasion and proliferation in preclinical models of metastatic breast cancer.

Not only does it seem that CBD may be able to help treat cancer, but some studies also support its use as a complementary treatment in conjunction with other cancer treatments such as radiation and chemotherapy. The most prevalent side effects of both of these common cancer treatments are nausea and loss of appetite, which typically leads to significant weight loss in patients. CBD has been shown through research to be able to suppress both of these side effects.

Reduce Epileptic Seizure Frequency and Severity

For many, the first time they heard about CBD, it was in relation to how it was helping a child with a rare form of epilepsy. This is because, in 2013, a young girl by the name of Charlotte Fiji made national headlines on CNN when her story was shared regarding how a high CBD cultivar of cannabis was helping her to fight Dravet syndrome epilepsy and giving her a fighting chance at life. This cultivar is none other than Charlotte’s Web, which bears the namesake of this precious young woman that truly inspired an entire movement that has now improved the quality of thousands, if not millions, of lives!

In a study published in 2020 evaluating the use of CBD for Dravet syndrome, it was found that those receiving CBD saw statistically significantly fewer convulsive seizures compared to the placebo group.

This study concluded that “adjunctive cannabidiol at doses of 10 and 20 mg/kg/d led to similar clinically relevant reductions in convulsive seizure frequency with a better safety and tolerability profile for the 10-mg/kg/d dose in children with treatment-resistant Dravet syndrome.”

Additionally, Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers, along with Realm of Carrying Foundation and additional institutions, conducted an observational study that found that CBD might also help to reduce the negative side effects associated with a commonly prescribed anti-seizure medications. Their findings were published in the Journal of Epilepsy and Behavior in 2021.

Combat Opioid Addiction and Withdrawal Side Effects

Opioid addiction and overdoses have ravaged the country as well as places around the world. These commonly prescribed pain medications are highly addictive and have become a commonly abused street drug that has resulted in hundreds of thousands of fatalities. The opioid epidemic has touched the lives of almost everyone, and despite several lawsuits against their manufacturers, they are still highly prescribed and abused today.

Not only has CBD been shown to offer pain-relieving properties, studies suggest that it may also be an efficient treatment for those addicted to opioids. In a 2015 study in which those with heroin use disorder were administered CBD, it was able to significantly reduce their cue-induced cravings, resting heart rate, withdrawal anxiety, and other aspects in just a week with no serious negative effects occurring. CBD has also been shown through research to provide assistance in relieving common symptoms experienced by those with substance use disorders, such as insomnia, pain, and anxiety, suggesting that CBD may have many benefits for those with opioid addiction.

Reduce Severity of ALS Symptoms

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS for short, is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder sometimes known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. This disease directly affects nerve cells throughout the spinal cord and brain, which results in a loss of muscle control. Unfortunately, this fatal disease has no cure and eventually affects one’s ability to speak, move, eat, and eventually breathe. This disease also occurs sporadically with no known underlying cause though some cases appear to be inherited. According to the CDC, in 2017, it was estimated that there were over 31,000 people in the US with ALS. In a 2019 study with those suffering with mild, moderate, or severe spasticity due to ALS, when being administered a combination of CBD and THC participants reported high levels of relief, with those having the most severe spasticity reporting the most significant benefits.

Reduce Pain Sensations in Intractable and Chronic Pain Patients

There are millions of individuals globally that live with intractable and chronic pain on a daily basis. Of the millions of individuals that are enrolled in medical cannabis programs in the United States, a high prevalence of them have sought out cannabinoid-based therapies in hopes of finding natural pain relief. Several cannabinoids that occur naturally in cannabis and hemp have been shown to offer benefits for pain patients. One of them being CBD.

In a 2020 study in which, patients with symptomatic peripheral neuropathy due to brain nerve and spinal cord nerve damage were administered topical CBD reported a significant decrease in the sharp, intense pains and itchy cold sensations compared to those who received a placebo. Within this study, no reported negative side effects were found. Due to the research supporting CBD’s use for pain, Canada approved the use of Sativex for the treatment of multiple sclerosis-related neuropathic pain and two years later additionally approved its use for cancer-related pain that has been unresponsive to other therapies.

On numerous occasions, CBD has been shown to offer anti-inflammatory benefits. Seeing how inflammation is at the root of pain in many cases, CBD’s ability to reduce the inflammation could make it a great contender for use as a pain-relieving medication.

Potential Heart Health Benefits

In 2017 the CDC estimated that an average of 365,000 people lose their lives each year to coronary heart disease. Rough estimates suggest that they’re over 18 million adults over the age of 20 that have been diagnosed with a coronary artery disease. Additionally, it’s estimated the 850,000 people suffer from a heart attack each year which equals roughly one heart attack every 40 seconds. Thankfully there are many ways in which a natural plant may be able to help. A placebo-controlled study from 2017 found that a single dose of CBD could reduce resting blood pressure as well as blood pressure response to stress.

A study from 2010 concluded that CBD could have “great therapeutic potential a treatment of diabetic complications and perhaps other cardiovascular disorders, by attenuating oxidative/nitritative stress, inflammation, cell death, and fibrosis.”

It’s not just CBD from cannabis that is helping with heart-related issues either. Multiple studies have also found that heavy consumers of cannabis have a lower risk of stroke, most likely due to cannabis’s ability to increase oxygen and blood flow.

Protect Against Neurological Disease

While the US federal government will claim that there is not enough research to support cannabis or cannabinoids from it as being medicinal, they have held a patent for years on the neuroprotective properties of CBD. Patent number 6630507 covers the potential use of non-psychoactive cannabinoids such as CBD for use in protecting the brain from damage or deterioration caused by diseases such as cirrhosis, Parkinson’s disease, HIV, dementia, and Alzheimer’s. In this patent, it states that cannabinoids have been found to act as neuroprotectants which are a substances that help to shield nerve cells from damage and potential fatality.

