Learn About Cannabidiol
CBD Cheat Sheet: A Beginner's Guide to Cannabidiol
What is cannabidiol, or CBD?
Cannabidiol is one of several cannabinoids, chemical substances found in cannabis plants. Although there are several cannabinoids, CBD and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are the two that are most widely known. THC is found in large quantities in marijuana plants – it’s the cannabinoid that’s responsible for most of the psychoactive effects that cause marijuana users to get “high.” Cannabidiol also is found in marijuana plants but only at low levels. The primary source of CBD in nature is the hemp plant, a botanical cousin to marijuana.
How does CBD work?
Many cells in the body have what are called cannabinoid receptors, protein molecules on a cell’s surface that react when they come in contact with certain chemical substances. Different receptors react with different substances to cause different reactions – for instance, the release of a hormone or other chemical. The cells that react with cannabinoids comprise what’s known as the endocannabinoid system. When these receptors are activated, they exert an effect on mood, pain sensation, appetite and other biologic responses.
What’s the difference between CBD oil from hemp and CBD oil from marijuana?
First of all, hemp contains naturally high levels of CBD and low levels of THC while marijuana produces low levels of CBD and high levels of THC. To get CBD oil from marijuana, special strains must be developed and hybridized, which means the oil is not being derived from a source that occurs in nature.
Second, CBD oil from hemp is legal while CBD oil from marijuana is only legal in specific states and for the treatment of specific disorders – mostly those involving seizures. That means that in those states where its use is legal, you must have at least one prescription to obtain it.
Third, because hemp contains much higher levels of CBD compared to marijuana, extracting it is much simpler – and much less costly. Therefore, it’s available at a much lower cost.
Finally, while CBD oil from hemp suffers from some image problems, thanks to its link with marijuana, its use as a supplement is still far more socially acceptable and less controversial than CBD oil from its cousin.
Why do so many people prefer CBD from hemp compared to CBD from marijuana?
Well, primarily because it’s just simpler to get. Because it’s legal, it can be ordered right online without a rpescription. Second, many people prefer the natural aspect of CBD oil found in hemp, which doesn’t need to be coaxed or altered in order to derive high levels of CBD from it. CBD oil from hemp is pure, which means the levels of THC and other trace compounds are miniscule. That means you can count on getting the effects of CBD without experiencing unwanted side effects. And finally, because hemp-derived CBD oil has been used for so long medicinally, many people trust it more than CBD oil from hybridized pot strains, which have only recently begun to be explored as a medicinal product.
What conditions does CBD treat?
There are literally dozens of uses for CBD. Many people use it to help control anxiety and stress, and it also has powerful antibacterial properties. Clinical studies have also found CBD receptors play a significant role in many health and medical conditions, including multiple sclerosis, cancer, epilepsy and other seizure disorders, inflammation and immune disorders.