• FREE SHIPPING ON US ORDERS $75+

CBD Education

CBD For Pain

CBD For Pain 150 150 CBD By Medizen

For many people, pain is a constant and unwanted companion. It can vary from being a distraction to preventing people from enjoying daily activities that pain-free individuals take for granted. Over the counter and prescription medicines can help, but many come with side effects and potential addiction from long term use. The ongoing opiate crisis in America is a prime example of how things can go off the rails. So what about using CBD for pain? After all, it’s a natural, plant-based medicine that people young and old alike turn to for relief. While more research is needed, initial studies indicate that CBD may play an important role in pain relief, inflammation, and anxiety.

Different Types of Pain

It’s important to understand that there are several different types of pain. Temporary muscle aches, tension, and soreness after physical activity are pretty common. On the more serious side, people suffering from chronic pain like arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and neuropathic pain endure daily hardship over long periods of time. It’s important to keep in mind that chronic pain also has an unpleasant emotional component that affects our moods, including potential anxiety about the pain itself. The bottom line is that when you’re in pain it can affect your overall sense of wellness and happiness.

CBD and Neuropathic Pain

The American Chronic Pain Association defines neuropathic pain, commonly known as nerve pain, as pain that “occurs when nerves in the central nervous system become injured or damaged.” The U.S. National Institute of Health (NIH) estimates that 20 million Americans suffer from it. Neuropathic pain feels like a numbing, burning, or tingling sensation in our skin, hands, and feet. For people dealing with neuropathic pain, brushing up against a wall or table can cause excruciating pain, but there is hope. The study also noted that CBD acted as a neuroprotective agent affecting our central nervous system from injuries caused by chronic degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, and injuries caused by stroke. A 2010 study examining neuropathic pain from diabetes found that moderate to high doses of CBD slowed the development of neuropathic pain.

CBD and Arthritis

A 2017 study found that CBD reduced joint inflammation and prevented the development of joint pain over time. A 2015 study looked at the effectiveness of topical CBD products absorbed through the skin for inflammation and pain caused by arthritis. This study also found that CBD reduced inflammation and pain. Inflammation seems to stimulate nerve endings in the area of inflammation which in turn causes pain. By reducing the inflammation, the pain subsides. In September 2019, The Arthritis Foundation issued its guidelines for CBD use for arthritis sufferers stating “We are intrigued by the potential of CBD to help people find pain relief and are on record urging the FDA to expedite the study and regulation of these products.”

CBD and Opiate Reduction

While opiates can be helpful for short term pain management, long term use raises the risk of addiction and potential organ damage. CBD may also help people suffering from opiate addiction. It is worth noting that a May 2019 study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry concluded that “CBD’s potential to reduce cue-induced craving and anxiety provides a strong basis for further investigation of this phytocannabinoid as a treatment option for opioid use disorder.”

Weekend Warriors Rejoice

CBD may also be helpful for supporting pain relief from strenuous exercise or temporary muscle soreness. Topical CBD products such as balms, sprays, lotions, patches and salves allow pain sufferers to target specific areas of pain to address inflammation. The CBD oil in topical products does not enter your bloodstream so it’s concentrated in the area where you apply it, and most experts agree to apply it liberally. While it may only help temporarily, many people choose to re-apply the product as needed throughout the day.

The Government is Funding CBD Research

The U.S. government is also funding research for CBD as a pain management tool. In September 2019, the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), announced that it is awarding nine new research awards totaling approximately $3 million to investigate the potential pain-relieving properties and mechanisms of CBD. “The treatment of chronic pain has relied heavily on opioids, despite their potential for addiction and overdose and the fact that they often don’t work well when used on a long-term basis,” said Helene Langevin, M.D., director of NCCIH. “There’s an urgent need for more effective and safer options.” In a statement, the NIH acknowledged that “natural products, including CBD, have shown promise for potential use as nonopioid analgesics; however, we need to know more about whether they work, what they do in the body, and how they might be integrated into multidisciplinary pain management.”

What Does CBD Oil Do?

What Does CBD Oil Do? 150 150 CBD By Medizen
CBD EDUCATION

What Does CBD Oil Do?

CBD products are flying off the shelves, but what does CBD oil do? It’s a good question and one you should be asking before making your first CBD oil purchase. While it is amazing, plant-based medicine, we believe it’s best to be honest about what CBD oil can do for you. This is the MediZen philosophy and it lives in every one of our products.

