If you aren’t already too familiar with what CBD is, be prepared to hear more and more about this natural remedy that has taken the world of wellness by storm. Apart from its ability to manage and treat many chronic conditions like anxiety, pain, and insomnia, CBD is also gradually being used as a health supplement in general for overall wellness. With all the hype surrounding CBD, it is easy to become overwhelmed. That’s why we bring you this: a beginner’s guide to CBD.

What is Cannabidiol or CBD?

Cannabidiol or CBD is a chemical compound that occurs naturally in the cannabis plant. Cannabis is usually immediately associated with marijuana, getting high, and ‘stoner’ culture. This is a misconception. Cannabis is a very broad term that includes hemp, marijuana, and many chemical compounds such as CBD and tetrahydrocannabinol (or THC). The psychoactive element in cannabis that causes the sensation of getting high is THC. CBD, on the other hand, cannot get you high. Whereas THC can cause paranoia, CBD has the opposite effect and is used to treat anxiety.

Hemp is a specific type of cannabis that has low THC content and high CBD content. Therefore, CBD is extracted from hemp. CBD-based products have little to none THC content, with the THC content never exceeding 0.3%.

How does CBD work?

The human body has an endocannabinoid system (ECS). The primary function of the ECS is to maintain balance in the body. The body produces endocannabinoids on its own and these are found in our immune system, organs, brain, and glands. The body makes use of these cannabinoids with active cannabinoid receptors of two types: CB1 and CB2.

While CB1 receptors are present throughout the body, a lot are present in the brain and nervous system. They are responsible for movement & coordination, thoughts, emotion, appetite, and memories. THC usually affects CB1 receptors.

CB2 receptors, on the other hand, are present in greater numbers in the immune system and help deal with inflammation and pain. Earlier, researchers believed that CBD would attach to CB2 receptors and therefore have a positive impact on the immune system. However, recent research has changed this thought. It is not believed that instead of directly attaching to any receptor, CBD simply enables the body to utilize its own cannabinoids more efficiently.

The benefits of CBD

CBD has many benefits. The Food and Drug Administration has even approved Epidiolex, a prescription medicine that is made from purified CBD oil, and has proved effective in treating two rare and severe types of epilepsy.

Apart from this, the research surrounding CBD is not extensive but what little has been done is very promising. It has been found that CBD is effective in providing relief from many mental health conditions such as anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, and schizophrenia. A study has also shown that CBD could be effective in treating arthritis pain.

CBD has also proved its effectiveness in treating other conditions such as:

  1. Insomnia
  2. Acne
  3. High blood pressure and risk of cardiovascular disease

Research surrounding CBD is still ongoing, so there is a lot left to understand about this wellness solution.

Types of CBD Oils

There are different types of CBD-based products, both in terms of means of consumption and strength & presence of other cannabinoids.

There are three main types of CBD oils:

  1. Full-spectrum CBD oils: this refers to the entire extract of hemp and includes up to 0.3% THC. The presence of other cannabinoids except CBD means that the ‘entourage effect’ can take place. The entourage effect refers to the situation where CBD is made more effective because of the presence of other cannabinoids.
  2. Broad-spectrum CBD oils: this refers to the oil that is obtained after extracting the trace amounts of THC in the oil extract from hemp. This provides all of the benefits of the entourage effect and no remains of THC in the blood.
  3. CBD isolate: as suggested by the name, this refers to pure CBD without any other cannabinoids.

Generally full and broad-spectrum CBD products are considered to be superior to CBD isolates, because of the entourage effect.

Types of CBD products

CBD comes in a variety of forms for:

  1. Tinctures
  2. Capsules
  3. Topicals, like creams and cleansing bars
  4. Vapes
  5. Edibles, such as gummies

Depending on the kind of problem and convenience, how CBD is consumed can vary.


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