Along with its better-known counterpart, THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, the chemical that produces the marijuana high), CBD, short for cannabidiol, is one of more than 400 compounds found in the oils of cannabis plant species, which include marijuana and hemp.
No, CBD is naturally non-psychoactive. You may, however, feel more relaxed, which some people also associate with being “high.”
In addition to acting on the brain, CBD influences many body processes. That’s due to the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which was discovered in the 1990s, after scientists started investigating why pot produces a high. Although much less well-known than the cardiovascular, reproductive, and respiratory systems, the ECS is critical. “The ECS helps us eat, sleep, relax, forget what we don’t need to remember, and protect our bodies from harm,” Marcu says. There are more ECS receptors in the brain than there are for opioids or serotonin, plus others in the intestines, liver, pancreas, ovaries, bone cells, and elsewhere.
The human body naturally produces chemicals called endo-cannabinoids that interact with the endocannabinoid system, a network of receptors that help regulate other systems in the body. CBD is an exo-cannabinoid, or phytocannabinoid, that interacts with this endocannabinoid system in a similar way as endocannabinoids. In this way, CBD can influence multiple body systems indirectly by regulating the endocannabinoid system
Overall, researchers agree that while there isn’t conclusive data to support CBD oil as the preferred method of pain management, these types of products have a lot of potential. CBD products might be able to offer relief for many people who have chronic pain, all without causing intoxication and dependence.