If you’re new to Cannabidiol, you’ll want to start here. We are putting the most important facts surrounding Cannabidiol together to cut through some of the confusion and give you a clearer picture about this new cannabinoid known as CBD.
What is a Cannabinoid?
Simply put, cannabinoids are naturally occurring compounds found in the cannabis plant. There are dozens of compounds including Cannabidiol (CBD), THC, and a host of other cannabinoids. Together they are responsible for the benefits and drawbacks to medical marijuana and industrial hemp-based products.
Technically, CBD and its sister cannabinoid compounds are classified as phytocannabinoids, which means that they’re derived from plants. But there are also several other types of cannabinoids you should know about too.
For example, the cannabinoids produced within the body’s endocannabinoid system are known as endocannabinoids (such as arachidonoylethanolamine, virodhamine, and many others). There are also cannabinoids manufactured via chemical reactions in laboratories, known as synthetic cannabinoids.
What is CBD (Cannabidiol) and How Does It Work?
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is one of the most-abundant cannabinoids present in cannabis plants, second only to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). All cannabinoids work alongside the body’s naturally occurring compounds within an extensive regulatory system known as the endocannabinoid system or ECS.
The ECS comprises many receptors throughout the body. They can be activated either by the body’s naturally occurring cannabinoids or by plant-based phytocannabinoids such as CBD and THC. Cannabidiol and THC primarily interact with two receptors: CB1 and CB2. The CB1 receptors are found in the brain and nervous system, while CB2 receptors are found primarily in the immune system.
However, unlike THC, CBD does not bind directly to those receptors. Instead, scientists believe it has an inhibitory effect on them. Through its indirect stimulation, CBD encourages a return towards a perfect internal and external homeostasis.
Where Does CBD Come From?
CBD is extracted and separated from specific varieties of cannabis, often known as hemp. Chemically, CBD is one of 85 chemical substances known as cannabinoids, which are all found in the cannabis plant. CBD is the second most abundant compound in hemp, typically representing up to 40% of its extracts.
However, here is where the confusion starts.
Unfortunately, the most abundant constituent of cannabis is the cannabinoid known as THC, an intoxicating and illegal substance that is responsible for causing marijuana users to get “high.”
While CBD is completely separated and isolated from THC and CBD cannot get you “high,” there is still a lot of stigma, as many people tend to mistake CBD for THC, when they have completely different properties.