Here are five facts that you should know about this unique compound:
1.CBD is a key ingredient in cannabis
CBD is one of over 60 compounds found in cannabis that belong to a class of molecules called cannabinoids. Of these compounds, CBD and THC are usually present in the highest concentrations, and are therefore the most recognized and studied.
CBD and THC levels tend to vary among different plants. Marijuana grown for recreational purposes contains more THC than CBD, but by using selective breeding techniques, cannabis breeders have managed to create varieties with high levels of CBD and next to zero levels of THC. And these strains have become quite popular in recent years.
2.CBD is non-psychoactive
Unlike THC, CBD does not cause a high. While this makes CBD a poor choice for recreational users, it gives the chemical a significant advantage as a medicine, with no side effects.
CBD is non-psychoactive because it does not act on the same pathways as THC. These pathways, called CB1 receptors, are highly concentrated in the brain and are responsible for the mind-altering effects of THC.
A 2011 review published in Current Drug Safety concludes that CBD “does not interfere with several psychomotor and psychological functions.” The authors add that several studies suggest that CBD is “well tolerated and safe” even at high doses.
3. CBD has a wide range of medical benefits
Although CBD and THC act on different pathways of the body, they seem to have many of the same medical benefits.
A team of researchers at the California Pacific Medical Center, led by Dr. Sean McAllister, has stated that they hope to begin trials on CBD as a breast cancer therapy.
4. CBD reduces the negative effects of THC
Numerous studies suggest that CBD acts to reduce the intoxicating effects of THC, such as memory impairment and paranoia.
CBD also appears to counteract the sleep-inducing effects of THC, which may explain why some strains of cannabis are known to increase alertness.
Both CBD and THC have been found to present no risk of lethal overdose. However, to reduce potential side effects, medical users may be better off using cannabis with higher levels of CBD.
5. CBD is still illegal in some places
Even though CBD shows much promise as a medicine, it remains illegal in some parts of the world. But it is now legal in 50 states and 42 countries.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently approved a request to trial a pharmaceutical version of CBD in children with rare forms of epilepsy.
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