CBD Oil 101 (All You Need to Know About CBD Oil)

What is CBD (Cannabidiol)?

CBD, which stands for cannabidiol, is one of over 100 chemical compounds found in the cannabis (marijuana) plant. CBD is non-psychoactive, meaning it does not produce a "high" or intoxicating effect, unlike its more commonly known counterpart THC (tetrahydrocannabinol).

Cannabidiol (CBD) has gained attention for its potential therapeutic properties and is currently being studied for various health-related conditions from cancer to epilepsy to autoimmune diseases like lupus. It interacts with the endocannabinoid system (ECS), a complex cell-signaling system that plays a role in regulating various physiological processes to maintain balance in the body. 

CBD is extracted from the flowers, leaves and stalks of the hemp plant, a variety of cannabis that contains low levels of THC (typically less than 0.3%). The extraction process involves obtaining CBD-rich oil, which can be further processed into various forms, including oils, tinctures, capsules, edibles, and topical products.

How Does CBD Oil Work?

CBD (cannabidiol) interacts with the body through the endocannabinoid system (ECS), a complex cell-signaling system involved in regulating various physiological processes to maintain balance in the body.

Some of these processes include regulating: 

  • The release of neurotransmitters which affects mood, stress and cognition
  • Mood and emotions 
  • Inflammation and inflammatory responses
  • Sleep-wake cycles
  • Pain perception
  • Fertility and menstruation

The endocannabinoid system is present in humans as well as many animals including mammals, birds, reptiles, fish and invertebrates. 

ImmunaRelief's sister company, ImmunaCBD, a CBD company

The key components of the endocannabinoid system include:

  • Endocannabinoids: These are cannabinoids produced naturally within the body. Anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) are two well-known endocannabinoids.
  • Receptors: There are two main types of receptors in the ECS, known as CB1 (mostly found in the central nervous system) and CB2 (predominantly found in the peripheral organs and immune cells).
  • Enzymes: Enzymes responsible for the synthesis and breakdown of endocannabinoids, such as fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) and monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL).

CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system in several ways:

  • Inhibition of Enzymes: CBD may inhibit the enzymes that break down endocannabinoids. By doing so, it increases the levels of endocannabinoids in the body, potentially prolonging their effects.
  • Interaction with Receptors: While CBD has a low affinity for CB1 and CB2 receptors, it can indirectly modulate their activity. CBD may alter the shape of these receptors, affecting how other cannabinoids, such as endocannabinoids or THC, bind to them.
  • Interaction with Non-Cannabinoid Receptors: CBD interacts with receptors outside the endocannabinoid system, such as serotonin receptors and others. This larger interaction may contribute to CBDs diverse physiological effects.

There is ongoing research on the exact mechanisms through which CBD produces its effects. However, its ability to modulate the endocannabinoid system and interact with various receptors suggests a potential for influencing processes related to pain perception, inflammation, mood and more.

CBD Legalities Within the United States

The legal status of CBD in the U.S. is a very complex issue that depends on the source of the CBD as well as state laws. CBD can either be derived from the cannabis plant or the hemp plant. Hemp-derived CBD with less than 0.3% THC is federally legal, while marijuana-derived CBD remains illegal at the federal level but can be legal in certain states depending on their individual cannabis laws. 

Hemp-based CBD oil was made federally legal in the United States with the passage of the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018, commonly known as the 2018 Farm Bill. The bill was signed into law on December 20, 2018 and officially removed hemp from the federal list of controlled substances, legalizing its cultivation and allowing for the legal production and sale of hemp-derived CBD products, provided they contain no more than 0.3% THC.

While cannabis-derived CBD oil can not be transported over state lines, hemp-derived CBD oil can. 

ImmunaRelief's ImmunaCBD CBD oil is hemp derived, making it legal in all 50 states. Unfortunately our CBD oil can not be shipped anywhere outside of the United States due to current laws and regulations.

CBD Oil Safety

CBD (cannabidiol) is generally considered safe for most people when used in moderation and following the manufacturer's recommended serving suggestion. However, it's important to be aware of potential side effects and interactions with medications.

