Many people know about marijuana and may even have tried it before, but there’s much more to it than just smoking cannabis flower to get high. The cannabis plant is actually a very complex organism comprising more than 100 compounds called cannabinoids. Cannabinoids interact with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in our bodies. The ECS is a network of receptors that influence different functions from pain responses to inflammation and gut health.
You may have heard of the two major cannabinoids: tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). CBD seems to be having a moment in the worldwide media, credited with everything from reducing seizures in children to easing painful migraines to helping pets with anxiety and pain.
Here’s everything you need to know about CBD and its benefits, which are making the cannabinoid a popular treatment for many health conditions and symptoms.
THC vs. CBD
THC is the cannabinoid favoured for its psychoactive properties. Though many may think that THC only appeals to recreational cannabis consumers, it can be useful medicine, too. Folks who suffer from pain, insomnia and nausea rely on THC to help their conditions.
But CBD is non-psychoactive so it won’t make you feel high. This is because THC binds directly with the ECS receptor called CB1, while CBD doesn’t. In fact, CBD counteracts the psychoactive effects of THC. If you ever feel too high, just consume some CBD, and you’ll soon find those uncomfortable feelings melt away.
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Where CBD Can Help
CBD is increasingly favoured as a medical treatment for being:
- An anti-emetic (effective against nausea and vomiting)
- An anxiolytic (reduces anxiety)
- An anticonvulsant (treats epilepsy and brain disorders)
CBD also encourages the growth of healthy cells while inhibiting and delaying harmful symptoms such as inflammation and chronic pain.
People are taking notice of CBD’s therapeutic effects. More and more folks are turning to the cannabinoid when looking for an alternative to traditional medicines or more natural complementary treatments for diseases and disorders including:
- Huntington’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis
Additionally, reduced inflammation and pain as well as boosted immune functioning are some of the best benefits that CBD offers.
When patients combine high doses of CBD with low amounts of THC in regulated ratios, reduced inflammation and pain may accompanied the relaxing and sedative effect of THC, thereby providing better relief. By consuming some THC along with your CBD, you can take advantage of the entourage effect. This is a phenomenon researchers coined when they discovered that the various marijuana cannabinoids work better together than they do on their own.
How to Consume CBD
A good place to start with CBD may be with a cannabis oil. The oil can be applied directly to the skin or taken sublingually—under the tongue. It can also be added to creams for topical applications when used to treat skin conditions such as eczema and acne. CBD oil is anti-inflammatory and also antibacterial, perfect for sensitive skin.
If you’d rather smoke or vape your CBD, here are some of the most popular CBD-rich cannabis strains available for you to try:
- Harlequin: This is a sativa-dominant marijuana strain with a 5:2 ratio of CBD:THC. Consuming Harlequin means your pain relief will most likely be accompanied by a slight sense of euphoria.
- ACDC: This CBD-dominant strain has a 20:1 ratio of CBD:THC. ACDC is perfect for relieving tension and chronic pain.
- Sour Tsunami: With CBD-content of up to 30%, Sour Tsunami is a great marijuana strain for reducing stress, nausea and insomnia.
CBD is a great way for cannabis newbies to begin their journey with the plant, especially if they’re worried about feeling psychoactive effects. CBD has so many health benefits that some in the cannabis industry even tout a daily preventative CBD dose like you’d take a multivitamin. And that’s the thing about CBD, unless you’re especially sensitive to it, you won’t feel anything when you consume it—just like you don’t feel any different after you take a multivitamin.
The truth is that some people need to take CBD for weeks before the cannabinoid levels are high enough for them to feel any benefits. CBD—and cannabis for that matter—isn’t a silver bullet for everyone, but without any notable side effects, it may be worth seeing if it helps you feel better.
Still have questions about CBD? You can chat with one of our health practitioners from the comfort and privacy of your own home to see how CBD may be able to help you lead a healthier life.
Photo credit: Cannabis Pictures