A study from 2021 also concluded and confirmed CBD to be a neuroprotectant stating the following.

“Although CBD showed both neurotoxic and neuroprotective effects on hippocampal neurons in the in vitro setting, the use of low-concentrated (i.e., 5 μM) CBD, not causing toxic effects on the neurons, significantly rescued the neurons from the oxidative stress (H2O2), confirming its neuroprotection capability.”

Improve Diabetic Symptoms and Side Effects

It is estimated over 37 million, or over 11% of the US population, has diabetes. Diabetes is defined as a group of diseases that result in too much sugar in the blood also known as high blood glucose. Type 1 and type 2 diabetes are the most prevalent, both with their own unique characteristics, symptoms, and treatments. The effects of diabetes have a debilitating presence that affect many aspects of one’s health and life. Luckily preliminary research shows that CBD may be an an effective and beneficial therapeutic option for diabetic patients.

According to Forbes, “tests on human cells found that CVD helps reduce the effect of high glucose levels on other cells in the body which typically precedes development of diabetes and various complications.” One study concluded that CBD could be a natural treatment option for diabetes through its ability to help the body regulate insulin-related hormone levels. This study found that CBD had the ability to decrease levels of resistance to insulin as well as increase levels of a hormone that is a responsible for ensuring that there is a sufficient release of insulin when food is digested.

Relieve Various Skin Conditions

Last but definitely not least, CBD also has been shown to hold potential beneficial properties for the largest organ in our anatomy, our skin. As our skin ages, collagen production decreases, and the ability of our skin to retain moisture decreases as well leading to an array of different skin issues. Skin issues such as dry skin, fine-lines, and wrinkles. Additionally,  free radicals from everyday life that our skin is exposed to can lead to a wide variety of skin conditions, many of which are fueled by underlying inflammatory triggers. Cannabinoids from cannabis, such as CBD and CBG, have been proven to offer a wide variety of potential therapeutic benefits for our skin.

According to a review published in 2017 in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, CBD may hold the power to decrease itching associated with eczema and psoriasis due to its ability to reduce dryness. In a 2019 study published in Clinical Therapeutics, it was found that CBD may hold the ability to boost elasticity in the skin, help to retain moisture, and provide an overall higher quality of skin health. Studies also suggested that the CBD is an antibacterial agent and a study from 2019 found that it was able to help kill a wide range of gram-positive bacteria. The exact type of bacteria that is one of the underlying causes of acne.

Additionally, CBD has been shown to be a powerful antioxidant which you can read about here and may hold the key to younger-looking and healthier skin which you can read about here. We will let our before and afters speak for themselves!

What are the Benefits of CBD in Skincare Products?

These benefits are why our founder Mandy Lile included the potent powers of this plant compound in several of Potency’s skin care products.

  • Gold Serum – A botanical face serum with 20 of the most sought-after plant oils, as well as CBD and CBG! This product recently received the “Physicians CBD Council Quality Verified Certification Seal!”
  • Higher Good – A sexy, sophisticated full-body luxury moisturizer with potent concentrations of CBD and CBG!
  • Modern Mist – A head-to-toe CBD spray with a refreshing scent!
  • Future Face – An activated charcoal mask with 500mg of CBD!

Are There Side Effects to Using CBD?

The most commonly reported side effects of CBD include diarrhea, drowsiness, fatigue, reduced appetite, and dry mouth. When it comes to the safety of CBD and potential side effects, the World Health Organization has stated the following.

“CBD is generally well tolerated with a good safety profile. Reported adverse effects may be as a result of drug-drug interactions between CBD and patients’ existing medications.”

An example of a drug-to-drug interaction that may occur from the use of CBD is when taken in conjunction with blood thinners, so it is vital to do your own research as well as speak with your medical team before mixing CBD with existing pharmaceutical medications.

What to Look for When Purchasing CBD Products

Unfortunately, while this plant may offer purity, not everyone behind the scenes when it comes to manufacturing CBD products are doing it with the best intentions. Therefore, the market has been saturated with what is known as brands weed washing which is essentially making claims that their CBD products contain concentrations of CBD that are not actually present in the products. For this reason, as a consumer, when purchasing CBD products, there are a few things that you will want to look for in order to ensure that you are purchasing a quality CBD product.

One of the most important things you will want to look for when vetting CBD products is third-party lab testing. Any quality CBD product on the market today will come with third-party lab tests in the form of a COA which is short for Certificate of Analysis. This COA proves that the product contains the concentration of cannabinoids in which it says on the label and also validates the cleanliness and purity of the product. If a manufacturer has not made third-party lab testing available for the CBD products you are looking to purchase, it is likely they are not quality products.

Consumer reviews are also a great place to learn about the CBD products you are looking to purchase. With the thousands of CBD manufacturers on the market today, finding one with a great reputation via reviews should be as easy as reaping the benefits of CBD. Additionally, when possible, purchase organic, vegan, non-GMO CBD products as they will offer a higher quality and purer product than those that have not received these certifications.

We’ve Got You Covered with High, Quality Effective CBD Skincare Products

When it comes to CBD skincare products, we invite you to check out our selection of CBD topical products, all backed by third-party testing COAs. Our CBD skincare products are also  SLS & Dye Free, Vegan, Cruelty-Free, Paraben Free, and made right here in the USA using the highest quality of cannabidiol sustainably sourced from USA-grown hemp potent in CBD.