Copaiba vs. CBD

Copaiba and CBD are natural healing substances that have gained significant popularity over the last few years. While still not nearly as popular as CBD, many natural health experts suggest that copaiba may have beneficial properties that rival the benefits of this non-intoxicating cannabinoid. In this guide, learn what copaiba is, how it’s different from CBD, and how the benefits of CBD and copaiba might boost each other or otherwise overlap.

What is CBD?

CBD is the most popular non-intoxicating substance found in Cannabis sativa. As a cannabinoid, this substance is only found in cannabis plants, and in recent years, breeders have produced strains of Cannabis sativa that are high in CBD and low in THC. Isolated CBD products, which feature extracts that only consist of the cannabidiol molecule, are relatively popular, but research indicates that CBD may be more effective when paired with the full spectrum of compounds present in high-CBD hemp flower.

What is copaiba?

Copaiba is a substance extracted from copaiba trees, which are common throughout Central and South America. Naturally exuded from punctured copaiba trees in the form of a transparent resin, the active compounds in copaiba are usually steam distilled into an essential oil. Like full-spectrum CBD, copaiba is an excellent source of the terpene beta-caryophyllene, which has antioxidant properties.

How are CBD and copaiba similar?

There are a few factors that make CBD and copaiba alike. Let’s examine some of the similarities between these two plant-derived compounds:

1. CBD and copaiba are both natural substances

Both CBD and copaiba are all-natural, which means that they aren’t artificial or synthetic. While it’s possible to use CBD in its most natural hemp flower form, however, it’s necessary to process copaiba somewhat before it’s safe to use.

2. Full-spectrum CBD and copaiba both contain beta-caryophyllene

Beta-caryophyllene is one of the most abundant terpenes present in Cannabis sativa, and copaiba appears to contain even higher concentrations of this beneficial terpene. Isolate CBD does not contain beta-caryophyllene, but this substance is present in CBD flower, full-spectrum CBD extract, and broad-spectrum CBD extract.

3. Both substances have been studied for their antioxidant potential

Copaiba is widely touted as a potent antioxidant due to its high beta-caryophyllene content and the properties of some of its other chemical constituents. Scientists have studied copaiba to determine the extent of this natural substance’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and similar studies have been conducted into the antioxidant potential of CBD.

4. Both substances have been studied for their pain relief potential

Pain relief is one of the primary uses of copaiba, and plenty of CBD users also use this cannabinoid for pain reduction. Limited studies have been conducted into the pain-relief potential of copaiba, and a wider body of evidence has been amassed that examines the potential analgesic properties of CBD

5. Neither CBD not copaiba appear to have serious side effects

CBD has received extensive attention within the medical science community due to its considerable therapeutic potential combined with is remarkable lack of serious side effects. Copaiba is another example of a natural substance that does not appear to cause any significant negative effects.

How are CBD and copaiba different?

While CBD and copaiba share a few loose similarities, these two substances are more different than they are similar. Learn the differences between copaiba and CBD:

1. CBD is not an essential oil

Whether it’s in full-spectrum extract, isolate extract, or natural hemp flower form, CBD is a cannabinoid, not an essential oil. Copaiba, however, is a distilled essential oil derived from a type of tree sap. It’s possible to consume CBD in its unprocessed form, CBD-rich Cannabis sativa flower, but it’s not possible to consume copaiba in its unprocessed form.

2. CBD and copaiba have different chemical structures

Copaiba essential oil contains a wide variety of different diterpenes and sesquiterpenes, and each of these substances is chemically distinct from cannabidiol and other cannabinoids. Full-spectrum CBD is similar to copaiba in that it also consists of dozens of different compounds, but the cannabidiol molecule is clearly the most abundant compound in any sort of CBD extract while there is no clearly dominant compound in copaiba extract.

3. Copaiba and CBD have different pharmacokinetics

Since copaiba has only achieved widespread popularity in the last two or three years, there isn’t a lot of research into the mechanisms of action (pharmacokinetics) of this essential oil. Enough research has been conducted, however, to determine that copaiba affects the human body very differently than CBD. While these two compounds may exert similar effects, they exert these effects via significantly divergent pathways.

4. CBD and copaiba have different experienced effects

People who have used CBD almost invariably report that this non-intoxicating cannabinoid has mild calming effects that produces a general sense of well-being. Copaiba, on the other hand, does not appear to have any significant psychoactive effects whatsoever, and users of this natural plant extract mainly report that it helps with pain without impacting mood.

The available scientific literature supports these diverging effects of CBD and copaiba. While not intoxicating, research suggests that CBD exerts a wide array of mild psychological and neurological effects while copaiba interacts with the body’s inflammatory mechanisms without significantly altering neurochemistry. Copaiba also has certain attributes, such as antimicrobial activity, that do not appear to be present in CBD.

5. The side effects of copaiba may be more severe than the side effects of CBD

Both copaiba and CBD are renowned for their remarkably limited side effect profiles. While the most common side effects of CBD are tiredness and mild nausea, however, copaiba can have side effects that, while still mild, may be more uncomfortable.

For instance, copaiba can cause severe nausea, vomiting, rashes, and tremors when ingested orally. This substance can also cause groin pain, which could be connected with copaiba’s purported aphrodisiac effects, and insomnia. Between copaiba and CBD, copaiba is clearly the riskier option even if both substances are generally regarded as safe.

Which is better: CBD or copaiba?

Now that you have an idea of the ways that copaiba and CBD are similar and different, it’s time to sum things up with some conclusions regarding the desirability of each substance. While we’re clearly biased in favor of CBD at Secret Nature, we believe that copaiba has considerable potential benefits. The only point of concern is the relatively significant side effect profile of copaiba.

It’s unclear which compounds within copaiba are responsible for these side effects, but since terpenes are also present in cannabis without causing negative effects, other substances present in copaiba must be the culprits. If it’s your goal to benefit from the effects of terpenes, therefore, it might be safer to enjoy these compounds in the form of CBD-rich hemp flower or vape cartridges.

At the same time, copaiba has certain benefits that CBD does not appear to provide, so it might make sense to use these two substances together. While mildly concerning, the reported side effects of copaiba are still much more mild than the side effects of common OTC and prescription drugs, so we think this natural, plant-based substance has a place in the modern natural pharmacological pantheon.

Explore the full arsenal of nature’s healing substances

At Secret Nature, it’s our goal to provide detailed guidance on the best ways to stay healthy naturally. Whether it’s copaiba, CBD, or both, we hope that you take advantage of the power these plant-based substances provide as you blaze your own trail toward perfect health and well-being. For more information on natural health, visit the Shared Secrets blog.

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