All you need to know about CBD

Facts, figures and statistics on CBD

“CBD (cannabidiol) is one of 113 cannabinoids found within the cannabis plant,” says Emma Bright, marketing and PR director with Body and Mind Botanicals (www.bodyandmindbotanicals.com). “These work amazingly well together to boost the overall effectiveness of a product, even when some of those cannabinoids are only found in trace amounts. This is called the entourage effect.”

“CBD works on receptors in the endocannabinoid system,” explains Nick Tofalos, an osteopath and owner of Garstang Health Food Store in Preston. “Almost every living thing has an endocannabinoid system, including all mammals, birds, reptiles and even fish. Cannabinoid receptors in our bodies enable signals related to pain, inflammation, memory, appetite and mood and many other functions to be passed back and forth. They are found in the central and peripheral nervous system, our organs, our connective tissues such as muscles, ligaments and joints and the immune system. Our body makes small amounts of our own cannabinoids to enable our health to be balanced and maintained. Many scientists and medical professionals believe the discovery of the endocannabinoid system is one of the greatest scientific discoveries of the last three decades.”

“CBD is a phytocannabinoid which means it is derived from plants,” says Nick Tofalos. “They are similar in structure to the cannabinoids that our bodies create. The science is not yet clear as to how or why phytocannabinoids are able to mimic the substances created by our bodies. However, there is evidence that ‘topping up’ our endocannabinoid system with phytocannabinoids has plenty of benefits.”

Research conducted by Dragonfly Biosciences shows that consumers have cottoned on to the potential of CBD. More than half (55 per cent) of those surveyed had heard of cannabidiol and four out of five (82 per cent) had heard of cannabidiol being used for pain relief.

“Many women report using CBD pre- and post-menopause to help control symptoms and balance mood,” says Rachel Mayberrie RN BSN, co-founder and deputy chairman of IMCNA (Israeli Medical Cannabis Nurses Association: www.imcna.org.il). “During menopause, oestrogen levels decrease, affecting the levels of your own naturally produced endocannabinoids. This affects mood, sleep, and hot flashes. Using cannabidiol (CBD) oil two times a day can help balance and manage these symptoms of menopause.”

A University of Minnesota study has found that the absorption of CBD is vastly increased when it is taken with high fatty foods. The findings, which were published in the journal Epilepsia, found that when compared to fasting, taking CBD with food increased the amount of CBD in the body by four times and the maximum amount recorded in the participants’ blood by 14 times. The researchers measured CBD concentrations in epilepsy patients who were taking 99 per cent pure CBD capsules. Concentrations from patients who took CBD on an empty stomach and a standardised fatty breakfast were compared. “The type of food can make a large difference in the amount of CBD that gets absorbed into the body,” said Angela Birnbaum, a professor in the College of Pharmacy and study co-author. “Although fatty foods can increase the absorption of CBD, it can also increase the variability as not all meals contain the same amount of fat.”

“There is still a common belief that CBD is going to get you high and this simply is not the case,” says Sophia Ali, co-founder and CEO of Amma Life (www.ammalife.co.uk). “CBD is completely non-psychoactive, unlike THC, which when consumed can produce effects such as euphoria, paranoia, relaxation, anxiety and much more. Taken regularly, CBD supplements can help to support wellbeing and maintain optimal health. Always buy whole plant CBD, otherwise known as full spectrum hemp, containing not only CBD, but other minor cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids. This is because of the unique synergy found between all the 400 molecules in cannabis sativa.”

Among users in the UK, 68 per cent said that they found CBD products to be effective in alleviating symptoms of physical pain, such as cramps and muscle soreness, as well as mental health conditions including anxiety and depression. The findings came about through a survey of 4,451 internet users in the US and the UK by GlobalWebIndex.

A report by the Centre for Medicinal Cannabis has stated that the UK market for cannabidiol is estimated to be worth £300 million a year and is expected to reach £1billion by 2025.

Canadian researchers discovered in 2017 that CBD oil helps to prevent the pain and nerve damage associated with osteoarthritis (OA). The findings were published in the journal Pain. The researchers stated that: “CBD administration inhibited pain and peripheral sensitisation in established OA. These findings suggest that CBD may be a safe, useful therapeutic for treating OA joint neuropathic pain.”

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