Cannabis is more complicated than its reputation.
Cannabis contains over 100 chemical compounds called cannabinoids. The best known is delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is the compound responsible for the psychoactive effects felt from cannabis plants. Only cannabis plants bred to contain high amounts of THC produce those effects. The cannabinoid cannabidiol, or CBD, is different. CBD is derived from the less processed hemp plant and offers the physical benefits of THC without the mental “high” associated with most cannabis.
As more states decriminalize and legalize the medicinal and recreational use of cannabis (finally), CBD-laced dishes and drinks are popping up on restaurant and bar menus around the country. You can even order CBD edibles and oils off the internet and have them shipped straight to your door. Let’s make sure we know the facts before you pop open your first batch of laced gummy bears or sip your first CBD Martini.
How It Works
Our bodies produce cannabinoids on their own, so there are two kinds of natural receptors within each of us (mostly in the brain) to process them, known as CB1 and CB2 receptors. CB1 receptors regulate inflammation, pain, appetite, coordination, memory and mood while CB2 receptors monitor only inflammation and pain. THC mainly targets CB1 receptors and until recently, it was thought that CBD targets CB2 receptors. Instead, we’ve learned that it influences the body to generate more of its own natural cannabinoids, in turn stimulating both CB1 and CB2 receptors.
Common Uses and Risks
While some people experience adverse side effects, CBD has been known to induce some of the very symptoms it’s often used to treat, such as anxiety, depression, loss of appetite, nausea and psychosis. It can also interact with certain medications, so consult your doctor before sampling CBD-laced snacks.
Cannabis has been used to treat pain and inflammation for millennia. Recent studies demonstrate that it may reduce nerve and muscle pain and is an ingredient in a treatment for Multiple Sclerosis.
For now, CBD is mainly used to combat anxiety, depression, inflammation, insomnia and the side effects of more mainstream cancer treatments like loss of appetite and nausea. It’s also known to increase productivity (knock out those work emails) and some have reported CBD heightening their sexual pleasure.
Some Popular Treats
Maybe you’re lucky and one of your local spots has a CBD Margarita or CBD ice cream dessert. If not, you’ll have to order some to try in the comfort of your home. Treat yourself to Lord Jones gumdrops after a stressful day, drizzle Honey Pot CBD honey on your granola the morning of that big meeting or simply follow CAP Beauty’s suggestion and sprinkle their all-purpose edible CBD oil on your next salad at brunch blend it into your pre-workout smoothie. Chances are, you’ll have found your new favorite diet.