The Science of CBD
There’s a lot more to the science of cannabis than just THC.
Cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive component of the cannabis plant, has generated significant interest among scientists and physicians in recent years—but how CBD exerts its therapeutic impact on a molecular level is still being sorted out. Cannabis terpenes interact synergistically to create what scientists refer to as an “entourage effect” that magnifies the therapeutic benefits of the plant’s individual components—so that the medicinal impact of the whole plant is greater than the sum of its parts. Research on marijuana’s effects led directly to the discovery of a hitherto unknown biochemical communication system in the human body, the Endocannabinoid System, which plays a crucial role in regulating our physiology, mood, and everyday experience. A groundbreaking study has documented the superior therapeutic properties of whole plant CBD-rich cannabis extract as compared to single-molecule CBD. Traditionally, plants grown for hashish had equal amounts THC and CBD. But in recent times, cannabis genetics changed to meet a demand for high THC; and CBD almost disappeared from the gene pool. Until now… It’s relatively easy to experience medical benefits from cannabis. A puff or two of a resin-rich reefer can do the trick for a lot of people.
But smoking marijuana is not the be-all and end-all of cannabis therapeutics. One doesn’t have to smoke marijuana or get high to experience the medical benefits of cannabis. The Massachusetts-based company Medicinal Genomics has sequenced the entire genome of Cannabis sativa L. The announcement received much attention. But how will it impact research and public health?