Cannabidiol, or CBD, is one of more than 80 active cannabinoid chemicals in the marijuana plant. Cannabinoids are compounds that react with the endocannabinoid system found in the brain. Each one causes different effects on the mind and body when interacting with our cannabinoid receptors.
Until recently, the best-known compound in cannabis was delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This is the most active ingredient in marijuana, and it is the compound that produces a psychoactive euphoria or intoxication.
The least processed form of the cannabis plant is hemp. Hemp contains most of the CBD that people use medicinally. Hemp and marijuana come from the same plant, Cannabis sativa, but the two are very different. Over the years, marijuana farmers have selectively bred their plants to contain high levels of THC and other compounds that have interested them.
In contrast, hemp farmers have rarely modified the plant. These hemp plants are used to create CBD oil. CBD does not change a person’s state of mind when they use it. However, CBD does appear to produce significant changes in the body, and some research suggests that it has medical benefits. Cannabidiol (CBD) is the other main cannabinoid present in cannabis plants. Unlike THC, CBD interacts with the CB2 receptor in the endocannabinoid system, causing it to react very differently, most notably being non-psychoactive.
As a result, CBD mainly effects the body, although it does offer benefits to the mind too, but these aren’t experienced like the typical high you expect from cannabis. CBD can be smoked, vaped, taken sublingually, topically, or orally. It can come in the forms of oils, creams and capsules. CBD has many positive effects on the mind and body, much of which has only recently been studied. Because of these promising effects for the mind, you can experience general feelings of well-being but with absolutely no high to accompany it.
This is an interesting time for the discovery of these many benefits of this misunderstood plant. Significant research has already been done on the safety of various cannabinoids, including CBD. The safety/toxicity profile for CBD appears to be more in line with everyday foods and vitamins rather than being accompanied by the daunting side effects of many conventional drugs.