CBD-RICH CANNABIS STRAINS AND THE ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM

Only recently has medical cannabis become popular in the Western world. And even more recent is the ascent of CBD into mainstream consciousness. Today, CBD is included as an ingredient in numerous products worldwide.

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THE ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM

Named after the cannabis plant itself, the endocannabinoid system was discovered when studying the effects of marijuana on humans. This system is full of receptors throughout the central and peripheral nervous system that are responsible for binding with the chemical compounds known as “cannabinoids.” This interaction between cannabinoids and the endocannabinoid system results in the traditional “high” many users experience when smoking weed.

The endocannabinoid system is not only relevant for its relation to cannabis; it is also involved in many physiological processes regulating appetite, sleep, mood, and even pain. Exogenous cannabinoids (those found outside the human body), activate the system to a higher degree than endogenous or “internal” cannabinoids. This allows the endocannabinoid system to work in novel, productive, and powerful ways when exposed to cannabis. It is also how psychoactive effects are produced when cannabinoids are ingested.

This is what makes the endocannabinoid system so interesting in regard to medicine. Now that we see how cannabinoids like THC and CBD interact with the body, there is greater potential for using cannabis to treat various conditions. Although many cannabinoids show therapeutic promise, CBD is perhaps the most notable.

HOW CBD AFFECTS THE ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM

What’s so interesting about CBD is that it interacts with cannabinoid receptors in a unique way to THC. Instead of binding to CB1 or CB2 receptors, it only stimulates their activity.

CBD molecule
CBD molecule

CBD works against the production of FAAH or fatty acid amide hydrolase. This is the enzyme that breaks down anandamide, a so-called endocannabinoid. This means that what CBD actually does is increase a natural cannabinoid in your brain, without binding directly with endocannabinoid receptors. Ultimately, anandamide triggers the same receptor as THC, resulting in therapeutic effects throughout the body.

Because of this, CBD does not have any psychoactive effects. Therefore, it is more widely respected by medical professionals and consequently, easier for patients to get access to. Its medicinal uses surpass those of any other cannabinoid we know of thus far.

CBD is known to assist with a series of conditions. People suffering from PTSD, schizophrenia, Dravet syndrome, and anxiety find relief with CBD. But its applications go far beyond these examples.

Patients suffering from a wide range of other physiological conditions also use CBD to help them. Whether used for arthritis, cardiovascular disease, or even muscle spasms, CBD is revolutionising the medical industry. Conditions that previously could only be tackled with opioids and strong pharmaceuticals can now be treated with something as innocent and harmless as non-psychoactive, non-addictive CBD. It has even undergone preliminary studies for its supposed anti-tumor activity.

CBD, THC, AND THE ENTOURAGE EFFECT

Furthermore, CBD can actually act against the psychoactive effects of THC. When taken together, CBD is said to weaken THC’s bond with the CB1 receptor, ultimately influencing less of a “high.” This is very amazing. As detailed by the entourage effect, this is one of the most fascinating aspects about cannabinoids; when used together, the compounds in cannabis are more effective than when used in isolation. Even for recreational users, CBD can help delay and mediate the effects of THC to allow for a more pleasant overall experience.

WHAT ARE CBD STRAINS?

All this research into CBD has ushered in new developments in cannabis cultivation. Now, unlike in recent decades, cannabis strains are being bred to sustain higher levels of CBD and lower concentrations of THC to boot. While these strains won’t get users as high, they are extremely worthwhile.

RQS Painkiller CBD rich strain
RQS Painkiller CBD rich strain

As mentioned above, a great number of benefits can come from smoking or otherwise ingesting a CBD-rich strain. Whether it’s the High Times Cannabis Cup Winning Euphoria or the great Painkiller, CBD strains are a good choice for joint and bong lovers alike. A lot of people who enjoy smoking flower don’t always want to get knocked off their feet with THC. If smoking isn’t for you, these strains can also be rendered into potent edibles.

A lot of people stand by CBD strains for their wake and bake routine; others use it as a method of improving their sleep cycle. CBD has been said to increase focus and calm anxiety. It’s a great option for yoga and meditation. But like we always say; every stoner is different. You’ll be finding uses for CBD that will apply specifically to you. But it’s up to you to find them!

HOW THEY DIFFER FROM THC STRAINS

Cannabis connoisseurs have always considered potency one of the most important factors of a strain. This mentality is probably a consequence of the illicit market. When buying from a street dealer, you’d rather purchase weed that gives you more bang for your buck. Because of this, THC has become the most in-demand cannabinoid. But CBD strains are rapidly gaining popularity.

THC and CBD differences
THC and CBD differences

CBD produces no mind-altering effects of any kind. Instead, outcomes will feel more akin to getting a massage or drinking a relaxing cup of tea. This is what CBD can provide you. Rather than clouding your thoughts, it will actually clear your head. With this in mind, it’s no surprise a lot of people are using CBD-rich strains or extracts on a daily basis.

Now, you can smoke a joint and not feel paranoid about those “who know.” Every stoner out there will have a different preference for CBD flower. You can always grow yourself a crop of Royal Highness and get up to 600g/m² of a great CBD strain.

CONCLUSION

It all comes down to you. If you still enjoy the psychoactive high of cannabis, but want to give CBD a try, look for strains with a 1:1 or 1:2 CBD:THC ratio. This way, you can still feel elevated, without being stoned out of your mind. For the cultivator, in order to become a truly well-rounded cannabis grower, you need to give a CBD strain a shot.

BASIC INFORMATION ABOUT CANNABINOIDS YOU SHOULD BE AWARE OF