Most people have heard of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and know that it plays a large part in the chemical makeup of the Cannabis plant. It’s the psychoactive compound, the part of the plant that can leave you feeling “high”. Recently, however, scientists have been spending more and more time looking at the other compounds of Cannabis and are discovering that there is more to this magical plant then just the THC compound.
You have likely heard of CBD before and have probably asked yourself, “What in the world is that all about?” Good question. We’re here to answer it for you.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is another very significant compound of the Cannabis plant and has amazing medical benefits. It does not leave you feeling “stoned” and actually has the ability to counteract the psychoactive effects of THC. This is great for those patients who are looking to relieve their symptoms but do not want feelings of lethargy or euphoria. While CBD will still have an effect on your body, consuming CBD alone will not send you into a dizzying, cerebral effect like the more commonly known sister THC. Think about CBD as relaxation without elation.
The medical world is finally putting a lot of emphasis on researching this miracle compound since the discovery in the 1940s that CBD has the ability to stop a seizure within seconds. Both enthusiasts, and the scientific community are now taking a much closer look at the other potential possibilities of this lesser known compound, and what they have found is not only is it effective against epilepsy, they found that it can also calm anxiety, soothe those who suffer from chronic pain, and has even been linked to reducing and curing cancer cells in the body. CBD has demonstrated neuroprotective and neurogenic effects as well, making it a top candidate for those suffering from many degenerative nerve diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and spinal muscular atrophy.
So how exactly does this wonder compound work?
CBD is just one of the many chemical compounds known as Cannabinoids that make up the Cannabis plant as a whole. Cannabinoids are agonists (a chemical that binds to a receptor to activate the biological response) that attach to special cell receptors in your body called Cannabinoid receptors. There are many of these receptors heavily concentrated in the central nervous system, while other receptors are found in almost every organ in the body – including the skin, digestive tract and reproductive organs! When you examine these cell receptors further you will find that they make up a larger system known as the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). The ECS has been described as the greatest neurotransmitter in the human body. It helps with pretty much everything, including your mood stabilization, your memory, your motor control, your pain perception, and sleep.
There are four main purposes for the ECS and those are; neuroprotection, stress recovery, immune balance and homeostatic regulation - which is just a fancy way of talking about the system that creates optimum energy within the body. CBD seems to tap into this system to produce the therapeutic effects because of its similar composition to chemicals that are produced naturally by the human body.
CBD works like a lock and key system in the body. CBD fits into certain cells with your body and closes and locks the cell receptors from talking to things like your mood, your memory, your nervous system and many of the other receptors that are found within the body’s ECS. Picture it like closing your door and taking your “key”, or the CBD, and putting it into your “lock”, also known as the cell receptors in your body’s ECS, and closing your brain off from being able to communicate with what's on the other side of the door - your mood, memory and nervous system.
Being able to essentially change your mood, memory, or nervous system from talking to your brain makes CBD a great fighter in the front line against many neurological and physical ailments. If we are able to shut the door to chronic pain, seizures, and stop anxiety talking to our brain through the ECS many people could find relief from their everyday issues. With the legalization of Cannabis fast approaching CBD has a chance to make ground breaking advances in the medical world. Many people are turning to this recently popularized compound within the Cannabis plant to help them to relieve their symptoms while not giving them any of the psychoactive effects of Cannabis. With all this great research and emphasis being put on finding alternative medications to pharmaceuticals it is no wonder that CBD is stealing the limelight.