Although the mechanisms surrounding the ways that CBD work on pain in the human body are still largely unknown at this point, it is believed that the positive effects experienced by those who use CBD (or ‘cannabidiol’) for pain relief stem from some of the interactions the chemical elements have with cannabinoid receptors and other pain receptors in the human body. Like marijuana, hemp and cannabinoid related chemicals have only in recent years become available for testing in this manner.
Hemp and Cannabis are similar, but chemically different, plants. CBD is a byproduct of hemp, which is the male cannabis plant. Hemp does not produce the same resinous buds as the female cannabis plant, which is the plant that produces THC and marijuana. Hemp produces the chemical CBD, which is not an intoxicant like it’s cousin THC.
Where Does CBD Come From?
There are two different sources of CBD: as an extract of industrial hemp, which is the male form of the cannabis plant, or as an extract of the female cannabis plant. CBD can be found in both male and female cannabis plants. CBD is extracted from the compound that exists in hemp and cannabis that prevents plant-eating mammals from eating it, also known as a terpene. Terpenes are most abundant in the THC containing buds of the female plant but are also present in the leaves, stalks, and other green parts of both hemp and cannabis.
CBD (cannabidiol) is collected for commercial use from both the industrial (male) hemp plant and the female cannabis plant for use in supplements and creams. The most abundant source of CBD is from the same buds that produce THC, so the most effective CBD is sourced from the female marijuana plant, which provides the most potent CBD when compared to the amount of CBD in the male industrial hemp plant. CBD, no matter where it is sourced, does not contain any narcotic components, such as THC, but has been found useful in treating pain by many.
How Does CBD Work?
Human beings have receptors in their cells that allow cannabinoid compounds (including THC and CBD) to affect the body. The same cannabinoid receptors that cannabis (THC) can communicate to cells with, and cause-specific effects (euphoria, pain relief, hunger) also allows CBD to communicate messages to the body to produce various effects. Although CBD does not cause a narcotic like euphoria, like THC can, it does seem to tell the body to lower pain when it is present, thus the advertisements that are seen far and wide regarding CBD pain relief products.
Although testing is not thorough enough to say exactly what effects that CBD has on the body, and other specific processes take place when human cells are affected by CBD, there has been enough of a response by human test subjects to know that a certain number of people have a response of lowered pain, and other beneficial responses, to continue testing this exciting new product, and to offer it to the public for use as a supplement both orally and topically, for use in pain caused by various reasons.
Non-Narcotic, Safe Pain Relief
A fair amount of information has been established to show the public that CBD is an interesting byproduct of hemp and cannabis that seems to alleviate some types of negative sensations experienced by people, including pain. There are a lot of people with pain issues who are looking for alternatives to the commonly available pain relief medications out there.
There are dangerous side effects that occur in the most used pain medicines today, including addiction and gastrointestinal problems, that keep people looking for new ideas in pain relief. CBD is shaping up to be one of the most exciting new compounds that should be tested and understood more in upcoming years, to see just how beneficial it can be to humans and animals for a better life.