Kava vs CBD

Kava and CBD (cannabidiol) are both compounds that are found in different plants. Kava is a plant that is native to the South Pacific islands and is traditionally used for its relaxing and stress-reducing effects. CBD is a compound that is found in the cannabis plant, and it is believed to have a range of potential therapeutic benefits, including reducing anxiety and inflammation. Here are some key differences between kava and CBD:

  1. Chemical composition: Kava is made up of a group of compounds called kavalactones, which are responsible for its effects on the body. CBD is a cannabinoid, which is a type of chemical compound that acts on the body's endocannabinoid system.
  2. Legal status: In many countries, kava is legal and widely available as a dietary supplement. CBD, on the other hand, is a more controversial substance and its legal status varies from place to place. In some countries, CBD is completely legal and can be sold as a food supplement or over-the-counter medication. In other countries, it is only legal for medical purposes and requires a prescription.
  3. Effects on the body: Kava is traditionally used for its calming and stress-reducing effects, and it is often used to help with anxiety and insomnia. CBD is believed to have a range of potential therapeutic benefits, including reducing anxiety, inflammation, and pain.
  4. Side effects: Both kava and CBD can cause side effects, although the specific side effects can vary. Kava can cause dizziness, drowsiness, and dry mouth, while CBD can cause dry mouth, dizziness, and drowsiness, as well as changes in appetite and weight. It is important to note that both kava and CBD can interact with other medications, so it is important to talk to a healthcare professional before taking either of these compounds.

It sounds like these two things have very similar effects - and they do. On the nervous system level, there are some differences.  Kava impacts the Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) system which is the main inhibitory neruotransmitter system in the central nervous system. the endocannabioid system is affected by CBD. GABA receptors are found on nearly a third of the neurons in our brains and cannabinoid receptors are very often co-located with GABA-containing neurons. Activation of the cannabinoid receptors inhibit the release of GABA. So there is lots of overlap between the parts of the brain that are affected by either kava or CBD. They both ultimately affect how GABA functions in the neurons.

However, because the overlap is not exact, and the mechanism is not the same there are differences in the effects and the long-term changes from taking either Kava or CBD.

The science of CBD and kava is still evolving as both are active areas of research at the moment. They both show great potential with minimal side effects

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