In recent years, there has been an influx of research done concerning the medical benefits of marijuana, and as the calls for legalization have increased, research efforts have been intensifying. It’s a virtuous cycle that is a win-win all around.
Recently, the research has turned in a new direction. Rather than just studying marijuana itself, scientists have begun breaking the drug down into its component parts, and have discovered that although there are more than sixty different cannabinoids in it, there are two that are stealing the lion’s share of the spotlight:THC and CBD.
It's no mystery why THC gets a lot of attention. After all, it’s the psychoactive component of the drug, and what gives you the “high.” CBD, however, is fairly new to the limelight.It’s sudden arrival there is a result of the discovery that of all the cannabinoids in marijuana, CBD is the one that does most of the heavy lifting where beneficial effects are concerned.
One of the results of that discovery has been to intensify research surrounding CBD in particular, but savvy marketers aren’t waiting. Based on the research that’s been done so far, there has been an explosion of innovation, with companies coming out with CBD-infused products for both human and pet consumption.
These pioneers aren’t jumping the gun. Science has already demonstrated that CBD has measurable therapeutic benefits and is effective against a variety of conditions.What remains is to add to the list of maladies the compound is effective against and to gain a better understanding of how it works inside human and animal bodies. On that front, here’s what is known so far:
Most animals (insects excluded) have an endocannabinoid system, with receptors in various centers of the brain and spread throughout the body’s immune system.
The body naturally produces cannabinoids, and these bind to the receptors to help fight inflammation and reduce cortisol levels, which reduces panic, and is how and why CBD is effective in both humans and pets at reducing stress, anxiety, PTSD, and similar conditions.
We also know that the body’s native supply of cannabinoids can be overwhelmed when conditions advance too far.For instance, if you have very early stage arthritis, your body may produce enough cannabinoids so you won’t feel any soreness in your joints.At some point though, the inflammation will increase to the point that your naturally created cannabinoids simply aren’t up to the task.
This is when and where CBD supplements become valuable, because they can pick up the slack, occupying receptors that would otherwise go unfilled.
The body actually has two different kinds of cannabinoid receptors: CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors are the ones in your brain, while CB2 receptors reside at various points in your immune system.
Several research projects currently underway are seeking to understand how the body “decides” where and how to allocate available cannabinoids and assign them to receptors.This is a key piece of the puzzle that will make CBD-infused human and pet products even more effective than they already are.