What is CBD?
Cannabidiol, or CBD, has been gaining traction in the media for its healing abilities. This new marijuana extract is proving to be an excellent method of delivering health benefits through marijuana without any of the psychoactive side effects. But what exactly is it?
How is CBD Extracted?
CBD is a marijuana byproduct that is derived from the stem, leaf, and other non-flower byproducts of marijuana plants. CBD is extracted through either CO2, ethanol or olive oil. It is still natural and is generally ingested as opposed to smoked. THC and CBD have the same chemical formula of C21H30O2, but are rearranged in a different way, allowing for alternative interactions with cannabinoid receptors in the body. THC will interact directly at the orthosteric site with CB1, or cannabinoid receptor 1, while CBD engages CB1 at the allosteric site. This allows CBD to interact in a way that provides marijuana healing properties without the psychoactive effects that are associated with smoking THC derived from the marijuana flower. Additionally, CBD may even reduce the effects of THC’s psychoactive effects on cannabinoid receptors.
What are the medical benefits of CBD?
The medical benefits that have been initially discovered for CBD have been astounding, but are still in early stages and need further testing in order to verify the full potential of CBD in the medical world. It has proven to be safe and effective for Dravet syndrome, which is a rare and untraceable disease commonly found in infants, causing uncontrollable seizures. It has also been shown to be effective against anxiety, depression, nausea, slowing of growth of cancerous tumors, diabetes, Parkinson’s, chronic pain, osteoporosis, drug dependency, pain relief, and as an anti-inflammatory cure. While all of the research in regards to treating these ailments is still in early stages, initial findings prove promising for a wide range of treatments.
What is CBD’s Legal Status?
CBD has received a variety of criticism and praise from many places around the world. In the United States, CBD is legal to sell within states that allow for the production of industrialized hemp. Europe has CBD listed as a cosmetic product and is easily accessible. Canada and New Zealand still classify CBD as a controlled substance, similar to THC and other marijuana products. Otherwise, the UN does not have CBD as a scheduled drug due to its non-existent psychoactive abilities.
Overall, CBD has proven to be an effective medicine with similar healing effects as THC without any of the psychoactive high feeling that is generally associated with smoking marijuana. Further tests are currently being conducted by the NIH on animals in order to find the full potential of CBD’s healing ability and the long term effects it has on the body. Continued efforts are being made for the promotion, distribution, and research of this marijuana byproduct.