What is CBD?
CBD has been soaring in popularity across the US and the rest of the globe lately. But just what exactly is CBD? Short for Cannabidiol, CBD is one of around a hundred identified chemical compounds, called phytocannabinoids, produced by the cannabis (hemp) plant. Its surge in popularity is due to its wealth of potential benefits; it’s becoming commonplace for people to incorporate CBD products into their daily routines for any number of reasons. In fact, according to a Gallup poll conducted in 2019, over 29 million American adults are regularly consuming at least one CBD product! Celebrated for its capability to assist its consumers with a variety of ailments without sacrificing functionality or mental clarity, CBD is quickly solidifying its well-deserved place near the top of the ever-growing mountain of wellness products.
How does CBD work?
CBD affects its users by interacting with cannabinoid receptors; which receptors it connects with is dependent on which type of product or method of consumption is used. There are two types of known cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2, each of which are located in different areas of the body and which each perform their own unique tasks. CB1 receptors are primarily located in the brain throughout the CNS (Central Nervous System); CB2 receptors can be found in small quantities in the brain as well as the pancreas and bones, but are more commonly found throughout the dermis and in immune cells.
Who can benefit from CBD? Why are these products so popular?
Just about anyone! One of the most appealing things about CBD as a supplement or wellness product is that it is not likely to interfere with most people’s functionality or clear-headedness throughout the day, making it an easy (for many, seamless) addition into a health and wellness routine. People of all ages and from all walks of life have found CBD to be helpful for a plethora of needs.
How do CBD and THC interact with each other?
There are quite a few differences between these two primary cannabinoids. THC (short for tetrahydrocannabinol) is the main component responsible for providing the sensation of being “high” that is commonly associated with cannabis use. However, THC also possesses its own myriad potential health benefits in addition to providing the euphoric sensation many are familiar with. While CBD is frequently touted as non-psychoactive, that’s not entirely correct. Since it does interact with receptors in the brain and can provide a general sense of well-being, it’s more accurate to refer to CBD as non-intoxicating instead. These two compounds play very well in tandem with each other; in fact, one cannabinoid will perform at its best when another is present in at least small quantities! This is due to something referred to as the Entourage Effect.
What is the ECS, and what does it do?
The ECS (Endocannabinoid System) is responsible for producing and regulating the body’s own naturally-occurring cannabinoids. These are known as endocannabinoids! There are two known ECs: 2-AG and Anandamide. The ECS is in charge of regulating phytocannabinoids (such as THC and/or CBD) introduced to the bloodstream via the consumption of cannabis products. A healthy, well-functioning ECS is crucial when it comes to maintaining homeostasis in the body! The ECS is responsible for helping to control and regulate several bodily functions, including but not limited to hunger, digestion, sleep, motor control, body temperature, and immune function.
What is the difference between phytocannabinoids and endocannabinoids?
Endocannabinoids are chemical compounds (such as 2-AG and Anandamide) that are produced naturally in the body. Phytocannabinoids, on the other hand, are plant-based compounds (such as THC, CBD, CBG, and more). These cannabinoids are regulated by the ECS and other internal systems once introduced to the body.
What is the difference between hemp and cannabis/marijuana?
There isn’t much of one! All cannabis compounds come from the same family of plants; there are different species in this small family which produce different cannabinoids in different quantities, but any brand that lauds their CBD products as “not containing cannabis” or “not derived from cannabis” is merely trying to avoid the potential fear or negative stigma associated with the words “cannabis” or “marijuana”. All CBD is sourced from the different species of cannabis (Cannabis Sativa, Cannabis Indica, and Cannabis Ruteralis); there are no other natural means to the end of accessing that cannabinoid. The biggest difference in how these products are classified is drawn from their THC concentration; anything classified as “hemp-derived” must contain 0.3% THC potency or less! For more info on this, check out our difference between hemp and cannabis blog.
How can someone consume CBD products?
Common methods of health-conscious consumption include:
- Oral (chewable edibles, drinks, capsules, etc)
- Sublingual (tinctures, mints, hard candies, etc)
- Topical (creams, gels, etc)