Here are some things to take into consideration before taking CBD oil:

  • Side Effects: While CBD is generally well-tolerated, some individuals may experience minor side effects including but not limited to fatigue, changes in appetite, diarrhea and changes in weight. These effects are typically mild and usually resolve on their own within a few weeks use. 
  • Drug Interactions: CBD can interact with certain medications so it's important to consult with a healthcare professional before using CBD to avoid potential interactions. Some of the prescription medications that may interact with CBD oil include, but are not limited to: 
    • Anticoagulants and Antiplatelet Drugs: CBD may enhance the effects of blood-thinning medications, potentially increasing the risk of bleeding. Examples of blood thinners include warfarin and heparin.
    • Anticonvulsants: CBD may interact with medications used to treat seizures, such as clobazam, valproic acid and others.
    • Antidepressants: CBD could potentially interact with certain antidepressants, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and tricyclic antidepressants.
    • Benzodiazepines: There may be interactions between CBD and anxiety medications such diazepam, lorazepam and more.
    • Immunosuppressants: CBD may interact with drugs that suppress the immune system, such as cyclosporine.
    • NSAIDs (Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs): CBD might interact with NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen or naproxen, potentially increasing the risk of side effects.
    • Beta Blockers: CBD may interact with medications used to treat conditions like high blood pressure, such as metoprolol and propranolol.
  • Quality and Purity: Not all CBD products are created equally. The safety of CBD products depends on their quality and purity. Contaminants such as pesticides, heavy metals, and residual solvents can be present in low-quality CBD products. It's important to always choose CBD products from a trusted manufacturer.
  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: There is very limited research on the effects of CBD during pregnancy and breastfeeding. As a precaution, pregnant or breastfeeding individuals are often advised to consult with their healthcare provider before using CBD. ImmunaRelief recommends against taking our CBD oil if you're pregnant, planning to get pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • CBD Regulation: The regulatory environment for CBD products can vary widely, and some products may not meet quality and safety standards. It's important to be aware of the legal status of CBD in your region and purchase products from reputable sources, like ImmunaRelief
  • Variation Among Individuals: Responses to CBD can vary among individuals, and factors such as genetics, overall health, weight and pre-existing conditions can affect how someone reacts to taking a CBD supplement. 

Even though the use of CBD oil is generally safe, it's always important to speak to your healthcare provider before starting any new supplements, especially if you take any prescribed medications. 

CBD and Autoimmune Diseases

While research is still in it's early stages, preliminary studies suggest that CBD products may have immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory properties, which can help to manage autoimmune diseases. 

Some of the ways that CBD may help autoimmune diseases may include

  • Immunomodulation: The endocannabinoid (ECS) system, which interacts with cannabinoids like CBD, plays a role in regulating the immune system. CBD may influence immune cell function, potentially affecting the immune response in autoimmune conditions.
  • Anti-Inflammatory Effects: CBD has been studied for its anti-inflammatory properties, and inflammation is a common factor in many autoimmune diseases. By interacting with the endocannabinoid system, CBD may be able to reduce inflammation in the body. 
  • Pain Management: Most autoimmune diseases cause chronic pain symptoms. CBD has been investigated for its potential role in pain management, and some studies suggest it may help alleviate pain associated with autoimmune (and similar) conditions such as Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Sjögren's Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Psoriatic Arthritis and more. 

What autoimmune diseases are ImmunaRelief CBD CBD oil products good for?

CBD oil may help manage the symptoms and severity of diseases such as: 

  • Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE)
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Multiple Sclerosis 
  • Sjögren's Syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disorders (IBD) including Crohn's and Colitis
  • Parkinson's Disease
  • Alzheimer's 
  • Epilepsy and other seizure disorders 
  • Psoriasis & Psoriatic Arthritis 
  • Eczema
  • Osteoarthritis and other types of arthritis 
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Celiac Disease

Misconceptions About CBD Oil

There are a lot of misconceptions about the use of CBD oil, including that CBD can get you high, or cause feelings of intoxication. While CBD oil can come from the cannabis plant, it does not contain the same psychoactive components as THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol - the main psychoactive in cannabis) and therefore does not cause any type of "high" or intoxicated feelings.

CBD and THC are both cannabinoids, but they interact with different receptors in the endocannabinoid system. THC primarily binds to receptors in the central nervous system, leading to feelings of euphoria and altered perception associated with being "high." CBD, on the other hand, doesn't bind the same way to these receptors and does not produce the same psychoactive effects as THC does.