The reason cannabis, marijuana, hemp (usually the same meaning) are such a popular form of medical treatment is due to its active components that are called cannabinoids. Each plant specie/strain has a different ratio of these active components, making each individual cannabis strain more suited to different needs. Recent research focusses on what ratio is best suited for one needs, this will be hopefully better understood in the near future when research is more open for patients without the hard regulation. One of the active ingredient medical patients tend to be most interested in is the cannabinoid known as cannabidiol, or CBD for short.
CBD vs THC
Cannabis was mainly popular in the cannabis culture for recreation. The best known cannabinoid present within cannabis is for this reason THC. It stands for 9-tetrahydrocannabinol and is traditionally found in much higher quantities than its CBD counterpart. THC and CBD are the two most prominent cannabinoids found within marijuana, but both preform different roles. While THC give psychedelic effects, CBD can actually counters this, calming the effect down and enhancing the strain’s medical value. On the other hand, THC is often used to reduce pain and improve sleeping and stimulate appetite with HIV patients. Unfortunately THC remains a prohibited cannabinoid. Luckily, CBD is legal to buy.
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As mentioned, CBD is often found in comparatively smaller percentages than its THC counterpart. As CBD interacts with cannabinoid receptors within the body, it activates and boosts the body‘s natural response to pain, anxiety and stress etc within the nervous system; for example, CBD causes the nervous system to reduce inflammation and pain. Your body works so well in conjunction with the CBD in marijuana because we have our own natural versions of CBD – making the CBD within marijuana a natural extension or stimulant of sorts to our nervous system.
Most cannabis seeds these days are bred for THC and the psychoactive effects that go with it. The demand of the market largely dictates the majority of breeding, and THC is the high most people want until a couple of years ago when CBD was introduced.
All cannabis/hemp plants have some CBD in it. However, CBD is harvested from industrial hemp from mainly Sativa species. Nowadays, more and more cannabis seeds are bred to have a maximum CBD content. These seeds are often regulated and tested in order to comply to the EU-regulation regarding hemp grow.
Another interesting point about CBD is that it regulates and negates THC, which is why the really “potent” medical weed strains have less of a psychoactive effect. Cannabis strains that are high in both THC and CBD content tend to induce powerful, clear headed highs – as the psychoactive components are still present, but “reined in”. This allows for medical patients to function normally, whilst still feeling the psychical and neurological benefits of CBD.
The percentage denotes how much CBD (in weight) is present in comparison to other components that make up marijuana. For example, if you have a 10ml bottle, then a 5% CBD concentration would mean that there is 500 mg of pure CBD in a 10ml bottle.