To better understand what CBD is, we must understand the plants it comes from.
Most people think of the marijuana plant, or cannabis indica L, which has been developed and grown for its psychoactive effects on the human mind. This plant has higher levels of THC and lacks CBD. It is from its flowers that Marijuana is produced.
Cannabis ruderalis L, another form of the plant, grows wild, or is cultivated for birdseed and oil. This plant is predominantly low in THC. Those who market it insist on its purity, though this plant is often called ditch weed and provides a habitat for birds. When feral, the DEA is working to eradicate it.
CBD comes mainly from the third type of cannabis plant, sativa L. This is the industrial crop of hemp that has been grown for centuries for its fiber. It has extremely low levels of THC and higher levels of CBD. The CBD blocks any effects of the THC, making it impossible to get a “high” from it.
Chemical Compounds in Cannabis
Cannabis plants have more than 400 different chemical compounds. Some of these compounds are found in other species of plants. Of these 400 compounds, more than 60 are specific to the cannabis. These specific compounds are called cannabinoids. Cannabidiol, or CBD is powerful and unique among the cannabinoids.
CBD hemp oil is not like medical marijuana. It is made from high CBD and low THC hemp. The small amounts of THC in this product are counteracted by the high levels of CBD.
How does CBD Work?
CBD, like all cannabinoids, interacts with receptors in the brain and in the body. Because it is non-psychotropic, it cannot result in the altered perceptions and euphoria brought on by hight THC compounds. Because of this, CBD is a safer, less controversial, and more legal alternative to those seeking the health benefits. CBD products, made from hemp, are legal in all 50 states in the United States.
The human body includes receptors for cannabinoids. While CBD isn’t psychotropic and doesn’t alter perceptions of reality or produce euphoria, it does work on the brain.
Scientists say human bodies naturally produce cannabinoids called endocannabinoids. Because of this, brain cells include CB1 receptors, affected by THC and causing an altered reality and euphoria, and CB2 receptors, which are found in other types of cells, including those in the digestive system and immune system.
CBD works on the brain and on the other cannibinoid receptors, targeting a variety of proteins in the brain and nervous system. The interaction with these receptors and other signaling devices, it can relieve pain, anxiety, and nausea. There is also a possibility that CBD can positively affect the whole body working as an anti-inflammatory or antioxidant. It may also help the bones and immune system.
There is evidence the CBD oil can treat some forms of epileptic seizures. In the UK, trials using a purified CBD oil reduced seizures by 40% in children with Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrom. As in all medications, some children did not respond at all. CBD may help some people, but it will not solve every ailment for every body.
Current scientific and clinical research of CBD, some sponsored by the US government, is in progress. These test for it’s potential as a treatment for a wide range of conditions. Among these are arthritis, diabetes, alcoholism, MS, chronic-pain, schizophrenia, PTSD, depression, antibiotic-resistant infections, epilesy, other neurological disorders and cancer.
The human tests on CBD have not been completed nor have they reported their findings. For this reason, there is no proof of any of the claims of the effects of CBD oil. What works for one person may not work the same way on another body.
As with any medication, if there are good effects when using CBD, there are also potential unwanted side effects. Neither the positive or negative effects have been studied enough in humans, so when using a CBD product, it would be wise to listen to your body and watch for any possible problems.
While CBD is non-psychotropic, some believe a little THC may help the CBD work better, which increases the psychotropic affects. Some strains of cannabis have been developed to increase the CBD to THC ratio. As THC is not legal in every state, check with your state before purchasing CBD with THC.