WHAT IS CBD (CANNABIDIOL)?
It’s not a stretch to say that CBD (cannabidiol) is one of the most exciting and promising compounds currently undergoing rigorous medical and scientific research. CBD has made headlines in recent years for some pretty stunning results
Still, misinformation and confusion about CBD abounds due to the relatively recent emergence and widespread awareness of this incredible compound. Let’s take a deep dive into what cannabidiol (CBD) is, and exactly what it does and doesn’t do.
WHAT DOES CBD STAND FOR?
CBD is simply short for “cannabidiol”, the second-most abundant cannabinoid molecule produced by the cannabis or hemp plant. The most abundant molecule, of course, being THC: the psychoactive chemical famous for making users feel “high” (CBD does not have this effect). Keep in mind that your body already has an endocannabinoid system, an extremely important molecular system that your body uses to regulate and perform various critical functions. CBD binds to receptors in this system; our bodies were designed to interface with cannabinoids from the very beginning -- we even naturally produce them!
HOW DOES CBD WORK?
As we stated earlier, your body already has a wildly complex endocannabinoid system that affects several different areas and functions. That system is rife with “receptors,” sites that await cannabinoid molecules presence. When the cannabinoid nears, the receptor will bind it to itself, creating a sophisticated chemical interaction that modern science is only just beginning to scratch the surface of understanding.
Unlike its sister molecule THC, CBD does not make you feel high -- but don’t think that a lack of psychoactive or intoxicating effect means that nothing is occurring. On the contrary, it’s very clear that there are many chemical responses that occur when CBD binds to those cannabinoid receptors. That being said, the endocannabinoid system is ubiquitous in the human body, affecting nearly all major functions in some way (especially homeostatic regulation). Because of this, it’s quite a task to discern everything that CBD does, exactly, when the binding occurs.
WHAT IS CBD OIL USED FOR?
Before we discuss some uses for CBD oil, we should clear up one area of confusion: what is CBD hemp oil, exactly? CBD hemp oil is simply the natural extracted oil product of the hemp plant, a non-psychoactive species of the cannabis family. Although CBD oil can also be derived from the psychoactive species as well, those oils can end up containing higher traces of THC, which is not ideal for all CBD users.
Humans’ endocannabinoid system, which CBD directly affects, has a profound influence on a myriad of different areas and functions in our body. Therefore, CBD oil is being self-administered as a supplement by people all over the world to combat conditions.
The fact is that new medical research is being performed on CBD every single day, and we don’t quite know definitively how it works -- but the potential is astounding. The financial sector is certainly betting on CBD hemp oil’s continued popularity: a recent Forbes article estimated that the CBD market will grow 700% by 2020.