Pain is a leading health issue across the United States. It afflicts millions all year, every year. Humans have been using whole plants as medicine since time began, and organic CBD oil is no exception. Medicinal herbs are common at archeological sites, evidencing the close relationship we share with herbal therapies. Even wild animals eat plants medicinally, and they do so instinctively.
Pain is tricky, however. Analgesic plants, being those with painkilling properties, contain a variety of active compounds that work together synergistically. This is true of cannabis, in all its forms, including hemp. It has a rich medicinal history. Now, pharmaceutical companies are extracting its active molecules, such as cannabidiol, or CBD, isolate and other cannabinoids for pain relief.
Unfortunately, these isolates, or purified compounds, are notably less effective. In most studies, they have unpleasant, even useless, effects compared to whole plant use. Full spectrum, even broad spectrum, organic CBD oil is more powerful than purified synthetics and isolated cannabinoids. Hemp contains hundreds of cannabinoids, terpenes, and phenolics. They all have crucial painkilling jobs to do.
The incredible effectiveness of cannabis as a pain reliever lies in its many active molecules working together as a team. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, this is the “entourage effect,” a synergy of cannabinoids all utilizing their healing properties at once. Full spectrum lab-tested CBD oil products contain a myriad of different cannabinoids. It is not only CBD working on its own.
Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is the psychoactive compound in cannabis plants. It exists in hemp plants too, in minute traces, quantities less than .3 percent. The THC in hemp is too little to make anybody stoned, but it still exists, and it adds its many medicinal qualities, including analgesia, to full spectrum CBD. Although folks believed THC responsible for all therapeutic effects of cannabis, this is untrue.
THC relieves pain in its own right. It also relieves muscle spasms, nausea, and even seizures. However, it has its own disadvantages in high doses, such as increasing anxiety, appetite, and affecting memory loss. In lab-tested CBD oil products, just enough THC exists to offer its medicinal benefits, just without the “high” commonly associated with it in higher doses.
What is more, THC actively increases the efficacy of cannabidiol, or CBD. When scientists study heavy cannabis users, particularly those using high doses of CBD, the positives get stronger over time, with negative effects, such as memory loss, decreasing, even reversing. For example, full spectrum CBD is better at fighting pain than just THC or CBD alone, and CBD mitigates the effects of too much THC.
On its own, CBD proves rather ineffective too. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, it has its own analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and anxiolytic properties, but as an isolate, it has some notable downsides, its bell-shaped response curve primary among them. CBD works to reduce inflammation, anxiety, and pain in both humans and rats, but it reaches a peak, after which it just stops working.
This bell-shaped curve limits the usefulness of CBD isolates. The dose is too narrow to pinpoint exactly where effectiveness starts and ends. However, full spectrum CBD resolves this response completely. It eliminates the bell-shaped reaction. This means it acts as analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and anxiolytic at any dose. The more CBD, the more effective it becomes at higher doses.
Full spectrum and broad spectrum, which is the same as full spectrum just with no THC, combines well with other cannabinoids, terpenes, and phenolics. Studies show the more active compounds in a CBD product, the lower the required dose, and the less of a bell-shaped curve response. There are a few reasons for this, which include:
Importantly, many terpenes, flavonoids, and other phenolics have similar properties to CBD. They also affect mood, inflammation, and pain, each in their own way. While CBD interacts with more than 65 different targets in the body, which we know of, it affects each uniquely. Other cannabinoids in a particular full spectrum entourage could prove even more effective than CBD, especially in time of crisis.
The more active compounds in organic CBD oil, the more ways it works. Full spectrum CBD targets pain in a few different ways, each complementary to the other and leading to the same pain-free outcome. CBD might act on serotonin receptors, for example, while THC and other compounds affect other neurotransmitters for a pain-lessening response. Complementary pathways of healing work best.
CBD actually counteracts any negative side effects one might feel when using cannabis. It even counteracts the psychoactive effects of overuse of THC. Scientists believe CBD has a bell-shaped curve because at triggers different responses at different potencies. It is most anxiolytic, for example, at modest doses, yet more analgesic at higher doses. It just makes you feel better all round.
CBD is not particularly bioavailable. On its own, it does not travel well through the body. It struggles to absorb and needs its entourage to help it cross skin- and blood-brain barriers. Several terpenoids in hemp plants are especially good at transporting compounds throughout the body, so much that drug companies add them to medications to make transdermal mechanisms of action possible.
Many active compounds in CBD’s entourage metabolize by the same enzyme, specifically cytochrome p450. Its entourage could effectively slow the breakdown of CBD by the body. What this means is that its entourage actually helps CBD circulate throughout the body, and they help it stay effective for longer. Without its entourage, CBD becomes inefficient, incapable of performing its function.
We all worry about what we consume, what enters our bodies. However, many CBD oil manufacturers have no such scruples. Their bottom line motivates them more than your health or the effectiveness of your medications. Cheap isolate is less effective than full and broad spectrum CBD, and low purity affects quality and efficacy too. Source matters, especially when it comes to CBD.
It is imperative that you only use lab-tested CBD oil products. Make sure extracts come from reliable, trustworthy, and credible suppliers, and that they use best farming practices. Fertilizers, heavy metals and pesticides can render your CBD dangerous and only laboratory analysis can determine its purity. What is more, sun-grown hemp is healthier. You can find suppliers online with your health in mind.
Great article! Learned a lot about CBD
Wow! informative content! Thanks
Yep, becoming more and more mainstream
Enjoy CBD topicals a lot
Wow!! Learned a lot