THC, an intoxicating and illegal substance, is responsible for causing marijuana users to get “high.” Unlike THC, CBD is non-psychoactive because it does not act on the same pathways as THC. Thus, it is impossible to get “high” by smoking or ingesting CBD or CBD oil extracted from industrial hemp plants, as they only have minuscule traces of THC (<0.3%).
CB1 + CB2 receptor (inverse agonist): Most evidence suggests that CBD oil has a low affinity for CB1 and CB2 receptor sites as an inverse agonist. In other words, it binds to the CB1 and CB2 receptors but exerts the pharmacologically opposite effect to an agonist. This differs from a CB1/CB2 antagonist which solely binds to these receptors and blocks stimulation from endocannabinoids.
The lab also has studied how the chemicals in cannabis, as well as cannabinoids like the anandamide produced by our bodies, protect our brains against various types of insults, such as physical and emotional trauma. “Our brain needs to remember things, of course,” says Guzmán, “but it also needs to forget things—horrific things, unnecessary things. It’s much like the memory in your computer—you have to forget what is not necessary, just like you need to periodically delete old files. And you have to forget what is not good for your mental health—a war, a trauma, an aversive memory of some kind. The cannabinoid system is crucial in helping us push bad memories away.”
FAAH inhibitor: The anxiolytic efficacy of CBD may be a result of its ability to act as an enzymatic inhibitor of FAAH (fatty acid amide hydroxylase). FAAH is an enzyme responsible for metabolizing endocannabinoids such as anandamide, but when inhibited, these endocannabinoid concentrations are increased. Increased concentrations of endocannabinoids such as anandamide and 2-AG, both of which bind to peripheral CB1/CB2 receptor sites.
Hash oil is an extracted cannabis product that may utilize any part of the plant. Ideally, the final product will not contain any residual traces of solvents. It is generally thought to be indistinct from traditional hashish according to the 1961 UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs (Schedule I and IV) as it is "the separated resin, whether crude or purified, obtained from the cannabis plant".
A wealth of marketing material, blogs and anecdotes claim that cannabis oils can cure whatever ails you, even cancer. But the limited research doesn't suggest that cannabis oil should take the place of conventional medication, except for in two very rare forms of epilepsy (and even then, it's recommended only as a last-resort treatment). And, experts caution that because cannabis oil and other cannabis-based products are not regulated or tested for safety by the government or any third-party agency, it's difficult for consumers to know exactly what they're getting.
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