Most cannabis users are aware that Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is a main chemical compound in cannabis that causes psychoactive effects, but they might be unaware that THC is accompanied by an array of chemical compounds. One accompanying compound currently discussed in science is Cannabidiol (CBD) for its minimal psychoactive properties and abounding medicinal properties, which through increased awareness might make cannabis accessible to an audience not seeking a psychoactive experience.
THC affects the body through cannabinoids, which according to Leafly, “are the chemical compounds secreted by cannabis flowers that provide relief to an array of symptoms including pain, nausea, and inflammation.” Cannabis contains at least 85 types of cannabinoids that attach to receptors in the human body.
Project CBD defines receptors as CB1 (concentrated in the brain and central nervous system) and CB2 (predominant in the peripheral nervous system and the immune system). Cannabis’ cannabinoids imitate cannabinoids naturally produced by human bodies.
CBD as specified by Project CBD, “is a cannabis compound that has significant medical benefits, but does not make people feel ‘stoned’ and can actually counteract the psychoactivity of THC.”
Project CBD elaborates that CBD minimally attaches to either of the receptors and suppresses the enzyme fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), which breaks down anandamide. Anandamide is an endogenous cannabinoid – meaning it binds to one or more cannabinoid receptors, is found naturally within the mammalian body and brain, and favors the CB1 receptor. FAAH plays a large role in the metabolic breakdown of anandamide; therefore, less FAAH means more anandamide within the body. The final result is greater CB1 activation, which is beneficial for relief from inflammation, pain, anxiety, seizures, spasms, and more.
While many may use cannabis seeking a psychoactive experience, the dissemination and knowledge of CBD-dominant strains might make cannabis’ medicinal properties accessible to a greater population.