It’s only in the last few years that CBD has been legalized in most countries, so there are still many myths and misconceptions about it. Unfortunately, these misconceptions can mean that the people who could benefit from it are missing out!
Let’s take a look at some of the facts about CBD and why it’s such a fantastic support for your overall health.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the main compounds present in the cannabis sativa plant. It’s a safe, non-addictive substance and its therapeutic benefits have been confirmed by scientists around the world.
CBD comprises more than a hundred “phytocannabinoids,” which are similar to the cannabinoids our own bodies produce. CBD works by interacting with our endocannabinoid system (ECS), behaving like our own cannabinoids and encouraging our body to provide relief from pain, inflammation, anxiety, stress, and other complications. Our endocannabinoid system plays an important role in regulating many of the processes that keep the body functioning every day: blood pressure, mood, energy production, immune function, glucose metabolism, appetite, pain management, and more.
7 CBD facts everyone should know
While science shows that CBD is not harmful and has plenty of beneficial uses, there’s lots of confusion around what CBD is, what it isn’t, and why it has become so popular. Let’s dive into 7 key facts about CBD that everyone should know, starting with the biggest one!
1. Hemp and marijuana are not the same
The cannabaceae family comprises three main species, one of which is cannabis sativa. While hemp and marijuana are sometimes referred to as “strains” of cannabis, they’re more like broad classifications of cannabis.
Hemp is the term given to varieties of cannabis containing less than 0.3% THC content by dry weight. The Agricultural Act of 2018 defines hemp as non-psychoactive cannabis used to make industrial products such as rope, housing material, clothes, paper, and other items.
Marijuana, on the other hand, is any variety containing more than 0.3% THC (by dry weight). This is the one that produces the psychoactive or euphoric effects that people most often associate with getting high.
The simplest way to tell the difference between the two types is by looking at the amount of THC the plant contains; that is, whether it gets you high or not.
2. CBD won’t make you feel high
The truth about CBD is that unlike THC (the other well-known cannabinoid), CBD won’t make you feel high or intoxicated.
Even trace amounts of THC remaining in a particular CBD product won’t be enough to produce a euphoric effect. Clinical studies have shown that even high doses of oral CBD do not cause these effects.
3. Not all CBD oil is the same!
Depending on how the CBD oil is extracted, it’s available in three forms: full spectrum, broad spectrum, and Isolate.
- Full-spectrum CBD is a whole-plant hemp extract and contains up to 0.3% of THC.
- Broad-spectrum CBD is a full-spectrum CBD that has been processed one step further to remove any traces of THC. It still provides the “entourage effect” associated with full-spectrum CBD but removes any potential for ingesting THC.
- CBD Isolate is the purest form of CBD (containing up to 99.9%) with no other cannabinoids, terpenes, or other naturally-occurring compounds of the hemp plant.
Full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD are the most commonly available forms. Although they contain significantly less CBD than isolate, they help users achieve the entourage effect, in which the various cannabinoids work in synergy.
4. CBD affects everyone differently
There are many different factors involved in how we respond to CBD:
- Genes: If your body already produces high amounts of its own cannabinoids, you may be less reactive to the effects of both THC and CBD in general.
- Biochemistry: Like any chemical that enters the body, your unique body chemistry will dictate how it affects you.
- Strains: Not all strains are the same. The cannabinoid content can vary by species. In some countries, you can choose between strains that are high in THC, high in CBD, or 50/50. Research also shows that CBD can cancel out some of the negative effects induced by THC in some users, such as anxiety or paranoia. Strains with higher amounts of CBD allow you to enjoy the therapeutic effects of cannabis without getting high.
5. Science suggests that CBD has medicinal benefits
While more research is pending, scientists have so far found that CBD can help relieve pain, anxiety, depression, and inflammation. It’s also been found to promote healthy sleep patterns, among other things. So far, anecdotal evidence suggests that CBD may help with:
- Skin conditions such as acne and psoriasis
- Arthritis and joint pain
- Depression and seasonal affective disorder
- Muscle tension and spasms
- Nausea and vomiting
- Nerve-related pain
- Insomnia and other sleep disorders
6. The way you consume CBD matters
The potency and bioavailability of the CBD depends on the form you take it and how long it stays in your body.
- Oral CBD products provide fast sublingual absorption because the CBD bypasses the digestive system. These include oils, tinctures, drops, sprays, and powders.
- Topical CBD products are those that can be applied directly to the skin. Although they won’t provide systemic effects as the CBD doesn’t enter the bloodstream, they are helpful in treating localized pain and inflammation. Topical products include creams, lotions, balms, and ointments.
- Smoked or vaped CBD products provide the highest rate of absorption and bioavailability, with almost immediate effects. These are used in pipes, bongs, or vaping devices—but the effects won’t last as long as orally-ingested products.
- Edibles have the slowest rate of absorption and the poorest bioavailability because they must first pass through your digestive system. Edibles also tend to contain less CBD than other forms. Fun fact: you can consume CBD in gummies, candies, chocolates, and even cookies!
7. CBD can be good for your pets, too
Just like humans, your pets have an ECS that manages the biological processes of sleep, immune response, pain, inflammation, and more. And, just like humans, CBD may benefit your dog or cat! Pet owners say that CBD is an effective painkiller, anti-inflammatory, stress reliever, and antiemetic. It may even help pets suffering from chronic pain or conditions such as arthritis or IBD.
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