CBD is a cannabinoid, which is a compound found in cannabis plants. There are upwards of 100 cannabinoids within the plant, including CBD and THC (the one that gets you high). CBD is shorthand for cannabidiol; THC, the psychoactive compound, is shorthand for tetrahydrocannabinol. Most CBD products on the market right now come from hemp, which is a variety of the cannabis plant that has less than .2 percent THC.
The human endocannabinoid system is to thank for CBD’s impact, and that system is largely misunderstood. It is part of your neurotransmitter system, which is what allows your nerves to communicate and work efficiently. That means the endocannabinoid system has a part in making sure your brain cells are working correctly, which CBD activates
Cannabidiol—CBD—is a cannabis compound that has significant medical benefits, but does not make people feel “stoned” and can actually counteract the psychoactivity of THC. The fact that CBD-rich cannabis is non-psychoactive or less psychoactive than THC-dominant strains makes it an appealing option for patients looking for relief from inflammation, pain, anxiety, psychosis, seizures, spasms, and other conditions without disconcerting feelings of lethargy or dysphoria.
Scientific and clinical research—much of it sponsored by the US government—underscores CBD’s potential as a treatment for a wide range of conditions, including arthritis, diabetes, alcoholism, MS, chronic pain, schizophrenia, PTSD, depression, antibiotic-resistant infections, epilepsy, and other neurological disorders. CBD has demonstrable neuroprotective and neurogenic effects, and its anti-cancer properties are currently being investigated at several academic research centers in the United States and elsewhere. Further evidence suggests that CBD is safe even at high doses.
One of the biggest differences you’ll see among CBD products is full-spectrum (also called whole flower) versus isolate. Isolate means just that—you’re taking just the CBD out of the plant. Full-spectrum means you’re extracting all of the compounds at once, including the CBD. It gets a lot of praise because it provides a reaction an isolate can’t: the “entourage effect.”