CBD 101

What if we told you there was an all-natural medicine that could help with chronic pain, depression, anxiety, and a whole slew of other issues, all with zero side effects?

Would you use it?

For as long as humans have roamed the earth, they have used various natural aliments for their health issues. With the rise of man-made pharmaceutical drugs, natural medicine took a back seat.

But as we have seen an increase in pharmaceutical drugs, so have we seen an increase in dangerous, potentially fatal side effects. While in some cases, such as the treatment of deadly diseases such as cancer, man-made medicines are the best treatment available, in lots of cases they are not.

These drugs usually cure one thing and cause five more things. They are incredibly hard on the body and in rare cases do more harm than good.

For many health issues, natural medicine is the best option. With our advancements in technology, we now utilize natural resources better than ever before. CBD is one of these natural medicines with a myriad of uses, and it is growing in popularity every day.

What is CBD?

CBD is the shorthand of Cannabidiol, a naturally occurring compound found in the resin of the cannabis flower. It has been used as a medicine for thousands of years.

While the cannabis flower is well known by its more common name, Marijuana, CBD does not share many of the traits of Marijuana, which is primarily composed of THC, another chemical found in the plant.

CBD is primarily derived from hemp, another subspecies of cannabis along with marijuana.

One of the main traits of CBD is that it is not psychoactive. It does not alter your brain chemistry in a way that will produce different feelings or thoughts. You most definitely will not hallucinate.

CBD is a healing herb with no intoxicating effects.

CBD Vs. THC

Both CBD and THC come from the cannabis plant. When looked at in terms of their chemical composition, they share an identical chemical composition, being made up of 21 carbon molecules, 30 hydrogen molecules, and 2 oxygen molecules. While the composition may be identical, there is a slight variation in how these chemicals present themselves. THC contains a cyclic ring while CBD contains a hydroxyl group.

While they may look basically identical, their structure results in massive differences in the way they interact with the human body and mind. These differences are extremely important and what make CBD such an important and useful medicine.

It is too simple to say that CBD is good and THC is bad. Both have been shown to be beneficial on their own, just in different ways. Research has shown that they work best in tandem, as shown through the comparison of Full Spectrum, Broad Spectrum, and Isolate CBD products a few sections down.

CBD Does Not Get You High

This point is especially important due to the lingering stigma around marijuana and the confusion around the difference between hemp and marijuana, especially in older generations.

When many people think about cannabis, they visualize loopy hippies, constantly high on the ganja and not being able to hold down a job. In short, they think about the intoxicating effects associated with the plant.

What they fail to realize is that the cannabis plant is made up of 113 cannabinoids, all with near identical appearances and remarkably different properties. Of all of these different cannabinoids, THC is the only one that has a euphoric effect on the human mind. It is the black sheep in the Cannabinoid family, but like most black sheep, it gets all the press for its wacky hijinks.

The cannabinoid CBD, on the other hand, is no more likely to get you high than sipping a glass of water. It is completely non-intoxicating. If someone tells you that the question of whether CBD gets you high or not is inconclusive, tell them that they are right.

Then tell them that science is, by its nature, inconclusive. People used to believe the Sun revolved around the Earth and that headaches were caused by having too much blood, until evidence said otherwise. As of right now, all of the research points to there being no evidence of CBD having any intoxicating effects.

So, what makes these two cannabinoids have such different effects if they have an identical chemical composition?

CBD Is Hemp-Based

CBD and THC both come from cannabis, but they are not both abundantly found in marijuana. CBD is found in much higher quantities in hemp, the other major subspecies of cannabis.

While both Cannabinoids are found in both the subspecies hemp and marijuana, the percentages of THC and CBD vary greatly depending on which plant you look at. In hemp, CBD is found at a much, much higher rate than THC. In marijuana, the opposite is true; THC is the most abundant cannabinoid.

The majority of CBD products found online or in retailers, and any CBD products worth their salt, are sourced from hemp, not marijuana. Hemp contains less than 0.3% THC, while marijuana contains much higher levels.

The Science Behind CBD

Our body naturally contains compounds called “endogenous cannabinoids”, or endocannabinoids for short. These compounds are used in the Endocannabinoid system, a system that plays a crucial role in regulating a wide range of physiological processes in our everyday experiences.

It plays a role in regulating our mood, immune system, blood pressure, energy level, intestinal health, metabolism, and bone pressure. It also regulates how we experience pain, hunger, stress, and much more.

Sounds pretty important, right?

Many of our Endocannabinoid systems do not function properly. In most everyone, they range somewhere between being chronically and dangerously deficient and incredibly overactive.

When the Endocannabinoid system is out of wack, something happens. Our bodies start to break down and become susceptible. We get diseases.

In new studies, researchers have found that in nearly all pathological conditions the system is not functioning properly. Therefore, it is only logical that regulating the Endocannabinoid system would be a massive benefit for anyone suffering from a pathological disease.

By regulating the system through an outside source of near-identical compounds, namely CBD, to the naturally occurring endocannabinoids found in our bodies, we can help deal with disease, all without nasty side effects.

What Is The Difference Between Full Spectrum, Broad Spectrum, and Isolate CBD?

When looking at hemp-derived CBD, the terms “Full Spectrum”, “Broad Spectrum”, and “Isolate” are thrown around. They split CBD into different categories, but what exactly do they mean?

Full Spectrum CBD products are generally seen as tied for the best quality CBD products, along with Broad Spectrum products. A CBD product that is full spectrum contains all of the plant’s naturally occurring compounds. This includes other cannabinoids, terpenes, and fatty acids.

