Exploring CBD: An Overview

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Exploring CBD: An Overview

Cannabis is a vast and complex plant. Besides the well known and highly psychoactive cannabinoid THC, the plant produces at least 85 other similar compounds. One of them is Cannabidiol, or CBD.

What is CBD?

CBD is the second most prevalent cannabinoid to be found within cannabis, second only to THC. However, whilst THC is psychoactive in nature, and almost everywhere illegal, CBD is neither.

The way CBD works is by interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system can be found throughout the body and brain, and is known to modulate many general functions. CBD binds to the receptors of this system, affecting the way it functions.

Due to the fact that CBD is non-psychoactive, legal in most countries, and its known interactions with the endocannabinoid system, it has become highly popular as a dietary supplement.
CBD Formula Cannabis

A Quick Look at the Endocannabinoid System

Basically, the endocannabinoid system is a network of receptors that preform different functions depending on how and where they are activated within the body. There are two main types of receptors – CB1 and CB2 receptors. CB1 receptors can be found mainly within the brain and central nervous system, whereas CB2 receptors are part of our immune systems. The aim of the endocannabinoid system is to achieve homeostasis, meaning to maintain stable physiological functioning.

CBD vs THC

You may ask, “If CBD is found in all cannabis, why don’t we hear more about it?” Well, this is largely down to the fact that most recreational marijuana users are more interested in the cannabinoids that will get them high, namely THC. As a result, cannabis strains are rarely bred with CBD in mind – although there is now a growing number of new strains.

CBD is even thought to counter the psychoactive nature of THC, calming and restraining certain aspects of the high. Where you will often find that various strains of cannabis have a THC content of around 10 – 20%, CBD on the other hand is usually found in concentrations of 0.6 – 1%. Although this is a vast difference, the varying CBD content can have a massive effect on the overall experience.
Cannabis Plants

This is not to say that CBD content cannot be higher. With its increasing popularity, some breeders are now producing strains specifically bred to have a higher CBD content. A great example of this is Royal Medic by Royal Queen Seeds. Its CBD content is a whopping 12%, outdoing its THC content of 10%! Such strains of cannabis are filling a demand in the market left by those who believe in there are health benefits to be had from CBD, and are more interested in them than the high.

CBD: Then and Now

CBD is not a recent discovery. It was first isolated by scientists in the 1940’s. The reasons there is so much attention surrounding it now stems from the fact that most people are losing their trust in the War on Drugs, and are now questioning the propaganda they have been fed about cannabis. It has resulted in an ever growing body of research that suggests potential benefits to the use of cannabinoids.

This has led to a lot of recent media attention. For example, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, a famous doctor in the US who had previously been against the use of cannabis, recently started investigating its potential for himself in his 2013 documentary looking the truth behind CBD based treatments. This has been further bolstered by the story of Charlotte Figi, who caught the world’s eye when it was found CBD based oils drastically improved her condition.
CBD oil

Why is CBD such a Popular Health Supplement?

Whilst CBD is not officially recognized as a medicine, nor can we offer any medical advice about it, there is a lot of research being conducted which suggests it may have practical uses. If you wish to find out more about the potential benefits of CBD, we advise you conduct your own research into the matter.