CBD Oil – You may have heard of it and maybe even tried it. But – how much do you know about it? Do you know enough to get the maximum benefit? Are you using it at the best dosage?
CBD is short for cannabidiol. It is one of the many phytocannabinoids (plant-derived cannabinoids) found in all Cannabis species – and for the most part, only from Cannabis. The CBD sold today comes almost exclusively from hemp – a plant that is genetically and chemically different from the cannabis plant.
Hemp and cannabis are cousins – they are also legally different plants and are now treated as separate plants by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Phytocannabinoids – which include “high” producing CBD and THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) – are plant substances that are believed to be natural plant defenses against stress caused by infection and damage caused by insects, bacteria, viruses, and fungi and as a defense against solar UV radiation and dehydration.
Phytocannabinoids protect plants against biological and environmental stress (1, 2). Phytocannabinoids are produced and stored in plant structures called glandular trichomes which are found mainly in plant leaves (3).
The evidence that this biochemical system is important lies in the fact that it evolved over 500 million years ago and is present in all vertebrate organisms – that is. those with the backbone.
Cbd And Thc Chemical Structure
CBD – and other phytocannabinoids – bind to the receptors of the endocannabinoid system to produce various effects.
Think of the receptors as the key and phytocannabinoids like CBD as the key. Not every key matches every key – and if the key (or ligands as it is technically known) doesn’t fit, the key (receptor) won’t open – and in that case, not unlocking means the win receptor isn’t activated.
On the other hand, if the key doesn’t fit, then the lock is unlocked, and the receptors are activated to do what it’s supposed to do.
To understand what CBD does – and what it can’t, let’s look at the human endocannabinoid system.