CBD: The Basics
The endocannabinoid system is spread throughout the central and peripheral nervous systems and plays a role in inflammation and pain processing, as well as regulating physiological function across a wide array of organs 8 MacCarrone M, Gasperi V, Catani MV, Diep TA, Dainese E, Hansen HS, Avigliano L (2010) The endocannabinoid system and its relevance for nutrition. Annu Rev Nutr 30:423–440. . In the past decade or so, there has been a surge of interest in phytocannabinoid, cannabidiol, or CBD. CBD is emerging as a promising therapeutic agent with considerable anti-inflammatory, anticonvulsant, and pain relief effects 11 Russo EB (2008) Cannabinoids in the management of difficult to treat pain. Ther Clin Risk Manag 4:245–259. . Research has clearly demonstrated that CBD does not produce the typical psychoactive effects associated with the use of cannabis. This has created an appeal around CBD for those intrigued by the medicinal properties of cannabis, but who do not desire any psychoactive effects.
Research into the biological properties of CBD has shone a light on a wide array of potential therapeutic applications for conditions such as colitis, cancer pain, neuroinflammation, and collagen-induced arthritis 2 Burstein S (2015) Cannabidiol (CBD) and its analogs: A review of their effects on inflammation. Bioorganic Med Chem 23:1377–1385. . Unlike THC, the other primary compound found in the cannabis plant, CBD is not known to have a high affinity for the cannabinoid receptors in the brain, CB1, and CB2. Thus, the mechanism of action of CBD is not well understood at this time. However, it is thought that CBD acts to reduce pro-inflammatory cytokine release, making it a promising therapeutic for ailments that cause inflammation 13 Whyte LS, Ryberg E, Sims NA, Ridge SA, Mackie K, Greasley PJ, Ross RA, Rogers MJ (2009) The putative cannabinoid receptor GPR55 affects osteoclast function in vitro and bone mass in vivo. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 106:16511–16516. .