What is CBD?
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a compound found in the Cannabis plant. THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) is found in the same plant. Both are chemicals called cannabinoids.
Unlike THC, CBD is completely non-intoxicating. By using CBD, a person may benefit from the health properties of the cannabis plant without getting high.
THC is known for getting people high and making them lose control of their faculties. That said, THC is also known to help people relieve pain and symptoms of diseases such as cancer and AIDS. THC can be safe when prescribed by a doctor.
CBD is safe over the counter and has no known negative side effects.
What forms of CBD can I use?
Different products made from CBD deliver similar effects. Choose from:
- Tinctures- Potent and easy to use, simply spray it in your mouth or put a few drops under your tongue.
- Honey sticks
How Does CBD Work?
Many people have found that CBD can help maintain health and wellness. This is because of how the chemical interacts with receptors in your body. In the 1980s and 1990s, scientists discovered that our bodies need, and are designed to use, chemicals called cannabinoids. Your body makes some of these on its own–these are called endocannabinoids.
The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) is part of how your brain helps your body maintain balance. For example, when you’re stressed, your brain releases a hormone which gives your body a burst of
energy to fix a problem. Too much of this stress hormone is bad for you. Your body uses endocannabinoids to help you look at a stressful situation with a clear mind, make good decisions, and de-stress after the emergency is over.
In addition to managing stress, the ECS helps to regulate memory, appetite, energy balance and metabolism, immune function, sleep, body temperature, and many other major functions of your body and mind.
CBD is a cannabinoid too. When you take CBD, it can help your body absorb endocannabinoids and blocks the enzymes that break them down. This can give your body some outside help to maintain or
restore your balance.
History of CBD
People have been using CBD for thousands of years, with the first documented case being Chinese Emperor Sheng Nung using it to help with memory problems, malaria, rheumatism, and gout in 2737 BCE. Queen Victoria may have used it for menstrual cramps.
In 1839, Irish doctor and researcher William B. O’Shaughnessy published a controversial study about the cannabis plant’s effects and potential medical uses. This led to more research. In 1942, American chemist Roger Adams discovered Cannabidiol (CBD) and Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). For a long time, researchers couldn’t be sure which effects were caused by CBD versus THC. In 1964, Dr. Raphael Mechoulam discovered that THC, not CBD, is the mind-altering compound that can get you high.
Later, Dr. Mechoulam’s team gave people with epilepsy daily doses of CBD–and in 4 months, half of them stopped having seizures at all, and the others had seizures less often. While this had the potential to change the lives of more than 50 million people suffering from epilepsy around the world, it was not publicized as a breakthrough because of stigmas against cannabis at the time.
Between 1996 and 2000, 8 U.S. states legalized medical marijuana. With the further study this made possible, the scientific community learned more about the differences between CBD and THC. CBD was still being judged under the same laws as THC because most Americans believed that anything related to cannabis was dangerous, addictive, and a “gateway drug” (even though CBD cannot get you high). In the 2000s, this began to change as people began sharing their positive experiences with CBD treating anxiety, depression, insomnia, arthritis, fibromyalgia, and other conditions.
In 2010, Charlotte Figi, a 4-year-old girl with a rare form of epilepsy, was having 300 seizures per week. Nothing helped until her parents tried giving her a small dose of CBD oil from a high-CBD cannabis strain, and her seizures stopped. Now she only has 2 or 3 seizures a month and can live a normal life.
Charlotte’s success story has increased public curiosity, knowledge, and openness about CBD.