If you follow the fast-paced developments of the cannabis world, you’ve likely heard a bit about CBD. It stands for “cannabidiol,” and along with THC (or “tetrahydrocannabinol”), it’s one of the most important active compounds—“cannabinoids”—in marijuana.
The loosening of cannabis prohibition has sparked a wave of research, and we’re steadily gaining a more scientific understanding of what many of us intuitively understand: cannabis is a powerful and medically useful plant.
While a full and complete understanding is still years away, CBD’s medical potential has already been demonstrated and is likely to grow. While you don’t need to understand how CBD works to enjoy its benefits, it’s useful to know just a bit about CBD effects and the science behind this fascinating and effective plant-based medicine.
CBD Effects: Cannabis Without the High
Unlike THC, CBD is completely non-psychoactive, and in fact, it behaves as a buffer to reduce or balance THC’s psychoactivity, a useful sort of “safety valve” for those who may have imbibed too much.
Beyond this important trait, CBD exhibits a variety of very beneficial effects, including anti-inflammatory, analgesic—pain-relieving—and anti-anxiety properties. It’s effective at treating some notoriously difficult to manage conditions such as epilepsy and multiple sclerosis, and because it’s non-psychoactive, it’s especially suited for treating children or other populations who shouldn’t be exposed to psychoactivity.
How to Select High-CBD Strains and Products
Because the cannabis plant contains such a large number of cannabinoids (over 100 at last count), the best way to think about the amounts of CBD—or any cannabinoid—in a particular variety or strain of cannabis is to express it as a ratio compared with other cannabinoids, particularly THC.
For instance, a cannabis product—say, a tincture—may have two times the CBD as THC, often expressed as “2:1 CBD to THC.” A low ratio like this will likely be quite psychoactive, and possibly not what you’re seeking as an anti-inflammatory, for instance.
A ratio more on the order of “18:1 CBD to THC,” on the other hand, will exhibit little psychoactivity and strong therapeutic effect.
Sometimes these numbers are expressed as percentages; if you’re in doubt about what a particular label means, we urge you to speak with a knowledgeable budtender who can help guide the selection process.
New Ways to Enjoy the Benefits of Cannabis
As the cannabis-consuming public expresses greater interest in and knowledge about this exciting “second cannabinoid” to THC, we’re working hard to make more high-CBD cannabis strains and products available. Be sure to check back with us regularly, as new items reach our shelves on a weekly basis. And most of all, we’d love to hear what benefits you’re experiencing from CBD, and learn about what sort of products you’d like to see more of.