It’s not a stretch to say that CBD (cannabidiol) is one of the most exciting and promising compounds currently undergoing rigorous medical and scientific research. CBD has made headlines in recent years for some pretty stunning results
Still, misinformation and confusion about CBD abounds due to the relatively recent emergence and widespread awareness of this incredible compound. Let’s take a deep dive into what cannabidiol (CBD) is, and exactly what it does — and doesn’t — do.
WHAT DOES CBD STAND FOR?
CBD is simply short for “cannabidiol”, the second-most abundant cannabinoid molecule produced by the cannabis or hemp plant. The most abundant molecule, of course, being THC: the psychoactive chemical famous for making users feel “high” (CBD does not have this effect). Keep in mind that your body already has an endocannabinoid system, an extremely important molecular system that your body uses to regulate and perform various critical functions. CBD binds to receptors in this system; our bodies were designed to interface with cannabinoids from the very beginning — we even naturally produce them!
As we stated earlier, your body already has a wildly complex endocannabinoid system that affects several different areas and functions. That system is rife with “receptors,” sites that await cannabinoid molecules presence. When the cannabinoid nears, the receptor will bind it to itself, creating a sophisticated chemical interaction that modern science is only just beginning to scratch the surface of understanding.
Unlike its sister molecule THC, CBD does not make you feel high — but don’t think that a lack of psychoactive or intoxicating effect means that nothing is occurring. On the contrary, it’s very clear that there are many chemical responses that occur when CBD binds to those cannabinoid receptors. That being said, the endocannabinoid system is ubiquitous in the human body, affecting nearly all major functions in some way (especially homeostatic regulation). Because of this, it’s quite a task to discern everything that CBD does, exactly, when the binding occurs. That’s where the
Has been shown to cause anxiety in some users
Still illegal in some parts of the USA
Directly binds to CB1 and CB2 receptors
Binds to the orthosteric receptor site
Legality varies from state to state
Though they share the same source plant family (cannabis), there is a huge difference between CBD and THC — both in the effect they have and they way they chemically interact with your body. Until recently, CBD was somewhat stigmatized and not taken seriously as a potential medically therapeutic agent due to its chemical proximity to THC (the chemical that creates an intoxicating “high”) Let’s set the record straight once and for all
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