CBD - What is it ?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is often referred to as a “phytocannabinoid.” Phytocannabinoids are plant derivatives that contain a number of diverse chemical compounds that can affect appetite, metabolism, pain sensation, inflammation, thermoregulation, vision, mood, and memory.
- CBD is a cannabinoid that is a naturally occurring compounds found in the cannabis plant.
The cannabinoids produced within the body’s endocannabinoid system are known as endocannabinoids (such as arachidonoylethanolamine, virodhamine, and many others).
- CBD is one of 85 chemical substances known as acannabinoids, found in the cannabis and hemp plant.
- Synthetic cannabinoids can also be manufactured in Laboratories that reflect the same chemical make up as those found in the hemp plant.
- CBD can be extracted from hemp or from marijuana. Hemp plants are cannabis plants that contain less than 0.3 percent THC, while marijuana plants are cannabis plants that contain higher concentrations of THC. CBD is sold in the form of gels, gummies, oils, supplements, extracts, and more.
Why does THC get you high while CBD doesn't ?
This part gets complicated, but what you need to know is that THC tends to interact with the parts of your body that makes you feel "high," while CBD tends to interact with the parts that reduces inflammation.
Researchers have identified two receptors in the human body that respond to cannabis, known as CB1 and CB2. These receptors are part of the larger endocannabinoid system, which helps regulate hormone secretion to influence appetite, mood, and energy.
Jeffrey Raber, CEO of California-based cannabis chemistry lab The Werc Shop, says that although CBD and THC have the same atoms, they're rearranged very differently. "Because of that, it's a wildly different key going into the lock," Raber said in a phone interview.
CB1 receptors are most prominent in the central nervous system, while CB2 receptors are found more in the peripheral nervous system. It's a lot of confusing phrases — basically, whatever affects CB1 receptors are more likely to have psychoactive effects because they affect the brain and spinal cord. Whatever affects CB2 receptors will likely affect the rest of your body, reducing inflammation without giving you the "high" feeling that weed brings.
THC has an affinity to bind to CB1 receptors: It won't shut off your breathing or heart like opioids do because it doesn't affect the brain stem, but it does trigger that euphoric "high" feeling. CBD, meanwhile, has a stronger affinity to CB2 receptors, which is why it can reduce inflammation without being psychoactive.
That's not to say that THC will exclusively bind to CB1 and CBD will exclusively bind to CB2. "It's not like this molecule only reacts with that receptor, and it's only going to do its thing," Raber clarified. CBD may still react with CB1 receptors and THC may still react with CB2 receptors, but both are way more likely to interact with the reverse.
And most CBD products, whether a tincture to help you sleep at night or a shot of oil in your smoothie, won't get you high if it's hemp-derived because hemp products cannot legally be sold if they contain a THC content higher than 0.3 percent.
Where does CBD come from ?
- CBD is extracted and separated from specific varieties of cannabis, most often known as hemp.
- CBD is the second most abundant compound in hemp, typically representing up to 40% of its extracts.
- CBD is extracted in oil form and is often found mixed in hemp oil extracts in varying concentrations.
How is CBD used ?
- CBD oil has become an accepted means of relief from anxiety and inflammation, among a variety of other ailments.
- CBD has beneficial effects on neurodegeneration, autoimmune disorders, heart, and liver health, while also working with a number of other organs and cells within the body.
CBD vs. THC: Chemical Structure
Both CBD and THC have the exact same molecular structure: 21 carbon atoms, 30 hydrogen atoms, and 2 oxygen atoms. A slight difference in how the atoms are arranged accounts for the differing effects on your body.
Both CBD and THC are chemically similar to your body’s own endocannabinoids. This allows them to interact with your cannabinoid receptors.
The interaction affects the release of neurotransmitters in your brain. Neurotransmitters are chemicals responsible for relaying messages between cells and have roles in pain, immune function, stress, sleep, to name a few.
CBD vs. THC: Psychoactive Components
Despite their similar chemical structures, CBD and THC don’t have the same psychoactive effects. In fact, CBD is a nonpsychoactive compound. That means it doesn’t produce the “high” associated with THC.
THC binds with the cannabinoid 1 (CB1) receptors in the brain. It produces a high or sense of euphoria.
CBD binds very weakly, if at all, to CB1 receptors. In fact, it can interfere with the binding of THC and dampen the psychoactive effects.
How does CBD work ?
Yu-Fung Lin, an associate professor of physiology and membrane biology at the University of California-Davis School of Medicine, teaches a course on the physiology of cannabis. She says although CBD is not considered to be psychotropic—meaning it won’t alter our perception of reality or produce a feeling of euphoria—it’s still working on our brains. CBD doesn’t activate our brains’ cannabinoid receptors in the same manner as THC, but it does target a wide variety of proteins in the brain and nervous system that regulate cell activities all over the human body. By interacting with the brain’s signaling systems in various ways, it can provide relief from pain, anxiety, and nausea. Beyond our brains, says Lin, CBD may benefit our bones and immune systems and work broadly throughout the body as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, which may help protect cells from damages associated with neurodegenerative diseases.
With these sorts of benefits, it’s little wonder that there’s a booming market for CBD—and readily willing suppliers promising miraculous results. “CBD can be used to relieve multiple symptoms,” says Lin. “But you need to know what you are getting.” Future and current studies are coming to light on a daily basis..Check for any and all new scientific articles.
What are Cannabinoids ?
Cannabinoids are naturally occurring compounds that interact with receptors found throughout the body to achieve certain physiological effects.
Scientists have identified over 100 different cannabinoids in the cannabis plant, but the ones you'll most commonly hear about are delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).
Humans, along with all vertebrates like dogs, cats, fish, and birds, produce endocannabinoids — neurotransmitters that bind to receptors and impact pain, mood, appetite, sleep, and a variety of other functions.
Exogenous cannabinoids, meanwhile, aren't produced by the body but can be found in marijuana as THC, CBD, and a variety of other compounds.
Whats the Difference Between CBD Oil and Hemp Oil ?
Many CBD products are made from “hemp extract oil”—and the word “extract” in there is key, because there are also products called “hemp seed oil.” Despite sounding exactly the same (confusing), hemp seed oil is actually a different thing.
Hemp seed oil, also sometimes called “hemp oil”, is derived from the seeds of the hemp plant only, no phytocannabinoids there. The oil is rich in healthy omega-3 fatty acids, so it can do wonders for your skin, but beyond that it doesn’t have the same benefits as a CBD oil. It’s important to look out for this distinction to make sure you’re getting what you’re actually looking for.
The hemp extract oils that are the basis of CBD products are made from the flowers and leaves of the hemp plant, where all those beneficial phytocannabinoids live.