What is Cannabidiol (CBD)?

What is Cannabidiol (CBD)?

We all grasp the basics of marijuana. When we consume it, we get high. The buzz can vary, depending on what is being inhaled or eaten, but the effects are generally familiar.

It’s all about the THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the natural compound found in the plant that has psychoactive effects. But cannabis contains much more than just THC. Another important compound is CBD (cannabidiol), which consumers, dispensaries, brands and wholesale marijuana growers in California and elsewhere are increasingly exploring. Its effects differ quite a bit from THC.

For one thing, CBD is not psychoactive — you might feel things from consuming CBD, but the familiar stoned feeling is not one of them. Instead, the virtues of CBD revolve around medical applications, ranging from managing multiple sclerosis symptoms to brain health to ADHD.

Some people swear by the “entourage effect,” which champions combinations of CBD and THC simultaneously. The idea: the healing effects of CBD do not fully flower unless THC is also along for the ride. CBD:THC formulations come in a wide variety of ratios — 1:1 CBD to THC is common, and so is 10:1 CBD to THC, for example. Other CBD enthusiasts embrace CBD on its own, without the THC. Many of these products, most of which are serviced by the wholesale marijuana industry, are sold as hemp oil and are available for purchase online and in non-dispensaries, for example, carries a broad line of CBD products, minus the THC.

CBD products come in all sorts of forms, from tinctures to massage oils to pills and more, and wholesale marijuana growers are dedicating more and more space to plants that are loaded with CBD. And they are growing increasingly popular with a broad spectrum of consumers, from longtime marijuana fans to newbies who have never tried pot, have never stepped into a dispensary and buy their CBD products online.



As it is with all potential medical applications for CBD, little scientific research has yet been conducted with CBD due to the federal government’s view of cannabis as illegal — and all CBD comes from marijuana. Regardless, consumers have flocked to CBD for pain relief, and some studies have confirmed CBD’s promise. People treat backaches, sore rotator cuffs, migraines and just about any common pain with CBD, and they don’t use just pills and salves to address pain issues. Wholesale marijuana businesses are growing strains like Cannatonic, Remedy and ACDC that are especially CBD-rich and used for inhaling, as well as turning into oils and distillates.


The CBD-sleep connection, for some, revolves around the pain-relief benefits of CBD. For sufferers of chronic pain, sleep is often difficult. Pain mitigation through CBD can lead to improved sleep. But sleep issues routinely have nothing to do with pain; they can stem from anxiety, for example. And anxiety is a primary target for CBD aficionados. In small doses, CBD is believed to be stimulative and provides bursts of energy. Larger doses, though, can lead to a more relaxed feeling; some people say they feel the anxiety melt away after using CBD. A variety of studies have been published exploring CBD and sleep, and a recent summary of the research concluded that CBD “may hold promise” for insomnia issues, but that more research is necessary.


This is one area of CBD research that has proceeded with more oomph than other medical applications, and the results so far are promising. In fact, earlier this year during the American Epilepsy Society’s annual convention researchers released a study called “Efficacy and Safety of Epidiolex (Cannabidiol) in Children and Young Adults With Treatment-Resistant Epilepsy” that confirmed the effectiveness of CBD for treating epilepsy. Another study from this year, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, produced more evidence that CBD can help ease the symptoms of epilepsy. Meanwhile, people who suffer from epilepsy have been CBD champions, including in many cases the parents of children who are finding relief through CBD.


Quitting cigarettes is exceedingly difficult; many never slip away from tobacco’s hold over their lives. Some who do, however, have used CBD to help finally break from cigarettes. One 2013 study published in the journal Addictive Behavior found a significant difference between people using a placebo and those using CBD to help ease them away from their tobacco addictions — the CBD users had much more success. Other studies have examined CBD and opiate addiction, cocaine addiction and more. For people suffering from addictions, CBD holds promise.

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