CBD: The Long Lost Cousin of THC

The psychoactive effects of cannabis, which derives from the chemical compound THC, have taken the spotlight since the beginning of the drug's popularity. However, since legalization in Canada and parts of the United States, a new compound found in the bud, cannabidiol (CBD), is gaining popularity. 

From CBD making appearances in makeup, such as Milk Makeup's Kush Mascara, to becoming a prime ingredient in CannaNatural dog treats, innovation in the CBD field has been booming since the end of cannabis prohibition. 

However, considering the CBD market is expected to grow to nearly a twenty billion-dollar industry, the general consumer knowledge about the acclaimed cannabidiol seems to be speckled.

  1. 1. So what exactly is CBD? 

    CBD is a therapeutic and non-intoxicating element found in the cannabis plant which is proven to be efficient in treating several medical conditions such as childhood epilepsy, along with aiding patients suffering from depression and anxiety. 

    If we take a look at the chemical structure of CBD and THC, they appear to be very similar. The only difference in the structure is where THC contains a cyclic ring, CBD contains a hydroxide. This may sound minor, but this very difference changes the way the chemical compound reacts in your endocannabinoid system. 

    Due to the hydroxide in CBD's biochemical structure, it is unable to attach itself to receptors that deliver the "high" effect as THC. Instead, the CBD floats around binding itself to alternate receptors in your cannabinoid system, delivering a more therapeutic effect without the high. 

    This is why scientists call CBD and THC chemical cousins due to their similar chemical structure but polarizing side effects.  

  2. 2. But how do I get it?

    First things first, it is important to note that any cannabis product should be purchased or obtained through a federally regulated service or marketplace in your state or province. In Canada, it is important to check that there is an authorized seal displayed somewhere in the dispensary before purchasing any products. 

    CBD products come in a variety of different forms that require separate methods to administer. Inhalation is one of the most popular ways to ingest CBD. However, for individuals who are looking to consume CBD strictly without other psychoactive compounds, oils, capsules and sprays are the most effective. 

    Be sure to speak with your budtender to figure out the right dosage before administering any CBD. Intensity varies depending on the state of the CBD and the quality of the product.

  3. 3. Are there any side effects? 

    Depending on what state you are in when taking CBD and how you administer the cannabinoid effects may be inconsistent. For example, if someone were to be taking CBD while experiencing severe lower back pain, the effect of the CBD would be more dramatic since there would be a notable decline in the user's pain. But let's say someone who has no pain or medical reason why they should be taking CBD, the effects of the cannabinoid will be subtle.

    Leafly, a popular cannabis-friendly website that is geared to inform consumers on cannabis-related news and products, claims buds with a ratio favouring CBD deliver a clear-headed high with less anxiety. 

    Like any new form of medication, it is important to educate yourself on any harmful side effects that may come about. Despite the promising future CBD holds in the world of natural medicine, it is necessary to take precautions when using the cannabinoid due to the limited and conflicting research concerning the long term implications of consistent use.