Now that Cannabis is legal in many States there is growing medicinal and recreational interest. One of the products that has exploded onto the market in recent years is CBD. So, what is CBD and how is it different from Cannabis?
What is Cannabis?
While the word Cannabis refers to the plant Cannabis Sativa, it also refers to the drug. Cannabis is the same as Marijuana, Weed, or Dope. Many people prefer to use the word Cannabis as it has fewer negative connotations.
The drug is the dried buds of the Cannabis plant. You can process the buds into compounds like Hashish or smoke the buds as they are. You can also turn Cannabis into different products like oil, sweets, and tinctures.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol or CBD is an extract taken from the Cannabis plant. Hemp is the type of Cannabis plant normally used to produce CBD.
CBD is a phytocannabinoid that interacts with our bodies endocannabinoid system. Proponents claim CBD has a wide range of health benefits and can be used to treat many different conditions. They are also keen to promote CBD as a safer alternative to Cannabis.
It is possible to consume CBD in different ways depending on your needs. CBD is often mixed with a carrier oil such as Hemp which you can take orally or apply to the skin. CBD is also available in many other forms such as gummies, vape, or skin creams.
What is the difference between Cannabis and CBD?
The key difference between Cannabis and CBD is that CBD does not contain THC (in high amounts that is).
THC or Tetrahydrocannabinol is a psychoactive phytocannabinoid found in cannabis. THC binds with the CB1 receptors in our brains. This creates the euphoric feeling many people experience when smoking cannabis.
Unlike Cannabis, CBD does not contain THC. CBD does not bind to CB1 receptors on its own so doesn’t produce the euphoric feelings associated with Cannabis. CBD is usually produced from Hemp plants which have naturally low levels of THC. However, only CBD isolate can guarantee no trace of THC at all.
How are Cannabis and CBD used?
Cannabis has many different uses. It is best known as a recreational drug that gets you high. Cannabis is generally thought of as a soft drug and is not considered to be dangerous.
Many people use CBD and Cannabis for medicinal rather than recreational reasons. There have not been any definitive studies confirming the medical benefits of Cannabis. Nonetheless, there is considerable anecdotal evidence that Cannabis can help some chronic conditions. Epilepsy, Multiple Sclerosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Tourette’s all appear to respond to the use of Cannabis.
CBD is the preferred option for people keen to explore the health benefits of cannabis. As there is no THC, users can enjoy the benefits but don’t need to worry about the psychoactive side effects. Manufacturers claim you can use CBD to ease the symptoms of:
- Chronic pain
- Anxiety & depression
- Sleep disorders such as insomnia
In short, you can consider CBD the safer alternative to Cannabis. CBD will deliver the same potential benefits but without the mind-bending side effects.