As more people seek natural remedies for health problems – and as more states legalize medical marijuana – interest in cannabidiol (commonly known as "CBD") is growing.
It's about time because CBD is a fascinating compound that has tremendous therapeutic value.
The list of health concerns and conditions CBD has been shown to benefit include:
Chronic pain and inflammation
Arthritis (including rheumatoid and psoriatic)
Neuropathic pain (as seen in conditions like multiple sclerosis)
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Serious neurological conditions including Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson's
Unfortunately, decades of disinformation and outright lies about the cannabis plant have led many to believe that marijuana and hemp are dangerous and have no medicinal value.
Of course, nothing could be further from the truth.
Thankfully, a growing body of research is revealing the abundant benefits of the cannabis plant.
Let's explore those benefits, but first – let's talk about what CBD is and what it does in the body.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of over 60 compounds found in cannabis that belong to a class of ingredients called cannabinoids.
Cannabinoids are a diverse set of chemical compounds that bind to special receptors in the human body that make up what is known as the endocannabinoid system, explains Medical Jane:
The "key and lock" metaphor is often used to describe this process. The human body possesses specific binding sites ("locks") on the surface of many cell types, and our body produces several endocannabinoids ("keys") that bind to these cannabinoid receptors (CB) to activate or "unlock" them.