Cannabis research is spreading like wildfire, not to mention the number of medical cannabis patients who are benefiting from this incredible plant.
Contained within the plant itself are hundreds of chemical compounds known as cannabinoids. So far, scientists have identified at least 113 cannabinoids, one of which is Cannabidiol, or CBD.
Many medical cannabis patients choose to consume the potent phytocannabinoid in oil form. If you are considering doing the same, but don’t know much about this type of cannabis extract, read on.
What is CBD Oil?
A sticky, thick oil that is widely used for therapeutic purposes, such as neurodegenerative disorder treatment and palliative care, CBD oil contains the cannabis compound Cannabidiol (CBD). This major phytocannabinoid accounts for 40 percent of the plant’s extract.
Over the last few years, CBD-based oil preparations have grown in popularity for their positive impact on health. Non-psychoactive, the oil is not considered a controlled substance and it can be purchased inside San Francisco marijuana dispensaries.
How Does CBD Oil Work?
CBD is most commonly found inside the trichomes of the female cannabis plants. Trichomes are the crystal-like resin glands you see coating the cannabis plant’s flowers and leaves. Some strains grow with more trichomes than others, depending on the cannabinoid content.
So, what exactly is CBD? Well, it is a cannabinoid that binds to specific receptors on the cells inside your body. These cells are known as cannabinoid receptors. Usually, they are concentrated within the central nervous system. However, cannabinoid receptors may also be found in the body’s organs, such as the digestive tract, reproductive organs and even the skin.
Each time you consume CBD oil, the cell receptors that make up your Endocannabinoid System (ECS) will interact with the cannabinoids. Your ECS is responsible for regulating mood, reproduction, motor control, memory, sleep, appetite, bone development, pain perception and immune function.
The four primary functions of the ECS are:
- Stress recovery
- Immune balance
- Homeostatic regulation (energy balance inside the body)
Amazingly, CBD has the potential to communicate with this intelligent balancing system and produce widespread effects, from relaxation and happiness, to pain relief and mental clarity.
While there is still a lot to learn about this miraculous cannabis compound, what we do know is that it has a direct effect on the following receptors within the ECS:
- Vanilloid receptors (responsible for modulating pain)
- Adenosine receptors (responsible for influencing the sleep-wake cycle)
- Serotonin receptors(responsible for influencing mood and stress levels)
You can consume CBD and THC at the same time if you want to experience the benefits of both cannabinoids. If you don’t want to feel “high”, it is even possible to choose a strain with a specific CBD:THC ratio, such as 10:1.
What is CBD Oil Used to Treat?
The list of medical conditions and ailments that CBD oil can be used to treat is expanding all of the time. Scientists are blown away by the therapeutic potential of CBD, which is even being used as a replacement to opioid medications, including morphine, oxycodone and hydrocodone.
As a polypharmacological, CBD is capable of influencing more than one pathway inside the body simultaneously. This makes it the perfect natural remedy for patients with one or more of the following health problems:
- Motor disorders
- Acute, chronic and neuropathic pain
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Nicotine addiction
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Pediatric conditions
Using CBD Oil as a “Whole Plant Medicine”
Have you ever heard about the “entourage effect” or the benefits of consuming a “whole plant medicine” as opposed to a regular bottle of CBD oil? If not, listen up.
The entourage effect is what happens when a combination of cannabinoids work in synergy to produce amplified therapeutic effects. For example, a bottle of “whole plant medicine” or “full-spectrum CBD oil” will likely be a better choice than, let’s say, CBD isolate. The reason for this is because products that contain multiple cannabinoids will produce more powerful effects.
GW Pharmaceuticals’ cannabis-based product Sativex is a prime example of this. The medicine for Multiple Sclerosis (MS) contains an equal ratio of THC and CBD, making it a brilliant choice for the management of MS symptoms. Consider this when shopping for CBD oil.
How Can I Buy Quality CBD Oil?
First things first, spend some time tracking down San Francisco marijuana dispensaries that are licensed, accredited and fully stocked with the highest-quality cannabis products. One such example of a recommended cannabis dispensary is The Green Cross.
Keep in mind that you will be requested to present a valid form of identification upon checking out. This is mandatory for all medical cannabis stores under federal law. Don’t rush into buying just any bottle of CBD oil. After all, the potencies and purities of each type of oil may differ! Browse the menu and seek guidance from one of the seasoned budtenders prior to making any final decisions.