CBD stands for cannabidiol. It is the second most prevalent of the active ingredients of cannabis. While CBD is an essential component of medical marijuana, it is derived directly from the hemp plant, which is a cousin of the marijuana plant. While CBD is a component of marijuana (one of hundreds), by itself it does not cause a “high.” According to a report from the World Health Organization, “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.”
What Are The Health Benefits of CBD?
CBD is used by consumers for a wide-range of health issues including stress, anxiety, sleep disorders, chronic pain, and inflammation. The only CBD medication that is currently FDA-approved is Epidiolex, which the agency approved last year for the treatment of certain types of epilepsy.
Many people also integrate CBD into their health routine to support their cellular and molecular health. Cannabidiol is just one of over 80+ cannabinoids that can be extracted from hemp. Among the many benefits that users experience, some of the main ones are: a sense of calm for focus; relief from everyday stresses; help in recovery from exercise-induced inflammation; and support for healthy sleep cycles.
What is the Difference Between Marijuana and Hemp?
Hemp and marijuana are from the same genus of plant. There are distinct differences, however, between the two.
Making the distinction between hemp and cannabis can be done in a few different ways. These include appearance, chemical composition, and cultivation.
Hemp and marijuana look similar, but there are noticeable differences between the two, particularly between industrial hemp and marijuana. A marijuana plant, for example, has broad leaves and is typically bushy in appearance and produces thick, resinous, pungent flowers. Hemp, on the other hand, contains skinnier leaves that are more concentrated at the top of the plant and is much taller and skinnier than the marijuana plant.
Aside from the differences in appearance detectable by a trained eye, the chemical composition is also different.
Cannabis contains more than 500 chemical components. Of these, over 100 various cannabinoids have been identified. The most famous of these are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).
Research has shown that both THC and CBD contain a myriad of different health and wellness benefits; however, THC is known to produce the psychoactive effects that are associated with the “high” that’s made marijuana famous, while CBD does not contain these psychoactive attributes.
Here’s where there is a HUGE difference between hemp and marijuana. Hemp plants contain virtually no THC at all (0.3% or less), while marijuana is abundant in the psychoactive cannabinoid and can contain anywhere from 5-30% THC (or more). Because hemp plants contain such a minute amount of THC, hemp doesn’t get you high.
How Does CBD Affect Your Brain and Body?
CBD—and indeed, all cannabinoids—interact with your brain in a similar way to neurons and synapses.
When introduced into your bloodstream, cannabidiol molecules activate (or turn on) specific groups of receptors, including:
- CB1 and CB2
- These receptors influence such body functions as appetite, pain sensation, mood, memory, and anxiety and have a great deal to do with the effects that CBD offers.
Does CBD Get You High?
No, CBD does not get you high. In fact, when taken with THC, CBD actually reduces just how high you can get through interactions with CB1 and CB2 Receptors
- Think of THC and CBD as batteries. THC is a AA, and CBD is a AAA. The cannabinoid receptor CB1 in your brain only turns on when the right size battery is inserted—in this case, the AA (THC). The AA fits nicely into the receptor, turns it on, and produces the psychoactive high we all know and love.
- But the AAA (CBD) also fits into the receptor. It’s not an exact match like the AA, so the AAA doesn’t activate the receptor. That’s why CBD doesn’t get you high: it’s not built to activate the receptors that cause a phsychoactive effect.
What Are Cannabinoids?
Cannabinoid is a term used to refer to molecules that are found in the cannabis plant that interact with cannabinoid receptors.
Why are they of value?
Your body has a natural system much like your nervous system called the Endocannabinoid System (ECS).
The ECS is a Communication system within the brain comprised of cannabinoid receptors.
These cannabinoid receptors are binding sites for cannabinoids within the brain and body.
Common cannabinoids that are found in Cannabis include:
What is the Endocannabinoid System?
- The Endocannabanoid System includes receptors, endocannabinoids, and enzymes
- CB1 receptors are mainly located in the Nervous System and Brain
- CB2 receptors are mostly located in the immune system at many sites throughout the body and in the brain
The ECS is involved in a wide range of processes including pain perception, memory, appetite, metabolism, immunity, sleep, stress, Modulation of neurotransmitter release, regulation of pain perception, regulation of cardiovascular system, regulation of gastrointestinal function and liver functions.
Full Spectrum vs Isolate vs Broad Spectrum
- The two most common types of CBD you’ll find on the market today are isolate and full spectrum.
- CBD isolate is 99.9% pure CBD. During the CBD isolate extraction process, everything contained in the plant matter is removed, including any traces of THC, terpenes, waxes, oils, chlorophyll and more. What you’re left with is pure CBD…and nothing else.
- Full spectrum CBD contains everything the plant contains, and is full of all the terpenes, cannabinoids, flavonoids, and fatty acids found in hemp, all of which have therapeutic value of their own and help create what’s known as the entourage effect.
- Broad spectrum CBD is full spectrum CBD without any THC. It offers all the entourage benefits associated with full spectrum, without any chances of THC being ingested into the body.