CBD 101: The Science Behind CBD
CBD 101 - An Introduction to Cannabidiol
As people shift their opinions about cannabis, more people than ever before are choosing CBD over synthetic medications for relief of their medical conditions and overall health.
When something new comes along, there is going to be a learning curve, and this is true of CBD. Understanding what CBD is, how it works and how to find the right brand can be overwhelming and confusing.
Whether you’re an active user or are interested in trying it, this guide will quickly provide you with a solid understanding of what all the hype is about and how you can start benefiting from CBD too.
CBD: What is it and how does it work?
CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a cannabinoid.
Cannabinoids are the chemical compounds that naturally occur in the cannabis plant and are special because of their drug-like effects on both the human immune system and central nervous system. There are over 100 of these compounds found in the cannabis plant, including THC – the infamous cannabinoid responsible for the “high” feeling associated with cannabis.
CBD shares many of the same anti-inflammatory and anxiolytic properties cannabis is known for, and these therapeutic properties allow it to naturally provide relief from stress, pain and anxiety.
Due to the fact that CBD is non-psychoactive, non-habit forming and can help your body maintain its health and stability, it has become a very popular natural alternative to synthetic medication.
In order to understand how CBD works in your body, we have to look at the endocannabinoid system.
The Endocannabinoid System (ECS)
The ECS consists of a complex network of cannabinoids and cannabinoid receptors. Receptors are positioned throughout your body and can be found in the brain, skin, organs, bones and connective tissue. Endocannabinoids, the cannabinoid receptors’ counterpart, are cannabinoids produced by the human body.
Together they work similarly to a lock and key system. Cannabinoids attach to receptors like a key fits in a lock. When the receptor is unlocked, it causes a change to a cell’s function and leads to different effects within the body.
Take stress for example. When you’re stressed, your body releases cortisol, the compound that is responsible for the way you feel when stressed. Cortisol can be useful when you’re in a dangerous situation and need to react quickly, but it can disrupt the natural balance of your body if the levels are too high.
Introducing certain cannabinoids, such as CBD, in to your system can provide stress relief (CBD was found in a study to interfere with the secretion of cortisol, reducing blood levels significantly) and also help you look at the situation with a clear mind in order to make the best decision. This manages the perception of stress you may have and helps you take the best course of action.
Considered one of the most important systems your body has for building and maintaining your health, the ECS keeps your body’s metabolic processes in balance.
To give you an idea of how important it is, here are just a few of the processes it regulates:
● Pain & inflammation
● Tumor regulation
● Muscle tone and movement
This is why CBD has the potential to help with so many different medical conditions – it works with one of the most vital systems in our bodies.
On top of that, the body’s natural cannabinoids are very similar to those of the cannabis plant - our bodies were basically designed to work with cannabinoids and they are considered crucial to our overall well-being. It was mentioned earlier that cannabinoid receptors are found throughout the body, but do you know the one place receptors aren’t found? The brain stem. This is why overdosing from cannabis is impossible.
While there are numerous positive effects of CBD, there are still side effects that may be triggered when using CBD products. Some of these are:
● Changes in appetite
● Changes in mood
● Dry mouth
Is CBD Legal?
This is understandably very important for new users to know.
Cannabis has a long history of being looked down on throughout the world because of its psychoactive effects, with many deeming it a “gateway drug”.
Technically, CBD is illegal in the U.S. at the federal level, but which type of cannabis plant the CBD is extracted from (hemp or marijuana) makes a difference, plus individual states have their own laws. This can make things very confusing.
In general, CBD oil and related products are considered legal if the CBD was extracted from the hemp plant. The legality of CBD extracted from marijuana is state-specific because of its high THC content. Hemp, on the other hand, has very low amounts of THC and generally, products that contain no more than 0.3% THC are legal.
In 2018, the US Senate introduced The Hemp Farming Act in its version of the 2018 Farm Bill. Along with other goals, the act sought to make hemp an agricultural commodity, give states the power to oversee hemp production, and take away the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) authority over hemp.
CBD is also rising in popularity in the UK - with many CBD brands, such as Blessed CBD, entering the market with high-quality products. Although the market is smaller than the USA, there is no denying the potential of the CBD industry is only increasing.
The Unique Benefits of CBD
There’s still a lot to learn about the benefits of CBD, but preliminary research has indicated that CBD can impact humans in the following ways:
● Reduce anxiety
● Reduce weight loss by mimicking the appetite
● Relieve pain and inflammation (this includes cancer pain and chronic pain)
● Improve sleep quality
● Ease vomiting and nausea
● Inhibit tumor growth, increasing the effectiveness of chemotherapy without damaging healthy tissues and cells
As more research and funding is directed toward learning about CBD and other non-psychoactive cannabinoids, we will discover and harness even more benefits.
CBD Products: Things to Know Before You Buy
The CBD industry is thriving, but is still in its infancy and suffers from a lack of industry regulation. Before you spend your money, make sure a few things check out.
● Organic hemp: you want to know where was it sourced and how was it cultivated
● Extraction method: CO2 is the best, ethanol is also acceptable
● Third party testing: results should be on a company’s website or provided upon request
● Levels of THC: should be under 0.3%
● Fair pricing: quality should come into play
If you need help choosing the best CBD oil for you, take a browse through HerbMighty’s top CBD oil recommendations.
Hopefully this guide helps you wrap your mind around how CBD works and how it can benefit you. With an understanding of the basics, you can build on your knowledge and choose the right products for your needs.
As consumers move away from pharmaceutical companies and look for natural remedies, CBD seems to be the drug of the future. However, just to be 100% safe, always make sure to consult a physician before you decide to use CBD oil for your condition.