The new health supplement that’s captured the attention of millions, CBD oil is now the subject of endless discussions, debates, and scientific studies. Its popularity is well-placed and well-founded, driven by seemingly countless testimonies by people of every age, gender, and walk of life.
Quickly and quietly, CBD is redefining the cannabis landscape. Here’s everything you need to know about it.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a chemical compound found in the hemp plant. It is part of a family of compounds called cannabinoids. These are naturally occurring chemicals that can be found in a variety of plants, including cloves, pepper, broccoli, carrots, and, of course, cannabis. Your own body even produces cannabinoids!
In the hemp plant, there are approximately 500+ different types of cannabinoids. CBD (and its cousin THC) are the most well-known, prevalent, and well-researched. CBD is found in the flowers and leaves of the hemp plant and is one of the most powerful and beneficial cannabinoids discovered — so far.
CBD is extracted from the hemp plant and, once extracted, CBD can be placed in oils, gummies, powders, and foods.
Here’s where we’re going to get a bit sciency on you, so buckle up.
Your body contains a vast network of receptors that are a part of your endocannabinoid system. (If you need help with a visual aid, imagine a diagram of your nervous system.) The endocannabinoid system (ECS) was discovered in the 1990s and is thought to be one of the most vital and comprehensive receptor systems for sustaining good health.
The ECS impacts and influences nearly every single function in your body, from your brain to your immune system, from your hormone production and to your digestive system. It is designed to help your body stay balanced and healthy, even when external factors are throwing you out of sync. This balance is called homeostasis, which means ‘steady’.
So, in other words, your ECS helps to keep your mind, body, and mood steady.
The receptors of the ECS are located all over your body. They can be found in your kidneys, your brain, your intestines, and your skin. These cannabinoid receptors are specifically designed to interact with cannabinoids, of which there are three kinds.
Through the endocannabinoid system (ECS), cannabinoids like CBD are able to help influence the many natural processes and functions your body undergoes each day. This also means that cannabinoids can help your body deal with health issues, such as pain, inflammation, poor appetite, poor sleep, digestion, mood, and more.
Hemp and marijuana are actually two versions of the same plant — Cannabis Sativa. But just in the same way that two apple trees are the same plant but can produce wildly different fruits, hemp and marijuana have different properties.
The defining characteristic between hemp and ‘marijuana’ is based on one factor — the chemical properties in the plant. Any Cannabis Sativa plant that contains less than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is considered industrial hemp. Any plant that contains over 0.3% THC is considered marijuana.
This difference in the amount of THC really comes down to breeding and cultivation differences. Industrial hemp plants are rich in cannabinoids, terpenes, and other beneficial plant compounds. These plants are allowed to grow to full size so that they become stocky and fibrous. This makes them perfect for producing hemp-based clothing, paper, rope, building materials, and plastic alternatives.
Marijuana plants were bred to contain higher amounts of THC in order to create the euphoric effect of a high. But, marijuana plants do still contain CBD and other cannabinoids as well.
As we said, same plant, different properties. But it is more important that you recognize their differences go beyond what form of Cannabis Sativa that they come from — CBD and THC are totally different compounds that influence the body in completely different ways.
CBD is currently the subject of hundreds, if not thousands, of ongoing research studies. So far, however, it’s important to note that the FDA has not approved the use of CBD as a medication or as a treatment for any medical conditions (with the exception of the CBD-based prescription Epidolex).
We make no claims about the health benefits of CBD, nor do we claim that CBD will cure any medical conditions or be the magical potion that restores your youth. All human bodies are different and each of us may respond to substances in unique ways. You may or may not experience the possible health benefits listed below.
That said — CBD has been garnering considerable interest for its uses for the following health conditions. There’s a reason that so many have been turning to this plant, cultivated for thousands of years, to support their health.
Pain relief is the primary reason people use CBD today and its potent anti-inflammatory properties are some of the most well-documented and researched uses of CBD.1 Whether used topically for targeted, localized pain relief or ingested orally for full-body support in easing inflammation and decreasing pain levels, CBD is consistently showing itself as an excellent support for easing pain and inflammation. Common conditions CBD may be helpful for include;
Because of its ability to help the body decrease its inflammation load, CBD may help to ease or slow other health issues as well, such as diabetes, Alzheimer’s, cancer symptoms, and neuropathy. Further research on these uses is necessary, but ongoing studies show promising results.
CBD can be used to help people cope with mild anxiety and depression. It helps to balance the hormone serotonin, which is believed to act as a mood stabilizer. Its ability to calm emotions, encourage mental clarity, and promote mind-body balance, makes it especially helpful for anxiety and depression related to stress-overload. 6
Note: Serious anxiety or depression concerns should always be discussed with a licensed physician.
