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You may have spotted “CBD”in the media, hey you have probably seen it at your local smoothie or coffee shops as add-in “boosters”. Now that CBD has caught your eye, what exactly is it and its claim to fame?
Well we all know about marijuana, that psychoactive drug that triggers a notorious “high”when smoked or ingested. The main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana is THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol. But did you know that there are other components within the cannabis plant family, specially the hemp plant, that can provide benefits without the high? Well, I would like to introduce you to THC’s tame and respectable older cousin, CBD.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is like THC in that it is a phytocannabinoid. Phytocannabinoids are cannabinoids derived from the cannabis plant. Cannabinoids are compounds that can interact with the human endocannabinoid system, which allows THC to trigger that euphoric feeling. CBD is also able to interact with this system, but with vastly different results. This is because THC and CBD have a slight molecular difference in their structure, which allows THC to bind to the receptors in the endocannabinoid system while CBD more indirectly interacts with them.
CBD was initially classified as a Schedule 1 Drug. However, in 2018, President Trump signed the Farm Bill, legalizing industrial hemp. This was not only a great move forward agriculturally, it also allowed the legalization of CBD. CBD, as long as it contains less than 0.3% THC, can be bought online by anyone.
CBD is thought to indirectly interact with the receptors within the endocannabinoid system. Specifically, it binds to some other location on what is known as the CB1 receptor and changes its conformation, or shape, so that THC has less of a chance of binding to it. In doing so, it is able to actually counter some of the negative effects of THC. This is because it inhibits THC binding to certain receptors in the brain, allowing for a lessening of the intensity of THC’s psychoactive alterations.
CBD also indirectly increases the concentration of anandamide in the body, a natural endocannabinoid that produces a feeling of euphoria. This allows for the body to feel more relaxed and content. This is because CBD inhibits the enzyme that breaks down anandamide to recycle it. With more anandamide floating around, there is a greater change of receptor activation occurring.
Furthermore, CBD interacts with a receptor known as TRPV-1,  which is a vanilloid receptor. This receptor is involved in pain and inflammation; the activation of this receptor results in a lessening of pain sensation.
The nice thing about CBD and CBD products is that, when taken in the correct dosage, there are not many side effects. CBD is a situational method for treating a variety of different issues; taking CBD at night can help you fall asleep, but taking it during the day is not going to make you suddenly fall asleep. CBD naturally interacts with the state of your body to increase the effect of certain molecules, such as anandamide, in others. It encourages your body to use more of its own endocannabinoids instead of altering the system with negative, unnatural chemicals. In this way, CBD is a useful tool for supporting and balancing the body by allowing for the better utilization of the body’s natural mechanisms and pathways.
RESEARCHED AND AUTHORED BY:
ANGIE T. BIOCHEM MAJOR @ UCLA IN LOS ANGELES, CA
Any blog content is based on our research and opinions and does not claim professional accuracy. The information and products contained on this website have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease. You are advised to consult with your health care provider prior to use.
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