What Does CBD Mean?
Ever heard of CBD? Maybe a friend referred to it in passing, or perhaps you’ve come across the abbreviation online. It’s a relatively new area in the expanding world of medicinal cannabis, but already has become a household name. For those new to the field, the term “CBD” doesn’t give any hints. So what does CBD mean and what is it?
What Does CBD Stand For?
CBD is the abbreviation of cannabidiol, pronounced can·na·bi·di·ol.
Where Does CBD Come From?
Cannabidiol, or CBD, was first isolated from the cannabis plant by a team of researchers at the University of Illinois in the first half of the 20th century. According to them, they believed the substance to be toxic, but were unsure about its exact molecular makeup. Over the following decades, further exploration into the compound was completed to better understand its structure and characteristics. Eventually, it was shown to be non-toxic.
Cannabidiol comes from the cannabis sativa L. genus of plants. At the moment, it is most commonly obtained from industrial hemp varieties, but it can also be isolated from medical marijuana strains.
CBD is a Cannabinoid in the Cannabis Plant…. Wait, what?
It’s natural to be confused by that tongue twister. When first introduced to the world of CBD, many people are confused by the cannabis lingo. Marijuana, cannabis, hemp and many more popular terms are thrown around with little regard for definition. When it comes to understanding CBD, it’s important to clarify these definitions.
First, cannabis sativa is a family of medicinal plants that encompasses many subspecies, including marijuana and hemp. Marijuana is well known for its psychoactivity (causing the feeling of being stoned), and hemp is well known for its usefulness in commercial production of fibers and oils.
Cannabidiol is especially confusing at first because technically, it can be taken from medical marijuana and hemp plants. Each strain of cannabis contains anywhere from a few dozen to upwards of 60 cannabinoids. One of the most popular cannabinoids is Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), another is CBD.
What’s the Difference Between CBD and THC?
Although THC and CBD are cannabinoids with therapeutic potential, there is a significant difference between them. THC is the only cannabinoid responsible for the associated psychoactivity of marijuana, the “high.” None of the other 60 or so cannabinoids, including CBD, triggers a psychoactive response.
Is CBD Legal?
When sourced from certified hemp plants, CBD is 100 percent legal across the United States, and in 45 countries around the world. Marijuana, which naturally contains over 0.03 percent THC, remains illegal in America, restricted by federal regulations. That said, some states have started to legalize all forms of cannabis, for recreational or medicinal use.
What Are People Using CBD For?
It’s all well and good to understand the finer points of where CBD comes from, but it’s also helpful to understand its medicinal value. Like its more infamous sister cannabinoid THC, CBD has substantial potential for treating a host of health issues, anything from inflammation to depression. Cannabidiol is much more useful because it doesn’t have the associated side effects of THC, such as paranoia and anxiety. It’s so safe to use, it's often given to children.
Research into CBD is in its preliminary stages, but this hasn’t stopped everyone from flocking to it as a viable alternative treatment. People increasingly rely on it for treating chronic pain, reducing inflammation and alleviating daily struggles with . Others use it for psoriasis, drug-resistant epilepsy in children, potentially slowing tumor growth and improving quality of life for patients with neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s.
How Does CBD Work?
There are obvious nuances into how CBD effectively treats each health issue, but in every case it consistently relies on its integration with our endocannabinoid system. If you have never heard of this vital system, you are not alone.
The endocannabinoid system was only discovered in the early 1990s, but has since been found to regulate many physiological processes, such as pain sensation, mood, memory, inflammation, immunity and much more. It's essentially a system of receptors spread throughout the body, and chemical communications released in response to stress. It aims to keep the internal environment in a perfect state of homeostasis.
Cannabinoids such as CBD are a perfect natural fit for this system. They mimic the chemical transmissions (endocannabinoids) produced by our bodies and similarly stimulate the activity of our cannabinoid receptors. Cannabidiol supports the system in myriad ways, helping to return it to this naturally balanced state.
Where Can You Find CBD?
With the rise in popularity of CBD comes a flood of new products for sale. While CBD is easily obtained in the online marketplace, a quality product requires a bit more digging. Always source high-quality, organic and non-GMO cannabidiol from a company with high production standards. Learn more about where to find quality CBD here; don’t settle for anything less than the best.
What is Cannabidiol? Learn More!
For those intrigued by what they’ve learned about CBD, don’t be afraid to keep exploring. There is an ever-expanding body of research investigating an almost impossible number of applications. For example, some research suggests CBD could help people stop smoking. Further studies explore CBD’s strong anti-inflammatory characteristics and its potential as an anti-cancer drug of the future.
The possibilities presented by CBD are exciting, especially when compared with conventional pharmaceuticals. Not only is CBD a completely natural alternative to standard drugs, it is at extremely low-risk for side effects. Most conventional drugs these days come with a host of unwanted and severe side effects. No wonder people have started exploring what CBD might have to offer.