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CBD 101: Everything You Need To Know About Cannabidiol


Weed has more than 500 unique chemical compounds within its leaves and buds. One of the more plentiful kinds is cannabidiol, better known as CBD. Researchers and users have praised CBD as a therapeutic marvel and touted its ability to mellow the effects of its more famous cousin, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). But what makes this compound so incredible without getting you high? Here’s everything you ever wanted to know about CBD!

What Is CBD?


CBDCBD is one of over one hundred chemicals found in weed that fall under a class of compounds called cannabinoids. The cannabis plant produces cannabinoids for many reasons: they can mitigate damage from UV rays, stop infections, attract beneficial insects to its flowers, and protect it from predators. They are sort of like an immune system mixed with a communication network, protecting the plant from harm while attracting pollinators to keep the plants alive and thriving.

Scientific research shows that CBD is both an antimicrobial and an antioxidant for the cannabis plant. While a lot of research is still necessary, the power it holds for the plant could be why CBD has a lot of potential as a therapeutic treatment – and even as a bona fide medication – for a wide range of conditions, including epilepsy and stress. 


What Does CBD Do In The Body?


cvdTo see how CBD could have powerful effects on the human body, it helps to understand why we feel something after consuming THC and CBD. It all comes down to a signalling network on our nervous system called the endocannabinoid system or ECS.

While the ECS gets its name from the cannabis plant, it doesn’t require weed to work – the endo prefix means it creates chemical signals for regulation from within, and boy does it regulate. The ECS coordinates communication between the central nervous system and our peripheral (eyes, ears, muscles, cranial nerves, etc.) and visceral (heart, lungs, digestive, etc.) organs. It also has a role in keeping our immune system functioning well, responding to injury and infection. Very few parts of your body are untouched by the ECS!

While the ECS itself has many different parts, our focus is on the cannabinoid receptors, endocannabinoids (chemical messengers), and enzymes that create and break down these chemical messengers. The cannabinoid receptors sit on the surface of nerve cells, organs, and immune cells; when chemical messengers contact them, they send signals to the rest of the nervous system. These signals regulate many different systems, and when the endocannabinoids are no longer needed, enzymes break them down. 

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