My sister just asked me if CBD was cannabis.
I'm pretty sure my answer would have been confusing if I hadn't done the right amount of research to really understand what CBD truly is.
What is CBD?
CBD, also known as Cannabidiol comes from the hemp plants and is a non psycho-active cannabis compound (I guess she was right). In other words, taking CBD will not make you feel "stoned" or high in any way.
Cannabis plants maintain hundreds of chemical components called cannabinoids, but the two main ones we can see today are delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and cannabidiol (CBD). The THC part of the cannabis plant is the stimulating substance that interacts with endocannabinoid receptors in the user's brain, activating reward pathways that produce dopamine-- what causes the "high."
For those individuals afraid of getting side effects of CBD, you'll be happy to know that CBD actually counteracts the psychoactivity of THC, and helps reduce symptoms of psychosis that comes with smoking high concentrations of marijuana or weed.
But even though Cannabidiol is a non-psychoactive branch of cannabis, what's really so special about it?
Back in 1998, the British government licensed a company called GW pharmaceuticals to grow cannabis and develop a precise and consistent extract for use in clinical trials. The co-founder of GW Pharmaceuticals, Geoffrey Guy was convinced that CBD-rich plants could help with reducing the psychoactive effects of THC in order to produce cannabis-based medicine.
With more research done, it was found that CBD was indeed counteracting the psychoactivity of CBD and it had a whole lot of other benefits to come with it.
If we were to go even farther in time, we would find that in the 19th century, Queen Victoria used CBD-rich cannabis for menstrual cramps. It was also used to lessen anxiety and reduce the symptoms of seizures.
Though these are some ways CBD were used in the 1900s, it wouldn't be surprising if they have been used for generations by tribes and in various nations around the world.
What is CBD Used For?
While CBD is commonly known for treating seizures and helping with chronic pain, it has been proven effective for many other key benefits of our health.
CBD can help with the following:
Other conditions of lethargy and dysphoria
All cannabinoids including CBD produce effects on the body by attaching to certain receptors. For example, to help aid with chronic pain, taking CBD will cause the attachment to receptors in the body that will promote less negative sensations.
It is amazing to know that the human body actually produces cannabinoids on its own and has two receptors: CB1 and CB2.
CB1 receptors are actually present throughout the body, and some in the brain. The receptors in the brain essentially deal with coordination, movement, pain, emotions, mood, thinking, appetite and even memories.
THC will actually attach to these receptors which is what causes the euphoria and hallucinations.
On the other hand, CB2 receptors can be found in the immune system.. Researchers have theorized that CBD actually attaches to the CB2 receptors in order to help control pain and inflammation in the body.
Interestingly enough, other research has shown that CBD does not actually attack to either of the receptors (CB1 and CB2) but simply triggers the body to use more if its natural cannabinoids.
In my personal opinion, now that I know where CBD comes from and what it does, I believe it can truly transform the medical industry to become more natural-based and would prefer patients to use elements of the earth as opposed to synthesized chemicals.
I hope this was helpful!