Three decades ago, scientists discovered that our bodies have a natural “endocannabinoid system” (ECS) that helps keep us in a healthy balance called “homeostasis.” This helps keep us in a healthy balance while adjusting to conditions that are optimal for survival. In 1930, a physician named Walter Cannon coined the term in his book, The Wisdom of the Body. The word homeostasis comes from the Greek words for same and steady. It’s a physiological process that helps regulate body temperature, fluid balance, blood pH balance, and oxygen levels. This effects our:

  • Mood
  • Pain
  • Appetite
  • Digestion
  • Inflammation
  • Memory

It also helps our bodies more efficiently use nutrition to provide the energy needed to create homeostasis. When you add CBD into your body, it signals the natural cannabinoid receptors in the ECS to help the body repair itself through homeostasis. When we’re out of balance, we’re more susceptible to illness, disease, pain, and depression. While more CBD research is finally getting underway here in the U.S., several existing studies show that CBD may help support relief from anxiety, pain, nausea, and help with relaxation and sleep.

The Science of CBD

CBD is an abbreviation for Cannabidiol, a chemical compound found in both hemp and THC-producing cannabis plants. In an amazing twist of nature, our bodies are naturally wired to create cannabinoids within the ECS. CBD helps regulate neurotransmitter signals in our body and brain which affects organ functions that directly or indirectly influence how our bodies work. In some cases, CBD encourages our bodies to produce more cannabinoids, other times it blocks certain enzymes so that our bodies use the existing cannabinoids more effectively. When our body produces them, they’re called endocannabinoids. When they come from hemp, traditional cannabis, or other plants they’re called phytocannabinoids.

CBD Oil for Nausea

he legalization of medical cannabis came about in large part because of the tireless work of AIDS and cancer patient activists looking to help people suffering from nausea. They knew it helped their condition even if there was little medical research to substantiate it at the time.

In medical terms, cannabis acts as an antiemetic drug that is effective against vomiting and nausea. Antiemetics treat motion sickness and other causes of nausea and vomiting. According to a 2011 study, CBD triggers 5-hydroxytryptamine-1A (5-HT1A), a receptor in the brain and nervous system that reduces the sensation of nausea. Again, CBD affects serotonin levels and apparently calms the vomiting triggers in the brain. In effect, CBD reduces the sensation of nausea and triggering the reaction leading to vomiting. This suppression also helps reduce anxiety and nervousness that nausea creates.

CBD Oil for Epilepsy

Last June, the FDA approved the first CBD-based pharmaceutical drug to treat two rare forms of epilepsy. Named Epodiolex, it was developed by Greenwich Biosciences, a division of GW Pharmaceuticals.

The Epilepsy Foundation stated that “Early evidence from laboratory studies, anecdotal reports, and small clinical studies over a number of years suggest that CBD could potentially help control seizures.” They also highly recommend that patients speak with their doctor before using CBD as part of epilepsy management.

CBD Oil for Depression, Anxiety, and Insomnia

CBD oil influences the Serotonin compound in our brain which also affects our mood. CBD doesn’t actually boost serotonin levels in our brains, but it appears to positively affect the serotonin that’s already in our system. This results in reducing anxiety along with improving our ability to relax and sleep.

Another good example of is Anandamide, a cannabinoid known as the “Bliss molecule” which is a natural antidepressant. The name originates from the ancient Sanskrit word, “ananda,” which means “joy, bliss, and delight.” It affects our mental state by working with the “happiness triggers” in our brains. CBD affects certain molecules that slow the degradation of anandamide, so CBD helps keep more anandamide in our bodies, serving as a natural antidepressant.

CBD oil has the potential to be recognized as an incredible plant-based medicine by the traditional medical community. More and more patients are asking their regular doctors about it, and hopefully, new research will help lead the way for more CBD recommendations. But it’s important to use high-quality CBD products from reputable sources. That is also part of the MediZen philosophy, and we’re here to help.

What is CBD Oil?

What is CBD Oil? 150 150 CBD By Medizen

There’s a good joke about a mom asking her five-year-old son where milk comes from and he replies, “The grocery store.” There is a CBD revolution taking place in America right before our eyes, but have you ever wondered where CBD oil comes from and how it’s made? After all, what is CBD oil? We thought it might be helpful to provide some information about it without needing a Ph.D. in biology to understand it.

What is CBD Oil?