While this does mean that a full spectrum CBD product contains THC, this is not a bad thing. The THC quantity is 0.3% at most, making its effect completely imperceptible to the body and mind. As well, research shows that a CBD product containing other cannabinoids, terpenes, and fatty acids helps with diseases better and is more natural.

Broad Spectrum CBD products contain a mix of cannabinoids, terpenes, and fatty acids that naturally occur in the hemp plant. The difference between full spectrum and broad spectrum is that in broad spectrum, an extraction process is used to remove the trace amounts of naturally occurring THC from the product. This neither weakens nor strengthens the product, and both options are great. While trace amounts of THC are removed from the compound, other cannabinoids are maintained at good levels.

Isolate CBD products contain only CBD. All of the naturally occurring cannabinoids, terpenes, and fatty acids are removed through an extensive extraction process. There are no trace amounts of THC remaining.

With most things, looking at purity is a good way to judge value. Usually, a purer product means a more expensive and useful reward.

With CBD, the opposite is true.

Full Spectrum and Broad Spectrum CBD products allow for CBD to work better and faster. Removing other cannabinoids, terpenes, and fatty acids result in a reduced effectiveness of the remaining CBD.

9 Benefits of CBD

While most of these benefits have been mentioned above, a shorthand list of some of the benefits of CBD is a great way to really take in just how special the all-natural supplement really is.

1. CBD Products Have Been Shown To Help Relieve Pain

Marijuana has been used for thousands of years to treat pain. More recent research has proven that CBD is the major component in cannabis that treats pain. In one research study, scientists found that rats who took CBD felt a greatly reduced amount of pain.

It is especially useful in treating chronic pain, as thousands of people can attest to.

2. CBD Products May Reduce Swelling And Help With Inflammation

While the research is still inconclusive, there are promising signs pointing towards the ability of CBD to reduce swelling and help with general inflammation. While the science may be inconclusive on this one, thousands of personal testimonials about CBD and its ability to help with swelling should be all of the evidence necessary.

3. CBD Products May Help Increase Focus

While THC products are commonly associated with lazy and unfocused brains, the opposite of CBD products may be true. Some research has shown that CBD helps calm the brain and allows the user to focus on the task at hand to a greater degree.

4. CBD Products Have been Shown to Help With Muscle Soreness and Joint Aches

A popular post-workout supplement for high-level and beginner athletes alike, CBD products have mounting evidence claiming that they help significantly with muscle soreness and aching joints. While the obvious application of this information goes towards post-workout recovery, this feature of CBD products could also play a major role in the reduction of pain and increase in movement for people experiencing chronic pain.

5. CBD Products Reduce Anxiety and Depression

Anxiety and depression are two of the most common mental health disorders in the world. Many of the medications used to treat these disorders can cause harmful side effects, including drowsiness, headaches, and suicidal thoughts.

CBD products have shown great promise in reducing both anxiety and depression in human and animal testing.

6. CBD Products Reduce Acne

Everyone has had to deal with acne at one point or another in their life. It is one of the most common skin conditions in the world, and most people see it as more of a minor nuisance than anything else.

A study found that CBD oil may help treat acne due to its anti-inflammatory properties. The belief from the study was that CBD prevents sebaceous gland cells from over-excreting, which is the cause of acne.

7. CBD Products May Have Neuroprotective Properties

Although research in this field is still limited, CBD has been shown to possibly reduce and slow symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease and dementia. CBD has also been shown to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s.

8. CBD Products Could Benefit Heart Health

Although research in this area needs to be more substantial, preliminary tests have been shown to help with heart health in several ways, including reducing blood pressure, decreasing oxidative stress, and preventing heart damage.

9. CBD Products May Help treat Substance Abuse and Psychosis

CBD has shown the ability to rewire the brain. That is, it helps modify the neural circuits in the brain in order to help it heal.

This helps people with an addiction to drugs reduce their dependency at a faster rate. It also helps people with schizophrenia and similar mental disorders rewire their neural pathways, reducing the frequency and intensity of symptoms.

Health and Nutrition

As stated above, CBD is incredibly useful in helping treat certain diseases and conditions. Research has shown that CBD shows promise in a variety of areas, including:

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antioxidant
  • Neuroprotection
  • Antidepressant
  • Analgesic
  • Anti-psychotic
  • Anxiolytic

Is It Safe?

Due to the low percentage of THC in full spectrum and broad spectrum CBD products, CBD is completely safe. There are no major side effects, it does not have a euphoric, drunken effect on your brain, and it is completely impossible to overdose on.

This makes CBD very safe. In terms of physical dangers, it does not pose any more of a threat than other vitamins and supplements such as protein powder or Vitamin B.

Is It Legal?

While Marijuana may or may not be legal, depending on what state or country you live in, CBD most definitely is.

CBD is derived from hemp, a legal agricultural product. If you live in the United States, hemp is very legal in all 50 states. If you live in other parts of the world, odds are that hemp is just as legal.

Possible Side Effects

The most common side effect of CBD is simple… nothing!

While it has no visible effect on almost everyone who tries it, CBD can cause some very minor side effects in some people.

The most common side effect is people feel calmer after taking it. This is due to the influx of cannabinoids into the Endocannabinoid system and is most common in people who tend towards more anxiety.

Some other rare side effects include a slightly dry mouth and reduced appetite, as well as an increase in drowsiness and fatigue.

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