Cannabidiol (CBD) is a chemical compound found in cannabis plants, and it has become increasingly popular in recent years. But with its newfound popularity comes confusion: Is CBD addictive? How is it different from marijuana? What are the health benefits and risks? In this article, we'll explore the potential risks and benefits of CBD, and how it differs from THC. Cannabinoids are chemical compounds that occur naturally in our body and in some plants. In humans, they are called endocannabinoids, and in plants they are called phytocannabinoids.
The endocannabinoid system is like our body's operating system: it affects neurotransmitters that bind to receptors and influence pain, mood, appetite, sleep and the way we feel, move and react. Plant-derived phytocannabinoids mimic our body's natural systems, since their chemical composition is similar to that of endocannabinoids. CBD is a common cannabinoid in cannabis, which is actually a group of flowering plants. Marijuana is a term generally used to refer to the dried plant form of cannabis.
Hemp is another term used to refer to varieties of the plant cultivated for non-pharmacological use, such as fiber. The main difference between the varieties is due to the content of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The two most abundant cannabinoids in cannabis are cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which are found in both marijuana and hemp. Marijuana, however, has a higher concentration of THC.
When heat is applied, THC breaks down and produces a mind-altering high by binding to the brain's cannabinoid receptors; raw cannabis doesn't. Depending on the amount of THC, it can induce relaxation and pleasant perceptual alterations in some people, and anxiety, increased blood pressure, hallucinations, paranoia and even psychosis in others. On the other hand, CBD is not psychoactive and does not appear to be addictive. It interacts with the human endocannabinoid system by encouraging the release of our own endocannabinoids. If a product has THC levels greater than 0.3 percent (by dry weight), the government considers it marijuana.
If a hemp-derived CBD product contains THC, it must be below 0.3 percent to be legal. For perspective, today's average marijuana strain contains about 12 percent THC. You can buy CBD oil at dispensaries, specialty stores, health food stores, gas stations, wellness boutiques or online. You can mix the oil in capsules with food or drinks, or eat it in the form of gummy or chocolate. Many people take it as a tincture, usually made from high-CBD hemp strains mixed with 60 to 70 percent alcohol.
Tinctures can be measured with a dropper, sprayed under the tongue or massaged in the form of oil, topical lotion or balm; you can even give them to your pet. You can also vape CBD e-juice designed specifically for that purpose. Once again, remember that CBD products are largely unregulated in terms of safety. If the amount of THC in the product is higher than what is indicated on the label, you may fail a drug screening test. Clinical trials are still in their early stages but there is increasing evidence to suggest that certain strains and doses of CBD may be effective in treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), schizophrenia, psychosis, neuropathic pain, type 1 diabetes, cancer and cognitive symptoms associated with HIV and Alzheimer's disease.So does CBD have potential for addiction? While chronic cannabis use may increase the risk of dependence, current research suggests that CBD alone does not appear to have the potential for addiction or abuse. The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation does not recommend the use of CBD for people in recovery unless approved by the FDA and in prescription form. The biggest risk of using store-bought CBD supplements is that they may include THC despite what it says on the label. In conclusion, while there is no scientific evidence to support it yet, there is increasing evidence that suggests certain strains and doses of CBD may be effective in treating certain medical conditions without having any potential for addiction or abuse.