What is CBD?
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a naturally occurring compound found in the resinous flower of both hemp and cannabis, a plant with a rich history as a medicine going back thousands of years. Today the therapeutic properties of CBD are being tested and confirmed by scientists and doctors around the world for both internal and external application. A safe, non-addictive substance, CBD is one of more than a hundred “phytocannabinoids,” which are unique to hemp and cannabis and endow the plant with its robust therapeutic profile.
CBD is closely related to another important medicinally active phytocannabinoid: tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the compound that causes the high that cannabis is famous for. Unlike THC, CBD does not make a person feel “stoned” or intoxicated. That’s because CBD and THC act in different ways on different receptors in the brain and body.
The fact that CBD is therapeutically potent as well as non-intoxicating, and easy to use in a variety of forms, makes it an appealing treatment option for those who want to explore CBD’s benefits.
Extensive scientific research – much of it sponsored by the U.S. government – and mounting anecdotal accounts from patients and physicians highlight CBD’s potential as a treatment for a wide range of maladies, including (but not limited to):
- Pain syndromes (arthritis, sprains/strains, tendinopathy, exercised induced soreness)
- Autoimmune diseases (inflammation, rheumatoid arthritis)
- Neurological conditions (Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, Huntington’s chorea, stroke, traumatic brain injury)
- Metabolic syndrome (diabetes, obesity)
- Neuropsychiatric illness (autism, ADHD, PTSD, alcoholism)
- Gut disorders (colitis, Crohn’s)
- Cardiovascular dysfunction (atherosclerosis, arrhythmia)
- Skin disease (acne, dermatitis, psoriasis)
How does CBD work?
CBD interacts with our bodies in a variety of ways. One of the main ways they impact us is by mimicking and augmenting the effects of the compounds in our bodies called “endogenous cannabinoids” - so named because of their similarity to the compounds found in the cannabis plant. These “endocannabinoids” are part of a regulatory system called the “endocannabinoid system”.
The discovery of the endocannabinoid system has significantly advanced our understanding of health and disease. It has major implications for nearly every area of medical science and helps to explain how and why CBD is such a versatile compound.