With wide-ranging medical applications, CBD inhabits a legal gray area and is legal almost everywhere.
CBD is a non-psychoactive component of marijuana. Yet it occurs in high enough concentrations that extracting it from cannabis plants is relatively easy. Cannabidiol holds the key to the wide variety of medicinal and therapeutic effects marijuana offers.
Cannabis plants are chemical powerhouses that produce more than 400 different compounds. Not all of those compounds are unique to marijuana, of course, and appear in many other species of plants. That’s why marijuana can smell like pine trees or taste like fresh lemons. But of those 400 compounds, more than 60 of them are totally specific to the plant genus Cannabis. Scientists call these special compounds cannabinoids. However, not all cannabinoids are created equal. One of them, cannabidiol, or CBD, holds the key to the wide variety of medicinal and therapeutic effects marijuana offers.
Cannabidiol is the most promising non-psychotropic cannabinoid compound present in the plant Cannabis sativa, due to its various medicinal and therapeutic potentials, among which antioxidant, anti-psychotic and anxiolytic effects are found.
In recent years there has been growing interest in the research of this compound due to the discovery of antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties. Making it very attractive for the treatment of conditions caused by inflammation and oxidative stress, these include Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease and ischemic reperfusion injury.
All these properties and effects were brought to light thanks to the discovery of endogenous cannabinoids within our bodies, which are coupled, activated and regulate our Endocannabinoid System.
CBD is found in a lower proportion than THC in most of the varieties available in the market, this is because most of the growers always sought to obtain higher content of psychoactive cannabinoid (THC), leaving aside the varieties that presented a higher concentration of CBD. But, with the discoveries about its medicinal effect, during the last years many cultivators and seed banks began to rescue these varieties of cannabis from oblivion, so now it is possible to find strains that contain a ratio of THC / CBD of 1: 1 , that is, they have the same concentration of THC and CBD.
The most interesting property of CBD is that it behaves like a THC antagonist, reducing the psychoactive effect of this, since it does not act on the cannabinoid receptors present in the brain (CB1). So varieties with the same percentage of both cannabinoids will not produce powerful psychoactive effects, but important medicinal effects.
Among the medicinal effects of CBD the most important to highlight is the ability to induce the death of cancer cells without affecting the healthy cells of our body, as if chemotherapy does. Currently, many researchers are studying CBD as an anticancer agent and it has been found to be very effective in breast cancer, colon and some types of brain cancer. It is also proven to reduce seizures in people affected by epilepsy. It also helps control psychotic disorders, depression and anxiety, in addition to providing neuroprotective effects, especially those who have just suffered a stroke. In the same way as THC, it has an anti-inflammatory, analgesic effect and helps control nausea and vomiting.