CBD is everywhere you look. This popular hemp-derived remedy is being added to an ever increasing number of products. The most well-known of these is CBD oil, but it can also be found in CBD capsules, CBD topical lotions, CBD vape juice, CBD edibles, and dozens of other goods.
What exactly is CBD? Why is it in such high demand? Does it work? If you are struggling to find the answers, you’re in luck. We created this guide just for you. Let’s get right down to it.
What is Cannabidiol?
CBD is short for Cannabidiol. It is one of over 100 known compounds found in the cannabis sativa plant. The compound is present in both THC-rich strains of marijuana as well as in hemp. These plants are both classified as cannabis. However, hemp produces only trace amounts of THC (less than 0.3%) and high amounts of cannabidiol. Whereas marijuana is capable of providing both THC and CBD. This is an important distinction, as the lack of clarity on this subject is the source of a lot of confusion.
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the cannabinoid responsible for inducing the “high” that cannabis is most known for. While there is no doubt that THC has incredible therapeutic applications, not everyone has access to medical marijuana. Additionally, not everyone wants to experience the mind-altering effects that come with using it. This is why cannabidiol is an attractive option for many people. Further, it is now federally legal to consume CBD without fear of nasty repercussions like fines or imprisonment.
Cannabigerol (CBG) and Cannabinol (CBN) are two other cannibinoids that are less easily extracted from hemp plants. They tend to have lower concentrations within the plant, but also offer unique health benefits.
CBD oil is created by extracting the compound from the industrial hemp plant and mixing it with a carrier oil to form a tincture. There are several ways this can be accomplished. Most experts agree that a method known as CO2 extraction produces the highest quality CBD, although some manufacturers prefer extracting cannabidiol utilizing an ethanol method. Both methods are capable of crafting a safe and potent finished product when the CBD is adequately sourced. This means that it should come from clean soil and cultivated using sustainable and organic practices.
Along with CBD, other beneficial compounds can also make their way into the end product. These include some of the other lesser-known cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids found in the plant. When these other chemicals remain intact in a product, it is said to be “full-spectrum.”
Full spectrum CBD (also called broad-spectrum ) is a popular choice among users who feel it encourages the entourage effect. The entourage effect is a proposed theory that all of the compounds in cannabis work synergistically to produce the most favorable therapeutic outcomes.
CBD that has undergone processing to have these other compounds removed is called CBD Isolate. This is because it is completely isolated from any other chemicals and contains only pure CBD. There are many products produced from CBD isolate.
Choosing between full-spectrum and isolate is a matter of personal choice.
Why Use CBD?
Cannabis has been used as a healing plant for millennia. Shamans, ancient priests, and healers revered it for its many benefits and applications. As a result, mountains of anecdotal accounts and research studies exist that illustrate the many benefits of CBD. From immune system function to anti-inflammatory properties, to potentially lowering blood pressure, and more, studies suggest that the health benefits of cannabidiol are numerous.
Legal Evolution of CBD
Not surprisingly, western culture has taken a long time to latch onto cannabis as a plant medicine. In fact, it was vilified for decades as a schedule 1 drug. Much of the public has erroneously believed the false information spread by the government that portrays marijuana as a harmful and addictive drug, capable of causing all manner of societal calamity. Its psychoactive effects were even associated with violent crime in certain propaganda. While this may seem humorous now, it is a sad fact that millions of people over the decades could have benefitted from the remarkable healing effects of the plant yet were unable to obtain it legally.
Luckily, all of this has changed. Marijuana is being legalized for medicinal and recreational purposes all over the world. Its renaissance has ushered in an unprecedented demand for CBD products. As people learn about the numerous ways in which CBD can impact their health, efforts to ramp up research have begun. We expect before too long that CBD will replace many traditional remedies. Long-time marijuana advocate Dr. Lester Grinspoon said it best— “Cannabis will one day be seen as a wonder drug, as was penicillin in the 1940s.”
How Does Cannabidiol Work?
In 1988, a study at the St. Louis University School of Medicine uncovered one of the most important biological discoveries to date. Scientists working on this study determined that all mammals have receptor sites in the brain which respond to elements found in cannabis.
It was later found that they don’t just reside in the brain but that they are located all over the body. The receptors were aptly named cannabinoid receptors, and the entire biological framework in which they reside was named the endocannabinoid system.
This may sound like a bit of pointless trivia until you understand this astounding fact; these cannabinoid receptors are so numerous they outnumber all other neurotransmitters in the body combined.
Mind, Body, and Soul
The purpose of the endocannabinoid system is to regulate many of the body’s essential functions. Temperature, appetite, sleep, mood, immunity, inflammatory response and pain perception are all controlled in part by the ECS. Our bodies produce cannabinoids naturally, but often, when the endocannabinoid system is deficient, an imbalance ensues. When cannabinoids like CBD are introduced into the body, they go to work by stimulating these receptors and restoring the body to a state of homeostasis. In this way, CBD is similar to an adaptogen. It “adapts” to whatever we need to return us to health.
Is CBD Safe?
CBD has an excellent safety profile, and most people tolerate it well even at very high doses. Further, the placement of the cannabinoid receptors in the brain suggest that CBD overdosing is probably impossible. Compared to potentially harmful pharmaceuticals, reported side effects are minor and include things like nausea, diarrhea, and sleepiness.
However, cannabidiol has been shown to interact with certain prescription drugs, so if you are taking medication, we urge you to talk to your doctor before starting any CBD regimen to understand if you should or should not take CBD.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Goat Grass CBD products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.