WHAT IS CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a cannabinoid found in cannabis; in fact, it is the most common cannabinoid and its popularity has exploded recently.
It is found in the trichomes of cannabis flowers, including hemp plants. When consumed, CBD does have an impact on both the user’s mind and body, however it does not offer the intoxicating euphoria or “high” often associated with THC.
Once it is extracted from the trichomes and plant matter, CBD is commonly used in the making of oils or inserted into capsules for consumption. It is also become popular as a topical.
Also known as its CBD content, the amount of CBD in a tincture or oil is expressed as a unit of milligrams per gram of cannabis.
As an example, 16% CBD potency would mean that there are 160 milligrams of CBD per gram of cannabis. Because of the fact that it is a naturally occurring part of the cannabis plant, the amount of CBD can vary from harvest to harvest or item to item after production.
Federal licensing regulations state that detailed potency information must be made available on any product sold so always be sure to check this information prior to consuming/using a product to ensure the CBD levels are appropriate for your use.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Though research is still being done to fully understand CBD’s impact on our bodies, studies thus far suggest that CBD increases or improves upon our own natural production of endocannabinoids. This works in tandem with THC, which binds to the CB1 receptors in our endocannabinoid system.
This means that on a chemical level, CBD slows production of the enzymes our bodies create in order to regulate and destroy excess endocannabinoids. This affects our physical state by allowing us to have more endocannabinoids circulating through our system.
It is also believed that CBD may affect other naturally occurring chemicals in our bodies like vanilloid, which helps modulate pain, serotonin, which affects our mood and stress levels and adenosine that helps control our sleep cycles. As with the other CBD research, studies are ongoing, which will hopefully mean we will get more definitive answers in coming years.
CBD vs THC
‘The Entourage Effect’ seems to play a role in how both CBD and THC work in tandem through cannabis.
It is believed that CBD and THC work together by modulating or amplifying one another. Some studies have shown that CBD appears to reduce some of the more severe psychoactive effects of heavy THC dosages.
Assuming this is true, selecting a product with similar levels of THC and CBD can help prevent unpleasant effects of strong THC dosages such as paranoia and anxiety. If this is able to be proven accurate, eventually it could mean being able to offer a solution to users who have over-indulged by providing them with a CBD product to help level out their endocannabinoid systems.