When you first started your investigation of the potential health benefits of CBD (cannabidiol) products, you may have felt a bit uncomfortable when you learned that CBD is extracted from cannabis. You are not alone. Many people initially feel uncomfortable with the thought of purchasing cannabis products. You may even have wondered how CBD would make you feel, concerned about the potential effects on your brain.
For this reason, it’s important for us to point out that there are two types of cannabis plants, marijuana, and hemp. These beneficial plants have been used for centuries for different reasons. Some cannabis plants were cultivated for their use in textiles, as food (hemp seeds), and to make rope. Other cannabis plants (marijuana) were cultivated for religious purposes and medical use.
The Potential Sources of Cannabidiol
The CBD (cannabidiol) that you have been hearing so much buzz about is one of the nonpsychoactive cannabinoids found in cannabis plants. Marijuana and hemp are both excellent sources of CBD. Each of these plants contains at least 113 cannabinoids, as well as vitamins, minerals, flavonoids, and plant terpenes. The distinction made between the two plants lies in the available levels of THC, one of the other cannabinoids found in cannabis.
The CBD Extracted from Marijuana
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the psychoactive cannabinoid found in abundance in marijuana. It is the cannabinoid responsible for marijuana’s intoxicating effects. Marijuana contains anywhere from 5-30 percent THC, depending on the plant source. The THC content is the reason marijuana is still illegal in most states, or requires a prescription for medical use.
THC stimulates the release of dopamine and interferes with information processing. While marijuana is known for causing feelings of elation and relaxation, not all the effects of THC are positive. Some of the lesser-known consequences of THC include:
- Increased symptoms of anxiety
- Impaired motor skills
- Increased heart rate (tachycardia)
- Issues with short-term memory recall
The CBD Extracted from Hemp
The CBD extracted from the cannabis plant hemp contains only trace amounts of THC, not enough to cause any psychoactive effects. In fact, the THC levels in cannabis are what differentiate hemp from marijuana. A cannabis plant must contain 0.3 percent or less THC to be classified as hemp, that is how our government now distinguishes between the plants. This is important because hemp is legal in most states under this criteria. The US farm bill (Agricultural Act of 2014) legalized industrial hemp farming, but not marijuana.
While you won’t need to worry about the trace amounts of THC from hemp causing any unwelcomed effects, it may also be reassuring to know that CBD can neutralize the effects of THC. CBD is a THC antagonist. If a hemp crop is planted too close to a marijuana crop, the hemp pollen can ruin the marijuana crop by diluting the psychoactive properties of the THC.
Efforts to Prove the Negative Effects of THC Lead to an Important Discovery
Now that you know that CBD from hemp will not cause any unwanted psychoactive effects, you may be confused as to why CBD from hemp has so many potential benefits. The explanation lies in the discovery of your body’s communication system.
In the 1980s the Reagan administration spent a lot of money trying to verify that marijuana causes brain damage. When these suspicions were proven false, the administration funded several studies that led researchers to the discovery of the endocannabinoid system, named for the plant that led to the discovery.
The Communication Network Bridging Your Body and Your Brain
While our understanding of the endocannabinoid system is still in its infancy, what research has discovered is quite fascinating. Your endocannabinoid system relies on messengers and receptors to create a communication network between your body and your brain. This constant communication regulates and maintains the function of almost every system in your body. Some of the functions managed through your endocannabinoid system include:
- Inflammation and pain perception
- Social behavior and mood regulation
- Stress and emotional responses
- Sleep cycle regulation
- Memory and Learning
- Functions of the Immune system
- Metabolism and thermal regulation
- Neural protection, learning, and memory
- Your circulatory and digestive processes
The Messengers of Your Endocannabinoid System
The messengers for your endocannabinoid system are neurotransmitters. The messengers communicate through the receptors to generate a response. There are two types of messengers that your endocannabinoid system responds to.
Endocannabinoids are the cannabinoids made within your body. The two main endocannabinoids are anandamide and 2-AG (2-arachidonoyl glycerol). 2-AG is found in higher concentrations in your brain while anandamide is found in the highest levels throughout the rest of your body.
The Exogenous Cannabinoids
Exogenous cannabinoids are the cannabinoids found in sources outside of your body. Cannabidiol (CBD) is the exogenous cannabinoid extracted from cannabis. Now that you know the crucial differences between the CBD sources, you know that CBD from hemp won’t produce andy psychoactive effects, but still has the potential to supplement your all-important endocannabinoid system.
Researchers commonly believe that your endocannabinoid system regulates the processes necessary for your survival. The effects of exogenous cannabinoids are shown to be stronger and longer lasting than the endogenous cannabinoids produced in your body.
Understanding How CBD Could Influence the Way You Feel
Supplementing the endocannabinoid system with exogenous cannabinoids is an interesting topic of conversation. Many people, just like you, wonder how CBD would make them feel. The answer to that inquiry is a bit complex; everyone is different. We can tell you how CBD from hemp won’t make you feel; it won’t make you feel high.
How CBD could make you feel may be determined by the current state of your endocannabinoid system. Some researchers believe that many health conditions could be the result of a disruption in the communication processes regulated by the endocannabinoid system. In theory, a body not producing enough cannabinoids, or breaking down cannabinoids too quickly, is thrown off balance.
A renowned cannabinoid researcher, Dr Ethan Russo, first proposed this theory in 2004. Dr Russo found evidence of cannabinoid deficiencies contributing to several health conditions and noted that exogenous cannabinoid supplementation appeared to alleviate certain symptoms related to endocannabinoid system imbalance.
Supplements with the Potential to Restore Balance
It’s important that you understand that CBD is not a medication. It is not a cure or treatment for any medical conditions. CBD is a dietary supplement that has the potential to interact with your endocannabinoid system.
The reported benefits of CBD supplementation are based on animal studies, laboratory findings and the testimony of people who claim benefits from using CBD products. Since CBD could supplement the functioning of your endocannabinoid system, the system that controls so many important processes, there are many potential benefits.
The answer to the question of how CBD could influence the way you feel is not easy to answer. The potential differences in the way you feel now in comparison to how you may feel after trying CBD would depend on your reasons for using CBD supplements. CBD will not make you feel high. CBD could simply make you feel like a healthier version of yourself.
To learn more about CBD and your vital endocannabinoid system, download The Ultimate CBD User Guide. Your endocannabinoid system regulates nearly every function in your body. We invite you to learn more about the many potential benefits of CBD from hemp, and how CBD could influence the way you feel.