CBD is an abbreviation for Cannabidiol, a chemical compound found in both hemp and traditional cannabis plants. The two plants are part of the Cannabis family and look very similar. The most important difference is that hemp contains little to no Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the compound that produces the psychoactive effects in traditional cannabis. To be legally classified and sold as hemp, it can’t contain more than 0.3% THC by volume. That’s a very tiny amount and no matter how much hemp-based CBD you consume, you will never feel “high.”

From Farm to Table

Most CBD products use a form of CBD oil that’s extracted from the harvested hemp plant. It is an incredibly strong and versatile plant that requires special farm equipment to harvest it properly. CBD oil generally comes from the fibers of the plants, although some CBD products also use hemp seed oil in the formulation. Keep in mind that hemp seed oil and CBD oil are two different products. Hemp seed oil is basically created by pressing the seeds to extract the oil.

In order to extract CBD from hemp, the flowers and leaves must be separated from the stalk and larger branches. These harvested parts are called “biomass.” On smaller hemp farms it’s common to cut hemp is by hand with a sickle. It’s an extremely slow process and is too time-consuming and expensive for larger farms. They tend to use commercial, specialized harvesting equipment such as a disc mower or a straight sickle mower among other options on their commercial farming equipment. After harvesting, the collected biomass is dried for several weeks prior to shipment for processing into oil.

The next step is to get the oil from the biomass. This is known as the extraction process, and there are several ways to go about it. In the end, the oil needs to be separated from the biomass itself. Some CBD products use all the plant’s compounds to create the CBD oil, and you may have heard the phrases “full-spectrum” and “whole-plant.” This process keeps most of the naturally occurring cannabinoids, terpenes, or flavonoids in the hemp plant. The theory is that all these elements work better together for the desired effect.

Other CBD products only keep the CBD molecules, and this is known as creating an “isolet.” These products do not contain any other cannabinoids, terpenes, or flavonoids from the plant. They tend to be more expensive because the extraction process is more complicated in order to refine the oil into pure CBD. We’ll dive into the differences between full-spectrum and isolates in another article, but let’s just say it’s as controversial as debating whether to use synthetic or regular oil in your car’s engine. In the end, it’s really about what’s best for you, and sometimes, where you work and live.

Common commercial extraction methods use carbon dioxide, or solvents such as ethanol, butane or propane to break down and separate the CBD from the other compounds in the plant. Here’s a quick breakdown of the most common commercial methods:

Carbon Dioxide: Carbon dioxide gas (C02) is pumped into a special extraction chamber under supercritical, high pressure. This keeps the C02 in a quasi-liquid and gas state to extract oil from the biomass plant material. At the end of the process, the plant material is placed in another high-pressure chamber where the C02 evaporates from the oil without leaving any leftover C02 residue, chemicals or other solvents in the oil. Many CBD professionals consider C02 extraction as the cleanest and safest CBD oil extraction method.

Ethanol: This is a form of alcohol and depending on the manufacturing preference, the plant material is either heated or kept cold during the extraction process. Either way, the plant material is soaked in ethanol within a chamber to separate the various compounds. After having a good soak, the chamber is flushed or filtered to separate the remaining ethanol solvent from the plant matter. The hemp is then removed from the chamber and the remaining ethanol is stripped away leaving only CBD oil. Ethanol is a solvent created from plants and many people in the CBD community feel it the best way to maintain the whole-plant components.

Hydrocarbons: This extraction method generally means using butane or propane solvents to extract the CBD oil from the plant material. The process is similar to the ethanol method, except that in the end, the CBD oil is commonly heated to burn off the leftover butane or propane from the CBD oil. This method is the least expensive and is very efficient for creating CBD oil and is used for a variety of products.

Just Add Oil

No matter the method utilized, the CBD oil is then combined with “carrier agents” to complete the finished product. For tinctures, you may have read about coconut oil, MCT oil, and hemp seed oil. They all have advantages in one form or another, including the most appropriate method for a particular product. For example, MCT oil (Medium Chain Triglycerides) is probably not the best for use in a vape cartridge as it has a low flash point, so heating MCT oil is not a great idea. On the other hand, many professionals prefer MCT oil for tinctures and other ingestible CBD products because it helps pass the CBD molecules through our livers in a more efficient way. In the end, the CBD oil is combined with a carrier agent, other compounds, herbs, food, or beverages to create the finished CBD oil product.

