Cannabidiol or CBD is one of at least 113 active cannabinoids identified in cannabis and hemp. It is a major phytocannabinoid, accounting for up to 40% of the plant’s extract. This powerful extract is also found within our bodies, known as an endocannabinoid system. When we consume cannabinoids from either cannabis or hemp they we are increasing the volumes of cannabinoids that become bio-available to our bodies.
We have two main cannabinoid receptor locations within our body, CB1 receptors being the brain assisting in pain, memory, mood and appetite, and CB2 receptors being the organs, including skin. Immune system and the central nervous system. These helps to enhance immunity, motor function, preventing illness, anti-inflammatory and a vast amount more of really fantastic benefits.
CBD vs. THC
CBD and THC are the two main compounds in the beautiful cannabis plant and they are the only two cannabinoids that have been well characterized and profiled, however the other compounds are deeply being researched. Many strains of cannabis are known for having abundant levels of THC and high-CBD strains are less common; however, with the medical community paying more attention to the therapeutic effects of CBD that is fast changing.
Both compounds have important health benefits: THC has antispasmodic, analgesic, anti-tremor, anti-inflammatory, appetite stimulating and anti-emetic properties, and CBD has anti-inflammatory, anticonvulsant, antipsychotic, antioxidant, neuroprotective and immunomodulatory effects.
The clinical use of THC is often limited by its unwanted psychoactive side effects, and for this reason interest in non-psychoactive phytocannabinoids, such as CBD, has substantially increased in recent years. In fact, CBD is being used to reduce the intoxicating effects of THC, such as paranoia and memory impairment.
CBD also appears to counteract the sleep-inducing effects of THC. This is what makes CBD so appealing to the medical community, as the cause of psychoactive side effects has been a major barrier in the acceptance of medical cannabis worldwide. While THC is known to enhance the inner awareness of self which can cause anxiety and paranoia in some people, CBD works to counteract those side effects. For this reason, CBD benefits extend to being used in clinical trials on young children with epilepsy.
Another major difference between THC and CBD is that cannabis with high levels of THC is commonly used for its sleep-inducing effects, while CBD appears to promote wakefulness instead.