CBD is short for Cannabidiol, and it is one of the many naturally-occurring cannabinoids that have been identified in the Cannabis sativa plant.
It is a non-psychoactive compound, meaning it will not get you "high" and interacts with your body via the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) a central regulatory system that affects a wide range of biological processes like our immune system, nervous system, and all of the body’s organs.
In short, you can think of CBD as a supplement that works to keep your body in a state of biological balance.
How is CBD Made?
CBD is derived from the hemp plant through a process called extraction. In this process, the compound is separated from the plant material and then concentrated into an oil. This oil can be used in various ways, such as being added to products like tinctures, capsules, edibles, topicals, and more.
It’s important to note that not all CBD products are created equal. The quality of a CBD product is largely dependent on the following:
Where it is farmed - as hemp can pull toxins from the ground, it is important that it is farmed organically in nutrient-rich soil, preferably in the U.S as it is highly regulated. Avoid mass-produced hemp from China because it may be contaminated with high levels of heavy metals from contaminated soil.
- How it is extracted - the most common ways to extract CBD from hemp are via CO2 or ethanol extraction. C02 extraction is more expensive but is considered higher quality as it preserves more of the plant’s natural properties. Ethanol Extraction is cheaper but can result in a lower-purity product.
Why is CBD extracted from Hemp?
Firstly it is important to note that both hemp and marijuana are technically the same plant, Cannabis sativa and CBD can be extracted from both. They have sight variations in their growth cycle and appearance.
However, in the eyes of the law, there is a key difference between them...
Hemp is any strain of Cannabis sativa that contains less than 0.3% THC (the compound that gets you "high").
Marijuana is any cannabis strain with more than 0.3% THC by dried weight. These strains are used primarily for their psychoactive effects
Only CBD extracted from hemp is considered legal.
What are Cannabinoids?
Cannabinoids play a key role in the differentiating effects of various cannabis strains.
The Cannabis sativa plant contains over 100 different cannabinoids, with CBD and THC being the most well known.
Other compounds found in hemp include:
Terpenes - these are aromatic oils that give cannabis its unique smell. They also have therapeutic properties and can help to amplify the effects of CBD.
Flavonoids - these are a type of antioxidant that can offer various health benefits.
The History of CBD
The Cannabis sativa plant from which CBD is derived has a long history dating back thousands of years. It’s believed to have originated in Central Asia and has been used for a variety of purposes, including as a food, textile, and medicine.
Cannabis was first introduced to the Western world in the 1800s and was used primarily for medical purposes. However, it was banned in the early 1900s due to its psychoactive effects.
The history of CBD is a relatively new one, as the compound was only identified and isolated in the early 1960s. However, that doesn't mean it isn't valuable - in fact, CBD has been shown to have a wide range of therapeutic benefits.
Some of the earliest evidence of CBD's therapeutic potential comes from a study published in the journal Pharmacology in 1963. The study found that CBD helped to reduce convulsive seizures in children.
Since then, there has been extensive research into CBD's potential therapeutic effects. Some of the conditions that CBD could to help with include:
However, this is by no means an extensive list.
If you're interested in trying CBD, it's important to purchase it from a reputable source. Make sure to do your research and only buy products that are lab-tested and sourced from quality hemp plants.