What is CBD?

CBD has become a familiar acronym in the news and wellness circles, but what is it exactly?

CBD (cannabidiol) is one of 85 unique cannabinoids, chemical compounds in the hemp plant. Which leads to the question, “What is hemp?” Hemp includes all varieties of the cannabis plant that contain extremely low amounts of THC, the mind-altering cannabinoid found in marijuana. The most abundant cannabinoid in hemp, CBD has no intoxicating effects. It is an example of a phytocannabinoid, a plant-produced cannabinoid that can be consumed.

The human body also produces a type of cannabinoid, known as endocannabinoids, on its own. The endocannabinoids our bodies produce help support the endocannabinoid system, our central regulatory system, which helps maintain balanced conditions within many of our interdependent biological processes.

The endocannabinoid system is recognized for its role in regulating immune system functions, inflammatory response, blood sugar, body temperature, hormones, stress response, sleep, mood and emotions, metabolism and more. When our endocannabinoid system is deficient or compromised in some way, we can experience a variety of unpleasant physical and emotional symptoms that might prevent us from doing the things we love to do and enjoying life to its fullest.

How is CBD different from THC?

Because CBD and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) are the cannabinoids found most abundantly in cannabis plants, people get confused about the difference. Unlike THC, which causes psychoactive effects (a “high”), CBD does not because it doesn’t act on the same neurological pathways as THC. You cannot get high from CBD oil that has been extracted from industrial hemp because it has insignificant traces of THC (less than 0.3 percent).

How does CBD work?

Cannabinoids attach to CB1 receptors in the brain and CB2 receptors, sending signals to tell cells what to do. The effects that cannabinoids have depend on which receptors they bind to.

The feeling of euphoria from marijuana is caused by the cannabinoid THC binding with CB1 receptors, which are concentrated in the brain and the central nervous system.

CBD, on the other hand, does not bind well with CB1 and CB2 receptors. 

Researchers continue to explore CBD’s therapeutic properties and how it may help people.

Is CBD legal?

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