Updated: Mar 30
Research on CBD is still lacking and is not definitive about the benefits of CBD. Learn what science knows about CBD as of now.
CBD Research: What Science Knows About CBD
As CBD oil becomes an increasingly popular supplement in the wellness industry, research continues to look for the scientific evidence behind CBD. But what does the research actually say about CBD and its health benefits? Let’s dive into what we know about CBD and what information has been revealed.
What is CBD?
CBD, short for cannabidiol, is one of the most prevalent and well-known active compounds found in cannabis plants. Hemp is commonly used to extract CBD due to its high levels of CBD and low levels of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). CBD has become a popular compound to study due to several reasons. CBD doesn’t cause a high or intoxicating effect in users. CBD also doesn’t appear to cause any severe side effects, including chemical dependency. Therefore, CBD provides a way to interact with the endocannabinoid system without the “high” effect of THC.
Early Research of CBD
In 1942, CBD was isolated for the first time by American chemist Rodger Adams. At the time, all cannabis and cannabis derivatives were banned in the U.S. and considered drugs under Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) regulations. All cannabis plant cultivation and consumption was banned in the Controlled Substances Act of 1970.
In the 2018 Farm Bill hemp, which contains less than 0.3% THC, was legalized in the US on a federal level. Marijuana, which contains higher levels of THC, is still considered an illegal drug on a federal level.
During early research on cannabinoids and cannabis, scientists had little knowledge of which cannabinoids caused which effects. It wasn’t until 1963 that the stereochemistry, or chemical characteristics, were successfully identified by Dr. Raphael Mechoulam. Soon after, the stereochemistry of THC was discovered by Mecholam’s. This breakthrough revealed which cannabinoid is directly responsible for causing the intoxicating “high” effects of using marijuana, proving that CBD is not the mind-altering compound.
How Does CBD Work with the Body?
Research in the 1990s revealed the manner in which CBD interacts with the human body due to the discovery of the endocannabinoid system and cannabinoid receptors.
In 1990, scientist Lisa Matsuda at the National Institution of Mental Health mapped the DNA sequence which encodes cannabinoid receptors located in the brain. This discovery led to researchers’ understanding of how THC interacts with the brain through these cannabinoids receptors.
The discovery of the cannabinoid receptors also resulted in the discovery of the endocannabinoid system in 1992 by Dr. Lumir Hanus and American researcher Dr. William Devane. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a cellular response system that is responsible for regulating various functions throughout the body. This discovery was important because it shed light on what cannabinoids, including CBD, are able to do when they interact with the cannabinoid receptors located in the body. CBD is capable of boosting and simulating the ECS, resulting in support and potential improvement of the ECS and its functions.
Current Research on CBD
Currently, CBD is legal in all 50 states, with varying degrees of restrictions surrounding the CBD products in each state. Current research has discovered the benefits CBD may have to offer and how CBD is absorbed into the body.
Researching the Benefits of CBD
Although research over the last few decades has revealed many of the chemical aspects of CBD, research is still lacking in regards to its ability to cure or treat specific medical conditions. What research has revealed is that CBD has the ability to boost and stimulate the endocannabinoid system, which can help reduce discomfort, improve mental positivity, promote overall health, and lead to other health and wellness benefits. There have been numerous studies on CBD searching for the medical benefits it may have to offer, but research isn’t conclusive enough to provide solid evidence in treating or curing any medical conditions.
How Long It Takes To Get Into The System
Chemistry shows that certain CBD products reach the body’s ECS more rapidly than others. Smoking CBD is the quickest form for CBD to be absorbed into the body, taking only 5-20 minutes to take effect. Sublingual, which means placing CBD oil under the tongue, allows for the CBD to begin absorbing through the vein under the tongue. This method allows for absorption to take place within 15 minutes of use. Topical CBD products that are applied to the targeted area are absorbed through the skin and can take 20 to 30 minutes to absorb into the bloodstream. Ingesting CBD can take 2-3 hours to absorb into the bloodstream due to the CBD partially being absorbed in the digestive tract.
Early research shows that only 5 - 20 percent of CBD oil taken orally is absorbed into the body and can take up to 3 hours to take effect. With advanced technology, CBD products are being produced in ways for quicker and thorough absorption. Our proprietary nanotechnology is the advanced technology used to break up CBD oil into smaller molecules for quicker absorption. Our water-soluble CBD products have a much faster absorption rate than tinctures or edibles, taking only 15 minutes to fully absorb, since the body can absorb water-soluble substances quicker than oils. The advancement of research and technology has made it possible to create products that are more beneficial and utilized more fully in the human body.
Future Research on CBD
Although the normalization and research on CBD in the U.S. have progressed dramatically since its discovery in 1942, there is still more research to be done in order to understand the opportunities CBD has to offer to people with certain ailments. Current research will likely pave the way for more insights into the health benefits of CBD. Scientists are continuing to research the health benefits of CBD in order to provide solid evidence and results on how CBD can help the human body.
CBD Research Takeaways
As research continues to be performed with CBD, it may reveal more information on what CBD can and can’t help with. Until we have more information on the health benefits of CBD, consumers can try CBD products to see if it works for them and their particular wellness goals.
The content on this site is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. While research has shown that CBD has the potential to help provide beneficial outcomes for several complaints, it is advisable to seek the advice of a physician or other qualified healthcare provider when you have questions regarding any medical condition and when starting, augmenting or discontinuing any existing health routine.