With cannabis products slowly making their way into the homes of North Americans to treat various ailments and promote relaxation, you may be wondering about the health benefits and the psychoactive effects of CBD.
It is first important to note that there are major differences between using THC and CBD. Generally, people tend to think of CBD as “non-psychoactive,” meaning it does not cause the classic euphoric “high” of its cannabinoid cousin, THC. However, CBD is not without its own potential benefits to our well-being.
Dr. Abraham Benavides, MD
Published June 10, 2021
Updated August 5, 2021
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Let’s put this into perspective: CBD should be thought of as “non-intoxicating,” rather than “non-psychotropic.” Accumulated evidence demonstrates that, to a limited extent, CBD may positively influence issues with anxiety, trouble sleeping, psychotic symptoms, and depression. Larger, randomized controlled clinical studies are required to further determine and characterize these effects, but so far, the information collected is promising.
In our brain and spinal cord, CB1 receptors are found in abundance. Yet CBD does not directly act on them. Instead, it changes the effect that direct agents, like THC, have on CB (cannabinoid) receptors. Further pre-clinical biochemical investigation shows that CBD’s potential alleviating effects stem from its interaction with various receptors like 5HT1A (serotonin) and BDNF. This may explain some anti-anxiety and anti-depressant effects. The observed antipsychotic effects of CBD in small human studies likely relates to activation of TRVP1 receptors. Many other receptors have also been identified to interact with CBD, and further clinical investigation into its possible effects on psychiatric disorders are necessary and underway.
While such high levels may not be necessary nor practical for the average cannabis plant consumers to achieve of feel the effects they desire, you should always tell your doctor before considering a CBD regimen. They know your medical history and may decide to adjust medication dosages or routinely monitor your liver enzymes. Never abruptly stop or decrease your own medication dose without speaking to your healthcare provider first. Variables like history, height, weight, biological gender, prescriptions, CBD dose, and liver enzyme activity means that CBD dosing is not an exact science for everyone.
Several factors influence how CBD will make you feel. Whether you take CBD gummies or try lollipops, it’s important to check with a healthcare professional before upping your dosage.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does CBD feel like?
A healthy consumer would likely say, “Nothing!”. Data shows CBD is non-intoxicating and has generally opposite effects of THC. CBD is of special research interest for multiple conditions including psychiatric afflictions – but has yet to be confirmed.
What are some common medical reasons for taking CBD?
So far, the only approved clinical indications for taking CBD are the rare childhood seizure disorders called Lennox-Gastaut and Dravet syndrome. Other individuals may take CBD as a potentially alleviating and anecdotally beneficial compound to improve their subjective wellbeing – notwithstanding only having promising, yet pre-clinical data at this time.
Dr. Benavides is an alum and full-tuition merit scholar of the George Washington University School of Medicine, where he founded the Cannabis as Medicine Interest Group. CANMIG is the first educational cannabis student interest group for physicians-in-training at a U.S. medical school. He is an incoming resident Family Physician in Seattle, WA. Abraham enjoys cooking new recipes, playing Nintendo games, and hiking the great outdoors with his adventurous pug.