Cannabinoids 101- The Science Behind CBD - Everything You Need To Know About CBD

February 23, 2018

By Nancy Fernandez

CBD’s use has been increasing tremendously and we don’t see its trend and consumption fading anytime soon. It is known for its various therapeutic uses. It is found to be beneficial in treating pain, inflammation, anxiety, nausea and various other disorders like alzheimer's. It also promotes cardiovascular health and weight loss. 

CBD doesn’t cause the ‘high’ which is associated with THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) as it is non-psychoactive, it simply helps you relax. CBD is mostly used by the people in the form of an oil which is even used for its various health benefits. It is derived from the superior CBD types.

does CBD work? 


Cannabidiol is one of the 80 components found in the cannabinoids present in the cannabis plant. These cannabinoids tie themselves up to the receptor cells in our body. Though most of them are present in the brain, they are dispersed in the different parts of the body.

When you take up cannabis, these cannabinoids bind themselves to the receptor cells creating a system which is known as the endocannabinoid system (ECS). This web can bring about a drastic change in various things like sleep, mood, reproduction, immunity, appetite and a lot more.

Related article: Marijuana Effects: THC and CBD, and the Entourage Effect!

Difference between CBD and THC


Like we have mentioned above, THC can make you high while CBD doesn’t cause any intoxication. THC binds itself directly to the CB1 receptor cells which are present in the central nervous system and brain. It doesn’t directly bind to the CB1 receptor cells. It means that they can actually not cause any ‘high’ irrespective of how much you consume it. CBD actually tries to restrain the activating effects of THC on CB1 and CB2.

CBD and THC can both be extracted from all the parts of the cannabis or hemp plant like in the flowers, seeds or stalks. CBD is found in much higher quantity in hemp and on the other hand, THC is present in abundance in cannabis. Hemp has hardly 0.3% THC content in it whereas cannabis has THC content ranging in between 3% to 12%. So, we can see that hemp actually has more CBD than THC in it.

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There is a little difference in the medical benefits they offer as well. While THC is used more to minimise pain, stress and to induce sleep,relaxation, CBD is more often used to treat disorders like epilepsy, anxiety and psychosis.

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Various other ways how CBD works


Not just interacting with the CBD receptors, cannabinoids are also known to be linked with the other receptors. Some of these are enlisted below:

  1. Vanilloid receptors: These receptors are known to kill pain.
  2. Adenosine receptors: These receptor sites are known to induce sleep.
  3. Serotonin receptors: These receptors help to relieve stress and balancing the overall stress.

Other studies have also revealed that CBD obstructs a fatty acid named FAAH (fatty acid amide hydrolase) which breaks down the organic endocannabinoid anandamide in the body which helps to improvise simple operations related to appetite, memory, pain and mood.

What CBD does is that it actually maximises the quantity of this chemical in your body which actually enhances the endocannabinoid strength.

Related article: The Seven Benefits of CBD Oil for Dogs

How is CBD helpful?


Cultivation of cannabis dates back to thousands of years because of the CBD content in it. It was renowned for its various medicinal and physical properties. It was used to treat several problems like migraines and anxiety.

However, CBD had been banned as it was considered psychoactive. Little did people know that what they considered as an abusive drug might turn out to be a potential cure for many chronic diseases in the near future.

CBD can influence several pathways in the body which makes it hard to figure out how exactly does this affect our body. However, many trials and studies have revealed that patients do resort to medical cannabis to relieve themselves from several diseases. These include lupus, parkinson’s disease, osteoporosis, diabetes, chronic pain and so on.

Related article: Marijuana and Anxiety - Overcome Your Paranoia While You're High

What is whole plant medicine?

Though CBD has many medicinal benefits of its own, its effects multiply when it is blended with other cannabinoids. When CBD and THC are combined together, they may have some tremendous benefits which may not happen alone. There should be a stable ratio of the two as a few patients may respond to CBD in a better manner while others may respond to THC.

High CBD strains


If you’re looking to consume CBD by either eating it, smoking it or vaping it, you need to ensure that it is a high CBD strain. It doesn’t mean that it will be absolutely free from any THC which may not lead to any psychoactive effects. So you need to get it tested or fetch information about the CBD flower beforehand.

There is still a lot of clarity to be made about the legal status of CBD. While some countries have legalised it, others are still uncertain on whether it should be permitted or not. Until we don’t get a clear picture on its political and legal status, it surely is difficult to know more about this wonderful plant!

Related article: The 10 Best CBD Cannabis Strains According to Leafly Users

Nancy Fernandez is a cannabis connoisseur who actively searches for new and budding (pun intended) research findings on the medicinal benefits of the various strains of marijuana. More recently, her attention has been focused on finding ways to lobby for cannabis in local governments.