What is CBD? Cannabidiol Explained

Your Guide to Cannabidiol - Explaining CBD

There is this new craze you might have heard about that has been growing more and more each year. People nationwide are using CBD oil to cure their pain, mood disorders, and inflammation. But many are wary, not fully understanding what this natural oil is. Luckily, every year there is new research explaining more about this incredible medicine to help us experience the wonderful benefits CBD has in store for us.

CBD Is A Compound Found In Hemp

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the many chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant. In the United States, industrialized hemp is the way many manufacturers go to comply with laws that blanket over the entire country. This means that if you are in a state where recreational marijuana use is not legal, you will be getting hemp oil from a plant that contains little to no THC.

Difference Between Marijuana and Hemp

The difference between hemp plants and marijuana plants is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content. Marijuana plants have flowers or buds that can reach up to 20% THC level. Hemp has less than 1% of THC content in its stalks, leaving no traceable amounts of THC in your body if consumed, and you also won't feel any adverse effects from the minuscule amounts of the chemical.

Many farm hemp for its durable fibers and how easy and cheap it is to grow. It also has more than just agricultural benefits; it is packed with the chemical CBD. If you live in a place where you are unable to obtain marijuana for its medicinal effects, your next option would be to shop around for CBD extracted from industrial hemp. CBD also has an extensive list of health benefits and is entirely legal to sell and purchase because of it coming from the hemp plant and not the marijuana plant.

Difference Between CBD and THC

Both THC and CBD are cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant, and they both are becoming wildly known for their health benefits. They share many of the same properties, but they are both very different from each other.

A Little About THC

THC is the compound found in marijuana that has psychoactive properties, making us feel "stoned." What happens is it acts as a neurotransmitter in our brain that we already possess called anandamide (AEA), and it imitates the effects. AEA is in charge of eating, sleeping, and the perception of pain. Some effects of THC are:

  • Hunger
  • Fatigue
  • Relaxation
  • Altered sense of hearing, sight, and smell
  • Reduced aggression

THC is known to help with the following:

  • Reduce pressure inside the eye of glaucoma patients
  • Help ease nausea and pain in patients undergoing chemotherapy
  • Lessens tremors in spinal injuries

However, it isn’t helpful for everyone. A great example is mentalhealth. Some studies say that patients with mental illnesses are more prone to psychosis when they consume marijuana (high THC, low CBD). On the other hand, hemp-derived products that are high in CBD and low in THC can help prevent psychotic symptoms.

CBD's Beneficial Effects

One of the most popular effects of THC is completely lacking in CBD, which is the ability to get "stoned." It can not be said enough because there are still big misconceptions about this all-natural herb. Its chemical makeup is similar to THC, but not enough to have the same effects. Some of the effects of consuming CBD might include:

  • Reduced psychotic symptoms
  • Decreased Inflammation
  • Reduced anxiety
  • Nausea relief

CBD is also known for helping with:

  • Side effects from cancer treatment
  • Depression
  • Anxiety Autoimmune diseases
  • Chronic pain from long lasting injuries

The list really could go on, and it’s getting longer every year. Not everyone has access to THC treatments or medications, but everyone does have access to CBD which is just as good, if not more for certain patients.

How Does CBD Work?

CBD is one of the many chemicals that come from the cannabis plant called cannabinoids. A cannabinoid is a general term used to label the chemicals found in the cannabis plant that interacts with your brain and body when consumed. They are also agonists, which in chemistry is a chemical that binds to a receptor in your brain that causes a reaction that produces a biological response.

For example, sometimes the brain will not produce enough of a chemical. This can lead to mood disorders, pain disorders, and other chronic illnesses. Many medications that are taken for chemical imbalances interact with receptors, either telling them to produce more or less of a neurotransmitter. CBD talks to two different receptors located in the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) which are called CB1 and CB2.

CBD And Your Brain

The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) was discovered while researchers were studying the effects of cannabinoids on our brains. It turns out, it is the system that is in charge of homeostasis, which is the regulation of the body. A good ECS maintains the right body temperature, a healthy metabolism, and even a high-quality overall mood. But to fully understand how CBD works, you need to know a little bit about the brain.

Fun Brain Vocabulary

If you don’t remember your anatomy or biology class lectures, that’s okay. Here is a recap so you can refresh your memory a bit, and fully understand the benefits of hemp oil.

