We’ve covered indica, sativa, and cannabis hybrids so far in our Cannabis 101 series. Now it’s time for CBD. But, what is CBD exactly? Let’s discuss.
Cannabidiol — better known as CBD — is one of the most prevalent cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. When taken alone, CBD provides a wide range of health benefits without leaving you feeling high like you would after consuming the compound tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
What is CBD?
When you consume CBD, it bonds with your endocannabinoid system, a series of receptors that runs through all the major systems of your body. The bond between CBD and these receptors can produce numerous physical benefits, from boosting and stabilizing your mood to stimulating your appetite and alleviating pain.
Why do we hear so much about CBD?
More than ever, it seems, we're hearing people ask "what is CBD?" But it's been around awhile. While Queen Victoria frequently used cannabis high in CBD to relieve menstrual cramps during the 19th century, the compound’s medicinal qualities didn’t get much attention until the 1990s. Animal studies in Great Britain showed that CBD lessened anxiety and reduced the frequency and severity of seizures. Further studies were conducted to assess the compound’s potential health benefits, and by 2009, a lab in California successfully cultivated strains containing more CBD than THC.
In 2010, CBD gained more notoriety when a desperate father in Montana treated his 20-month-old son’s stage IV brain cancer with CBD oil. The boy’s tumor shrunk almost immediately, and he lived for another two and a half years before the state inexplicably passed legislation that hindered the boy’s family from getting the cannabis oil he needed.
CBD then made national headlines in 2013 when a 3-year-old Colorado girl suffering from 300 grand mal seizures each week — or every 15 minutes — saw her seizures cease for a week at a time after starting a regimen of CBD-rich oil. The girl’s story was broadcast on CNN, leading other families to move to the state in order to obtain similar treatments for their sick kids. It also led previously prohibitionist states to introduce pro-CPB legislation.
Understand the effects
In addition to fighting cancer and stopping epileptic seizures, CBD can also protect nerve cells from neurological diseases like multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s. It can serve as a safer alternative to dangerous and addictive prescription painkillers — which is especially helpful in light of our nation’s current opioid epidemic.
CBD can also reduce inflammation, as well as help people suffering from schizophrenia and mood disorders like depression and PTSD. Research has also uncovered its potential for treating other health conditions, including diabetes, alcoholism, arthritis, and antibiotic-resistant infections. CBD can even help counteract the feelings of paranoia and anxiety often experienced by recreational users of THC.
All-star CBD strains
Evidence suggests that CBD is safe even at high doses, and if you’re considering using CBD-heavy strains, consider one of the following popular, CBD-dominant strains:
- AC/DC: This berry-scented strain typically tests around 30-to-1 CBD-to-THC, and has long been a favorite of CBD fans
- Cannatonic: With strong citrus notes, this strain has less than 6 percent THC and is frequently used to fight migraines, muscles spasms, stress, and nausea
- Charlotte’s Web: A well-know strain that tests at less than 0.3 percent THC, this is most commonly used for pain relief and delivers virtually no psychoactive effects
- Corazon: A new strain (2017), this Oregon specialty with AC/DC lineage has a 22.5 percent CBD score with less than 3 percent THC
Hopefully this helped you better understand CBD. If you’re looking for information on strains with increased psychoactive effects, head over to our Cannabis 101 articles on indica, sativa, and hybrids.