Have you heard that CBD can help with… everything?
Sciatica pain? ✓
Even opioid addiction? ✓
But how can one single compound be so helpful for so many things? It must be nonsense, right? There’s no “magic pill” so why would there be a magic compound?
First, let’s chat about what CBD actually is.
What is CBD?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a main ingredient in cannabis plants, most often derived from hemp.
(We’ll talk about the difference between hemp and marijuana in a minute.)
It’s a phytocannabinoid often found in oil form.
Wait wait… a phytocannabinoid? What does that mean?
Glad you asked! There are two types of cannabinoids. The internal kind your body creates (called Endogenous Cannabinoids) and the external kind that supplement the system (called phytocannabinoids).
Think of it like Vitamin D. Your body can convert sunlight into small amounts of vitamin D, but if you don’t live in a place where you see the sun very much (I’m looking at you PNW), you may want to supplement your vitamin D intake.
Or think about it like insulin. If you aren’t diabetic, your body naturally produces insulin to regulate blood sugars. If you’re diabetic, you’ll need to use insulin supplements or shots to help your body regulate blood sugar.
CBD is the insulin of the endocannabinoid system. It’s a boost to an amazing regulatory system.
What is the Endocannabinoid System?
Here’s a great recap from The Fresh Toast:
“The system’s main function within the body is to help maintain a healthy internal balance – what many scientists refer to as “homeostasis.” It does this by using receptors to interact with various internal and external compounds to regulate our various systems and boost our overall health.”https://thefreshtoast.com/cannabis/this-is-how-cbd-works-to-heal-your-body/?fbclid=IwAR0ztKxuKYWIeS3j9SWMvBnuVyL-0eHCjVxi81PMjhK0AOuYSXh5sYyQu6o
So the system is built to regulate various moving parts in our bodies.
What moving parts? A study done by Shenglong Zou and Ujendra Kumar, published in 2018, shared these findings:
“The endocannabinoid system are largely involved in various aspects of central neural activities and disorders, including appetite, learning and memory, anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, stroke, multiple sclerosis, neurodegeneration, epilepsy, and addiction. [It’s] also involved in physiological and pathological conditions in the [Peripheral Nervous System] and peripheral tissues, including pain, energy metabolism, cardiovascular and reproductive functions, inflammation, glaucoma, cancer, and liver and musculoskeletal disorders.”https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5877694/
So why is CBD so taboo?
In short? Because of historical misconceptions. And fear.
Oh, and because it’s a supplement and not a medication, it’s not regulated by the FDA.
There’s a lot of misconceptions about CBD. You may hear CBD and marijuana in the same sentence and think I don’t do drugs. Don’t even talk to me about this CBD crap.
Here’s the thing, though…
CBD is not the same thing as THC.
THC – the active ingredient in marijuana – has psychoactive properties. It’s the part that gets you high. THC is found in higher concentrations in marijuana, whereas hemp contains low concentration of THC and high concentrations of other cannabinoids like CBD, CBG, CBC and CBN.
Hemp vs Marijuana? Tell me more!
This is important to distinguish: Hemp means a plant that has less than .3% THC, Marijuana means a plant that has more than .3%THC
Both are cannabis.
Here’s a great image from CBD Origin that explains this visually:
If you’d like to learn more about the differences and similarities between hemp and marijuana, visit their site here.
CBD is a phytocannabinoid that doesn’t get you high.
CBD affects the endocannabinoid system in an entirely different way. CBD doesn’t overwhelm your endocannabinoid system like THC does. Instead it boosts your internal cannabinoid processes, allowing your body to regulate itself a little bit better.
Because the endocannabinoid system regulates so much of your body, CBD (along with CBG, CBC and CBN) actually boost the endocannabinoid system.