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What Is Cannabidiol? Everything You Need to Know About This Cannabinoid
For people new to the cannabis industry, there are so many novel terms they may not be aware of. This includes vocabulary with tongue-twisting scientific names and acronyms. One such term you will need to get acquainted with is “cannabidiol.” You won’t hear this term as often as its abbreviated counterpart “CBD.” Throughout this post, we’ll alternate between the two terms, but keep in mind they’re one and the same thing.
We cannot define cannabidiol without defining “cannabinoid” first. The latter consists of a group of closely related compounds found in the cannabis plant. There are about 80 to 85 types of cannabinoids, each with their own benefits (and potential side effects) on the human body.
Cannabidiol is simply one of these cannabinoids. Researchers have compiled numerous studies over the years on CBD. It is perhaps the most popular cannabis compound next to THC. CBD is quickly becoming a commodity in the health supplement industry due to its verified health benefits. About 40 million people in North America have used or are actively using cannabis in one form or another.
Do Not Confuse CBD with THC
CBD and THC are the two most sought-after cannabinoids in cannabis. The latter is renowned for its psychoactive compound and is what gives you the feeling of being high. It’s a favorite among recreational users. It must be said that CBD on its own does NOT produce the same feeling of being high.
Due to the popularity of the two, both get lumped into the same category. It’s as if one automatically entails the presence of the other. This is not an entirely accurate assessment. Certain parts of the cannabis plant, such as the flower and buds typically contain a wide spectrum of cannabinoids. This includes both CBD and THC, the latter of which with concentrations often above the 0.3% legal limit.
Most cannabidiol products, however, are derived from industrial hemp. Hemp comes from the fibrous portions of the plant strain cannabis sativa. Manufacturers use hemp because it has a high CBD concentration with very little THC. This allows makers to avoid legal hurdles involving the much-illegal THC compound.
Cannabidiol oils may be in the form of CBD isolate, meaning cannabidiol only. Other variations include full-spectrum CBD with other cannabidiols, which may or may not include THC. Aside from oils, extracts may also include capsules or wax for use with a vaporizer pen.
Benefits of CBD
We have discussed the benefits of CBD at length in previous posts, so no need to beat a dead horse. For a quick recap, people use CBD oil and other CBD-based products for – but not limited to – the following:
- CBD promotes sleep and helps offset insomnia and sleep apnea
- The compound relieves pain, especially pain associated with arthritis and damaged nerves
- CBD relieves depression and social anxiety
- CBD reduces seizures or its severity in epileptic patients1
Scientific literature exists for all the benefits. Ample studies exist to back it up, so there is hard evidence. We are citing science and not merely going off of a handful of users who swear by it.
A CBD-based survey cited in Forbes also yielded a very interesting finding. 42% of users said they have since discontinued use of traditional prescription or over-the-counter medicine. 80% also said they found CBD to be “very or extremely effective” at treating a particular ailment. Now, in no way are we suggesting that cannabidiol is a legitimate replacement for any medication you may be on. Only your doctor can make that call. However, the results are certainly interesting food-for-thought. You can’t help but challenge the wisdom of traditional western medicine.
We must stress, though, that for all of its benefits, cannabidiol is not a one-in-all cure. Use CBD products in conjunction with a healthy diet. Stick to foods that lower stress and foods proven to improve gut health for overall well-being. No matter how impressive the documented benefits, never rely on a single supplement to solve everything. You should also be physically active. The human body isn’t meant to spend 8-hours plus sitting in an office chair.
How Does Cannabidiol Work in the Human Body?
The human anatomy contains billions upon billions of brain cells and nerve cells. These cells contain cannabinoid receptors that “grab” onto a cannabinoid compound, allowing the cannabinoid to alter the brain and nerve chemistry. The receptors are also present in the kidneys, liver, gastrointestinal tracts, spleen, colon, and lungs. This means cannabinoids affect various bodily functions, such as memory, glucose metabolism, motor behavior, appetite, and automatic and neuroendocrine responses. The bodily response to most cannabinoids, and especially cannabidiol, is disproportionately positive. Ample activation of cannabinoid receptors in the colon, for example, has been linked to inhibition of colon cancer2.
Cannabidiol especially has an effect on the endocannabinoid system, which regulates hormone production and keeps the body in homeostasis. It does this by promoting normal communication between cells through the natural production of endocannabinoids. Deficiency in endocannabinoids leads to undesirable symptoms, such as inflammation, poor motor skills, etc. Cannabidiol and other cannabinoids work their magic by imitating and assuming the role of endocannabinoids.
The endocannabinoid system is also present in all mammals. With this in mind, CBD studies on lab rats provide a good representation on how CBD may affect human responses.
For the scientifically-savvy, read this report on the role of cannabinoid receptors3. The above explanation is more of a layman’s definition.
Cannabidiol Is Safe and Beneficial
Cultures from all over the world since the dawn of civilization have been using cannabidiol for its medicinal properties. Modern science is barely just catching up. Years of scientific research, though, has verified that cannabis is indeed one of nature’s most potent medicines.
If you’re new to the cannabis industry, you have come to the right place. Start here to register for a free presentation and learn how to beat disease and anxiety the natural way. Learning about cannabis is the first step, but you don’t truly understand its efficacy until you try it for yourself.