According to the New York Times, CBD oil—extracted from the hemp plant—has become increasingly popular for medicinal purposes in America. But what is the hemp plant? Is it the same as marijuana? Is it even legal?
The legality of marijuana has always been a hot debate in the United States. As of 2019, recreational marijuana is legal in 10 and medical marijuana in 33 states. To understand the difference, we need to study the Cannabis Sativa family.
This particular family has two main types of plants within it, namely marijuana and hemp. These are often (mistakenly) used interchangeably. While they belong to the same family, their anatomy and usage differ greatly.
The hemp plant is rich in a cannabinoid known as CBD, while marijuana has high percentages of THC. It’s these constituents which set them apart. Let’s dive into the details.
The cannabis plan comprises over 100 cannabinoids. One of them is Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is the psychoactive element which makes people feels ‘high.’ Our brain contains the CB1 receptor. This CB1 receptor gets activated when THC enters the bloodstream, causing a feeling of euphoria. This cannabinoid is used for recreational purposes all over the globe. THC is either administered orally or inhaled in vapor form. The person using it feels relaxed, and their sense of hearing, sensing, smelling, and aggression reduce. Research studies show that THC has anti-inflammatory properties, which helps with chronic pain and works as an effective drug against the pain symptoms of chemotherapy.
Unlike THC, CBD is not psychoactive in nature. Cannabidiol (CBD) doesn’t make you feel high. When CBD enters the bloodstream, it joins forces with the cannabinoid receptors found in the body’s endocannabinoid system.
CBD is extracted from the hemp plant and is mostly used for medicinal and industrial purposes. It attaches itself very weakly to the CB1 receptor and plays its part in reversing the psychoactive effects of THC, if any. It’s useful for post traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression, inflammation, etc.
CBD is available in many forms, depending on the exact medicinal need. You can get it in the form of oil, cape, lotion, or pills. CBD oil mostly contains CBD and only 0.3% of THC, making it a safe bet. It’s placed under the tongue with the help of a dropper for relief against pain.
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