What it can do for you…
Medical patients swear by it. Researchers are intrigued by it. Government regulators are flustered by it. And investors are head over heels for it.
CBD oil is the It-Medicine of the moment.
A few years ago, hardly anyone knew about CBDoil. Today there’s a huge demand for it. Millions of people are taking CBD oil as a health supplement. But what exactly is it? Where does it come from? How is it made? And what should you know before you buy it?
WHERE DOES CBD OIL COME FROM?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of more than 100 unique “cannabinoid” compounds that are found in the oily resin of the cannabis plant. The sticky, gooey resin is concentrated on the dense clusters of cannabis flowers, commonly called “buds,” which are covered by tiny, mushroom-shaped “trichomes.” This is where the magic happens.
Trichomes are specialized glandular structures that contain a treasure trove of oily, medicinal compounds, including CBD, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and various aromatic terpenes. Why does cannabis create these oily compounds? What does the resin do for the plant?
The oily trichomes protect the plant from heat and ultraviolet radiation. The oil also has antifungal, antibacterial and insecticidal properties that deter predators. The stickiness of the resin provides another defensive layer by trapping bugs.
As it happens, the same oily resin that protects the health of the plant includes components that are beneficial for human health. CBD, a non-intoxicating compound, has shown promise in treating and managing the symptoms of a broad range of diseases. Ditto for THC, CBD’s intoxicating cousin.
Benefits of CBD
Taking cannabidiol (CBD) perhaps doesn’t sound that appealing to a recreational cannabis user, who wants a classic psychoactive experience. And indeed, when consuming cannabis to get “high,” it’s simply counter-productive to dull the effects with CBD, which isn’t just non-psychoactive but serves to suppress the impact of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
However, the cannabis plant has changed dramatically over the past few decades and is chemically unrecognizable to what was being smoked during the ‘Summer of Love’ back in the 1960s. Strains have much greater quantities of THC than they once did, and levels of CBD in recreational cannabis are typically minimal.
While this is brilliant for enhancing the psychoactive effects, this chemical imbalance means that we quickly acquire a tolerance to cannabis. And, on a more serious note, without the balance between CBD and THC, could chronic use of high-THC strains be having a negative impact on the brain. One study, which we will focus on later, suggests so – but don’t worry, CBD can help!