What is CBD?

CBD, holds the key to the wide variety of medicinal and therapeutic effects marijuana offers.

The more we learn about CBD, and why cannabidiol is so important, the more it seems poised to revolutionize medicine as we know it.One of the most crucially important qualities of CBD is its lack of psycho-activity. This means that cannabidiol won’t get you high. Unlike THC, the cannabinoid with the legendary power of producing euphoric sensations, Cannabidiol is inert. So when taken on its own, users experience none of the sensations of being stoned. And this is the single most important property of the cannabinoid from the medical, and legal perspective.Because CBD doesn’t get you high, products that contain only this cannabinoid can skirt the legal ban on marijuana.

Every state that has yet to legalize marijuana for medical use has some kind of law allowing people to obtain and use CBD-only (or low-THC) products for medical or therapeutic purposes. And in most cases, that means obtaining Cannabidiol from hemp, rather than cannabis flowers.

In places with legal medical marijuana programs, CBD products are widely available and easy to find.

All of the 60-plus cannabinoids unique to the plant genus Cannabis interact with our bodies thanks to a network of neurons called the endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system runs throughout your body. And it’s loaded with receptors that bind to the cannabinoids you introduce to your bloodstream when you consume weed. And it’s the chemical interactions of those bonds that create a wide and largely unknown series of responses in your body.

Without distorting the science too much, you could say that human beings are “hard-wired” for weed. The endocannabinoid system runs deep and touches all of the major systems of the body. And that’s why weed can do so many things for us, from altering and regulating moods to stimulating appetites and reducing pain.

And even though cannabidiol has no toxicity for humans—meaning, it doesn’t make you intoxicated (i.e. high)—it is highly reactive with the endocannabinoid system.

To put things as simply as possible, CBD makes things happen. When it binds to the endocannabinoid system’s receptors, it stimulates all kinds of changes in the body. Most of those changes are incredibly beneficial, and researchers keep uncovering real and potential medical uses for them.

One of the most important CBD studies ever published was a path-breaking study into the efficacy of using CBD as a treatment for epilepsy.

In 2012, researchers with the British Epilepsy Association published a paper called “Cannabidiol exerts anticonvulsant effects in animal models of the temporal lobe and partial seizures.” Their conclusion? “The evidence strongly supports CBD as a therapeutic candidate for a diverse range of human epilepsies.”

CBD Can Treat Serious Neurological Diseases Like Alzheimer’s, Multiple Sclerosis, and Parkinson’s

Researchers are still trying to figure out the exact mechanisms behind neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s. We know it has to do with a protein pathway, and that’s exactly the pathway this 2006 study investigates.
Taking a look down to the molecular level, researchers discovered that CBD can actually protect nerve cells from degenerative diseases. Scientists call this CBD’s “neuroprotective effect,” and it’s one of the most promising aspects of the cannabinoid.

CBD Can Relieve Pain

Medical cannabis is quickly becoming the go-to alternative to dangerous and addictive prescription painkillers, like the opioids that are causing an epidemic of overdose deaths in the United States.
A lot of weed’s pain-killing power stems from its psychoactive cannabinoid, THC. But cannabidiol is also a potent pain reliever. 2015 saw the most important study to uncover the pain-relieving effects of CBD. In that study, researchers compared cannabidiol to morphine.

To their surprise, CBD worked well in combination with morphine and counteracted the latter’s risky side effects. This means cannabidiol can help treat acute pain conditions, along with more long-term benefits.

CBD Can Fight Cancer

It sounds too good to be true. But indeed, pre-clinical trials have shown that cannabidiol has a powerful anti-tumor effect.
The most important study to reveal these powerful tumor-inhibiting effects came out in 2015. In fact, this study looked at a range of non-psychoactive cannabinoids, including, of course, cannabidiol.
In a landmark for medical cannabis research, this study concluded that “CBD slows the progression of many types of cancer, including breast, lung, prostate and colon cancer.”
How that works is pretty incredible. Cannabidiol actually makes it harder for cancer cells to grow. In some cases, this causes an increase in cancer cell death. No wonder stories abound about “miracle” CBD cures that shrink tumors.

CBD Can Reduce Inflammation

Cannabis is widely-valued as a treatment for inflammation. Credit goes to both THC and CBD in that regard, but cannabidiol has some special anti-inflammatory properties of its own.
Specifically, cannabidiol binds with the endocannabinoid system to produce a response that reduces nerve inflammation. This is another of its “neuroprotective” qualities and a major reason why CBD is such an effective treatment for neurological diseases.

CBD Can Treat Mood Disorders

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) affects nearly 8 percent of all American’s during their lifetime. Women are twice as likely as men to suffer from it. Finding an affordable, safe, and reliable treatment for PTSD would profoundly impact the lives of millions of Americans every year.
To that end, a pathbreaking 2013 study found that cannabidiol improved people’s abilities to forget their traumatic memories. These findings are incredibly important and could be relevant for figuring out how cannabidiol can treat other anxiety and stress disorders.

The Most Popular CBD Products Available Today

CBD Oils

Today, the most popular way to purchase products and consume cannabidiol is as an oil. Remember, though, that CBD oil can come from hemp or from marijuana plants, and quality can vary dramatically.

 

Health and Beauty Products

Additionally, topical ointments, which allow CBD to be absorbed through the skin, are also tremendously popular. Moisturizers infused with CBD extracts are dominating the health and skin care markets for therapeutic cannabis. As are other CBD-infused products like shampoos, facial cleansers and even deodorant.

 

Vaporizers

Vaping CBD extracts in the form of wax concentrate is another popular mode of consuming cannabidiol.

 

Edibles

And finally, there’s the old standbys: edibles and tinctures for making CBD-infused foods and beverages.

That’s the rundown of what cannabidiol is, what it can do for you. As you can see, the future holds in store some exciting things for CBD, thanks to its seemingly bottomless promise as an effective and safe medicine.

Capable of fighting back against the most serious diseases, while also gentle enough to be a part of a daily health regimen, cannabidiol is truly one of the most remarkable compounds in the natural world. And for this reason, cannabidiol (CBD) is driving innovation in the cannabis industry.