Studies are suggesting that CBD may help with both falling asleep, and staying asleep. While further research is necessary, the support for insomnia that these studies demonstrate for CBD use is something many people have known for quite some time. It’s possible that the reason CBD helps with sleep patterns and quality is due to its ability to help calm and balance emotions and ease inflammation or pain that results in restlessness and poor sleep quality. 7
Several studies have indicated that regular use of cannabis can result in a lower body mass index and a reduced risk of diabetes. In 2015 an Israeli-American biopharmaceutical collective began stage 2 trials studying the use of CBD to treat diabetes. So far, these studies show promising results for CBD use as a complementary treatment for diabetes and as a supportive dietary supplement to promote a healthy weight. 8
Because CBD is a natural antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties, it’s a perfect topical for easing irritated, itchy, and inflamed skin. It helps to nourish and protect skin cells from free radicals and oxidative damage while also working to balance oil production and even out skin tone. It’s been supportive for those who struggle with eczema, psoriasis, and acne. 9
CBD oil can help treat symptoms associated with gastrointestinal problems, such as IBS and Crohn’s disease. Its ability to ease inflammation is particularly helpful in reducing intestinal discomfort and promoting normal, regular bowel movements. Ongoing studies are documenting the potential benefits of CBD for Crohn’s disease. 10
CBD may also help to ease nausea, poor appetite, and stomach cramping. This makes it particularly helpful for cancer patients who experience poor appetite, nausea, and vomiting related to common cancer treatments. 11
Thousands of scientific studies on CBD have been completed. These studies have explored the benefits of CBD for dozens of various health issues. If you want to explore more of these studies, check out Project CBD. It’s a California-based nonprofit organization dedicated to publishing research on the medical uses of CBD.
When it comes to dosing for CBD, things get complicated. There is no official serving size for CBD, and the FDA has not created a Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) for CBD.
The right dose of CBD can vary dramatically from person to person. This is influenced by body mass, metabolism, age, genetic makeup, and even your gender. But there are additional factors to consider as well; the potency of the CBD supplement, the method of consumption, and the health goals or issues you’re dealing with.
For example, someone who is taking CBD for general health and wellness will likely need less CBD than someone who is taking CBD to address insomnia or pain. Determining your ideal serving size will likely take some patience and experimentation. Here are some general dosing guidelines to get you started.
CBD supplements are available in three primary forms — Isolate, Full-Spectrum, and Broad-Spectrum.
CBD Isolate is a purified form of CBD. It is 99.9% CBD. During the CBD isolate extraction process, all the other compounds within the hemp plants, such as terpenes, chlorophyll, other cannabinoids (including any trace amounts of THC) are removed.
Full Spectrum CBD is packed with all of the terpenes, cannabinoids, flavonoids, and fatty acids naturally found in the hemp plant. This includes CBD, of course, but also other beneficial cannabinoids as well, such as CBN, CBDA, and CBG. All of these compounds have a therapeutic value of their own, and help create what is called the ‘Entourage Effect’.
The ‘Entourage Effect’ is a full-body synergistic response to CBD. It is usually characterized by improved mood, relaxation of tense muscles, and a calm, focused mind.
What sets Full Spectrum CBD apart from Broad Spectrum CBD is that it contains trace amounts of THC. These amounts, however, are extremely small — 0.3% or less.
Broad Spectrum CBD contains all the cannabinoids and terpenes found in Full-Spectrum CBD oils but without any THC present. Broad Spectrum CBD is processed to separate all the cannabinoids found in hemp, then selectively reintroduce them back into the CBD oil, excluding THC.
Generally speaking, we recommend choosing the Full Spectrum CBD over the CBD Isolate simply because you’ll enjoy the added therapeutic value of the additional plant compounds.
That’s not to say that CBD Isolate doesn’t offer its own set of benefits, though. For those looking for a purified, concentrated dose of CBD, the isolate form may be the best option. Also, CBD isolate lacks the same intensity of flavor of Full Spectrum and Broad Spectrum oils. This quality can make it a better option for those who really struggle with the flavor of hemp.
Struggling to pick out what potency of CBD to try out? Here are some general guidelines we’ve created to help people know which level of CBD is likely to be their best fit.
CBD doesn’t just come in a variety of potencies. It also comes in a variety of forms. Here’s a quick breakdown of the types of CBD you can choose from MeCBD.
High-quality CBD is remarkably safe, with very few side effects. Most of these side effects are minor and pass quickly. Some of these side effects may include the following:
If you experience any severe side effects, such as severe nausea or stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, immediately stop taking CBD and contact your doctor.
If you have questions about our products and what options would be a good choice for you, get in touch with our team. We’re happy to answer questions and give tips on how you can use CBD to find health and wellness. Contact our team here.
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