What is CBD (Cannabidiol)? Cannabidiol is a compound that exists naturally in the cannabis Sativa plant. 66 out of 480 different compounds in the plant belong to cannabinoids. The most ill-famed amongst them is the delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). It is also a psychoactive substance or constituent of cannabis.
Since cannabinoids are naturally occurring compounds, they exert their physiological or behavioral effects by binding to cannabinoid receptors in the body. Their source, functions, and relationships with other psychoactive substances are of significant importance.
Also, there is a rise in the number of cannabidiol-based products out there. How do you choose the best hemp or CBD product? This article offers some guidelines and purchasing tips.
Basics of CBD
CBD is readily available in many ways. For example, oils, nasal sprays, suppositories, lollipops, etc. Despite the prolonged debate about its importance, CBD is still in use today. Studies suggest it may provide relief in anxiety and depression. It may also help people with post-traumatic stress disorder.
There is evidence of its use on children or adolescents with drug-resistant epilepsy. In addition to this, the FDA approved a drug called Epidiolex. It is a pure extract from CBD. Physicians use it in the treatment of rare seizure disorders in 2-year-old kids or older. Also, there was evidence of improvement after three randomized, double-blind clinical trials, which were placebo-controlled. The health status of the 516 patients who participated in the clinical trial improved. The drug, in combination with other medications, helped in minimizing seizures.
CBD also contributes to the treatment of certain psychiatric illnesses. A little study in Neuropsychopharmacology displayed that CBD reduced cognitive impairment in some patients with an anxiety disorder.
A primary concern amongst people who are new to understanding what CBD is is its safety level. CBD is generally a safe substance. However, there are no studies to prove this safety in women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Does CBD Come from Hemp or Cannabis?
With what CBD is and its basics out of the way, let’s discuss its origin. First, you should know that CBD comes from both hemp and cannabis. Despite CBD being from hemp and cannabis, CBD highly originates from hemp. The hemp plant contains a high amount of CBD, more than all the other cannabinoids.
Hemp is a subspecies of Cannabis sativa, which is favored by the demand and supply industries. However, due to modern genetic crossbreeding, hemp has a physiological structure rich in CBD and low THC. Hemp is primarily the selected plant in dealing with CBD-rich consumer products. However, cannabis is not entirely isolated.
A hybrid containing both specimens exists. For instance, due to the interest of cannabis industries for CBD-rich specimens, it changed a lot. It triggered a revolution, especially in the last decade. Therefore, more high-value Cannabidiol specimens are eventually becoming the norm. This is the direct result of continuous breeders and usage of CBD-dominant phenotypes.
Furthermore, breeders have also toiled to choose strains that harness the right phenotypes. Although there is still a large volume of experimentation and clinical trials, Cannabidiol-rich strains are rising. Breeders alter the cannabinoid ratio in cannabis by manipulating the CBD genotype. Therefore regardless of genetics, hemp and cannabis all play a role in Cannabidiol development.
How Does CBD Work in Our Body?
CBD and THC work in our bodies in several ways. First, they act by mimicry and up-regulating the effects of endogenous body cannabinoids. Also, they are endogenous cannabinoids because they work similarly to strains found in the cannabis plant.
Furthermore, these endocannabinoids are a group referred to as the endocannabinoid system. This system makes the understanding of health and disease broader. Also, it vastly affects every aspect of medicine. Although it may seem vague, it helps to explain CBD and THC.
The endocannabinoid system is very crucial in the regulation of physiological processes every day. They include mood, strength levels, immune competence, blood pressure, glucose metabolism, etc.
Questions as to what will occur if the endocannabinoid system malfunctions or doesn’t function properly are vital. It will lead to disease. Some scholars argue that the endocannabinoid system downgrades in mostly all disease conditions. Therefore, it would not be wrong to assume that regulating the endocannabinoid system is good. Its activity may have therapeutic effects in almost all pathologies affecting man.
“By controlling the activities of the endocannabinoid system and up-regulating endocannabinoid tone, Cannabidiol and THC can prevent disease development.” Pal Pacher and George Kunos, U.S. scientists, suggested in one of their publications.
