CBD 101: What is CBD? - And everything else you’ve always wanted to know.
CBD seems to be everywhere. It’s on the news, in health food stores, and even at local coffee shops. However, many people still have some basic questions about what CBD is, what it isn’t, and if it’s safe to use.
Here are the answers to the most common CBD questions.
What is CBD?
CBD is short for cannabidiol and is an active ingredient found in the cannabinoid family. Currently, there are at least 113 different cannabinoids that have been isolated from the Cannabis plant. Most consumers today will be familiar with both cannabinoids: CBD and THC -- also known as “delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol” known for its psychoactive properties. While THC has been making headlines for its psychoactive properties – CBD has been making strides in the health and wellness community for its medicinal properties of CBD.
In short, the cannabis plant is the parent plant and within the family, there are other plants such as hemp and marijuana plants. It is worth noting, the hemp plant contains high levels of CBD with low THC levels while the marijuana plant contains high levels of THC and low levels of CBD. For this reason, most CBD based products are sourced from the hemp plant.
Will CBD Get Me High?
You cannot get high on CBD. CBD is not a psychoactive or psychotropic compound. Even though it is found in marijuana, it is not the CBD that produces the feeling of being high. CBD does not generate the feeling of being intoxicated.
Pure CBD such as CBD isolate won’t even show up on a drug test because drug tests aren’t screening for CBD. Instead, drug tests that are looking for marijuana work by targeting a different compound in the plant, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, more commonly known as THC.
Difference Between CBD and THC
THC is the compound in marijuana that gets you high. It interacts with the brain to trigger the intoxication effects most people associate with smoking pot. While it is believed that THC may have some medicinal benefits as well, because of its legal status, THC has not been studied as thoroughly as CBD.
Because CBD and THC both are derived from the cannabis plant, sometimes CBD has trace amounts of THC, but not enough to produce any effects. However, it is possible that CBD that is not pure may trigger a false positive on a drug screen because of trace amounts of THC.
Some people choose to use medical marijuana because they need the effects of both the THC and the CBD.
But, many people want the health benefits of CBD without the feeling of getting high or the legal risks of using marijuana. This is one of the reasons that CBD and CBD oils are so popular in the health and wellness community.
Is CBD Legal?
Marijuana is considered an illegal controlled substance under federal law in the United States and most other countries in the world. But, many state and local governments have legalized or decriminalized marijuana.
But, marijuana is not the only cannabis plant. Hemp is from the same family, but because it only contains trace amounts of THC, it cannot be used to produce the same psychotropic effects as marijuana.
CBD is treated differently than marijuana under both federal and state law. CBD is legal under federal law as a cosmetics ingredient in things like lotions, oils, and balms when distilled from hemp. This is a recent change and it is one of the reasons CBD has become so popular.
How CBD Works
CBD supplements your body’s own endocannabinoid system (ECS). Your ECS produces cannabinoids on its own and uses those cannabinoids to help regulate sleep, pain, and immune system responses.
CBD works with your body’s ECS¹ to use your own cannabinoids more efficiently. It does this by regulating other compounds in your body that are working against the cannabinoids your ECS is producing.
CBD limits your body’s absorption of anandamide². Anandamide changes the way your body regulates pain. CBD keeps the anandamide in your bloodstream, which helps you feel less pain. CBD also works as an anti-inflammatory agent in the nervous system.
CBD is not habit-forming, and most people experience no side effects from using the compound.
What are the Medical Benefits of CBD?
Even though CBD has been studied much more closely than THC for its medical benefits, researchers are still discovering new ways that CBD helps the human body.
Current research suggests the major medical benefits for CBD are:
- Pain control³
- Reduce symptoms of insomnia⁴
- Mitigate feelings of anxiety⁴
- Calming symptoms of depression⁵
- Support weight loss by acting as an appetite suppressant⁶
- Boost immune system reactions⁷
Almost all of the medical benefits of CBD can be traced back to the compounds ability to block the absorption of anandamide or its ability to reduce inflammation⁸ throughout the nervous system.
What is the Difference Between Isolate, Broad Spectrum, and Full Spectrum?
Once you begin shopping for CBD, you will find there are several different types available. CBD is typically sold in one of three different forms, broad spectrum, full spectrum, and CBD isolate. The difference between each type has to do with how it was distilled and purified.
Full Spectrum CBD
A product labeled full spectrum CBD indicates the whole hemp plant was used for extraction. This means that in addition to containing CBD, it will also contain trace amounts of other compounds found in the cannabis plant. This includes trace amounts of THC, but never more than 0.3%.
Other ingredients will include fatty acids, terpenes, CBG, and CBN, all of which occur naturally in hemp. None of these ingredients will get you high, and the trace THC content is too low for you to notice any ill effects.
However, these other compounds all work together to help the CBD work more effectively with your body’s ECS. It is the most popular form of CBD.
Broad Spectrum CBD
A product labeled broad spectrum will have a variety of additional cannabinoids, but will not have any THC. This product is created by further distilling and filtering the CBD extracted from the hemp to remove all of the THC, but to keep the other cannabinoids as intact as possible.
CBD isolate is the purest form of CBD available. All of the other cannabinoids are stripped out, including THC. CBD isolate is often used by people are sensitive to other cannabinoids or who cannot have any amounts of THC in their systems for medical, legal, or occupational reasons.
CBD isolate is sold in a variety of different purities. If you are concerned about trace amounts of THC, you want to use CBD isolate that is 99.9+% pure.
Because of its legal status, CBD is now widely available for the first time in the past two hundred years.
For many people, CBD is a miracle. It helps reduce horrible chronic symptoms like pain, inflammation, and insomnia with no danger of becoming addictive and, for almost everyone, no side effects.
CBD is a natural product that works with your body to help you feel better.
THESE STATEMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN EVALUATED BY THE FDA AND ARE NOT INTENDED TO DIAGNOSE, TREAT OR CURE ANY DISEASE. ALWAYS CHECK WITH YOUR PHYSICIAN BEFORE STARTING A NEW DIETARY SUPPLEMENT PROGRAM
¹ Retreived from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5412000/
² Retreived from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3316151/
³ Retreived from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2503660/
⁴ Retreived from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6326553/
⁵ Retreived from: https://cbd-b.be/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/2014-Antidepressant-Like-and-Anxiolytic-Like-Effects-of-Cannabidiol.pdf
⁶ Retreived from: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324733.php
⁷ Retreived from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2748879/
⁸ Retreived from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3371734/