In the last few years CBD has become a buzzword in the world of wellness and plant-based alternative medicine, but what is it exactly?
CBD is short for ‘cannabidiol’, which is one of around 80 naturally occurring chemicals called cannabinoids found in the stems and leaves of the Cannabis Sativa plant. Cannabis Sativa comes in two main varieties; hemp and marijuana. CBD is found in abundance in the hemp variety, whereas THC, another cannabinoid, is found at very low levels (around 0.3%). THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) is primarily what causes what some describe as a ‘stoned’ feeling, and is found in much higher levels in the marijuana variety.
CBD and cannabis have been used for hundreds of years to treat and soothe all manner of ailments, but the confusion and stigma surrounding cannabis use has meant they’ve been shrouded in misinformation. CBD does no psychoactive effects, which means it won’t make you happy or drowsy, but it does have antiemetic, ant-convulsant and anti-inflammatory properties which make it useful for a range of problems.
But to fully understand CBD, we need to know about the endocannabinoid system present in our bodies, which is made of CB1 and CB2 receptors present in various areas such as the digestive tract, nervous system and immune system, among others. The body makes its own cannabinoids that bind to these receptors and regulate things like appetite and pain. The body is designed to ingest CBD and although the endocannabinoid system is a relatively new discovery, it explains why so many report CBD helping them with digestive problems, anxiety, chronic pain and so much more.