What Is CBD? Here's Everything You Need To Know
On January 1, 2018, California legalized the sale of recreational marijuana. Adults over the age of 21 can now purchase and possess up to one ounce of flower and can cultivate six plants in their home. Prop 64 also legalized up to eight grams of hash and concentrates, but there’s more to concentrates than shatter and dabs. This provision includes CBD, or cannabidiol, one of marijuana’s most-renowned medicinal components. In fact, there are only a few states where CBD is still completely illegal (Idaho, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Texas). The widespread availability of CBD, be it recreational or medicinal, should evidence its medicinal value. But what is CBD, and what exactly does it do?
The marijuana plant holds many secrets and mysteries. Marijuana contains over 400 chemical compounds—including more than 80 that are cannabinoids. Cannabinoids address pain, anxiety, inflammation, nausea, seizures, and more, and the most well-known cannabinoid is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, aka, THC. This prominent psychoactive component of marijuana is responsible for getting you “high,” but there’s more to marijuana than THC.
Enter CBD, the second-most bountiful cannabinoid, which was isolated for the first time in 1963. CBD does not possess the psychoactive properties found in THC, so the answer to the question, “Does CBD get you high?” is “nope!” The medicinal properties of marijuana go beyond the body-buzz associated with THC, and many of the plant’s benefits hinge on CBD. But how does CBD work its marijuana magic?
The science behind CBD is rife with alphabet soup… that is to say, it is complicated. Simply put, cannabinoids work because they interact with certain receptors in the brain. CBD has a wide range of influence because not only does it affect receptors directly but it has secondary effects as well. A 2015 study presented to the National Institute on Drug Abuse lists “anti-seizure, antioxidant, neuroprotective, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-tumor, anti-psychotic, and anti-anxiety” as areas where CBD had shown pre-clinical evidence of having an effect. While CBD effects do not explicitly include feelings of euphoria, its berth of medicinal applications can lead to feelings of overall well being.
Getting healthy without getting high
What is CBD good for if not getting high? As foreign of a concept as it may be to some, getting high is not always desirable. CBD has proven particularly effective in treating epilepsy in children, and children should avoid the psychoactive effects of THC in marijuana.
CBD also addresses mental illness by binding to certain receptors in the brain. CBD can be an alternative to pharmaceuticals when used to manage schizophrenia, PTSD, addiction, and depression. For people suffering from chronic pain, what is CBD but a better, healthier alternative to highly addictive opioids? Not only does CBD affect receptors that control pain, it connects to receptors that control pleasure, too.
The many faces of CBD
You know that CBD can be a way to treat a wide and various list of ailments, but how can you use CBD to help you? There are several different ways to benefit from this powerful cannabinoid. CBD can be smoked, eaten, drank, or applied topically.
You may have found yourself wondering, “What is CBD oil, and how can it help me?” CBD oil concentrates pack a serious punch. They are usually coupled with oils or flower that have quite a bit of THC in them, so if you’re looking for health benefits without the high, smoking CBD oil might not be the best option for you.
Ingesting CBD is a tasty alternative to smoking. Edibles have been shown to have long-lasting medicinal effects, but exercise caution if your CBD treats come with THC, too: the effects could become too intense or last too long. Consuming a tincture may work for some CBD users, too. Tinctures are made by combining CBD oil with a high-proof alcohol, and these can be applied directly to the tongue or added to a beverage for convenience. Like edibles, tinctures can have long-lasting effects, so be careful if your CBD comes with THC in tow.
Topical application of CBD-infused lotions or creams can alleviate pain associated with cancer, arthritis, or neuropathy. This method is a less intense yet more direct method for those looking to treat specific areas of pain. Consulting with your dispensary professional will help determine what kind of CBD will work best to address your health issues so make sure you utilize this resource. Look beyond the natural high and unlock the health benefits of marijuana!
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