CBD oil is now found in a variety of products such as tinctures, lotions, balms, cosmetics, infused edibles, beverages, and vape cartridges. The fun is being able to experiment with different products to see what may work best for you. It’s a personal choice, and we’re happy to talk it over with you. Please let us know how we can help!

Receptors that Send and Receive CBD Messages

Our brains naturally create a chemical called Serotonin that affects our sense of happiness and feelings of wellbeing. Its scientific name is the 5-HT1A (hydroxytryptamine) serotonin receptor, and CBD appears to directly affect this happiness receptor resulting in anxiety reduction along with better relaxation and sleep.

Another important receptor in the brain is called Adenosine. These receptors affect our cardiovascular system by improving oxygen levels and blood flow. As a result, CBD is able to act as an anti-inflammatory agent throughout the body. A limited 2017 study indicated that it might also help in lowering blood pressure which makes sense if blood is flowing better in our bodies.

As we mentioned earlier, CBD affects how certain receptor transmitters work in our bodies. Scientists believe that CBD also acts as an “allosteric receptor modulator.” In non-scientific terms, CBD changes the shape of the receptor which affects the signal it transmits. A good example is a receptor called gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA). CBD changes the shape of the GABA receptor causing it to increase its natural calming properties. It is thought that this contributes to CBD’s ability to help people relax and fight anxiety.

Scientists have also studied a receptor known as “a transient receptor potential cation channel, subfamily V. Known as a “vanilloid receptor,” TRPV1 was named after the vanilla bean that contains a compound called eugenol which is also found in cinnamon and cloves. Eugenol is an essential oil that has been used in natural medicine remedies due to its antiseptic and analgesic effects. CBD directly impacts TRPV1 which influences our perception of pain and body temperature that play a large role in homeostasis. The study also indicates it may help unclog blood vessels as found in the 2017 study referenced earlier.

More Research is Coming

The 2018 Farm Bill contained language that essentially re-legalized hemp production in the U.S. for the first time since the 1930s. While hemp farmers need to follow the provisions outlined in the Bill, there is no doubt that it led to the incredible growth and interest in hemp-based CBD products over the past year. The legislation also opens the doors to additional scientific research of this amazing cannabinoid. In addition, the Food and Drug Administration is currently working on regulations to govern hemp-based CBD products.

Acceptance of CBD as natural, plant-based medicine is going global as well. A 2017 report from the World Health Organization stated, “In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential…To date, there is no evidence of public health-related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.”

Slowly but surely, science is catching up with the knowledge that cultures around the world have known for centuries ⎼ that cannabis and hemp provide a natural medicine to help keep us healthy and our bodies in balance. It may take some experimentation to find out what works best for you, your body, and your medical condition. If you’re currently taking medications and are new to CBD, be sure to consult with a medical professional to understand how CBD may interact, complement, or perhaps even reduce your need for pharmaceutical medications. In the end, it is a journey to better health and wellness that is well worth exploring. Let us know how we can help you along the way.

How Does CBD Work?

How Does CBD Work? 150 150 CBD By Medizen
CBD EDUCATION

How Does CBD Work?

Over the past year, it seems like everyone is talking about CBD. At Medizen, we’re serious about the science behind CBD, so let’s explore the reality of how CBD works and why it can be good for your health and wellness.

What is CBD?

CBD is an abbreviation for Cannabidiol, a chemical compound found in both hemp and traditional cannabis plants. The two plants are part of the Cannabis family and look very similar. The most important difference is that hemp contains little to no Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the compound that produces the psychoactive effects in traditional cannabis. To be legally classified and sold as hemp, it can’t contain more than 0.3% THC by volume. That’s a very tiny amount and no matter how much hemp-based CBD you consume, you will never feel “high.”

How is CBD Made?

Most CBD products use a form of CBD oil that’s extracted from the harvested hemp plant. Common extraction methods use carbon dioxide, olive oil, dry ice, or solvents such as ethanol, alcohol, or butane to break down and separate the CBD from the other compounds in the plant. The CBD oil is then combined with other elements to create the finished product. CBD oil is now found in a variety of products such as tinctures, lotions, balms, cosmetics, infused edibles, beverages, and vape cartridges.

How CBD Works

Back in the 1990s, scientists discovered that our bodies have a natural “endocannabinoid system”(ECS) that helps keep us in a healthy balance called “homeostasis.” The remarkable thing is that the endogenous cannabinoid molecules already in our bodies closely resemble the phytocannabinoid molecules found in cannabis. This is why scientists named the ECS the endocannabinoid system. It’s almost as if humans (and all mammals) are naturally wired for the health benefits that THC and CBD provide in replenishing our ECS.

