What Is CBD? An Introductory Guide to Cannabidiol for The Beginners

What is CBD

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There is no doubt the popularity of cannabidiol i.e. CBD is still going to increase. More and more people are turning to alternative medicine. This is because they are effective, affordable, and have minimal side effects. With the rapid growth of CBD’s demand, this article provides a review of important things you need to know.

What is CBD?

CBD is a chemical compound that’s derived from cannabis. It’s a type of cannabinoid that doesn’t have intoxicating properties, unlike THC. It has significant health benefits thanks to its potent characteristics.

Difference between CBD and THC

These two are compounds found in the cannabis plant. They also have the same molecular structure. This means that they are chemically similar. However, they produce different effects on the body. CBD is non-psychoactive. It doesn’t produce the “high” feeling. Additionally, it also binds weakly to the CB1 receptors in the body.

On the other hand, THC is psychoactive. It can alter the way the mind functions by producing the “high” feeling. THC also tends to strongly bind with the CB1 receptors in the brain. That’s the main reason it produces a sense of euphoria.

Difference between hemp oil and CBD oil

There is a big difference between hemp oil and CBD oil. CBD oil is made from the stalks, flowers, and leaves of the hemp plant. These are the main parts where cannabidiol is found from the hemp plant. On the other hand, the hemp seed oil is made from hemp seeds. It normally has little or no CBD content. But what consumers need to understand is that both CBD oil and hemp seed oil come from the same hemp plant but different parts.

History of CBD

Most countries have only made CBD products legal recently. There are still many more that prohibit the use of these products. However, CBD extracts from the cannabis plant have been in use for centuries. The first documentation of CBD was around 2737 BC. This is when the Chinese emperor, Shen Nung, is said to have used it to make cannabis-infused tea.  According to various reports, the emperor used it to treat various ailments including malaria, gout, memory, and rheumatism.

Besides that, it is said that Queen Victoria used it to treat menstrual pain. Going down history, it’s clear that it was used for various therapeutic reasons. But it wasn’t until 1839 that CBD’s research was published. William B. O’Shaughnessy published a report highlighting the therapeutic benefits of the cannabis plant. It’s from here that other researchers started to consider the use of medical cannabis.

A century after O’Shaughnessy’s published his study reports, significant advancements were made in research and technology regarding the presence of certain compounds in the cannabis plant. Robert S Cahn discovered these compounds in 1940. Two years later, Roger Adams made history after successfully isolating the first cannabinoid i.e. CBD. It should be noted that his research also led to the discovery of the psychoactive THC. From here, the use of this cannabinoid grew significantly although there were still serious legal challenges.

Is CBD Legal?

In America, CBD is legal in all 50 states. After the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill, it was made legal in all the 50 American states. So, this means that American citizens can buy these products without a prescription.

However, the CBD needs to come from medical hemp extracts. In addition to that, the these products need to have less than 0.3% THC. But as much as it is legal at the federal level, the law has not been fully implemented in all the states. Different states have different laws and its, therefore, up to you to understand your state laws before making purchases.

How Does It works

CBD implements a number of mechanisms in its working. That is why it has a high level of effectiveness. Depending on the form of intake and the type of product you choose, here is how CBD works generally:

Cannabinoids

Cannabinoids or phytocannabinoids are the active compounds found in cannabis plants. It should be noted that they are majorly responsible for all most of the health benefits of the cannabis plant. They normally mimic the characteristics of endocannabinoid compounds found in the body.

Terpenes

These are another group of compounds found in most plants. Terpenes from the cannabis plants normally work alongside phytocannabinoids synergistically to produce significant healing benefits. The cannabis plant has almost 200 unique terpenes. However, only four are the most common:

  • Linalool
  • B-myrcene
  • B-caryophyllene
  • Limonene

Endocannabinoid system (ECS)

In human beings, the ECS consists of CB1 and CB2 receptors. CB1 receptors are mainly found in the CNS and the brain. On the other hand, CB2 receptors are mainly found within the immune cells, the peripheral nervous system, and the gastrointestinal tract.

The entourage effect

When terpenes and cannabinoids work in sync, alongside each other, they produce the entourage effect. This means that they blend their functionalities to produce better healing benefits, compared to what the individual components would have produced. Generally, terpenes help the cannabinoids to deliver more pronounced effects.

Other cannabidiol functions

Cannabinoids have multiple properties that make it effective for numerous other functions. Cannabinoids have vitamins such as D that help to nourish the skin’s health. Besides that, there are antioxidants that help to eliminate free radicals from the body. Generally, cannabidiol has multiple functions that help to improve overall wellness and support general health.

