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CBD vs THC: the critical difference between the cannabinoids of the Cannabis sativa plant

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a natural compound found in the Cannabis sativa plant. It is often wrongly assumed that the calming properties of CBD are comparable to a marijuana ‘high’. Though derived from the cannabis plant, CBD is typically found in the hemp variety and has no psychoactive properties; CBD won’t make you high – and here’s why:

Cannabis contains over 113 natural cannabinoids, of which CBD and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are the most abundant. The molecular formula of CBD and THC are identical, but their ever so slightly different chemical structure completely alters how they are each perceived by the body.

The human body has its own endocannabinoid system (ECS), a biological pathway that plays a role in maintaining our bodies happy natural state, or homeostasis. Interestingly, our body produces its own natural, or ‘endogenous’, cannabinoids – CBD is thought to simply support the function of this ECS.

The ECS contains two important receptors, CB1 and CB2, which can be found in the nervous system and the immune system, respectively. Although the ECS isn’t fully understood by scientists, research has shown that these receptors are involved in regulating pain and inflammation. THC binds to both receptors and has powerful a psychoactive effect, causing the feeling of a ‘high’ – but THC can have some adverse effects on mood and sleep.

In contrast to the effects of THC, CBD has been found to support both our mental and physical wellbeing. As CBD functions differently to THC in the ECS, it has no psychoactive properties. Instead of directly activating CB receptors, CBD indirectly modulates their function and has powerful therapeutic actions. Recent technology has allowed CBD to be selectively extracted from the natural hemp plant. CBD products must legally contain low levels of THC (at Mee, our THC content is less than 0.01%). If CBD could make you high, it wouldn’t be legal!

Other important cannabinoids in the cannabis plant include, Cannabidivarian (CBDV) and Cannabigerol (CBG) – both of which are in Mee CBD! The research is less established than with CBD, but we do know that they possess similar therapeutic benefits without any psychoactive effects. CBDV, in particular, has shown to improve epilepsy symptoms. It’s currently being studied in a variety of health conditions, with promising results. CBG supports the function of anandamide, an endocannabinoid involved in signalling pleasure to the brain. It has also shown to regulate appetite and support a healthy sleep cycle. CBG binds to both CB1 and CB2 receptors, unlike CBD. This suggests that the action of CBG is powerful, without making us ‘high’. Both CBG and CBDV support the everyday function of the body, making them great compounds to supplement in our daily routine.

Mee CBD is the optimum way to give a helping hand to the ECS and encourage your body to function efficiently. When supplementing a nutritious diet with non-psychoactive cannabinoids, you won’t even know that they’re getting to work until you feel the benefits yourself. So, Mee CBD may not make you high, but it will make you happy!

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