“The discovery of the endocannabinoid system has really shaped how many view CBD oil products today. Many can now differentiate the effects of THC from the benefits of CBD distinctively”----- Cara Robinson of Elevate CBD
Cannabidiol, what many today call CBD oil, is extracted from the cannabis plant. This is the same with THC. For many decades people knew about all cannabis plants having the same effects. You will definitely relate the effects of using the cannabis plant to its chemical profile.
You may as well want to know the importance of cannabis plants as medicine in the early days. Until the 20th century many people used cannabis extracts medically to treat various conditions. This dates back to the days of emperor Shen Nung in 2737 BC. It is claimed that even Queen Victoria used cannabis for pain relief.
This is the most likely reason why cannabis stigma developed
All of a sudden, the value that cannabis provided medically got overlooked. The side effects of using cannabis, high-headedness and dependence, took a toll on the benefits. Somehow, the side effects outweighed the benefits owing to new developments in the world of pharmaceuticals that presented competition.
A tough campaign to legalize cannabis growing, possession, use and sale took effect through the 20th century. This limited greatly the access scientists had to cannabis plants so as to understand it better and possibly eliminate the ad from the good.
Turning the tide to what it is today
It wasn't until the discovery of a solid endocannabinoid system that the whole cannabis narrative got turned on its head. People who used cannabis use it secretly. Leaders of the industry could not speak up because the public opinion was more anti-cannabis which rained stigma on cannabis users.
It all started with the discovery of phytocannabinoids. This is an active group of compounds that was identified to have an impact in our bodies. The two most abundant compounds were CBD and THC. In a quest to understand how THC worked, scientists in the 1990s discovered the endocannabinoid system (ECS).
How the endocannabinoid system works
It is made of neurotransmitters called endogenous cannabinoids found along the central nervous system. The system also has receptors that act like activators for these neurotransmitters by binding into them. There are widespread enzymes that control the functioning of the whole system.
Whenever endocannabinoids are produced they interact with CB1 or CB2 receptors which initiates their health benefits. CB1 receptors are found near the central nervous system while CB2 receptors occur nearest to the peripheral nervous system. The benefits are varied depending on the location of the receptors. For instance they can be alleviating headache or muscle inflammation in your legs.
So how does the ECS help us understand the benefits of CBD? today, many cannabidiol based products flood the market. The CBD comes from hemp plants which are a variety of the larger cannabis family. Hemp is rich in CBD while having low potency THC levels or none that will cause their effects.
On the other hand is marijuana. Rich in THC and many at times low in CBD. CBD extracted from marijuana can only be used medically in the few states that have fully legalized cannabis. That is for both medical and recreational use. However, in most regions, cannabidiol remains appreciated due to its benefits more than THC. You may as well put it as CBD is the backbone of medical cannabis while THC stands for the recreational effects of marijuana.
The reason why THC is not widely appreciated is that it combines with both CB1 and CB2 receptors. Somehow it is more powerful than CBD. This gives it different effects. It may induce medical benefits while offering high anxiety levels simultaneously. Cannabidiol on the other hand, stops the endogenous cannabinoids from being broken down. This makes them have stronger natural effects. This way CBD does not have any THC-like side effects.
Today, 64% of Americans know about medical cannabis which is different from the THC fuelled recreational cannabis. The discovery and understanding of the endocannabinoid system has for sure downplayed the strong negative views directed at cannabis use in the past.