Cannabidiol (CBD) is a naturally occurring compound found in cannabis plants, first identified in 1940. It is one of over 100 cannabinoids in cannabis and can make up to 40% of the plant's extract.

CBD can be consumed in various ways, including inhalation through smoke or vapor, oral ingestion, and as a spray. It is available in forms such as CBD oil, capsules, dried cannabis, and liquid solutions. Unlike THC, CBD is non-psychoactive and can influence the effects of THC when both are present.

Historical Background

The study of active ingredients in cannabis began in the 19th century. CBD was first examined in 1940 from wild hemp in Minnesota and resin from Egyptian Cannabis indica. Its chemical structure was clarified in 1963.

Plant Sources

Cannabis plant breeding has evolved significantly, particularly in the US, to cater to diverse market demands. Some breeders have focused on lowering CBD in favor of higher THC content for more pronounced psychoactive effects. According to the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp in the US is defined as cannabis with no more than 0.3% THC by dry weight, including all hemp-derived products.

What Are Terpenes?

Terpenes are aromatic compounds found in the cannabis plant, responsible for its distinct scent. These compounds are similar to those in essential oils, like lavender or peppermint, which are known for their various therapeutic properties. Cannabis contains over 200 different terpenes, each contributing unique characteristics.

While the research is ongoing, terpenes are believed to work synergistically with cannabinoids, potentially enhancing the overall effects of cannabis products.

The Cannabinoids

Cannabinoids are active compounds produced by cannabis plants. They interact with receptors in the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), which helps maintain homeostasis. There are two primary types of cannabinoid receptors: CB1, predominantly in the brain, and CB2, mainly in the immune system.

Phytocannabinoids, like CBD and THC, come from plants, while endocannabinoids are naturally produced in the human body. Unlike THC, CBD does not bind directly to CB1 or CB2 receptors but may influence the body's use of its own cannabinoids.*

Considering CBD

CBD has garnered attention for its potential applications in various areas:

CBD and Anxiety - Studies suggest CBD may help alleviate anxiety, as indicated in research published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology and Neurotherapeutics. Unlike THC, which can sometimes induce anxiety, CBD is noted for its calming effects.*

CBD and Sleep - By potentially reducing anxiety, CBD might improve sleep quality. It has shown promise in managing insomnia and sleep disorders.*

CBD and Pain - CBD is being explored as an alternative to traditional pain medications, which often have significant side effects. Research has indicated its potential in managing chronic pain.*

CBD and Depression - Preliminary studies suggest CBD might positively impact mood and help manage depression by interacting with serotonin receptors in the brain.*

While more research is needed to fully understand CBD's effects, it shows promise as a natural option for managing various conditions. As with any supplement, it's essential to choose products from reputable sources.