Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) has historically been the most mentioned component of cannabis in pop culture. But now its counterpart, Cannabidiol (CBD), is creating a buzz in mainstream media largely because it doesn’t create a buzz when smoked or consumed.
So, what is CBD? Cannabis contains more than 480 compounds and over 100 of them, including THC and CBD, are called phytocannabinoids, more commonly referred to as cannabinoids.
What are Cannabinoids?
Cannabinoids occur naturally within your body and phytocannabinoids are chemical compounds found in cannabis that interacts with your body’s Endocannabinoid System (ECS). The ECS is a biological system that regulates a variety of physiological and cognitive processes in the human body. The two most well-known cannabinoids, THC and CBD, interact with it in different ways - acting as ‘keys’ to unlock certain functions from sleep and memory to movement and appetite.
After THC, CBD is the second most common phytocannabinoid. It’s sometimes referred to as ‘non-psychoactive’ as it doesn’t produce a euphoric high like THC does but it does still interact with your ECS so ‘non-intoxicating’ would be more accurate. Unlike THC, CBD does not make you ‘high,’ although many people prefer to consume it in combination with THC.
How Does CBD Work?
Research has suggested that CBD can reduce the possible anxiety-inducing effects of THC, as it can reduce activity in the CB1 receptor in your ECS that causes anxiety. On the flipside, CBD may also increase cannabinoid activity by inhibiting the breakdown of the body’s natural cannabinoid (anandamide) and therefore increasing levels of the naturally euphoric chemical.
CBD also appears to be able to bond with receptors beyond the ECS, such as the brain’s serotonin 1A receptor, which reduces stress, anxiety, and depression -- it may also be able to interact with opioid and dopamine neurotransmitters.
What are the Benefits of CBD?
Pre-legalization, CBD was most often sold as a hemp-derived health and wellness product as it is thought to have anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties as a topical. In combination with THC, CBD is being researched to help treatments of rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and PTSD.
For non-medical cannabis consumers, CBD is often reported as having a balancing and focusing effect that enables people to tackle everyday life without any impairment. New cannabis consumers may want to ‘start low and go slow’ by choosing a product that is high in CBD as it reportedly mitigates the effects of THC to provide cannabis experiences that include total body relaxation and comparably low psychoactive effects.
What Makes a Cannabis Product ‘High-CBD’?
Tantalus strains marked as CBD primary have both high CBD contents and low THC. Generally, a strain that contains more than 4% CBD is considered to be ‘high-CBD.’ Cannatonic is one of the most popular high-CBD strains, and Tantalus Labs’ Sungrown Cannatonic is a high-CBD strain with low THC levels. This lime green BC Cannabis contains a terpene profile that gives it a sour lemon rind scent. We also have a Tantalus Labs exclusive cultivar called Cascade, which has a CBD-dominant profile that is complemented by exceptional resin production that makes for a mild experience with a flavour profile of cherry and roast coffee.
Cannatonic Sungrown at SunLab¹