Hemp vs. CBD: The Basic Difference Between Them
What should you know when it comes to hemp vs. CBD differences? Also, what is CBD’s relationship with hemp plants? Both are from the cannabis Sativa plant and have the same psychoactive ingredient, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). However, they have different strains and different constituents and uses. Unlike cannabis, hemp consists of lower levels of THC and higher levels of CBD. Hemp or Cannabidiol will not make an individual high. Hemp has existed for thousands of years, both in Asia and the Middle East countries.
Also, hemp has a history in the U.S. during World War II, where uniforms, canvas, and rope originated. Nowadays, hemp is instrumental in making rope, textiles, clothing, etc. Furthermore, the seeds of hemp are edible raw. Also, it is liquefied and added for baking and beverage production. Hemp is a source of lotion and soap making.
On the other hand, CBD is from hemp. It is a cannabinoid found in the cannabis Sativa plant. However, Cannabidiol, unlike THC, is not a psychoactive substance. Therefore it does not get individuals high. CBD is readily available in many forms and shapes. It can be smoked, rubbed as cream or oil, etc.
The Health Advantages of Taking CBD
You currently understand what CBD is and how it may work in the body. Are there any health advantages of taking this substance? Cannabidiol proponents claim it has many possible health benefits. These include:
- Seizure disorder
- Parkinson’s disease
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2018 approved Epidiolex for the treatment of some rare forms of epilepsy. These are Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. Note that Epidiolex is the only FDA-approved CBD drug.
Possible Disadvantages of CBD
In discussing CBD, it is essential to throw some light on the possible side effects users may experience. These side effects may vary from one user to the other. They include:
- Mood changes
- Nausea and vomiting
There may also be possible drug interactions. To avoid this, speak with your doctor before taking any CBD product.
What is CBD’s legal status in the U.S.?
The legal issues surrounding CBD in the United States depend on the origin. It depends if it is from industrial hemp or marijuana plants. The 2018 Farm Bill made CBD products from hemp plants, which comprise less than 0.3% THC legal. However, marijuana-influenced Cannabidiol substances continue to be illegal by law. Although it is banned by law, it is available in some states that legalized it for medical use.
On the international stage, there are compendiums of laws that rule over Cannabidiol legality. Despite the variation, there are similarities with the laws across the United States. Most G20 countries in the world operate with the same model as the United States. The answer to this is CBD’s legal status finally depends on your state laws.
What to Look for When Purchasing CBD Products
There are many things to keep in mind while purchasing CBD products. They include
Third-Party Tests: Look for products that have Certificates of Analysis from independent third-party tests. This result should be readily available on the company’s website or the product label.
The label: The product should have a warning message from the FDA or a disclaimer. Typically, the label should inform the users of quality information about the product.
Diseases cured claim: Some companies make claims that their products can cure some diseases. One should avoid these products as the manufacturer is ready to break any rules to sell their brand.
Batch number: Each product should have a batch number. This number would help the company in cases of misappropriation. It is also an indication of acceptable manufacturing practices.
Additional ingredients: Sometimes, producers add melatonin to these products. It is always good to check for added ingredients on the products. You want to be sure of what you are ingesting, especially if you have any allergies.
CBD is a non-toxic cannabinoid that exists in cannabis. It is one of the vast cannabinoids in the plant, second only to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Despite its side effects, it has many therapeutic uses. These include seizure-suppressant properties in rare epileptic disorders. Cannabidiol can originate from either marijuana or hemp plants.
Furthermore, these beneficial effects of CBD occur because of its interaction through different biological pathways. Cannabidiol does not work by a single action. It has some side effects like dizziness, headaches, dry mouth, and vomiting. It is legal in some countries and illegal in some other countries. Despite the Farm Bill introduced in 2018, the laws and regulations governing CBD and hemp-derived products vary. They are different depending on the location and state one finds themselves in. Also, to ensure you buy a quality product, do your research on the company and follow our buying tips.