Cannabidiol, CBD is a naturally occurring chemical compound extracted from the flower of the cannabis. Cannabis has a rich history in medical use going back thousands of years. The medical and therapeutic properties of CBD have become a subject of research for many scientists and doctors around the world. But CBD is just one among the many phyto-cannabinoids only found in the cannabis plant.
CBD is also related to another compound known as tetrahydrocannabidiol or THC, the compound that gives cannabis its psychoactive properties. THC gives cannabis its ‘high’ effect. CBD and THC have been the subject of study for many researchers due to their significant therapeutic attributes. Both compounds are from the same plant but they act in different ways on different receptors in the brain and body.
One clear example is how CBD can actually neutralize or lessen the psychoactive properties of THC. Many people are going for CBD and CBD products because using the products cannot make them high.
The cannabis plants contains thousands of chemical compounds referred to as phytocannabinoids and CBD is one of these. Besides the fact that CBD has no psychoactive properties, medical studies have shown that the cannabinoid has a number of great health benefits like treating chronic pain, nausea and vomiting in cancer patients, neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease, autoimmune disorders and many other conditions.
The source of CBD
When talking about CBD, it is also important to distinguish hemp, cannabis and marijuana because a lack of understanding of these different plants brings about misconceptions about CBD.
Cannabis is the plant species that includes both hemp and marijuana. Scientifically, the Cannabis plant is referred to as Cannabis sativa where hemp and marijuana are varieties of the species. It is common to hear both hemp and marijuana plants being referred to as cannabis but it would be impractical to refer to marijuana as hemp plant. The hemp plant is different from marijuana in that the former has close to none THC content making it legal to buy and sell hemp products while the latter contains high THC content thus it is an illegal drug.
The spike in the prevalence of the CBD industry is because hemp is the only legal source of CBD, CBD oil and Hemp oil. Marijuana can also be used in extraction of CBD and CBD oil but since it is an illegal plant, products from it are also illegal.
CBD is extracted from the cannabis plant in one of two ways which are:
- In the first method, a harsh chemical like butane or alcohol is run over the raw plant material so as to separate the different compounds. But since this method results in trace amounts of carcinogen compounds, the end product is usually very unhealthy.
- The second method is the CO2 extraction method which is much safer and results in a healthier end product
Research into the benefits of CBD are still ongoing but CBD seems to be the future of medicine with the great promise it shows in treating various conditions.