The question “What is CBD?” has become one of the staples of our generation.
Whether it was from a friend or through social media, you’ve probably heard about CBD and its potential health benefits.
Over the last several years, CBD has exploded as one of our generation’s most popular topics in the world of health and wellness. As such, it’s generated a lot of buzz from the community, as well as questions from cannabis users and non-cannabis users alike.
If you’re looking to gain a deeper understanding of CBD, and how it can potentially impact your health and wellness, you’ll find the answers to your questions and more in this comprehensive guide.
Let’s start off with the basics.
CBD 101: What is CBD?
CBD, short for Cannabidiol, is a natural compound produced in the Cannabis plant, along with more than 100 other active compounds, including Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the cannabis compound responsible for the plant’s mind-altering effects.
Unlike THC, CBD will not induce mind-altering effects or “get you high”, and can actually counteract these effects, which can sometimes be undesirable to some users.
Because of this, CBD is regulated more leniently compared to THC, which has helped stimulate its growing popularity in recent years.
CBD can be derived from either hemp or marijuana, however, they are viewed very differently under the law. While hemp and marijuana are merely terms that refer to different varieties of cannabis, they are used as legal terms under federal law.
Hemp refers to varieties of cannabis that contain less than 0.3% Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the intoxicating compound in Cannabis. Marijuana, on the other hand, refers to varieties of Cannabis with more than 0.3% THC.
Currently, Cannabis, including marijuana, is classified as a controlled substance under the Controlled Substance Act and is federally illegal.
Hemp was previously included in this classification; however, under the Agricultural Act of 2018, commonly known as the “2018 Farm Bill”, hemp and hemp-derived products, including hemp-derived CBD, were legalized.
How Does CBD Work?
Within the body of all humans and nearly every animal, there is a physiological system known as the Endocannabinoid System (ECS).
The ECS contains a series of cannabinoid receptors, known as CB1 and CB2 receptors, that can be stimulated by cannabinoids like CBD and spreads throughout the body, in the: brain, organs, connective tissues, glands, and immune cells.
Collectively, the receptors in the ECS form an internal communication system that serves as an integral health function and helps regulate the body’s homeostasis (the balance and stability of the body’s internal environment, within and across numerous biological systems).
Commonly Reported Benefits of CBD
While the legalities of discussing the potential clinical benefits of CBD are tricky, to say CBD is helpful is more than an understatement.
Dozens of scientific researchers have studied CBD as a potential treatment for numerous conditions and have discovered dozens of ways CBD can help maintain a healthy body system.
In addition to medical research, thousands and thousands of people who use CBD have reported that it helped alleviate numerous conditions, including:
- Sleep disorders
- Mood management
- Chronic pain
As a natural way to find relief, CBD is non-addictive and does not come with negative side effects of other methods.
Different Types of CBD: Isolate, Broad Spectrum, and Full Spectrum
There are several different types of CBD in various products: CBD Isolate, Broad Spectrum CBD and Full Spectrum CBD.
Understanding the difference between the three, and which type is used in a CBD product, is important for all CBD users to understand.
So what’s the difference between full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and isolate CBD?
To produce either of the three types of CBD, the first step is to extract the raw contents from the plant.
It’s important to note that CBD, THC, and cannabinoids for that matter, are not the only compounds found in the Cannabis plant. Within Cannabis there are hundreds of benefit-rich compounds including:
- Terpenes are aromatic compounds that are found in many plants and are responsible for the unique aromas and flavors of different cannabis varieties. By activating different senses and receptors in the body, terpenes can deliver unique benefits, which are enhanced when combined with cannabinoids like CBD>
- Vitamins & Minerals: Vitamins A, C, E and complex Bs (thiamine, riboflavin, and niacin) are found in full-spectrum oil along with iron, calcium, potassium, and zinc.
