CBD occurs naturally in hemp and marijuana plants. Just like THC—the stuff in a weed plant that gets you high—it’s all natural and in abundance. In fact CBD is the most abundant non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis. And because it doesn’t deliver the high of THC or tetrahydrocannabinol it’s being heavily investigated as effective medicine. But what is CBD exactly and why are doctors so interested in experimenting with it as medicine?
What is CBD?
CBD or cannabidiol is one of more than 60 compounds found in a marijuana plant that belong to a class of molecules called cannabinoids. Like THC, CBD levels vary in different marijuana plants. For years breeders worked with various marijuana strains to create the most psychoactive, the most mind-blowing weed possible. We’re talking strains like Blue Dream, Chem Dawg, Green Crack and OG Kush—just dripping with tons of sparkling THC crystals. But because there are so many other chemicals contained within the herb like CBD that have myriad beneficial and healing effects on the body, breeders are focusing on creating new strains to deliver these benefits without the high. In fact some breeders have created high CBD strains with virtually no THC in them at all. Some of these strains include AC/DC, Cannatonic, Charlotte’s Web, Harlequin and Sour Tsunami.
CBD won’t get you stoned
When it comes to CBD vs THC one will get you high. The other will not. Unlike THC CBD will not get you high. You can smoke a high CBD strain in a joint or drop it in your vape pen and vaporize it all day long and you won’t get high. That’s because CBD doesn’t act on the same pathways as THC. The pathways for THC known as CB1 receptors are highly concentrated in the brain and are responsible for the mind-altering effects of THC.
A review published in Current Drug Safety back in 2011 found that CBD “does not interfere with several psychomotor and psychological functions and CBD is well tolerated and safe even at high doses.” In fact CBD actually reduces the annoying effects of being stoned like memory impairment and paranoia. It also counteracts THC’s sleep-inducing effects. This is probably why many pot patients feel that high CBD strains and potent CBD oil boosts their alertness.
CBD boosts wellness
CBD has anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and anti-depressant qualities. Because CBD is non-psychoactive or less psychoactive than THC-dominant strains it’s a great option for people seeking relief from inflammation, pain, anxiety, psychosis, seizures, spasms and other conditions without feeling high or stoned. According to a 2013 review published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, studies have show that CBD:
- Reduces nausea and vomiting
- Suppresses seizure activity
- Combats psychosis disorders
- Combats inflammatory disorders
- Combats neurodegenerative disorders
- Combats tumor and cancer cells
- Combats anxiety and depression disorders
Sure most of these claims comes from studies on animals since marijuana and hemp is hard to come by. But a pharmaceutical version of CBD is changing all that. A company in the UK called GW Pharmaceuticals is funding clinical trials on CBD as a treatment for schizophrenia and epilepsy. And a team of California researchers at the California Pacific Medical Center is looking to begin trials on CBD as a breast cancer therapy. So CBD rich medicines hold a lot of future promise. Only thing holding CBD research back? Marijuana Prohibition, dude.
Marijuana plants that are high in CBD can be transformed into CBD oil. Similar to Rick Simpson oil—a whole plant extract invented by Canadian activist Rick Simpson—CBD oil is derived from entire marijuana or hemp plants and contains high concentrations of CBD. The major difference? CBD oil doesn’t contain much if any THC—we’re talking less than .03 percent, man. That’s why some companies here in the states can import and sell CBD oil products legally. And if you’re wondering if CBD taken from hemp is the same as CBD extracted from marijuana—it is. No matter where you get it CBD is CBD.
Simpson used his oil to cure his metastatic skin cancer in 2003 and since that time he’s been very vocal about cannabis medicine. Simpson has successfully treated over 5,000 patients free of charge with conditions including:
- Multiple sclerosis
- Crohn’s disease
Simpson also claims that his CBD oil will help with many other maladies including osteoporosis, psoriasis, insomnia, glaucoma, asthma, burns, migraines, regulation of body weight, chronic pain and mutated cells like polyps, warts and tumors. He says that his now world-famous Rick Simpson oil can treat all forms of disease and conditions. But you have to eat it, man—you can’t roll a joint with it or drop it in your vape pen—and you have to eat it continually to be effective.
CBD is one of the most populous forms of cannabinoids in marijuana. And its popularity is beginning to skyrocket. That’s because even though it won’t get you high it will heal you and that’s definitely stuff stoners like.
Have a story about how CBD products helped you, a friend or a loved one? Maybe you have a favorite CBD product or high CBD strain that you dig? Let us know in the comments below…