All You Need to Know About CBD
You’ve likely heard about cannabidiol (CBD) in the news, from your friends on Facebook, and if you are like me, you might’ve even heard about it from your grandmother. It seems that everyone is buzzing about the potential of CBD oil, and it's already revolutionizing the alternative medicine industry. It's time to educate yourself about this plant-based compound and learn about what CBD oil can do for your health and well-being.
The Basic Facts
Let’s review the basic facts as they are currently understood about CBD. Before discovering what CBD can do for you, it’s a good idea to know where it comes from and how it works.CBD is a cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. Let’s break down that tongue-twister to understand it fully. Cannabis Sativa is a family of plants which have been harvested around the world for medicinal and other purposes for thousands of years. There is already evidence of cannabis usage in ancient China, India, Egypt, Persia, Russia, Siberia, Bulgaria, Greece, Taiwan, and Turkestan.
The Cannabaceae family encompasses a wide variety of plants, including both marijuana and hemp which are distinct strains of the cannabis genus. While both of these plants look similar and have a variety of overlapping applications, they could not be more different from each other.
Marijuana and hemp are principally different due to their cannabinoid makeup. Cannabinoids are chemical compounds found in the entire genus of these plants, with some strains containing upwards of 60 different cannabinoids. THC and CBD are the two most well-known of the bunch.
Many people are familiar with THC, which is found in larger quantities in marijuana. This compound makes people feel “stoned” and is apparently the number-one reason why weed was made illegal in the United States. On the other side of the spectrum is CBD, which has no euphoric effect on people and is found in CBD-potent strains of marijuana but also in hemp.
CBD Interacts with Our Endocannabinoid System
All mammals have an endocannabinoid system. This system is involved in regulating many aspects of our physical well-being including pain sensation, mood, memory, appetite, and a whole host of other physiological processes. It is essentially a network of body-wide receptors and chemical compounds that regulates a good deal of our internal stability.
Once ingested, Cannabidiol mimics our endocannabinoids. This means that it can work with our various endocannabinoid receptors, affecting their function just like our own naturally occurring chemical compounds. Some cannabinoids like THC can bind to receptors like a key into a lock, while other cannabinoids like CBD have much more nuanced relationships.
CBD’s relationship with the Endocannabinoid System Creates Health Benefits
Because of the way CBD can mimic our own internally produced chemicals, it has massive potential to become a medicinal therapy. Although the endocannabinoid system aims to maintain a constant and consistent internal environment, there are times when it gets out of sync. It is during these times that CBD can help encourage our bodies to return to a perfectly balanced state of being.
The current research remains in its preliminary stages, but every day new developments are made. As cannabis becomes a more socially acceptable plant, it is also becoming easier for scientists to study. In the very near future, the results from more rigorous clinical trials will be published. It's expected that the results will continue to demonstrate what many Petri-dishes, animal trials, and small-scale human studies have already shown.
CBD is widely pursued through scientific study for a variety of potential health benefits, including for its use as:
- An anti-inflammatory
- An anti-anxiety therapy
- A painkiller
- An antitumor treatment
- An antidepressant
- A neuroprotectant
A full breakdown of the potential health benefits can be reviewed here.
Commonly Asked Questions About CBD
1. Is CBD Psychoactive?
Not in the least. As mentioned earlier, only THC can alter your state of mind. Other cannabinoids like CBD produce no psychoactivity at all, especially when sourced oil from hemp plants. Sometimes CBD is isolated from medical marijuana sources so there is a small chance that some marijuana-derived CBD products could contain higher amounts of THC.
2. Is CBD Legal?
The legality of marijuana continues to be a hot-button issue at the federal level, despite the fact that many states have changed their local laws. But hemp is another issue altogether because it only contains trace amounts of THC. Therefore, CBD can be legally sourced from hemp under certain circumstances. It is legal to import hemp into the United States for sale and processing as a product.
Explore more about the legal state of hemp here.
3. Is it Safe to Use?
Despite the number of studies on the subject, there are only a few known side effects associated with CBD oil use. Mild side effects can include dry mouth and a gentle feeling of relaxation. Infrequent but more severe side effects have only been reported during scientific study.
These potentially more serious side effects include an increase in tremors during the treatment of patients with Alzheimer's (only recorded in extremely high doses of CBD), as well as possible complication with herpetic drugs. In the latter instance, it is believed that CBD will prevent the absorption of certain pharmaceuticals, increasing their efficacy (bloodstream levels) for a more extended period. Medical professionals hypothesize that patients using CBD may require a reduced dose of their other medications.
Read more about the low risk of side effects here.
How to Source Quality CBD
Now that you know a little bit more about the whole-plant medicinal potential of CBD, you might wonder where you can source a high-quality oil. The marketplace is flooded with too many options, not all of which were made equal.Before you dive in head-first, do a proper investigation to ensure that you are only receiving the best products.
- Source whole-plant products when possible. Isolates remove many of the benefits received when all compounds are together.
- Ensure the company has a history in health and wellness.
- Review lab-results for each product to ensure cannabinoid content, purity and any toxicity.
- Source organic, non-GMO hemp CBD oil to avoid consuming harmful environmental contaminants.
For a complete list of everything you’ll need to find quality CBD, check out this article:
The next time your friends (or grandmother) bring up the subject of CBD, you’ll no longer be in the dark. The potential of CBD to help fix what ails us is huge and the impact it could have on our health and wellness may be unprecedented.
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