- Protein & Essential Fats: 20 amino acids, 9 of which are essential, are also in full-spectrum CBD. Omega 3 and 6 promote heart health are included. Hemp oil also happens to be full of protein that repairs and builds tissue.
When these compounds are combined with cannabinoids like CBD and other cannabinoids, they deliver enhanced effects, which is commonly known as “The Entourage Effect.”
To produce each of the different types of CBD, a cannabis extract undergoes several refining processes that strip away some or all of these compounds and thus diminishing the entourage effect.
CBD Isolate is produced by isolating CBD and stripping all other compounds and substances from the extract. This results in a pure CBD extract.
Full Spectrum CBD is produced by extracting the whole plant extract, which will include CBD, all other cannabinoids found in the plant, including THC, and other plant compounds such as:
Broad Spectrum CBD is a bit of a mix between both CBD isolate and Full Spectrum CBD. Similar to Full Spectrum CBD, Broad Spectrum CBD is produced by extracting all
Common Ways to Use CBD
The versatility of CBD allows it to be used in many different ways. Some of the most popular ways include:
1. CBD Vape Pens and E-Liquids
CBD vape products are available in a variety of forms, including vape oils, e-liquids, vape pens, and cartridges. CBD vape products are one of the most effective methods to use CBD, because by vaporizing CBD, a higher bioavailability of CBD is delivered to the body, more quickly and more effectively than if it had gone through the body’s digestive tract.
2. CBD Oil Tinctures
CBD Tinctures are made by extracting cannabinoids from the hemp plant, then infusing the cannabinoids with a liquid solvent, such as alcohol or apple cider vinegar.
As a liquid concentrate, CBD tinctures are administered sublingually under the tongue,
Because of its use of use and fast-acting relief, CBD oil tinctures are one of the most popular ways to enjoy the many benefits of CBD.
3. CBD Capsules
While vaporizing CBD provides higher bioavailability and CBD tinctures provide quicker results, CBD capsules offer a consumption method that most are already used to.
CBD Capsules can come in many different forms with different casings and concentrations, which allows discreet ease of use, and accurate dosing. With capsules you don’t have to deal with the stigma of vaping or the uninviting flavors of tinctures, but, of course, capsules do have their downfalls.
4. CBD Topicals
CBD Topicals are applied topically to the skin, where the natural, therapeutic properties of CBD have shown to help alleviate inflammation, discoloration, and numerous skin disorders and conditions. CBD topicals come in a variety of different forms including lotions, creams, cleansers, salves, roll-ons, and more.
5. CBD Edibles
CBD edibles, which are essentially CBD-infused food products like gummies or CBD cupcakes, are a popular and easy way to enjoy CBD because the CBD is added right into something you’re already consuming.
Common CBD FAQs for Beginners:
Is CBD Legal?
Unlike other phytocannabinoids like Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD is completely non-intoxicating. This allows CBD to deliver the therapeutic properties of the Cannabis plant, without inducing the mind-altering effects associated with “getting high.”
When extracted from Hemp (a classification of Cannabis that contains a very low amount of THC and is grown primarily for industrial purposes), CBD is legal to use in the United States, under the 2018 Farm Bill.
Does CBD Get You High?
Cannabidiol (CBD), is one of many cannabinoids produced in cannabis, and while every cannabinoid is derived from the same plant, they each have unique properties.
The cannabinoid that has been confirmed as the primary source of the cannabis plant’s unique ability to induce mind-altering properties is known as Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
THC activates these effects by binding directly to the CB1 and CB2 receptors in our Endocannabinoid System. CBD, on the other hand, does not bind to the receptors directly, and can even interfere with the bond THC has with the receptors.
How Much CBD Should I Take?
Due to the variety of different factors that can affect how CBD will interact with the body, such as your body’s chemical composition, your weight, your history with other medications, and more, there is no specific way to answer this question.
Typically, it is best to use your weight and pain level as a starting point, and gauge your dosage from there. Refer to this CBD dosage calculator for a more clear recommendation.