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Cannabidiol is the second most prevalent compound in these plants. Pot plants and hemp both contain cannabidiol. In other words, hemp contains cannabidiol and no tetrahydrocannabinol. Pot plants contain both.
Some strains of pot have been developed to be high in cannabidiol. For example, the AC/DC strain has a hemp-like profile because it contains less than 1% tetrahydrocannabinol and 14% cannabidiol. Using a strain such as that won't get you high.
Other strains, such as the harlequin strain, do contain more tetrahydrocannabinol than hemp. Harlequin has 5% tetrahydrocannabinol and 8% cannabinol. That might make you feel a little different than a product that contains only cannabidiol as the primary active ingredient.
Although cannabidiol can make you feel relaxed and relieve anxiety, it doesn't intoxicate you. It acts on different cannabinoid receptors than tetrahydrocannabinol and produces distinct effects.
Cannabidiol also has many health benefits. Many people have heard about it because it was found to help control seizures in rare cases of epilepsy. The Charlottes Web strain was bred with high levels of cannabidiol and low levels of tetrahydrocannabinol and is known for reducing epileptic seizures in a young epileptic girl named Charlotte Figi. The FDA approved Epidiolex, a cannabidiol-based drug, for these conditions in 2018.
Now, experts are finding out that cannabidiol can help with a lot of other health issues, including:
- Psychological conditions, such as panic disorders, generalized anxiety disorder and PTSD
- Pain, including headaches, nerve pain and arthritis
- Sleep problems
- Inflammatory bowel disease
Cannabidiol is an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. Whereas many pharmaceuticals mask symptoms of medical conditions but don't get to the source, cannabidiol is healing. With inflammation being cited as a primary source of modern diseases, learning that cannabidiol can reduce it is promising.
Because cannabidiol relaxes the nervous system, it has calming effects. Some small studies have been conducted on animals and people. They've found that cannabidiol produces changes in hormones and neurotransmitters that are responsible for memory, learning and expressing emotions. Therefore, it holds enormous promise for helping people with mood disorders.
There is even more anecdotal evidence to suggest that cannabidiol eases anxiety. Just ask anyone who has used it. Many people who use cannabidiol products note that it brings them some kind of ease. Some people even use it to reduce anxiety in their pets.
What Types of Cannabidiol and Tetrahydrocannabinol Products are Available?
Cannabidiol products are legal to sell in all 50 U.S. states as long as they don't contain more than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol. Hemp plants may contain trace amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol. Cannabidiol is typically extracted from hemp, and it shouldn't have illegal levels of tetrahydrocannabinol. If a cannabidiol product also contains tetrahydrocannabinol, it's more likely that the manufacturer added the tetrahydrocannabinol to the extract or produced it using weed. Those products must be labeled differently than cannabidiol items.
Of course, you can smoke tetrahydrocannabinol flower. That's how many people used to consume it. Today, tetrahydrocannabinol is available in tincture, extract and edible form. But it's not legal everywhere.
You can also smoke cannabidiol flower or vape cannabidiol, but some people don't want to inhale any substances. More commonly, individuals drop it under their tongues, swallow it in a capsule or consume edible products that contain the compound. Cannabidiol is even available in bath bombs and lotions, which may soothe skin problems and relieve sore muscles.
Vaping cannabidiol is one of the fastest ways to feel the effects. It takes longer to produce effects when you use it in tincture or edible form. But because cannabidiol doesn't make you high, you may not have an obvious indication that it's working. If you suffer from health problems that are caused by general or chronic inflammation, cannabidiol can take time to make you feel better.
Cannabinoid products are not the remedy for everything. Nor are they a miracle cure. However, tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol have healing properties and fewer side effects than many pharmaceuticals. They're gaining traction as natural remedies that have the potential for improving people's health in a way that addresses the root of the problem.