Types of CBD

CBD hemp oil exists in many forms. You can basically consume cannabinoids in different concentrations, depending on the type of product you take. A products cannabinoid profile may feature the following types of CBD:

CBD Isolate

This type of CBD has been isolated from the rest of the elements in the extract. Note that the CBD concentrate will be extracted and then separated from the rest of the elements in the plant. Thereafter, it will undergo the winterization process where other cannabinoids, terpenes, and waxes will undergo elimination. The end product is usually 99% of pure.

Full-Spectrum CBD

This type of CBD contains the full profile extract of all the cannabinoids. Full-spectrum CBD is renowned for its entourage effect. It provides the user with all the benefits of all the cannabinoids and terpenes from the whole hemp plant.  However, we bear in mind that it has trace amounts of THC. This is usually less than 0.3% hence it can’t get you “high”.

Broad-Spectrum CBD

This is a middle option that combines the characteristics of isolate CBD and full-spectrum CBD. Initially, broad-spectrum CBD starts with the cannabinoid profile of full-spectrum CBD. It contains terpenes and other cannabinoids. However, it normally undergoes refinement to remove trace amounts of THC compound.

Effects of CBD Oil

The effects of this oil depending on the delivery mechanisms. For instance, vaping and sublingual intake have faster effects. This is because they active CBD elements normally go directly into the bloodstream from the blood capillaries.

CBD topical products also have moderately fast effects. The products are normally applied to the affected area and on the skin. So, they tend to provide users with strategized and localized effects. Oral intake of CBD capsules and edibles usually take the longest before the onset of CBD can take off. This is because the compound has to pass through the digestive tract before it can reach the bloodstream. These might take hours, depending on what’s in your digestive tract.

CBD Delivery Methods

You can get the benefits of CBD using several delivery methods. The compound is highly flexible and that’s why manufacturers can conveniently add it to several products. The most common delivery methods include:

Oils and tinctures: These are for sublingual options. The user applies the oil drops and tinctures beneath the tongue. The blood capillaries underneath the tongue will absorb the active ingredients and go directly into blood circulation. This method provides a faster way to interact with the endocannabinoid system.

Inhalation methods:  The organic cannabinoids are inhaled via the lungs. From here, the compound will enter into the bloodstream. Inhalation options are great for instant effects as the compound enters blood circulation faster. This is why users take it by vaporizing.

CBD-infused topical: CBD-infused topical products are for external application. You need to apply it to a specific body part, on the skin to attain a localized effect. This technique of using CBD hemp seed oil is suitable for treating joint pains and muscle injuries.

CBD oil capsules: They are suitable for oral intake. These oil capsules are usually taken in a similar way to clinical pills since they have the same physical characteristics. Capsules normally provide lasting effects unlike other methods of delivery. This is because the active CBD compounds have to undergo the process of digestion. From here, they will get absorbed directly into the bloodstream.

Guidelines for determining a serving size of CBD oil

Until now, there is no universal dosage regarding the appropriate CBD dosage. The FDA has only approved the use of it for treating specific types of epilepsy. Generally, doctors have very little knowledge regarding the right dosage.

Clinical hemp studies indicate various oral dosage options. This should range between 100 mg and 800 mg per day. But there are some studies that recommend even higher doses. Various user reviews indicate that there are people who experience better effects by taking up to 1,200 mg of CBD per day in a few weeks.

A study in people with psychosis and Parkinson’s disease indicates that a 150 mg dosage daily resulted in significant improvement. In another study, those with schizophrenia had symptoms improvement after taking this hemp oil dosage ranging between 40 mg and 1,280 mg daily for 4 weeks.

This means that different health conditions have different dosage requirements. Additionally, the mode of intake or application can affect the amount of dosage. Here is a rough overview of the CBD oil dosage that you can apply.

Medical Condition CBD Dosage Per Day  Mode of Application

 

Bowel disease 5 mg Sublingual intake
anxiety 300 to 600 mg oral
Type 2 diabetes 100 mg Oral
Cancer pain 50 to 600 mg Oral
Parkinson’s disease 75 to 300 mg Oral
Huntington’s disease Up to 12 sprays Sativex nasal spray

Factors such as weight, medical condition, gender, and age play a crucial role in determining dosage. Generally, it’s advisable to start with a smaller dose and then increase the amount gradually. This is the most effective way of finding the right dosage that works for you.

