Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a type of chemical derived from the cannabis plant. Itâ€™s commonly used as a pain reliever but has other medicinal uses as well. You may associate cannabis with marijuana, but marijuana and CBD are more different than you think. Hereâ€™s everything to know about CBD, including what it is, how it works, and how it differs from marijuana.
The most important difference between CBD and marijuana is that one gets you high and one doesnâ€™t. In the cannabis plant, a chemical known as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) creates the psychological effect of being high. CBD does not work the way THC does, so you wonâ€™t experience a high when you use it. Theyâ€™re two separate chemicals derived from the plant; CBD does not create any psychological effects because it doesnâ€™t affect the same receptors as THC.
The brain has something called an endocannabinoid system (ECS), which produces certain endocannabinoids on its own. The brainâ€™s ECS plays a role in certain psychological and cognitive processes, including pain sensation.When CBD enters the body, it prompts this brain system to produce more of those endocannabinoids, which results in pain relief â€” when CBD hits those receptors, it alters the receptors and helps the body feel less pain.
Since CBD helps the body handle pain by positively affecting the ECS receptors, people have started leaning on it as a form of pain medication. Itâ€™s grown in popularity for physical pain, but it can also have positive effects on issues like anxiety, seizures, and cancer treatment.
According to Healthline, researchers suggest that CBD can alter the way the brain responds to serotonin, which may offer anxiety relief. Preliminary research has also suggested it can alter the brain to help reduce epileptic seizures. Plus, CBD might also help relieve the side effects of cancer treatment, which can give patients a more positive outlook and help them live a more normal, comfortable life during treatment.
It seems hard to argue with why CBD shouldnâ€™t be on the market, but there are still many people who oppose its use. The biggest issue with CBD is that since itâ€™s so new, researchers are unsure about its long-term effects. People might see great results when using the chemical in the short term, but the mystery surrounding its safety is enough for a lot of people to give push back.
A lot of the push back also comes from misunderstanding what CBD is. While it does come from the cannabis plant, it is very different from marijuana. Medical marijuana, which is how CBD is often termed, is legal in some American states but not all. Itâ€™s difficult to legalize something without fully understanding if its benefits outweigh its risks.
In time, weâ€™ll know more about CBD. Right now, itâ€™s still new to the market but has shown very promising results in initial research. But it likely wonâ€™t be fully understand for at least several more years.
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