There’s more to cannabis than a psychoactive high. Marijuana resin glands are home to a multitude of chemical compounds. In fact, the crystal-like trichomes that adorn cannabis flowers are like tiny chemical factories. In total, the bud can produce over 500 unique chemical compounds. Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of them. Unlike the famous tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), however, CBD does not cause intoxication. Instead, many consumers find that they feel clear-headed and calm after consuming the supplement.
CBD belongs to a class of chemical compounds called cannabinoids. The cannabis plant can produce over 100 of these chemical compounds in all. Cannabinoids are also thought to be produced mainly by the cannabis plant, though researchers have been exploring other plants and fungi that may produce similar compounds. Both psychoactive marijuana and hemp plants can produce these compounds. Plants cultivated for human consumption, however, tend to produce more cannabinoids than hemp plants grown for fiber or seed.
The wide range of chemical compounds in the herb can also mitigate damage from UV rays, prevent pathogenic infections, and attract pollinators to its flowers. In a way, compounds in cannabis oil, like CBD, act as both an external immune system and communication network. Cannabinoids protect the plant from harm while aroma molecules in oil entice beneficial insects.
There are suggestions that, for the weed plant, CBD is both an antimicrobial and an antioxidant. While these traits help the plant survive, they may also be beneficial for human health. A growing body of research is showing that CBD holds potential as a valuable medicine for a wide range of conditions, from epilepsy to stress.