According to The Hemp Business Journal, over the next three years, the CBD market is predicted to grow by 700%. Yet, in a survey conducted in 2016, only 5% of Americans know what CBD is. So, what is CBD? How does it work? What are the various products available?
What is CBD?
Cannabis plants contain 60, naturally occurring, active compounds called cannabinoids. Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of these compounds found in hemp and marijuana plants. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the most well-known cannabinoid and is associated with marijuana’s psychoactive properties. Unlike THC, CBD does not cause a “high” effect and can offer relief and benefits without the disconcerting feelings of lethargy or dysphoria. While clinical studies have yet to prove CBD’s ability to cure various ailments and diseases, testimonials and independent research points to this compound’s ability to alleviate unwanted symptoms. So, how does CBD work? To answer this question, we must introduce the endocannabinoid system.
How does CBD work?
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a collection of cell receptors and the corresponding molecules (agonists) in the human body. This system helps to regulate sleep, appetite, mood, motor control, immune function, pleasure, pain, reproduction and fertility, memory and temperature regulation. When the ECS is in balance, one experiences homeostasis.
Endocannabinoids are the molecules that act as chemical messengers that bind to cannabinoid cell receptors and tell the body to do certain things. The human body naturally produces endocannabinoids with the help of consuming foods like fatty acids found in nuts and fish. The 60 cannabinoid molecules found in cannabis also have the ability to bind to cannabinoid receptors. Although different cannabinoids (like CBD and THC) cause different effects, it is all through the same system that similar molecular messages are sent throughout the body. Put more simply, the molecules found in cannabis plants aid in the human body’s endocannabinoid system, which is responsible for many vital functions.
What do people use CBD for?
Millions of people around the world are discovering that CBD can help to alleviate unwanted symptoms of ailments and diseases. Some of the most common reasons people use CBD is to alleviate symptoms of pain, anxiety, depression, headaches/migraines, epilepsy, nausea/stomach pain, inflammation, PTSD, insomnia, and MS.
Types of CBD Products
Cannabidiol products can be ingested in multiple ways depending on each consumer’s preference. CBD can be smoked, vaped, taken sublingually or orally, used topically, or even added to your favorite beverages and foods.
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