Benefits of CBD Oil

CBD has lots of medical properties. Therefore, it can be effective in treating mental health issues as well as physical complications. Its effectiveness is based on the fact that it interacts with the endocannabinoid system. This system is found throughout the body.  Some of the common benefits of CBD include treating:

  • Acne and skin conditions.
  • Add, ADHD, addiction, bipolar, depression, anxiety, mood disorders, and stress by regulating hormonal balance and providing the mind with therapeutic benefits.
  • Anorexia by changing appetite
  • Antibiotic resistance by effectively treating underlying health conditions.
  • Arthritis, asthma, digestive issues, depression, inflammation, migraines,
  • Motion sickness, nausea, and vomiting.
  • Obesity
  • Sleep disorders
  • Chronic pain and spinal cord injuries

Are There Any Adverse Health Effects?

The potential benefits of CBD give it an outstanding profile. The organic compound is generally safe for use and that’s why a lot of people love it. But even with the many benefits of CBD oil, it can still result in unwanted health effects. The most common ones normally include:

Digestive Issues

Some CBD products contain supplements that cause digestive issues. A research done by the FDA indicates that using products with this compound can result in changes in appetite, nausea, vomiting, and sometimes diarrhea.

Dry Mouth

This is one of the most common side effects of CBD oil and cannabis products. It interferes with the way the salivary gland secretes saliva and dehydrates the cells within. The resulting noticeable effect is usually dry mouth i.e. the cottonmouth effect.

Tiredness and Fatigue

High amounts of CBD in the system is what normally leads to fatigue. Research studies show that when you take high doses of this compound, you will end up feeling sleepy. It is believed that the “sleeping” effect is similar to what normally leads to fatigue. So, in case you are operating heavy machines or you are a driver, then don’t take it.

A Weak Immune System

If you have an underlying health problem, then you should consider your options before using it. This is because clinical evidence suggests that it can significantly lower the body’s natural immune response. So, those suffering from HIV, Down syndrome, and diabetes should exercise caution.

Liver Damage

It can interact with certain medications. The resulting impact of this can be liver damage. Some studies have found that the link between seizures and it can also affect normal liver function. So, if you are using these products in combination with anti-seizure drugs, then your liver can undergo serious damage.

Overdosing on CBD

Overdosing on CBD is not even a thing. So, no matter the amount you take or apply, you will never overdose on it. Until now, there are no reports indicate serious health concerns or fatal cases that could have occurred as a result of CBD oil overdose. The only noticeable effect of an overdose is liver damage. This is because high amounts of cannabidiol normally activates and elevate the level of liver enzymes.

How to Buy CBD

With the on-going wave about the effectiveness of CBD, people are curious to buy it. However, where can you buy these products? Well, this is a highly versatile sector and, therefore, you have several options regarding where to buy CBD.

At a retailer near you: you can find pure CBD products from a retailer near you. This includes designated pharmacies and retail outlets.

Order CBD products online: you can find products in many online retail stores. Besides that, you have the option of buying the items from the manufacturer’s website directly. We consider this to be the best place to buy these products.

Buyer’s tips

When buying CBD products, you have to make sure that they meet certain health guidelines. It should be noted that the best place to buy these products is online, from the manufacturer’s website. But even if you order these products online, what are some of the buyer tips you need to consider:

Scrutinize the label

The product label usually indicates the contents that the formula contains. Some brands usually use unwanted ingredients that may cause harmful side effects. Take time to scrutinize the product label. This will help you to determine the type of ingredients used and if the CBD oil is effective.

Check for FDA warning letters

There are many types of these products that are marketed to contain cannabidiol. Because of lack of regulation, most companies think that they can get away with this. The FDA has implemented tight measures to ensure that all CBD  oil companies follow the stipulated regulations.

It’s important to check if a brand has FDA warning letters. If they have, it means that the products they are selling contain little CBD or nothing at all. Note that you can check this information from the FDA’s official website.

Look for independent lab tests

Since the medical marijuana market is under no universal regulation, it’s up to the company to verify the effectiveness of a product. The best buy tip to determine product purity, safety, and effectiveness is to check lab tests. Ensure that the brand provides independent lab 3rd-party lab test reports on its website.

Final Thought

CBD is highly beneficial in improving health and supporting wellness. Although it’s not a cure, it can effectively help to treat and manage various health problems. It comes in several forms as well as product types. Its safety profile has made it popular, however, users need to exercise caution to avoid possible side effects.

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