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CBD has quickly become common place in discussion as an option for health and prevention. You can read the testimonies and studies that are becoming increasingly stronger to the benefits of this plant compound. But what is it? How does it work?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a naturally occurring chemical compound from the cannabis plant. CBD unlike its cousin tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), it is not psychoactive, or give the “high” feeling. The feeling if someone takes a lot more then the recommended dosage is wanting to take a nap or a bit of an upset tummy

Cannabis, marijuana, and hemp are all commonly used when referring to CBD which adds to the confusion. The plant Cannabis sativa has two arms, hemp and marijuana. Both contain CBD, but there’s a much higher percentage in hemp, which has very low levels of THC compared to marijuana.

When you see hemp seed oil in the health food or grocery store,  that is the oil from the seeds of the hemp plant. There are no cannabinoids—CBD or THC—in this type of hemp oil. Although this ingredient is loaded with healthy fats and often appears in hemp supplements and beauty products as it has many benefits as well.

Did you know that the human body and our pets bodies have their own system for processing and even creating their own cannabinoids. This system is known as the endocannabinoid system (ECS) and is found throughout the brain and nervous system. Amazingly, the ECS is involved with things like appetite, pain modulation, digestion, reproduction, motor learning, stress, and memory.

Here are the two primary types of receptors in the ECS system known as the CB1 and CB2 receptors and what they control.

CB1 receptors are essential for a healthy functioning brain. They are one of the most common receptors in the entire nervous system. Depending on what region of the brain they are located in, they control differently. These include your memory, mood, motor function, or your intensity of pain. Thanks to our CB1 receptors CBD can help with many central nervous system disorders. Relieving depression, lowering anxiety, reducing fear and paranoia. Also lowering intestinal inflammation, lowering blood pressure, seizures, epilepsy, nausea and asthma.

CB2 receptors are most often found on the cells of our immune system. They help moderate inflammation and our immune response to disease. If you use CBD products to combat conditions of an overactive immune system like arthritis, asthma, allergies, autoimmune disorders or digestive issues like inflammatory bowel disease, you can thank your CB2 receptors.

Because CB receptors control so many different aspects of our nervous and immune systems, and because we all metabolize differently. We will all have different results depending on our individual bodies. It isn’t possible to truly predict what reaction you’ll have without self-experimentation.