When thinking about marijuana most people are unaware of a compound called Cannbidiol (CBD). They usually associate cannabis with the chemical compound THC, which is the psychoactive ingredient that gets users high. Although THC may present undesirable side effects, depending on the effects a user wants, studies have shown that cannabidiol doesn’t present the same issues. As more research is done into the effects of CBD, the proof of the medicinal benefits of CBD continue to grow.
Here are five facts that you should know about this unique compound:
CBD is a key ingredient in cannabis
CBD happens to be one of over 60 other compounds found in cannabis that belong to a class of molecules called cannabinoids. CBD and THC are the most present in the highest concentrations of cannabis, which happens to be why they are the most recognized and studied.
CBD and THC levels will vary between different strains of cannabis. When marijuana is grown for recreational use, these plants will contain more THC than CBD. However, cannabis breeders have managed to create different ranges with high levels of CBD and next to zero levels of THC using selective breeding techniques.
CBD is non-psychoactive
Unlike THC, CBD does not cause a high. This gives CBD a major advantage for medicinal uses, since health professionals would rather recommend treatments with minimal side effects found in pharmaceutical drugs.
CBD is non-psychoactive because it does not act on the same pathway as THC. These pathways are called CB1 receptors which are highly concentrated in the brain and are responsible for the mind-altering effects of THC. CBD does not interfere with your brains psychological functions as it is well tolerated and safe even at high doses.
CBD has a wide range of medical benefits
Although CBD and THC act on different pathways of the body, they do, however, share similar medical benefits:
- Antiemetic – reduces nausea and vomiting
- Anticonvulsant – suppresses seizure activity
- Antipsychotic – combats psychosis disorders
- Anti-inflammatory – combats inflammatory disorders
- Anti-oxidant – combats neurodegenerative disorders
- Anti-tumoural/Anti-cancer – combats tumours and cancer cells
- Anxiolytic/Anti-depressant – combats anxiety and depression disorders
These medical properties are based on studies with evidence coming from animals since very few CBD studies have been completed with humans.
CBD reduces the negative effects of THC
CBD offers a natural protection to reduce intoxicating effects of THC, such as memory impairment and paranoia. If you find yourself becoming sleepy, this is occurring from the sleep-inducing effects of THC, CBD will help counteract this. Both CBD and THC present no risk of lethal overdose, however, if you want to reduce side effects, it is recommend you use cannabis with higher levels of CBD.
CBD is still illegal
Even though CBD can be a good alternative medicine, it remains illegal in many parts of the world. In Canada, it is still listed as a Schedule II drug. The process to legalization in Canada is starting to take shape as we near the promised Spring 2017 (Up to June 21st) deadline.
Although there has been much research on THC, CBD and the effects of both they have on the body and mind, more studies are still needed to find conclusive results. By reading this article, hopefully you have a better understanding of what CBD brings to the table and what it does not.