Kendra Cherry, MS, is an author and educational consultant focused on helping students learn about psychology.
What Is CBD?
THC and CBD have an effect on the endocannabinoid system, a system that plays an important role in maintaining homeostasis. Researchers are still working to understand the ins and outs of this complex system, but they do know that it is associated with processes including memory, appetite, sleep, mood, and fertility.
CBD vs. THC: Key Differences
Both THC and CBD can be consumed in a number of different forms. THC may be consumed as marijuana by smoking, but a number of other cannabis products are also available including:
Mothers who smoke pot while pregnant face a higher risk of giving birth to underweight or premature babies. But researchers don’t know enough to say if those infants are more likely to grow up to struggle in school, use drugs, or have other problems in life.
National Cancer Institute: “Cannabis and Cannabinoids (PDQ®)–Health Professional Version.”
It May Impair Your Brain
Nemours Foundation: “Marijuana.”
Marijuana has mind-altering compounds that affect both your brain and body. It can be addictive, and it may be harmful to some people’s health. Here’s what can happen when you use marijuana:
Connection to Cancer Is Unclear
Journal of Experimental Medicine: “Cannabinoids suppress inflammatory and neuropathic pain by targeting α3 glycine receptors.”
I took a little hit, and soon after, felt my body pleasantly melt into a lawn chair, my ability to socialize not at all impeded. Truth told, at the end of a physically exhausting vacation and a can of Tecate, I was already pretty relaxed. But the CBD seemed to deepen that state.
You can use it as a rub, or as a soak inside the tub
CBD is one of the many chemical compounds in a class called “cannabinoids” that naturally occur in cannabis plants. While THC is the most famous of cannabinoids for its ability to get us high, CBD is a rapidly rising star for its capacity to deliver mental and physical benefits without the giggles, paranoia, or couch-lock. Eaze, a marijuana delivery service that operates in California, reported an “exceptionally high” demand for CBD in 2017, which led the company to quadruple its product offerings in the category. Chris Kelly, a representative of Tikun Olam, an Israeli company at the forefront of medical marijuana, calls Avidekel—his employer’s highest-CBD strain—the “golden child” of its offerings. Rolling Stone deemed it one of the five best strains of 2017.
How CBD works
In the months since that first hit, I’ve tried out CBD in many forms. I’ve dropped tinctures under my tongue to help me sleep, whipped Whoopi and Maya’s CBD-enhanced raw cacao butter into hot milk to ease cramps (yes, that’s Whoopi as in Goldberg), and massaged Lord Jones’ piney scented CBD lotion into a stiff neck.