The Beginner’s Guide To Cannabidiol: What It Is, What It Does, Who It’s For
Medical marijuana has become an increasingly popular topic of discussion. Given the constant barrage of information surrounding the use of medical marijuana, it can be difficult to separate fact from opinion. And so, we sought to create a beginner’s guide, in an effort to organize, simplify and destigmatize the often-misunderstood nature of cannabidiol.
While cannabidiol is assumed by many to be synonymous with THC, the two compounds are in fact very different. THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is one of many chemical compounds found in cannabis. THC is responsible for the euphoric high commonly associated with marijuana.
It is true that cannabidiol, or CBD, is also a chemical compound found in the cannabis sativa plant. Unlike THC, however, cannabidiol does not produce the same psychotropic effects. CBD can, in fact, be used to help counteract the psychoactive effects of THC. Cannabidiol has been found to diminish several undesirable effects of THC, such as lethargy, paranoia, and impaired memory.
While medical marijuana has only recently become such a polarizing subject of heated debate, the concept itself is anything but new. People have been using cannabis medicinally for thousands of years, and for good reason.
Given not only the countless therapeutic applications but also the low risk and mild nature of side effects associated with CBD, it comes as no surprise that so many believe cannabidiol will be heralded as a medical miracle. Cannabidiol has a number of significant medical benefits and can be used to treat a variety of conditions, including:
- Chronic & Neuropathic Pain
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
- Nausea & Vomiting
- Motor Disorders
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Substance Abuse
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
The efficacy of medical cannabis is owed to an integral biological structure known as the Endocannabinoid System. The endocannabinoid system is responsible for the regulation and maintenance of numerous bodily functions in order to achieve the biological condition known as homeostasis. The endocannabinoid system actively regulates and thereby controls:
- Blood Sugar
- Immune Response
- Body Temperature
- Sleep Cycles
As previously mentioned, the cannabis sativa plant contains hundreds of compounds. These include CBD and THC, which belong to a larger group known as cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are the chemical compounds from which marijuana derives its medicinal properties.
Cannabinoids work by binding to the specialized receptors of the endocannabinoid system, and by imitating and activating compounds known as endocannabinoids, which our bodies naturally produce. By activating certain receptors such as adenosine and serotonin, CBD is able to aid in the regulation and control of your mood, pain signals, and immune response.
Few side effects from cannabidiol have been reported, and those that do occur are typically mild and temporary. Potential side effects of CBD include dry mouth, low blood pressure, and feeling drowsy or light-headed.
The vast majority of evidence indicates that cannabidiol is safe and effective even at high doses. CBD is also safe to use for prolonged periods, depending on dosage. Unlike many medicinal substances, it has been determined that CBD presents no risk of lethal overdose.
The legal status of cannabidiol varies by state, despite the fact that it is considered illegal under federal law. While cannabidiol is classified as a schedule 1 drug per DEA ruling, federal law cannot dictate or undermine state laws regulating the sale and consumption of medical marijuana.
Marijuana products containing more than 1% THC is illegal, as is medical marijuana purchased without a prescription. Certain states do allow the legal use of CBD for medicinal purposes, however, so long as it used as part of a treatment plan prescribed by a licensed medical professional.
Hemp is another legal option for cannabidiol, as the purchase and use of CBD from hemp products is legal in all 50 states.
Despite overwhelming evidence as to the medical benefits of CBD, it has yet to receive FDA approval for medicinal use. Thankfully, this is expected to change in the not-so-distant future.
Whether you suffer from any of the aforementioned conditions or simply think you might benefit from cannabidiol therapy, schedule your evaluation with a Boca Raton Medical Marijuana Doctor today.