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. For an industry that is supposed to grow exponentially, it sure does seem like the public needs to become more educated on this product. We are here to help!
What is CBD?
CBD – Cannabidiol- is one of the 60 cannabinoids found in cannabis. Cannabinoids are a group of active, naturally occurring compounds found in all cannabis plants. Tetrahydrocannabinol, aka 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. How do cannabinoids interact with the human body and why do cannabinoids cause different effects? To answer this question, we must introduce the endocannabinoid system.
The Endocannabinoid System and how CBD works
In the 1980s, President Ronald Reagan poured tens of millions of dollars into a study to prove that marijuana damages the human brain. But, rather than showing how marijuana harms the brain, the Reagan administration ended up subsidizing a series of studies that culminated in the discovery of the endocannabinoid system. 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.