Since the non-intoxicating compound in marijuana, cannabidiol (CBD), hit the mainstream a few years ago, with its ability to provide relief from a variety of health conditions from chronic pain to seizures, now it seems that everyone wants in on the remedy.
In a lot of ways, CBD has become a socially acceptable way for the zombies of popular culture to consume marijuana without being considered a stoner — this in spite of the fact that it is a derivative of the cannabis plant, a substance the federal government still considers a no-no.
But how is it that this part of the plant doesn’t come with the high typically associated with weed?
Well, that’s all science, baby.
It was back in 1992 when scientists learned that the human body was equipped with what is called the Endocannabinoid system, which is a series of receptors (CB1 and CB2) all over the body designed perfectly to respond to cannabis. Considering that cannabinoids were first discovered in the 1940s, it is a bit baffling that it took researchers so long to determine that humans were built to feel the effects of marijuana. But they finally got there — that’s all that is important — leaning how the various components of the cannabis plant reacted with certain receptors in the brain, immune system and vital organs.
Without going overboard with all the science babble, let’s just say that CBD pushes back against the stoned effects of marijuana. If THC, the chemical compound in pot that produces the feel goods, is the party, CBD is the person at the door making sure the scene doesn’t spiral out of control.
It is for this reason that if an individual smokes a strain with a near equal ratio of THC:CBD, the high that comes with it will not be as intense as a high-THC strain on its own.
Although CBD is often referred to as the non-psychoactive compound, this is not completely accurate. The cannabinoid does work on the mind, which typically makes it a psychoactive force — only it does this without getting the user stoned. This is why CBD has the ability to combat pain and even certain mental health issues. Research has shown the compound has mood enhancement properties, not to mention the ability to relax anxiety issues and reduce seizure frequency in epilepsy patients. In fact, CBD’s ability to control seizures is really where all of its popularity came from in the first place.
It’s true that CBD is non-intoxicating, but it can still lead to incarceration. Depending on how the substance is manufactured, it is still considered a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act.
CBD extracted from industrial hemp seed is typically overlooked, but possession of any substance squeezed from the cannabis plant itself can lead to jail. It is important to understand the pot laws in your state.