What is CBD?

By now many of us have heard of CBD, but what is CBD?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a naturally occurring compound found in the resinous flower of cannabis, a plant with a rich history. Today the therapeutic properties of CBD are being tested and confirmed by scientists and doctors around the world. A safe, non-addictive substance, CBD is one of more than a hundred cannabinoids, which are unique to cannabis and endow the plant with its robust therapeutic profile.

CBD is closely related to another important medicinally active cannabinoid: tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the compound that causes the high that cannabis is famous for. These are the two components of cannabis that have been most studied by scientists. Both CBD and THC have significant therapeutic attributes. Unlike THC, CBD does not make a person feel “stoned” or intoxicated. That’s because CBD and THC act in different ways on different receptors in the brain and body.

CBD can actually lessen or neutralize the psychoactive effects of THC, depending on how much of each compound is consumed. Many people want the health benefits of cannabis without the high–or with less of a high. The fact that CBD is therapeutically potent as well as non-intoxicating, and easy to take in a variety of forms (oil, flower, pill, etc.), makes it an appealing treatment option for those who are cautious about trying cannabis for the first time.

As promising as cannabis derived remedies have been thus far, it’s always important to remember that CBD products are supplements, not a cure or substitution for prescribed medications. We strongly encourage you to consult your doctor before utilizing CBD products.

What Does CBD Do for Your Body?

Now that you know what CBD is, the question that beckons is what does CBD do for your body?

CBD (Cannabidiol) is one of over 100 cannabinoids identified. CBD, like most Cannabinoids interact with receptors (CB1 and CB2) within a bodily system known as the Endocannabinoid System, one of the body’s largest neurotransmitter networks. The Endocannabinoid System is responsible for balancing/regulating a variety of physiological functions, some of which include:

  • Immune system response
  • Mood
  • Movement and coordination
  • Sleep
  • Appetite, hunger, and metabolism
  • Memory and cognition
  • Temperature
  • Sensory processing

The CB1 receptor is found throughout the nervous system. It mediates psychoactivity, pain regulation, memory processing and motor control (Morales et al., 2017). The CB2 receptor is found mostly at the periphery (in tissues and cells of the immune system, hematopoietic cells, bone, liver, peripheral nerve terminals, keratinocytes), but also in brain microglia (Abrams and Guzman, 2015). While many Cannabinoids (like THC) attach to CB1 and CB2 receptors, researchers believe that CBD does not directly attach itself to the receptor. Studies indicate that CBD works to suppress these receptors, effectually activating the qualities of other Cannabinoids and allowing for many health benefits.

According to the National Institute of Health, manipulating the Endocannabinoid System by introducing external cannabinoids like CBD could be useful in treating a variety of medical ailments, including:

As promising as cannabis derived remedies have been thus far, it’s always important to remember that CBD products are supplements, not a cure or substitution for prescribed medications. We strongly encourage you to consult your doctor before utilizing CBD products.

References:

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