Cannabis CBD

The endocannabinoid system

In order for the human body to function optimally, it’s internal environment must be regulated thoroughly. The regulation of the body’s internal environment – a state known as homeostasis – is the primary function of an innate system known as the Endocannabinoid system.

First discovered in the 1980’s, the Endocannabinoid system – also known as the ECS – is one of the body’s largest neurotransmitter networks. The ECS affects numerous body systems and is essentially made up of three parts:

  • Endocannabinoids.
  • Receptors around the body which bind with endocannabinoids and cannabinoids.
  • Enzymes which break down endocannabinoids and cannabinoids.
CB1 and CB2 receptors in the endocannabinoid system. Source

Endocannabinoids are cannabinoids produced by the human body. These cannabinoids impact receptors located across the body in order to influence its internal environment. The ECS works to maintain balance over certain bodily functions such as:

  • Appetite
  • Sleep
  • Fertility
  • Motor control
  • Pain
  • Pleasure

How does CBD interact with the human body?

Cannabidiol – or CBD – is a phytocannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. Cannabinoids are naturally occurring chemical compounds and the cannabis plant contains over 100 of them, the two most popular being tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and CBD.

CBD interacts with the human body by working directly with our cannabinoid receptors. In the ECS, there are two main categories of cannabis receptors; Cannabis Receptor 1 (CB1) and Cannabis Receptor 2 (CB2).

The CB2 receptors are primarily located in the immune system. They can also be found in heavy concentrations in the gastrointestinal system and the spleen. Naturally, these receptors would interact with the endocannabinoid 2-Arachidonoglycerol (2-AG), however, CBD binds well to these receptors. This binding influences bodily functions such as appetite regulation, immune system function and many others.

Unlike THC, CBD is non-psychoactive. When ingested, CBD will not produce the feelings of euphoria and extreme elation akin to the ‘high’ produced by THC.

Where is CBD legal in the world?

CBD can be derived from the hemp plant or the marijuana plant. CBD derived from the hemp plant is very low in THC – often containing less than 0.3% of the substance. CBD derived from the marijuana plant is relatively higher in THC as many strains are higher in THC than CBD.

CBD derived from the hemp plant is largely legal in 50 locations around the world including Luxembourg, Guatemala, and Hong Kong. It is also legal in the United States of America.

Hemp, unlike marijuana, is not considered a controlled substance in many nations. It is non-psychoactive and an active ingredient in many items including clothes and beauty products.

CBD derived from marijuana, however, poses a complication in many nations. Marijuana is considered a controlled, illicit substance in many countries.

Is CBD oil legal in pharmacies over the counter in some European cities?

Cannabis is legal for medicinal use in a good number of European nations including:

  • Austria;
  • Denmark;
  • Belgium;
  • Romania and;
  • Italy

In the European Union (EU), CBD products which contain less than 0.2% THC are legal. This law applies to all nations which are part of the EU.

In Sweden, per EU law, CBD is legal as long as it contains less than 0.2% THC and is derived from the hemp plant. Sweden is one of Europe’s most substance-restrictive nations. While no specific laws concerning CBD exist, it is not classified as a medicine and therefore cannot be purchased as an over-the-counter medication. Topical CBD products such as creams and lip balms can be marketed freely.

In the United Kingdom, CBD – and CBD oil – is legal. CBD is distributed and purchased freely across the nation. This only applies to CBD derived from the hemp plant, however. Cannabis-derived CBD is still illegal as marijuana is still a dangerous substance under the Misuse of Drugs Act of 1971.

To obtain CBD oil in Denmark, residents need a medical prescription from their physicians. As with Sweden, topical CBD products require no prescription and are marketed freely.

Should Australia change the law on Cannabis and CBD?

Simply put, cannabis and CBD oil is legal in Australia for strictly medical purposes. Provisions for the consumption of marijuana are provided in the Therapeutic Goods Act (TGA) under the Special Acts Scheme. CBD is classified as a schedule 4 substance under the TGA.

CBD and Cannabis are viewed as unapproved TGA substances and would require special authorisation to be utilised. Cannabis and CBD products can only be obtained from a licensed medical practitioner following a prescription.

CBD is beneficial to a myriad of medical conditions. Considering its strong health and wellness capabilities, CBD should be made more accessible to the general populace. CBD can be used in the treatment of a number of diseases including:

  • Chronic pain;
  • Anxiety;
  • Mental health disorders;
  • Acne;
  • Multiple Sclerosis;
  • Arthritis and more.
CBD binding to receptors to reduce anxiety and depression. Source: CannabisExpress

CBD oils are so safe; they can be used for the treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in children as well as other conditions.

Final words

Cannabidiol – CBD – is a phytocannabinoid present in the cannabis plant. Derived predominantly from the hemp plant, CBD binds with the CB2 receptors to influence bodily functions such appetite and immune system function. Unlike THC, CBD produces no psychoactive effects..

In many nations around the world, CBD is legal. Though legal, CBD is not readily accessible in all jurisdictions. Nations such as Australia, Denmark and Sweden require medical prescriptions in order to access CBD. 

Published by Neil Aitken

Having worked in 3 countries for 4 telcos on both voice and data products, Neil is in a position to give you the inside track on technology, trends and digital strategy.

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