Cannabidiol: What is It?
Cannabidiol, more commonly dubbed CBD, has been gathering media presence rapidly over the past ten years. Since 2017, over 64 million Americans have tried CBD for the first time, constituting a staggering 20 percent of the population of the United States. Many wonder how CBD got so popular so quickly and, moreover, want to know what CBD even is.
Cannabidiol is one of the over one hundred active organic compounds derived from both cannabis and hemp seeds, stems, and flowers. Although CBD can be extracted from cannabis, it contains none of the psychotropic or addictive ingredients of the marijuana plant. The World Health Organization recently stated that there were no known negative health impacts demonstrated from sustained, regular CBD use.
Researchers believe that CBD works by inhibiting the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is a biological set of receptors involved in nearly every aspect of mammalian health and wellness. By binding to these receptors that are all over the human body, CBD could promote homeostasis in the body, reducing the perception of pain and overactive autoimmune inflammation.
The ECS has two major cannabinoid receptors, dubbed CB-1 and CB-2. Most CB-1 receptors are located in the brain and highly related to cognition, coordination, mood, thinking, and appetite suppression. By contrast, CB-2 receptors are found all across the body in the immune system and control pain responses as well as inflammation. Unlike THC, CBD interacts with both the CB-1 and CB-2 receptors, creating a positive effect on both mood and autoimmune-based pain.
CBD can be ingested in many different ways: inhalation of smoke or vapor, oral ingestion, body creme application, and by mixing it into food or drinks. In 2017, the first CBD medication approved by the FDA was used for the treatment of epilepsy and multiple sclerosis.
Treatment of seizure disorders is not the only thing CBD is well-known for, either. Recent studies suggest that the treatment might have a range of positive effects on mental, physical, and emotional disorders. Since inflammation is associated with everything from depression to chronic pain, it’s no surprise that the anti-inflammatory compound may target a whole host of problems.
In short, CBD use is allegedly related to improvements in conditions like:
- Arthritis, sciatica, nerve pain and localized joint pain
- Depression, anxiety, PTSD and sociability issues
- Severe nausea and cachexia, which refers to the gradual degradation of the body due to extended periods of chronic illness
- Restless Leg Syndrome and muscle spasms
- Poor cognition and memory
- Irregular appetite and body weight changes