Essentially, our ECS is made up of “receptors” that are found in different parts of our bodies. Some are identified as CB1 and CB2 receptors as they have different functions. They act much like a data or broadcast network, and when you add phytocannabinoids like CBD into your body, it signals the ECS to help the body achieve homeostasis and repair itself where needed. In other words, CBD transmits and sometimes blocks neurotransmitter signals and affects organ functions that directly or indirectly influence how our bodies work.

At first, researchers thought that our CB receptors were only found in our brain, spinal cord, and nervous system, but scientists later found that receptors are present throughout the body. CB1 receptors are primarily found in the brain and central nervous system and in various organs including the liver, kidneys, and lungs. CB2 receptors are found mostly in cell membranes in the immune system, our gastrointestinal system, and the spleen.

Current research indicates that THC directly connects with CB1 receptors in the brain affecting pain, emotions, mood, thinking, appetite, memories, and coordination. CBD works a bit differently and studies show that it may help in supporting relief from anxiety, pain, nausea, and help with relaxation and sleep. It has also shown great promise as an anti-inflammatory agent, especially for topical products. Some very specific, FDA-approved CBD oil products help fight epilepsy by slowing or blocking messages to the brain that result in seizures. They also change calcium levels and decrease inflammation in the brain thought to contribute to seizures.

One way CBD works in our bodies is that researchers believe CBD inhibits an enzyme called Fatty Acid Amide Hydrolase (FAAH), the primary molecule responsible for breaking down and recycling endocannabinoids. As a result, CBD seems to encourage the body to better utilize and produce the cannabinoids in our system to help maintain homeostasis when we’re out of balance.

Receptors that Send and Receive CBD Messages

Our brains naturally create a chemical called Serotonin that affects our sense of happiness and feelings of wellbeing. Its scientific name is the 5-HT1A (hydroxytryptamine) serotonin receptor, and CBD appears to directly affect this happiness receptor resulting in anxiety reduction along with better relaxation and sleep.

Another important receptor in the brain is called Adenosine. These receptors affect our cardiovascular system by improving oxygen levels and blood flow. As a result, CBD is able to act as an anti-inflammatory agent throughout the body. A limited 2017 study indicated that it might also help in lowering blood pressure which makes sense if blood is flowing better in our bodies.

As we mentioned earlier, CBD affects how certain receptor transmitters work in our bodies. Scientists believe that CBD also acts as an “allosteric receptor modulator.” In non-scientific terms, CBD changes the shape of the receptor which affects the signal it transmits. A good example is a receptor called gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA). CBD changes the shape of the GABA receptor causing it to increase its natural calming properties. It is thought that this contributes to CBD’s ability to help people relax and fight anxiety.

Scientists have also studied a receptor known as “a transient receptor potential cation channel, subfamily V. Known as a “vanilloid receptor,” TRPV1 was named after the vanilla bean that contains a compound called eugenol which is also found in cinnamon and cloves. Eugenol is an essential oil that has been used in natural medicine remedies due to its antiseptic and analgesic effects. CBD directly impacts TRPV1 which influences our perception of pain and body temperature that play a large role in homeostasis. The study also indicates it may help unclog blood vessels as found in the 2017 study referenced earlier.

More Research is Coming

The 2018 Farm Bill contained language that essentially re-legalized hemp production in the U.S. for the first time since the 1930s. While hemp farmers need to follow the provisions outlined in the Bill, there is no doubt that it led to the incredible growth and interest in hemp-based CBD products over the past year. The legislation also opens the doors to additional scientific research of this amazing cannabinoid. In addition, the Food and Drug Administration is currently working on regulations to govern hemp-based CBD products.

Acceptance of CBD as natural, plant-based medicine is going global as well. A 2017 report from the World Health Organization stated, “In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential…To date, there is no evidence of public health-related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.”

Slowly but surely, science is catching up with the knowledge that cultures around the world have known for centuries ⎼ that cannabis and hemp provide a natural medicine to help keep us healthy and our bodies in balance. It may take some experimentation to find out what works best for you, your body, and your medical condition. If you’re currently taking medications and are new to CBD, be sure to consult with a medical professional to understand how CBD may interact, complement, or perhaps even reduce your need for pharmaceutical medications. In the end, it is a journey to better health and wellness that is well worth exploring. Let us know how we can help you along the way.