You are likely familiar with THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the most prevalent cannabinoid found in marijuana. THC is responsible for the euphoric high you feel when consuming weed. However, the second most prevalent compound, CBD (cannabidiol), is like THC’s lesser known but equally as important cousin, and it is gaining more public recognition due to its incredible medicinal properties.
The popularity of CBD has increased significantly since 2013 when CNN did a special called Weed. The show follows five-year-old Charlotte Figi as she is treated with CBD for her form of epilepsy called Dravet Syndrome. Before CBD, Charlotte experienced 300 seizures a day; after CBD, it was reduced down to one a day on average. While CBD does not get you high the way THC does, its miraculous therapeutic properties make it an incredible option for many people. So how exactly does it work?
How Does CBD work?
Cannabinoids work in the body by binding to receptors of the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The two main receptors in the ECS are cannabinoid 1 (CB1) and cannabinoid 2 (CB2). CB1 receptors, mostly located in the brain, play a role in memory, motor control, and pain. THC binds to CB1 receptors, creating the “high” feeling in the brain. In contrast, CB2 receptors are largely found in the immune system. CBD binds to CB2 receptors, creating an anti-inflammatory effect.
Due to its impact on the immune system, CBD is currently being studied extensively for its potential medicinal applications. A 2013 British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology review looked at a variety of CBD studies and found that it has shown properties that may help many conditions including anxiety, cancer, epilepsy, depression, PTSD, infections, and more. It may help relieve symptoms such as nausea, inflammation, pain, seizures, and spasms.
Will CBD get me high?
CBD alone does not produce a psychoactive effect. There are many marijuana strains with both CBD and THC (alongside other cannabinoids), but the high comes from THC. However, the therapeutic effect of CBD is more pronounced when other cannabinoids are present; the combination of these different chemical compounds produces an effect that cannot be felt with one cannabinoid alone.
Two lesser cannabinoids, THCA and CBN, also have important roles. Cannabis must be dried, cured, and heated in order to produce a high; without this process, it is non-psychoactive. THCA is the cannabinoid that converts to THC during the heating process, also known as decarboxylation (sometimes called “decarbing” or “activating”). CBN is another non-psychoactive cannabinoid that facilitates sleep.
Is CBD legal?
CBD is legal in all 50 states when derived from hemp. In states such as here in the Centennial State where marijuana is legal, cannabis-derived CBD is legal, such as in our CBD blunt. Many people opt for strains that are heavier in CBD because of their pain-relief properties.
CBD Treatments and Uses
Perhaps most obviously, CBD is getting a lot of attention for its potential medical applications. In particular, its impact on children with epilepsy, as shown in CNN’s Weed, has drawn a lot of attention. One Israeli study found that 89 percent of children with pediatric epilepsy had fewer seizures when treated with CBD.
Beyond epilepsy, CBD has also shown promise in treating autoimmune disorders. One study of arthritis in mice found that CBD reduced their inflammation by 50 percent. Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, CBD may be helpful in treating a wide variety of conditions, including inflammatory bowel diseases, celiac’ disease, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, and more.
Additionally, CBD has shown great promise in cancer treatment, though more research is needed to support it. One American Association of Cancer Research study found that CBD kills breast cancer cells. There is also evidence that it inhibits cancer growth in the skin, brain, and liver. Studies have also shown that CBD could help with some of the side effects that come from cancer treatment, such as appetite loss, nausea, insomnia, anxiety, pain, and depression.
While CBD offers exciting possibilities of cancer treatment, it is still early in the research process. Most studies have been conducted on animals, and the successful treatment of humans with CBD is largely anecdotal. More research needs to be done in order to make CBD more mainstream in the medical community. As cannabis becomes legalized more and more places, and more people come out with their personal stories about how CBD helped them with their medical conditions, this incredible cannabinoid is likely to see much more time in the spotlight in the coming years.
Fortunately, here in Colorado, it is possible to try to incredible effects of CBD for yourself. At The District 8, one of our most popular hand-rolled, honey-hemp blunts is our CBD blunt. We use our craft cannabinoids to create a blunt that is perfect for easing your pain without the lethargy or psychoactive effects of THC-heavy strains. These blunts are perfect for those who want the pain-relieving properties of cannabis without the high. Find a location that sells D8 Blunts here!