The two main receptors in the endocannabinoid system are CB1 and CB2. Where THC directly affects these receptors, CBD has a subtler, more indirect approach. Instead of attaching to these receptors, CBD affects how these receptors signal the body and its chemicals. Furthermore, CBD increases the production of the body’s own cannabinoids by blocking the enzymes that can break them down.
Cannabidiol can be taken into the body in multiple ways, including by inhalation of cannabis smoke or vapor, as an aerosol spray into the cheek, and by mouth. It may be supplied as CBD oil containing only CBD as the active ingredient (no included tetrahydrocannabinol [THC] or terpenes), a full-plant CBD-dominant hemp extract oil, capsules, dried cannabis, or as a prescription liquid solution. CBD does not have the same psychoactivity as THC, and may change the effects of THC on the body if both are present. As of 2018, the mechanism of action for its biological effects has not been determined.
However, when cannabinoids are taken externally, it’s difficult to distinguish between the clinically desirable effects and the therapeutically undesirable effects of various phytocannabinoids. This is because cannabinoid receptors send a variety of signals that often interconnect to coordinate the body’s functions, so it’s hard to tell them apart.
In 2013 a CNN program that featured Charlotte's Web cannabis brought increased attention to the use of CBD in the treatment of seizure disorders. Since then, 16 states have passed laws to allow the use of CBD products with a doctor's recommendation (instead of a prescription) for treatment of certain medical conditions. This is in addition to the 30 states that have passed comprehensive medical cannabis laws, which allow for the use of cannabis products with no restrictions on THC content. Of these 30 states, eight have legalized the use and sale of cannabis products without requirement for a doctor's recommendation.
With the rapid rise in the popularity of CBD in everything from vape juice to lattes, many people are asking- “what is CBD oil?”. To answer that question, let’s first answer the question- what is CBD? CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a compound found in hemp plants. CBD’s benefits are numerous, making it a popular supplement. We’ll explore the effects of CBD oil in more depth below, but in short, it interacts with receptors that keep the body balanced and running normally.