CBD is shorthand for cannabidiol, one of the major compounds occurring naturally in the cannabis sativa plant, which is also known as hemp or marijuana. CBD is found in the resinous flower of the plant.
Legally speaking, the defining line between CBD hemp and marijuana is the amount of THC in the plant. CBD hemp has 0.3% or less THC whereas marijuana is anything greater than 0.3% THC. Biologically speaking, CBD and THC work on different brain and body receptors in their own distinct ways.
Though CBD and THC are both phytocannabinoids from the cannabis sativa plant, they are not the same molecule. Simply put, CBD, unlike THC, won’t get you high. However, though CBD is not psychoactive, it still has an impact on our brains and bodies.
Though more extensive research is needed to figure out why CBD impacts us, we do have more information on how it interacts with the body and some of its known or suspected ways. CBD imparts actions on the body and mind by connecting at receptor sites, CB1 and CB2. Once the molecule binds to the receptor site, it appears to block the breakdown of a brain chemical that impacts pain, mood, and mental processes. Ongoing scientific research will aid in a greater understanding of how and why CBD affects us.
Until then, existing scientific studies and anecdotal evidence suggest that CBD has the potential to positively impact pain and inflammation while reducing stress and anxiety. We’re looking forward to seeing what further research will reveal about this fascinating molecule.