The brain communicates with itself by using neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters bounce between different neurons and receptors in the brain through a small space called the synapse. There is plenty of room to go wrong when it comes to communication in the brain. Your brain can not make enough of a neurotransmitter, your neurons could not be listening to the neurotransmitters, and the area in between, the synapse, can cause problems in the exchange. This is thought to be the main culprit behind diseases like autism and schizophrenia.

How this works is your neurotransmitters are held in these bubble like compartments in your brain called vesicles. Each vesicle usually only contains one neurotransmitter like serotonin or dopamine. The vesicles travel to different neurons and attach. To be stimulated, the brain has to charge it with electricity. After the electrical impulse, the vesicle fuses with the membrane of the neuron and dumps all of the neurotransmitters into the synapse gap. The sac is sucked up and recycled to be refilled with neurotransmitters several times until it needs to be replaced and the neurotransmitters make their way to the proper receptor.

What Are Receptors?

Receptors are often explained with a “lock and key” metaphor. The “key” being the neurotransmitter and the “lock” is the receptor. They align smoothly, resulting in a reaction which either spreads or dampens the neural signal.

There isn’t just one key to one lock, depending on the neurotransmitter and placement of the receptor, you can find that many are interchangeable. The different type of receptor also decides if the conversation that happens in the brain is direct or indirect. In the brain, there are G-coupled receptors that work indirectly through chain reactions through proteins. This reaction either enhances or diminishes the cell’s action potential. This is how CBD communicates with the brain, which is one of the reasons it has no “stoned” effect that makes THC so famous.

How CBD Uses CB1 and CB2

CBD isn’t the lock that connects with the CB1 and CB2 receptors. Instead, what it does is interacts with other receptors. CBD isn’t just a key, CBD creates a bunch of little keys and sends them off to go find their locks. It stops the enzymes that break down our natural cannabinoids (endocannabinoids) and elevates the levels that we already have. Though it doesn’t fit with CB1 and CB2 directly, it still can stimulate them through indirect channels and by activating other receptors.

The Importance of CB1 and CB2

CB1 is primarily located in the central and peripheral nervous system. The CB1 receptors are involved with:

  • Memory
  • Sleep
  • Mood Pain

THC interacts with this receptor, giving you the munchies and acute memory loss if overstimulated. When CBD interacts with this receptor, I can regulate and stabilize your primary functions that could be not working.

Located all over the body, CB2 is more densely populated in the immune system. The CB2 receptor is thought to be the reason that CBD helps with inflammation and other autoimmune diseases. Knowing that CBD interacts with these parts of the brain, it begins to become more clear on how it can have so many health benefits.

What All Can CBD Help With?

You’ve read several times the words “health benefits” in this article alone. If you have done further research, you’ll see testimonies of all kinds about how CBD has improved peoples lives. But the question becomes, can CBD help you?

CBD and Mental Health

CBD interacts with many parts of the brain that are involved with mental health like AEA, dopamine, serotonin, and several more. Since CBD helps regulate your chemistry, any chemical imbalances can be fought by taking hemp oil medications. For further reading about see: CBD helps relieve anxiety, CBD for depression, and CBD even suppresses psychotic symptoms.

CBD and Pain

Even patients with the most chronic pain have switched to CBD from their addictive painkillers to this natural remedy. CBD elevates the levels of AEA and dopamine, giving you pain relief that works. CBD helps with chronic pain, even if the cause is unknown. Hemp oil also helps relieve patients who have multiple sclerosis and even helps with autoimmune diseases, where CBD reduces inflammation. CBD is not addictive and is just as efficient as the leading competing painkillers.

CBD and General Health

CBD is what you can use to regulate your body’s regulator. People who have difficulty maintaining a healthy weight have turned to CBD to control and regulate their appetite. It also is great for your skin, promoting a healthy life cycle for your skin cells. It has even shown progress in patients with psoriasis and eczema. The more research that emerges on CBD, the more apparent it becomes that we should be switching to hemp oil medicine. It’s safe and easy to use, with many different forms of medication. There are pills, edibles, tinctures, powders, wax, capsules, bath salts, and so much more. Check out the many different options at our shop if you are ready to take the next step to a healthier future like so many others.