What is CBD?

If you’ve witnessed the sudden appearance of dispensaries in your state, you’re not alone. Though tetrahydrocannabinol, abbreviated to THC, is not legal in all American states, these dispensaries appear to sell something else. Cannabidiol, appreciated as CBD, is becoming accessible and better-known in nearly every state across the country.


CBD is one of at least 113 active cannabinoids identified in cannabis. One of these many cannabinoids is THC, however, the effects of each compound are drastically different. CBD does not appear to have any psychoactive effects, such as those caused by THC. It may have a downregulating impact on disordered thinking and anxiety, but there is little research to support any statistically significant results. A number of studies on CBD indicate that it may be useful in treating types of inflammation caused by a variety of conditions. Cannabidiol has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects in acute lung injury, and early studies suggest that CBD may be of value in treating epilepsy. It is shown to be safe and well tolerated by humans, and it does not induce any toxicity. Though


So why, then, are dispensaries appearing across the country? If this compound does not have psychoactive effects, why is it touted as THC’s mellower cousin? CBD-infused foods are becoming increasingly commonplace in natural grocery stores, but these products rarely have significant amounts of the compound. In reality, it appears that CBD is a means of providing an alternative to THC through a stealthy marketing tactic; the lack of psychoactive properties makes it the only cannabinoid able to skirt legal bans on marijuana, leading consumers to believe it is a safer but equally enjoyable substitute. While it has been shown to have no downsides or side effects, any phenomena experienced by CBD is likely the result of a placebo effect.