CBD: A Simple Introduction
THE WORLD OF CBD online is a big, big place; and one that it’s easy to get very lost in amid all the available information (and, unfortunately, misinformation). In this post, we have done the hard work for you- if you want to start learning about CBD, then this super simple and easy introduction is the perfect place to start.
CBD, or cannabidiol to give it its full name, is a naturally occurring chemical that has been used in many therapeutic and health/wellbeing products. This can be taken in a variety of ways, most commonly as an oil tincture, and also as a spray, capsules, topical creams and more.
The origin of cannabidiol lies in an extract of hemp or cannabis plants. Part of what makes up these plants is a family of a little over 100 different chemicals called “cannabinoids”. Other than CBD and perhaps THC, you probably won't have heard of the others- but these are the main two that are worth looking at for now.
The molecular structure of cannabidiol, one of many chemicals that make up the cannabinoid family.
This is where confusion can occur for some- the association between CBD and Cannabis can often lead people to worry about whether products might get them high, and negatively alter their mental state. It is actually that other cannabinoid, THC, which is the active ingredient that will interact with various systems in your body and give you the “high” sensation commonly attributed to Cannabis. CBD does also interact with your body’s systems, but it will not cause any psychotropic highs.
Side note: “Psychoactive” and “psychotropic” are commonly swapped around and used to mean the same thing, but there is a very important difference. Psychoactive refers to a chemical that can interact with the brain, such as CBD or caffeine, but without affecting your perception or cognition. Psychotropic chemicals are ones that interact with the brain but can also alter your state of mind, like THC, and can also inhibit your coordination.
When you take CBD (or any cannabinoid), it interacts with a naturally present system in your body known as the endocannabinoid system, or ECS for short. We will be going into much more detail on the ECS in the next blog post and how exactly it works, but to summarise simply- it is a regulatory system that helps to keep many aspects of your body in balance. This includes sleep, stress & anxiety, memory & concentration, pain relief, and a whole array of other important attributes that can benefit your daily wellbeing.
There is a great deal more that can be explored here, and in future educational content we will focus in on some more in-depth CBD questions and guides.