What is CBD?
To understand what CBD is, we need to look at the make up of the cannabis plant, and in particular cannabinoids.
Cannabinoids are compounds within the cannabis and hemp plants. There are 85 cannabinoids in the plants’ structure, but the most notable cannabinoids are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). It is these cannabinoids which act on cannabinoid receptors within cells in the brain.
While THC is the psychoactive element of cannabis, CBD has anti-psychotic properties. However, rather than work against each other, THC and CBD form a very unique partnership in how cannabis can work as a medicine.
Why CBD is prominent in medical marijuana
THC is mainly known for providing the high that is experienced when cannabis is smoked or consumed. Most strains of cannabis grown for recreational use will be high in THC and low in CBD. However, cannabis that is low in THC and high in CBD has been used to treat a lot of illnesses. Research has discovered CBD is hugely powerful in the treatment of several cancers, arthritis, epilepsy, seizures and autistic disorders, amongst others.
While the ratios will differ on each strain of plant, the main difference in medical cannabis compared to recreational cannabis is the level of CBD are far higher than the amount of THC. Although most of the mind-altering elements of THC – the paranoia, the sleepiness and the buzz, for example – will exist – they will be largely countered by the CBD.
CBD and its application in medicine
Although CBD has captured the attention of the press recently, there are many people who have been using it in cannabis oil with great success to treat various illnesses over the past few decades.
Sufferers of Crohn’s disease, various cancers, arthritis, epilepsy and other diseases and disorders have all been vocal in highlighting how powerful CBD has been in relieving their symptoms – with some reporting full recovery after using it.
Obtaining CBD is illegal in most areas of the world. Particularly in the West, there are very few places where selling, purchasing and using CBD is legal. Currently, there are around fifteen states in the US where laws have recently changed to allow the decriminalisation of medical marijuana.
The amount of press attention and growing anecdotal evidence has created mounting pressure on authorities to review their existing laws concerning cannabis and medical marijuana. There has also been solid scientific research going in to the effects that CBD has on the human body, with laboratories all over the world researching the compound extensively to see how it can change the way many diseases and illnesses are currently being treated.
A lot more is being learnt about cannabis which will hopefully help lose the negative reputation it garnered in the twentieth century. While the authorities gradually review what this drug can do to millions of lives all over the world, it is only a matter of time before the many thousands of people currently using CBD to treat their illnesses illegally are able to recover and recuperate freely and safely.