Cannabidiol (CBD) is a phytocannabinoid compound found in the cannabis plant and is one of 113 cannabinoids that have been identified in the cannabis plants. CBD is related to another phytocannabinoid: tetrahydrocannabinol or (THC), the active compound that causes the cannabis high. Scientists all over the globe are now exploring the therapeutic properties of CBD, it’s many uses, and treatments.
CBD and THC interact with our bodies in a variety of ways. One of the main ways they impact us is by mimicking and augmenting the effects of the compounds in our bodies called “endogenous cannabinoids” – so named because of their similarity to the compounds found in the cannabis plant. These “endocannabinoids” are part of a regulatory system called the “endocannabinoid system”
CBD molecular structure
All cannabinoids, including CBD, produce effects in the body by attaching to certain receptors. The human body not only produces certain cannabinoids on its own but has two receptors for cannabinoids, called the CB1 receptors and CB2 receptors.
The Endocannabinoid system
The CB1 receptors in the brain deal with coordination and movement, pain, emotions, and mood, thinking, appetite, and memories, and other functions. THC attaches to these receptors.
CB2 receptors are more common in the immune system. They affect inflammation and pain.
CBD has been shown to benefit a person’s health in a variety of ways.
- Natural pain relief and anti-inflammatory properties
- Quitting smoking and drug withdrawals
- Epilepsy and certain types of seizures
- Cancer therapy
- Anxiety disorders
- Type 1 diabetes
- Alzheimer’s disease
- And other neurological symptoms and disorders
Tinctures, edibles and more
CBD can be taken into the body in multiple ways, including by inhalation of cannabis smoke or vapor, as an aerosol spray into the cheek, and by mouth. It may be supplied as CBD oil, a full-plant CBD-dominant hemp extract oil, capsules, dried cannabis, or as a prescription liquid solution.
Using CBD oil is not the same as using or smoking whole cannabis. A person can use CBD oil in different ways to relieve various symptoms.
CBD-based products come in many forms. Some can be mixed into different foods or drinks or taken with a pipette or dropper.
Others are available in capsules or as a thick paste to be massaged into the skin. Some products are available as sprays to be administered under the tongue.
Recommended dosages vary between individuals, and depend on factors such as body weight, the concentration of the product, and the health issue.
Some people consider taking CBD oil to help treat:
- chronic pain
- Parkinson’s disease
- Huntington’s disease
- sleep disorders
Due to the lack of FDA regulation for most CBD products, seek advice from a medical professional before determining the best dosage.