The chemical compound THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) has become nearly synonymous with marijuana. However, it's fascinating how few people know what CBD (cannabidiol) is, even if they've been consuming cannabis their entire lives. If this is you, read on!
Why is this important?
Scientific evidence is proving CBD to be a truly incredible compound with a wide range of therapeutic benefits - this is the next blant based "superfood," and we think it will be a household name within the next few years. Since you can isolate the CBD from the plant to consume separately, people who don't want to get high - but still want to partake in the health benefits of cannabis - now have a great option
CBD 101: What You Need To Know
The Cannabis plant contains dozens of "cannabinoids" (THC and CBD are two of them). Cannabinoids are the compounds that interact with your brain receptors - creating a psychological or neurological response to cannabis.
While THC is a psychoactive cannabinoid (this is a fancy term for "it gets you high"), CBD is not - you may feel relaxed and less stressed, but you will not feel euphoria or the other effects of THC. In fact, CBD can actually counteract or "smooth out" some of the less attractive effects of THC - such as anxiety and paranoia - by blocking certain receptors.
Scientific research suggests that CBD, which calms the nervous system and serves as an anti-inflammatory, has a wide range of health benefits and is a potential treatment for anxiety, depression, addiction, sleep disorders, arthritis, nausea, pain and more. Which begs the question: is CBD mother nature's miracle supplement?
Here are some of the most important therapeutic benefits of CBD:
- Antipsychotic / Antidepressant: CBD can effect how your body intakes serotonin "the happy chemical," leading to more serotonin in your system.
- Neuroprotection: CBD can help protect brain cells from toxins (particularly glutamate), making it potentially useful for stroke, brain injury and more
- Anti-inflammatory: CBD downregulates cytokine and chemokine production, reducing inflammation. Recent studies show that inflammation is actually responsible for many major diseases.
- Anti-opioid Dependence: CBD directly influences opioid receptors, which helps explain why cannabis can help people cut their dependence, and is considered one solution to our nation's opioid epidemic
Different strains of the cannabis plant can have varying levels of THC and CBD, and in legal states these percentages are typically displayed on the product packaging.
You can also isolate CBD molecules through a distillation process and use them to create tinctures, balms, CBD vape oil, beverages, chocolate - basically anything - with absolutely no THC included. To figure out which of these is best for you, we recommend experimenting with a few form factors. Vaping and smoking allows the CBD to enter your bloodstream the fastest, whereas tinctures and edibles are metabolized more slowly by the liver.
However, by isolating CBD and not consuming the whole plant, you may be missing out on the "entourage effect" - there are 100 cannabinoids in addition to THC found in the plant that can have health benefits, relax the body, induce sleep, fight pain and stimulate appetite. If you're a believer in the healing properties of the plant, whole-plant extracts or flower may be best option for you.