One of the main questions people have about cannabidiol (CBD) is what makes it different from tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Many people have an experience with or at least know about THC and its ability to create an intoxicating feeling when used. However, CBD does not create the same intoxicating feeling, which makes it a great choice for individuals who would like to receive the medical benefits from cannabinoids without feeling high. Both THC and CBD have many medical benefits.
An abbreviated list of CBD and THC's benefits:
CBD: pain reliever, reduces anxiety, antidepressant, aids sleep, muscle relaxant, increases appetite, relieves spasms, inhibits tumor cell growth, anti-inflammatory, reduces anxiety
THC: pain reliever, muscle relaxant, increases appetite, relieves spasms, anti-inflammatory, reduces nausea
CBD and THC are the most abundant of many chemical compounds (cannabinoids) found in the cannabis plant that interact with our endocannabinoid system. In the late 1980s, scientists discovered that all humans and animals have an endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system consists of two types of receptors, CB1 and CB2, which are found throughout the body. Our bodies produce cannabinoids on its own and cannabinoids can also be found in other plants such as echinacea and cacao but at much lower levels.
Cannabinoids THC and CBD interact with the CB1 and CB2 receptors in our body in different ways. THC directly interacts with CB1 and CB2 receptors while CBD indirectly interacts with the receptors. THC fits nice and snug into the CB1 receptors leading to an intoxicating affect. CBD trying to fit into the CB1 receptors is essentially like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. It does not fit well into the CB1 receptors so using CBD does not cause an intoxicating affect. CBD also blocks THC from fitting snug into the CB1 receptors which results in less of a high from THC when used in combination with CBD.
Although CBD does not directly interact with the receptors in the endocannabinoid system, it does directly interact with opioid receptors, serotonin receptors, and dopamine receptors. This means that CBD can be used to help with pain, depression, anxiety, addictions, and much more. CBD also hinders the enzymes that break down the natural occurring cannabinoids in our system allowing our bodies to retain beneficial cannabinoids.
CBD does not get you high. However, CBD is psychoactive which means it is a substance that has a profound or significant effect on mental processes. If a high is experienced from using a CBD product then the packaging of the CBD product should be double checked to make sure there is no THC in the product being used. Third party testing of the product should be verified as well to make sure there is no THC in the product. CBD purchased through a licensed dispensary will likely have some THC in the product. Many times the affect of using CBD may lessen chronic anxiety or stress leading some individuals to believe they are experiencing a high. CBD can actually be used to lessen a high if someone uses too much THC and needs to take it down a notch.
CBD and THC come from the wonderful cannabis plant which has many powerful medicinal uses. Determining what you would like to use and how much you would like to use comes down to a personal preference. Both the cannabinoids have a long list of ailments that they may help with. Whether you are using CBD, CBD & THC, or THC alone it is always wise to start low and slow to make sure you can find your perfect dose.
CBD works with one of your body's biological systems known as the Endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS works to create balance and homeostasis in the body with appetite, mood, pain, sleep, and much more. The ECS also helps regulate stress and immune response.
Our bodies naturally produce cannabinoids which work within the ECS system. An important part of the Endocannabinoid system are Cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) which are able to receive signals from both the cannabinoids that the body produces naturally as well as cannabinoids that are produced in plants such as cannabis. Cannabinoid receptors are located all over your body. CB1 receptors are located in the brain while CB2 receptors are located throughout the body. Unlike its cousin THC, CBD does not directly interact with the CB1 or the CB2 receptors, so it does not cause the intoxicating effect that THC does. Instead CBD works indirectly with CB1 and CB2 by influencing the way they work. CBD also helps increase the body's own cannabinoids by inhibiting the enzymes that break down our own naturally occurring cannabinoids.
CBD also influences several non-cannabinoid receptors including opioid receptors, dopamine receptors, and serotonin receptors (which is currently being researched). Opioid receptors are responsible for pain regulation. Dopamine receptors are responsible for emotions, motivation, sensation and are the pleasure and reward centers of the brain. Serotonin receptors help regulate mood, appetite, digestion, sleep, memory, and more. The research is exciting for the future of how CBD can help with some of the most devastating problems such as opioid addiction and mental illness. See image below for a great diagram from leafly.com of how CBD affects different receptors in our body.
