Let’s start with the basics.
Does CBD get you high? No. CBD has no psychoactive effects.
Are cannabis, marijuana, and hemp the same thing? No. This is a common misconception.
Cannabis (or Cannabis Sativa) is a family of plants, of which marijuana and hemp are members. Although they’re relatives, marijuana and hemp have distinct differences in biology, appearance, and cultivation methods. The two were grouped together and banned during Nixon’s “War on Drugs” when his administration signed into law the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. Since then, cannabis has suffered from decades of toxic misinformation and social stigmas.
So, to recap...
- CBD does not get you high.
- Cannabis is a family of plants.
- Marijuana and hemp are members of the cannabis family.
Marijuana vs. Hemp
The most important difference between marijuana and hemp is the cannabinoids that each plant produces. Cannabinoids are the chemical compounds secreted by cannabis plants that offer a wide range of therapeutic benefits. When you consume cannabis, cannabinoids bind to different receptors throughout the body. There are at least 113 different known cannabinoids today. Two of the most common cannabinoids are THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, strongly psychoactive, the one that gets you high) and CBD (cannabidiol, non-psychoactive, calming).
Cannabinoids: THC vs. CBD
Cannabinoids interact with a biological pathway inside your body called the endocannabinoid system. This system is involved in regulating a variety of cognitive and psychological processes including mood, memory, appetite, and pain.
Two primary endocannabinoid receptors have been identified as CB1 (1990) and CB2 (1993). CB1 receptors are found primarily in the brain and are influenced by anandamide, a neurotransmitter responsible for pleasure, motivation, and hunger. This same neurotransmitter is released during exercise and causes “runner’s high.” THC, having an extremely similar molecular structure to anandamide, fits perfectly into CB1 receptors. This is why THC influences pleasure, motivation, hunger, and makes you feel hiiiigh. CBD does not directly bind to CB1 receptors, but indirectly inhibits them. This is why CBD can be used to reduce how high you feel and has been proven to reduce psychological and mental stressors in the brain.
CBD also indirectly influences CB2 receptors, which exist primarily outside of the brain on your white blood cells, in your tonsils, in your spleen, and throughout the rest of your body. The unbalanced functioning of CB2 receptors have been linked to virtually every type of human disease from cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, neurodegenerative, autoimmune, skin, bone, cancer, and even pain-related disorders. As CBD enters your bloodstream, the cannabinoid acts on CB2 receptors throughout your body to promote homeostasis, or stable equilibrium, of the endocannabinoid system. Research and clinic studies have found that acting on CB2 receptors produces anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects.
What have we learned?
THC targets cannabinoid receptors in the brain, while CBD targets cannabinoid receptors throughout the body. This is why THC and CBD affect your mental, physical, and psychological states in different ways.
As an example, think of a bell pepper and a jalapeño pepper. Both are peppers, but one is sweet and one is spicy. This is a good way to think about THC and CBD -- both are cannabinoids, but they have drastically different effects.
Tell me more about CBD
CBD is short for cannabidiol (can-na-bi-di-ol), a cannabinoid found most prominently in hemp, that has analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-anxiety properties without any psychoactive effects.
Clinical and anecdotal evidence suggests that CBD may help with seizure disorders, pain, inflammation, PTSD, anxiety, Crohn’s Disease, multiple sclerosis, and opioid withdrawal to name a few. Charlotte’s story is one of the first recorded cases of CBD saving a child’s life from debilitating seizures. Medical reviews published in 2017 and 2018 incorporating numerous clinical trials concluded that cannabidiol (CBD) is an effective treatment for childhood epilepsy. An orally administered cannabidiol solution (brand name Epidiolex) was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in June 2018 as a treatment for two rare forms of childhood epilepsy, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome.
There are two types of CBD for sale on the mass market: isolate and full-spectrum.
Isolate CBD is stripped down cannabidiol that has no other residual cannabinoids.
Full-spectrum CBD is pure cannabidiol with the enhanced benefit of the “entourage effect.” Residual cannabinoids synergize with CBD to increase potential healing power and create an “entourage” of benefits. Read more about the power of full-spectrum in this clinical study.
Imagine a party with only one attendee. That's isolate. Now imagine a party with over 113 guests mingling and sharing their collective consciousness. That’s full-spectrum.
The full extent of CBD's therapeutic and health effects are still unknown, but as CBD gains momentum, more research is being funded to discover what exactly this healing cannabinoid is capable of.
Until the time that CBD is proven to be the greatest medicine humanity has ever known, we’ll have to rely on the anecdotes and personal experiences of thousands of humans whose lives have been changed for the better thanks to CBD. That’s more than enough for us here at Dazey.