CBD is trending these days and no wonder. Its popularity seems to have no end, just like its countless benefits to human welfare. Hemp, extracts, psychoactivity… much is being said about it. And, however greatly appreciated its therapeutic properties are, neither CBD can escape this barrage of misinformation. Do you really want to know all about CBD? This post will help you grasp the scope of this compound.
1. CBD is a key compound in cannabis plants
Cannabidiol is one of over 80 chemical constituents, known as "cannabinoids", naturally occurring in marijuana. CBD and THC are the two most common cannabinoids in the hemp plant and so the ones that have been the most thoroughly studied, but they're not the only ones. Although in lower percentages, there are many others: cannabichromene (CBC), cannabinol (CBN) or cannabigerol (CBG), but to name just a few. Going back to CBD, it's a colorless crystalline substance when at room temperature that can't be dissolved in water but in organic solvents such as lipids (fats).
2. CBD is "psychoactive"
CBD falls into the category of "non-psychoactive" compounds, so everyone assumes its effect is neither heady nor euphoric. Those who claim it causes no "high" are right, but it's still a psychoactive compound. CBD, just like THC, interacts with our body's endocannabinoid system affecting the release of neurotransmitters that interfere with a series of natural receptors (CB1 and CB2) located in our brain, our spinal cord, and our peripheral nervous system. CBD, however, has no effect on our basic motor skills or our ability to perceive reality. But it has proved to be a great anxiolytic, antipsychotic, and mood-lifter. Therefore, it does affect our brain, although not maybe in an intoxicating way.
3. CBD is safe, it's not addictive, and it has an amazing therapeutic potential
The World Health Organization (WHO) concluded, at the end of 2017, that cannabidiol is not dangerous but highly interesting from a therapeutic point of view. Her many benefits have proved to be effective in treating pain, anxiety, nausea, spasms and even in curbing the growth of cancer cells. Research has shown that its neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory effects can help fight a wide variety of diseases such as Alzheimer, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson's. The WHO also claimed, after carrying out countless studies, that cannabidiol causes no addiction. All this does nothing but confirm what we have been saying for so long: CBD is not harmful to public health - quite the contrary.
4. CBD acts as an antagonist of THC
This compound has not only medicinal properties but it is also useful for alleviating the negative effects of THC, counteracting some of the most common side effects of the psychoactive compound like anxiety, cotton mouth or alternation of perception. Paradoxically, despite smoothing out the effects of THC, it increases their duration by limiting its degradation in the liver. The modulatory effect of CBD-rich cannabis delivers a gentler, more relaxing, less psychoactive and far more sustainable feel that takes longer to disappear.
5. CBD comes from hemp as well as from cannabis
Thinking CBD is only found in cannabis is a common mistake. CBD is everywhere: in the stems, the flowers, the leaves, and the seeds of marijuana, be it classified as cannabis or hemp. In fact, cannabis has less CBD than THC. Hemp, by contrast, is packed with CBD. The high levels of CBD in hemp make it a great choice for the elaboration of CBD-based products, such as CBD oil.
6. It's possible to grow high-CBD cannabis
Thanks to cross-breeding, high-CBD cannabis plants, aka CBD-rich strains, are available for everyone to grow. Some users wrongly believe that cannabis CBD is somehow stronger than hemp CBD when, at a molecular level, hemp CBD is very much like cannabis CBD. So it's not really important where it comes from. Whether is cannabis or hemp oil, CBD is always CBD!
7. Other phytochemicals in cannabis can maximize the benefits of CBD
Consuming CBD alongside the other natural compounds found in cannabis can improve the effects of cannabidiol. This concept is called the entourage effect and it was first mentioned in 1998 by two researchers, Raphael Mechoulam and S. Ben-Shabat. Their theory concludes that the combination of all cannabis compounds, including the cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes, as well as the vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and proteins, creates a far more powerful effect. In other words, consuming full-spectrum CBD oil is more beneficial to health than isolated CBD.
8. CBD is currently in a legal limbo
CBD is legal in some places but not everywhere. Under the U.S. 2018 Farm Bill, for example, the cultivation of hemp is legal at a federal level, whether it's for the elaboration of CBD products or for flower production. The DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) has stated that hemp CBD oil is no longer a Schedule I Controlled Substance, as long as it contains less than 0.3% THC. However, the Farm Bill left the regulation of cannabis-based products in the hands of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Therefore, the production of CBD-based foodstuffs, beverages or food supplements, be it from cannabis or hemp, is still illegal in the eyes of the FDA. The administration needs more information and time to figure out how to properly regulate its production, commercialization, labeling, and dosing.
9. There are multiple extraction methods and forms of consumption
Most CBD is extracted from cannabis using solvents or heat. The solvents used to separate cannabis compounds range from CO2 (carbon dioxide) to more aggressive chemicals (ethanol, butane…). The second extraction method uses steam to extract cannabis oil in a more effective way. The method you choose will have a direct effect on the quality of the product. As the information on CBD grows more abundant, consumers are coming across new ways to use weed: oils, tinctures, cosmetics, topical creams, candies, chocolate, powder, infused beverages…
10. CBD is highly beneficial, even if you're in good health
A vast majority of people start using CBD when health problems arise for it offers a wide range of benefits to anyone interested in improving their well-being. It is thanks to the stimulation of the endocannabinoid system that it's so effective. Hemp-derived CBD oil can also help you stay healthy. It's a natural source of vitamins, minerals, proteins, fatty acids (such as Omega-6) and many other dietary nutrients that have the body working in the best possible way.
Even healthy people can greatly benefit from it. The stimulation of the endocannabinoid system with plant-derived cannabinoids like CBD has numerous health benefits. The effects of CBD and the nutritional content of hemp oil will ensure your body gets all it needs to give its best every day.