ORIGIN OF MARIJUANA
Many people don't realize that the word Marijuana, which is often used interchangeably with the scientific term Cannabis, is not the same thing. The word Marijuana was introduced in the United States in the early 1900s when legal immigrants from Mexico fled the aftermath of the civil war in their country. With them they brought the knowledge that Cannabis could be used recreationally through smoking the plant and they referred to it as Marijuana. Prior to that, Cannabis and was being used for medicinal purposes and home remedies. In fact, in the early 1900s two major pharmaceutical companies were including cannabis and cannabis extracts in their medicines. Marijuana (Cannabis) was eventually prohibited in 1937 when Harry Anslinger who did not favor immigrants or their use of cannabis pushed to pass the federal Marihuana Tax Act of 1937.
The word Marijuana is a derogatory slang word that is rooted in racism and politics and still to this day has a negative stigma surrounding it. This is why here at OFFBEAT we choose to refer to this plant as Cannabis and we encourage everyone to change the way they speak in order to remove the negative associations that has been haunting this wonderful plant for the last 100 years.
The plant genus Cannabis includes three species: Sativa, Indica, and Ruderalis. Cannabis Sativa and Cannabis Indica are commonly referred to as Marijuana and Cannabis Ruderalis is commonly referred to as Hemp. For the sake of trying to eliminate more confusion, we at OFFBEAT refer to the Cannabis Sativa and Cannabis Indica species as simply "Cannabis" and differentiate Cannabis Ruderalis by referring to it as "Hemp". All three species have differences and similarities.
One major way that Cannabis differs from Hemp is by chemical compounds within the plant. All Cannabis and Hemp plants are made up of more than 100 chemical compounds called cannabinoids including the well known THC and CBD. Cannabis contains over .3% THC which causes an intoxicating affect while Hemp contains less than .3% THC, in turn creating no intoxicating affects. Other cannabinoids occur at different levels depending on species and strain of the plant.
Another way that Cannabis differs from Hemp is that Cannabis products continue to be strictly regulated or illegal in much of the United States. Cannabis with over .3% THC remains listed on the federal Controlled Substance Act of 1970 while Hemp and Hemp derived products with less than .3% THC were removed from the list at the end of 2018. Hemp is now legal to be grown and sold throughout the United States. Although Cannabis is federally illegal at this time, many states have decided to make decisions for themselves about the legal status of Cannabis. At this time the federal government has decided not to interfere with the states that have legalized Cannabis and are regulating the cultivation, manufacturing, and sales of Cannabis.
Hemp differs from Cannabis as it has thousands of uses where as Cannabis is typically only used for medical or recreational reasons. Hemp is traditionally grown as an industrial product and is a wonderful sustainable option for making herbal supplements, body products, food, paper products, biodiesel, industrial textiles, and building materials.
This an exciting time for the Cannabis and Hemp plants and we are excited to see what happens in the future. We look forward to the seeing how laws and regulations unfold in the years to come.
The question of the year...WHAT IS CBD?
CBD or Cannabidiol has been used for many years as a safe, natural remedy for many medical issues such as chronic pain, anxiety, seizures and cancer. The research continues to uncover more and more positive benefits of the cannabis compound CBD which has no intoxicating effects, meaning it provides all the medical benefits without any of the unwanted side effects.
CBD is a cannabinoid that interacts with receptors in our internal endocannabinoid system. CBD also influences several non-cannabinoid receptors including opioid receptors, dopamine receptors, and serotonin receptors which is why it has such a wide range of benefits.
CBD can be used topically or internally depending on the need. CBD comes in the form of ingestible oil which is offered in oil form and is considered a tincture by most people or the oil may be used to create edible products such as chocolates or gummies. CBD also comes in topical oil which is used to create all kinds of wonderful items you can use externally, including balms, salves, lotions, and skin care products.
CBD is a great addition to a regular healthy lifestyle for overall wellness and can also be consumed to address certain health concerns. CBD may be beneficial for the following: