Sep 6, 2018, 12:19 pm644 pts
In today's world, inhaling medicine is pretty rare - with inhalers for asthma one notable exception. However, track back through history and smoking for medicinal purposes was surprisingly common. Now, thanks to technological developments, we have vaping, which offers a similar experience to smoking, sans many of the health risks.
Vaping first caught the attention of cigarette smokers, who sought a healthier way to inhale nicotine - this set the stage for e-cigarettes. But the cannabis industry has also become keen on vaporizing, with medicinal users especially looking for the safest way possible to quickly obtain the benefits of the plant's cannabinoids.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a cannabinoid that has risen to prominence in the 21stcentury for two key reasons: firstly, CBD has a plethora of therapeutic properties, and secondly, the compound produces no psychoactive effects. While tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is an integral part of cannabis medication for some users, many conditions are treatable without the need for this psychoactive cannabinoid.
Hence, as CBD-focused science has developed, and cultivators have bred largely non-psychoactive strains, an entire market has emerged for CBD. Many of these CBD products, and all of those sold in states that do not have comprehensive cannabis legislation, are manufactured using extracts from hemp, a cannabis sativa strain low in THC.
Vaping offers fastest relief
Depending on the ailment, it may be of the utmost importance to remedy it as speedily as possible. For example, those afflicted with acute pain, like that experienced in flare-ups of multiple sclerosis (MS) and other neuropathic conditions, cannot find effective relief from a treatment that takes an hour or more to work.
Typical pharmaceutical drugs that are taken orally must first be metabolized before absorption into the bloodstream can occur. However, this lengthy process is avoided with vaping and the inhalation intake method - in the case of CBD e-liquid, the cannabinoids penetrate the walls of the alveoli in the lungs and are active in the endocannabinoid system in just minutes.
Furthermore, CBD is more potent when vaped than when consumed via both sublingual absorption and orally (edibles, beverages and capsules). This is because metabolization reduces CBD's bioavailability. CBD molecules are large and not water-soluble, so not all cannabinoids can become active in the bloodstream. The bioavailability of CBD is given as a percentage. For those whose conditions demand strong and regular doses of CBD, vaping is much more cost-effective as a result of that increased bioavailability.
What CBD does in the endocannabinoid system
It's no exaggeration to say that medical researchers have been astonished at the medicinal properties of CBD, which are better known now the endocannabinoid system has been discovered and somewhat understood.
Instead of most conventional medicines, both plant-based and pharmaceutical, where the compounds mimic those of a naturally-produced chemical when binding with receptors (this is how THC works with the endocannabinoid system, by mimicking anandamide), CBD's effects are more indirect - in a nutshell, CBD encourages homeostasis in the body by facilitating natural connections which promote optimal endocannabinoid system functioning.
The most apparent difference between CBD and THC is that while the latter acts as a substitute for anandamide, CBD fosters the natural bond between anandamide and CB1 receptors. It manages this by briefly inhibiting the enzyme fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), which catalyzes the degradation of anandamide. As an FAAH-inhibitor, CBD essentially increases anandamide levels, allowing the endocannabinoid to exert its therapeutic effects on the body. These include improving mood, with multiple studies confirming anandamide's antidepressant properties. Anandamide is a powerful neurotransmitter that interacts with cannabinoid receptors in the endocannabinoid system, but also g-protein coupled receptors in other bodily networks.
CBD also has the ability to make receptors more or less responsive to compounds which bind to them, by acting as a positive or negative allosteric modulator. CBD helps to reduce anxiety levels by boosting the binding affinity of GABAAreceptors, so that the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA can calm hyperactivity in the brain which is responsible for anxiety. Meanwhile, by suppressing the binding affinity of the CB1 receptor, CBD exhibits antipsychotic effects. With traditional antipsychotic medication notorious for causing side effects like stiffness, restlessness and sleepiness, CBD could be an all-round better treatment for psychosis and similar conditions.
Conditions that are effectively treated by vaping CBD
All CBD products are beneficial for certain ailments - for instance, acne patients are best-served by a topical that's applied to the skin, those with insomnia may find edibles preferable simply because the effects last all night. Let's look at some conditions where CBD vape oil and e-liquid treatment is most suitable.
Anxiety and panic attacks
Anxiety comes and goes, but it's the rapid onset of symptoms which have made the condition so tricky for sufferers to control effectively. People with social anxiety can be triggered by as little as a single comment they deem to have embarrassed them, and from there the brain takes over, causing rumination and worst-case scenario thoughts. To stop the mind spiralling, it's key to quickly get on top of anxiety and prevent panic attacks. By vaping a CBD e-liquid, the balance between excitation and inhibition in the brain can be restored in just minutes.
It is possible that migraines are caused by a deficiency in endocannabinoids - if so, it's no wonder that CBD treatment works so well. Migraines do not just cause intense headaches, but can lead to blurred vision, heighted sensitivity to light and sound, and even nausea. All of these symptoms have an adverse effect on quality of life, and also impact mental health.
However, vaping CBD is an efficient way of intaking large quantities of the compound, which helps provide near-instant relief from a severe migraine attack.
Chronic pain can significantly affect mobility, and with some conditions - especially neuropathic pain - symptoms worsen unexpectedly. This pain can become dominant over a patient's life, as they find themselves unable to do what they once could. However, by keeping CBD vape juice on hand, even the worst acute pain can be averted.
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