Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychoactive component of the cannabis plant that is said to have the power to soothe pain and distress brought on by anxiety, arthritis, and digestive troubles, and can even treat cancer pain. But what is it exactly?
CBD is a type of cannabinoid, which is a family of molecules typically associated with marijuana, but are also found in other plants and even in humans (which are called endocannabinoids). There are hundreds of different cannabinoids found in marijuana, but the best known is tetrahydrocannabinol, or as it is commonly known, THC. THC is a chemical found in marijuana that targets and binds to certain receptors in the brain, giving you a high. Since CBD binds to different areas and affects a range of systems throughout the body, it is non-psychoactive and non-addictive.
10. How Do You Use It?
Extracts of CBD, either from marijuana or hemp (a cannabis variant that is THC-free), are sold as oils or in tinctures. It is also available in a patch, capsule, sublingual spray, gel, cream, or vapor. While some CBD extract is pure, others are not, and you should pay close attention to the composition of the CBD oil you are purchasing.
9. What Is CBD Oil Used For?
For people looking for pain relief, improved sleep, reduced anxiety, or to ease muscle soreness, adding a small amount of oil to a smoothie or coffee is quite common. They might also consider using it as a spot treatment by applying a dab of oil onto the problematic areas. In recent years, published papers have suggested that the compound can help with a spectrum of medical conditions, which include anxiety, Alzheimer’s disease, addiction, arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, fractures, migraines, psoriasis, and pain. According to an animal study, extracts of CBD and THC showed the ability to slow the growth of a type of brain tumor.
“Scientists have been studying other constituents in the marijuana plant beside THC, and there has been an emerging interest in the medical community for a while,” says Ryan McLaughlin, PhD, assistant professor of integrative physiology and neuroscience at Washington State University in Pullman.