A BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO
THIS GUIDE AIMS TO PROVIDE YOU WITH EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CBD, WHICH IS FAST BECOMING THE BIGGEST WELLNESS TREND OF THE YEAR ON BOTH SIDES OF THE ATLANTIC.
What is CBD?
CBD stands for Cannabidiol.
The ECS is involved in the regulation of a large range of physiological functions in the body, including mood, memory, fertility, pain sensation and appetite. This happens when a cannabinoid like CBD binds to an ECS receptor in the body. It acts as an agonist, which means that it activates the receptor to produce a biological tissue response.
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What is the endocannabinoid system?
A receptor is a protein molecule that receives chemical messages from outside of a cell and there are two main cannabinoid receptors found within the body. These are CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors are found mainly in the central nervous system and also in organs like the liver, lungs and kidneys, while CB2 receptors are more associated with tissues of the immune system.
When a cannabinoid binds to a cannabinoid receptor, it acts as an agonist, which means it activates the receptor to produce a biological tissue response. Whereas cannabinoid antagonists block a cannabinoid receptor from being activated by an endocannabinoid. Naturally occurring cannabinoids within the body are known as endocannabinoids, from plants phytocannabinoids such as that from the cannabis plant, and lastly synthetic cannabinoids which are manufactured artificially.
The grouping of the cannabinoid receptors, receptor proteins and endocannabinoids make up what is called the endocannabinoid system (ECS).
The ECS is involved in the regulation of a large range of physiological functions in the body including mood, memory, fertility, pain-sensation and appetite.
As such administration of phytocannabinoids and synthetic cannabinoids, which are not naturally found in the body, can influence physiological functions mentioned earlier, such as mood, pain-sensation and appetite. And this happens through interactions with the cannabinoid receptors of the body. Different cannabinoids will have different physiological responses through how and which receptors they bind to, such as the appetite stimulating effect of THC, and the pain-relieving effects of CBD.
The facts about CBD
While the majority of cannabinoids are controlled substances under the Misuse of Drugs Act, CBD is not, therefore making it legal. In order to qualify for sale and consumption in the EU, CBD oil must be produced from one of the EU-approved industrial hemp strains. These contain a very low percentage of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which is the main psychoactive cannabinoid of cannabis.
As the approved hemp strains contain a maximum THC content of 0.2% by law, any hemp oil with THC content above 0.2% is considered medical marijuana and is currently illegal in the UK and Ireland.