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What is CBD?

Posted by Clarice MacGarvey on

WHAT IS CBD?

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is the second most prominent of the compounds found in the Cannabis Sativa L plant. Like its more famous cousin Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD is classified as a Cannabinoid. While almost everyone is familiar with THC and its medicinal and recreational uses, few people understand CBD or the possibilities it might hold for health, natural healing and general well-being. Explaining what CBD is will also clarify what it is not.

Origins of CBD

CBD can be derived from two sources: medical marijuana and industrial hemp (See earlier post, The Definitive Buyers Guide to Cannabidiol). Scientifically hemp and marijuana are the same; they come from the same plant and are part of the same species, Cannabis sativa.   The medical world takes a similar view. Legal definitions position hemp as a Cannabis strain containing low THC with higher levels of CBD. While marijuana flowers are harvested for recreational use and medicinal use, hemp is grown specifically for its nutritional benefits, exceptional quality fiber and for an extensive range of other uses.

CBD is not psychoactive.

Whatever the source, hemp or marijuana, CBD will not get you "high".  Based on its molecular structure, CBD is non-psychoactive—meaning it does not induce a "high", and does not act on the same pathways as THC. The stoned feeling and euphoric highs induced by THC are caused when the compound activates CB1 receptors in the brain. CBD has a very low affinity for these receptors (100 times less than THC). If you are interested in recreational use, or wanting to get stoned, CBD is not for you. On the other hand, if you are looking at CBD for medicinal reasons, there are possibly significant advantages since you can experience the healthful benefits of cannabis with minimal side effects. Evidence suggests that CBD acts on other signaling systems within the neuro system, and that these actions may contribute significantly to its therapeutic abilities.

Fast fact: CBD can counteract the psychoactive intensity of THC.

Healthful Applications

In addition to being “safe”, CBD is gaining importance as a healing agent. Research is just beginning to focus on CBD, both as a singular compound and in combination with THC. However, the medical and pharmaceutical worlds are taking note of the potential contributions CBD might make to physical and mental health. CBD even holds promise for treating certain types of addiction. Already, the calming properties of CBD are demonstrating exciting possibilities, especially for pain management and mitigating the symptoms of anxiety and epilepsy.

Fast Fact: The FDA is conducting research on the therapeutic value of Cannabis compounds, including CBD.

Multiple Formats—and Uses

Science has shown that CBD is easily absorbed through the skin, so you can experience the benefits of CBD inside and out. CBD is available in a wide range of ingestible and topical formats for almost every application, from dietary supplements to beauty products for skin and hair. These include oils, tinctures, capsules, vapes, dabs, lotions, creams and soothing balms.

Fast Fact: There are even CBD products specifically formulated for pet care.

Not Illegal

Today, CBD products derived from hemp are the only CBD products that can be sold in all 50 states.  These products are available for online purchase here in the US from companies domestically, from Europe and from Colorado-based firms such as www.discovercbd.com.

Fast Fact: CBD products can be legally shipped to consumers in all 50 states.

Do you have a question or comment about CBD? Let us know, and we will respond right away. In the meantime, sign up for our newsletter and visit our website regularly for the latest updates on research, legislation, and other news impacting your access to cannabidiol.

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