Hemp and Marijuana are both varieties of the same plant species, Cannabis sativa. Cannabis contains over 400 chemical compounds. Of these compounds, 113, known as cannabinoids and have a direct effect on the body through cannabinoid receptors in our cells. The body naturally produces endocannabinoids and the endocannabinoid system plays a crucial role in regulating our physiology, mood and everyday experience. The discovery of this endocannabinoid system came about during research on marijuana’s effects and is one of the most exciting and underreported developments in modern science.
Despite this, CBD is something nobody knows much about, and certainly nobody is monitoring it properly. CBD is widely marketed as a supplement, despite the Food and Drug Administration saying it does not qualify as such (this is because it is an active ingredient in drugs which are either approved or under investigation to be approved). CBD goes largely unregulated by the agency; on the FDA’s FAQ page, a vague answer maintains there are “many factors in deciding whether or not to initiate an enforcement action.” The Department of Agriculture handles research grants and pilot programs for hemp, but that’s where its involvement ends.
Cannabidiol, or CBD for short, is a natural phyto-cannabinoid (or plant-based chemical compound) found in cannabis plants, including hemp and marijuana. Unlike other cannabinoids — namely tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC — CBD does not produce any psychoactive effects, and will actually counteract these effects to a degree. CBD will induce feelings of sleepiness; for this reason, it can be an effective soporific for people who struggle to fall and/or remain asleep due to insomnia and other sleep disorders.