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The difference between cannabidiol and cannabinoids

October 1, 2017

As you set out to learn more about cannabidiol (CBD) and its properties, it’s not uncommon to find yourself confused over many of the terms related to the compound. Often times, people have a challenging time understanding how cannabidioldiffers from cannabinoids, two commonly used terms that share spelling similarities and are often used interchangeably.

To begin, it’s helpful if you understand that cannabidiol (CBD) is a cannabinoid. In fact, it’s one of more than 100 cannabinoids found throughout the stalks, seeds, and flowers of cannabis plants like hemp. From there, let’s dive in a bit deeper to better understand how these two terms differ.

What are Cannabinoids?

Cannabinoids are active chemical compounds found naturally in the seeds, stalk and flowers of cannabis plants. Phytocannabinoids, a term used to describe cannabinoids derived from plants, are able to interact with our body’s natural systems because their makeups and behaviors mimic endocannabinoids, which are cannabinoids that are synthesized on demand by our own bodies.

Our bodies are set up to interact with cannabinoids. Both phytocannabinoids and endocannabinoids join with or influence cannabinoid receptors throughout the body to alter the release of neurotransmitters and encourage balance of our systems. Cannabinoids are largely responsible for the natural effects that cannabis oils, such as CBD hemp oil, have on the body.

Scientists have so far identified over 100 phytocannabinoids found in cannabis plants like hemp. The two most abundant cannabinoids include cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

The cannabinoid composition of a cannabis plant is wide ranging and varies by strain. Some are higher in CBD and others contain more THC. Hemp is naturally higher in CBD and contains only trace amounts of THC. We previously detailed the differences between CBD and THC and you can read about those here.

What is Cannabidiol?

Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is among the most abundant of all the cannabinoids. It’s found in all varieties of cannabis, but dominates the makeup of hemp plants.

Thousands of scientific studies have shown that cannabidiol holds a wide array of potential benefits. CBD has been shown in a patent by the U.S. National Institutes of Health to possess significant and antioxidant and neuroprotective properties, suggesting that it could be beneficial for treating neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s disease or multiple sclerosis. Several studies have found CBD to be effective for reducing, and in some cases eliminating, seizure activity in those with refractory epilepsy disorders.

Studies have shown that cannabidiol is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, unlike THC. Therefore, consuming CBD won’t ever cause a high or temporarily inhibit cognitive functions. This makes CBD an appealing option for children or anyone looking to incorporate the balancing effects of cannabinoids without having to experience the fuzziness of a high.

CBD hemp oil is made from hemp that is naturally high in CBD and low in THC. Because hemp contains only trace amounts of the cannabinoid THC, hemp oil products are non-psychoactive.

 

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