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.
The huge popularity of cannabidiol has helped to destigmatize the plant and restore its reputation as an important medicinal herb. But bogus science and inept reporting continue to distort how we understand the benefits and risks of CBD and cannabis.
Reported initially in 2005, the discovery that CBD interacts directly with these (and other) 5-HT receptors hints at a broader relationship between the endocannabinoid and serotonergic systems that scientists are still uncovering.
Who Is Using CBD and Why?
Despite the huge public interest in CBD products, and an endless stream of media stoking that fire, there have been limited efforts to figure out exactly how and why people are using this darling compound of the cannabis world.