What is CBD?
Learn how it works and what to expect.
- Unlike THC, CBD generally has no intoxicating effect.
- CBD interacts with the human Endocannabinoid System by encouraging the release of our own endocannabinoids
- CBD is most commonly made available as an oil or in capsule form.
- As a natural product, the CBD content in a cannabis product may vary from product to product and lot to lot.
Cannabinoids are chemical compounds that are produced naturally in our bodies and in some plants; they’re called endocannabinoids in humans and phytocannabinoids in plants.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is the most common cannabinoid in cannabis, and although it can have an effect on both mind and body, it has little to no intoxicating effect. It’s found in the trichomes on the flower of many cannabis strains, including hemp.
CBD is extracted from the trichomes and is commonly made available as an oil or in capsule form. It can also be applied topically as a cream or salve, inhaled or ingested in dried flower format, or ingested as an oil or in an edible product.
How CBD Works
Research into understanding how CBD works is ongoing. Studies to date suggest that rather than binding to the CB1 receptors in the human endocannabinoid system, as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) does, CBD acts differently, increasing or improving the production of our own endocannabinoids.
This is because chemically, CBD inhibits the production of an enzyme in our body that regulates and destroys our own excess endocannabinoids. This leads to us having more of our own endocannabinoids circulating in our bodies, which affects our physical state.
Recent studies also suggest CBD may alter the effects of other natural chemicals in our bodies, including serotonin, which modulates mood and stress; adenosine, which impacts our sleep-wake cycle; and vanilloid, which contributes to pain modulation.
CBD content, also known as potency, is expressed as a percentage of milligrams per gram in cannabis. For instance, 12% CBD means that it contains 120 milligrams of CBD per gram of cannabis.
At the Dutch Cannabis Dispensary we try not to use percentages, but instead we use milligrams(mg) per serving size and milligrams(mg) per total product. This way you can dose more precisely and you know exactly what your preferred dosage is.
CBD and THC
Although it requires more scientific research, cannabinoids and other compounds in cannabis plants and products are thought to work together to amplify or modulate the effects of cannabis, a theory referred to as “the entourage effect.”
Additionally, some studies show that CBD, in combination with THC, appears to reduce some of the psychoactive effects of THC. So selecting a product with similar levels of CBD and THC may help curb the overwhelming or unwanted effects (such as anxiety) that are often associated with consuming high amounts of THC.