No doubt you’ve heard of CBD already. This small-but-mighty molecule has created quite a buzz among those looking to achieve balance, relax, and sleep better.
But what exactly is CBD, and how does it work? How can three little letters boast such a diverse range of benefits?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is just one of about 100 active ingredients found in plants of the cannabis family, which includes hemp. Legal, US-grown hemp plants contain no more than 0.03% THC—but can contain a whole lot of CBD in the flowers, leaves, and seeds.
Unlike its high-inducing cousin THC, CBD does not cause noticeable intoxicating or euphoric effects. That’s why we use hemp flower for our subtle yet effective pre-rolls, and why our CBD products promote balance and wellness without causing intoxication or a “high”.
But how does the CBD achieve these results once it’s in the body? Here’s a quick look at the science (it may seem strange, but bear with us).
Humans naturally produce molecules called endocannabinoids that are similar in structure to cannabinoids like CBD. These are transmitted and received by a network of receptors called the endocannabinoid system (ECS). It works to help maintain homeostasis, A.K.A. our “Goldilocks zone” of optimal functioning.
The ECS has receptors throughout the body, including the brain and nervous systems. The far reach of this network of receptors is, in part, why it impacts so many of the body’s functions. To name a few, the ECS is involved in how we experience pain, how we sleep, and other functions such as inflammation, memory, digestion and immune response.
CBD interacts with your ECS, but does not bind directly to the system’s main receptors, CB1 (located in the central and peripheral nervous systems and the brain) and CB2 (found in the immune and central nervous systems). That’s why CBD doesn’t cause the intoxicating, euphoric effects that THC does; in fact, it may help reduce these effects.
When you smoke a Tweed pre-roll, the CBD in the hemp flower enters your system and interacts with those receptors of yours. When that happens, it can elevate the levels of anandamide—what’s called the “bliss molecule”—in your body. More bliss? Sounds good, right?
- CBD is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid found in hemp and cannabis flower
- CBD interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system, which helps regulate many of the body’s functions
- CBD primarily binds to receptors in the brain and nervous systems, helping to promote homeostasis throughout the body
This is most likely an incomplete picture of the functions and benefits of CBD; for decades, the criminalization of all forms of cannabis delayed extensive research into the full effects of cannabinoids within the body. But now, as more and more people are experiencing the potential of CBD, attitudes are shifting, and there are clinical trials underway that will move what we know about the molecule from the subjective realm into the arena of objective science.