It’s not a stretch to say that CBD (cannabidiol) is one of the most exciting and promising compounds currently undergoing rigorous medical and scientific research. CBD has made headlines in recent years for some pretty stunning results.
Still, misinformation and confusion about CBD abound due to the relatively recent emergence and widespread awareness of this incredible compound. Let’s take a deep dive into what cannabidiol (CBD) is, and exactly what it does and doesn’t do.
CBD is simply short for “cannabidiol”, the second-most abundant cannabinoid molecule produced by the cannabis or hemp plant. The most abundant molecule, of course, being THC: the psychoactive chemical famous for making users feel “high” (CBD does not have this effect). Keep in mind that your body already has an endocannabinoid system, an extremely important molecular system that your body uses to regulate and perform various critical functions. CBD binds to receptors in this system; our bodies were designed to interface with cannabinoids from the very beginning — we even naturally produce them!
As we stated earlier, your body already has a wildly complex endocannabinoid system that affects several different areas and functions. That system is rife with “receptors, ” sites that await cannabinoid molecules presence. When the cannabinoid nears, the receptor will bind it to itself, creating a sophisticated chemical interaction that modern science is only just beginning to scratch the surface of understanding. Unlike its sister molecule THC, CBD does not make you feel high — but don’t think that a lack of psychoactive or intoxicating effect means that nothing is occurring. On the contrary, it’s very clear that there are many chemical responses that occur when CBD binds to those cannabinoid receptors. That being said, the endocannabinoid system is ubiquitous in the human body, affecting nearly all major functions in some way (especially homeostatic regulation). Because of this, it’s quite a task to discern everything that CBD does, exactly, when the binding occurs. That’s where the research is at right now: trying to solve that very mystery.
+ CBD does not get you “high” (non-psychoactive)
+ Comes from hemp or cannabis plants
+ Indirectly interacts with CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors
+ CBD is legal to buy and own
Though they share the same source plant family (cannabis), there is a huge difference between CBD and THC — both in the effect they have and they way they chemically interact with your body. Until recently, CBD was somewhat stigmatized and not taken seriously as a potential medically therapeutic agent due to its chemical proximity to THC (the chemical that creates an intoxicating “high”) Let’s set the record straight once and for all.
Indirect agonist of cannabinoids
Binds to the allosteric receptor site
Legal to buy and own in the USA
Directly binds to CB1 and CB2 receptors
Binds to the orthosteric receptor site
Legality varies from state to state
Yes — although CBD comes from the cannabis plant family like its intoxicating cousin compound THC, you will not feel a “high” or psychoactive effect from CBD. Although there are tiny trace amounts of THC in most CBD products, the amount is so low that it is functionally impossible to get intoxicated from it. Therefore, CBD is legal to purchase and own across the United States. You can shop for CBD products with full confidence (and at City Naturals, we provide unique batch lab reports so that you can see exactly what you’re putting in your body, and in what proportion).
By all measurable results, CBD is extremely safe for humans to ingest. In fact, clinical trial data published by the journal Current Pharmaceutical Design showed that oral administration of CBD is safe even in extremely high doses.
That being said, some users do report mild effects when using CBD. CBD will affect everyone differently, and you should always consult with your physician before beginning to supplement with CBD. Even when you do begin self serving with CBD, you should start with a small serving and work your way up until you understand how CBD affects your unique physiology.
Mild effects from CBD are usually reported by users who took relatively high serving sizes. Drowsiness or grogginess was the most common of these. More than this, however, the most important consideration before taking CBD is to determine how it interacts with any supplements or medications you are currently on. CBD may interfere with the way your regimen is working, so it’s critical that you have a conversation with your doctor to confirm that it’s appropriate to begin using CBD on your own.
No — CBD will not get you “high” like the other famous chemical compound found in cannabis (THC). However, just because it doesn’t give you a “body buzz” or intoxicating high does not mean that you won’t feel an effect from taking CBD. The most commonly reported effects include a general sense of well-being or a calm clarity of focus. Regardless, there is no intoxication involved. The World Health Organization has determined that there is no potential for abuse in terms of CBD usage.
CBD affects everyone differently, but don’t go into your first CBD dose expecting to feel a “body high” or effect similar to THC-rich cannabis. It simply doesn’t work that way. THC binds directly to your CB1 and CB2 receptors; CBD, on the other hand, acts as a sneaky indirect agonist of cannabinoid receptors. That all means, in layman’s terms, that you won’t “feel” a prominent effect from taking CBD.
In fact, for many CBD users, it’s more about what they don’t feel when they dose CBD. Many people report that they feel calmer, more able to fall asleep, and less agitated or irritable.
The CBD molecule formula is C21H30O2, with a molecular weight of 314.469 g/mol. It’s a phytocannabinoid (cannabinoid derived from a plant; specifically, the cannabis species).
As mentioned earlier, the CBD molecule is a mysterious one for several reasons. While THC binds so neatly to the CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors, CBD probably does not. We do know that it stimulates endoplasmic reticulum stress and “inhibits AKT/mTOR signaling” — which means that CBD probably helps promote the normal breakdown and regeneration of dead cells, processes known as autophagy and apoptosis.