For those unfamiliar to the world of CBD, one of the biggest concerns is that it can get you high. That’s totally understandable since it’s a cannabis product. Many people also wonder what plant CBD is from, what CBD means, and if CBD has any health benefits. Thankfully, we’re pretty experienced, so let’s clear some stuff up for you!
CBD, is an acronym for the chemical compound cannabidiol that occurs naturally in plants. It is a non-psychoactive substance found in both the hemp and marijuana plants. While these plants are closely related in the cannabis family, they have some big differences.
Any of the chemicals occuring in cannabis plants are classified as cannabinoids. I’m sure you can guess where the name comes from. The main difference between hemp and marijuana is the occurrence of another cannabinoid, called THC. THC is the chemical responsible for the high feeling produced by marijuana. Scientifically, chemicals that produce a high are described as psychoactive. So when we say CBD is non psychoactive, what we are really saying that it doesn’t produce a high. A high is characterized by feelings of euphoria, impaired judgement, and oftentimes slowed cognitive processing. It’s not all bad, but that is the technical definition.
In hemp, THC is nearly non existent. In fact, it’s such a small amount that it is physically impossible to get high from ingesting it, which is why the plant is federally legal in the USA. It doesn’t even show up on a drug test. In marijuana, THC content is very high. In fact, many strains have been bred to increase levels of THC. The higher THC level corresponds to a more complicated legal status. This has been rapidly changing year-to-year as more states legalize marijuana. So, legalility is dependent on which plant CBD is derived from (hemp or marijuana), but the biochemical effect on you is the same--CBD is stoned-free!
So now that you know it doesn’t get you stoned, the logical next question is: well, what does CBD do then? The main thing to know is that our brains have specific receptors that bind with cannabinoids. These receptors are responsible for regulating balance in our bodies and when we provide extra cannabinoids to them by ingesting CBD, we increase our body’s ability to regulate homeostasis. CBD often produces feelings of relaxation, well being and pain relief. That is because, without getting too technical, CBD allows our body to hang on to more of the chemicals that produce those effects. Learn more about the health benefits of CBD in our next post! If you’re interested in the technicalities of how CBD works chemically in the body, keep an eye out for our 3 part series on the Endocannabinoid System, coming soon.