Cannabidiol, or CBD, has received a lot of attention lately as awareness of its potential therapeutic effects has increased. CBD is a compound known as a cannabinoid found in cannabis. There are many cannabinoids in the plant, though CBD and THC are the most widely-understood.
Unlike THC, CBD can not get you high. It’s a non-intoxicating compound so it will not interfere with performing any tasks. What makes the two closely-related compounds so different is the way they interact with receptors in our bodies.
THC binds to cannabinoid receptors in the central nervous system and sends various messages to the body, including intoxication. When CBD binds to cannabinoid receptors, it does so in indirect ways which prevents it from signaling intoxicating effects, making it impossible to get high when using CBD.
Why are people using CBD?
If you’ve seen CBD’s rise in popularity, you probably know that it’s touted to help with many things. There are a variety of reasons people choose to use CBD, though most pertain to improving quality of life. From chronic pain to muscle fatigue, depression and anxiety, there are several conditions users have turned to the compound to find relief from.
CBD is beneficial for so many conditions because it helps the body find balance, or homeostasis. Humans have a biological system called the endocannabinoid system, filled with cannabinoid receptors that interact with different neurotransmitters. Our bodies produce cannabinoids which send signals to different parts of the body, though our receptors also react to phytocannabinoids (cannabinoids from the cannabis plant), like CBD and THC.
The endocannabinoid system is responsible for many bodily processes and works to keep the body in stable homeostasis. When something is thrown out of whack in the endocannabinoid system, it can flare up in a variety of ways from inflammation to immunity and even contribute to increased levels of stress and anxiety.
To combat this, CBD interacts with cannabinoid receptors in the system, helping to bring everything back to homeostasis. This also explains why CBD has so many diverse uses since it can target the endocannabinoid system in various ways to bring it back to balance.
The different types of CBD
CBD has a variety of uses as well as many options for consuming it. One of the first things you’ll need to decide if you’re looking to start using CBD for yourself is the type of CBD you want to take.
There are three distinct categories CBD falls in: Full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and isolate. No type of CBD is considered the best, but some may have better results with certain types of CBD than others.
Full-spectrum means there is more than just CBD in the mix. CBD, other non-intoxicating cannabinoids, terpenes, and other compounds remain present in full-spectrum CBD. This is a popular choice because it is generally regarded as having more therapeutic properties.
Researchers have found that CBD and other compounds synergize with one another to boost their effects. This phenomenon is known as the “entourage effect.” Put simply, the benefits of all the plant parts together are greater than the individual pieces.
Full-spectrum CBD typically has small amounts of THC, though. Not enough to make users high, but it is present.
Similar to full-spectrum, broad-spectrum CBD maintains the other compounds present in the cannabis plant, but unlike full-spectrum, there is no THC present.
Users can still get the benefits of the entourage effect, including other terpenes and cannabinoids, without being exposed to even small amounts of THC.
This is the purest form of CBD, containing no other compounds. CBD isolate is a good choice for users who want to avoid other parts of the plant and stick strictly to cannabidiol. This is an especially popular choice for users who do not want to consume any amounts of THC.
Is CBD right for me?
Everybody is different, so there’s no universal answer. However, people have been using CBD for years to combat anxiety, depression, chronic pain, and more with great success.
If you’re looking for a natural alternative to pharmaceuticals, which often have offputting side effects, it may be worth trying CBD Oil. It has a generally good safety profile with no severe side effects and is not habit-forming.
As with any new step towards wellness, you should speak with a healthcare professional before adding in new supplements.