What is CBD?

Cannabidiol, or simply CBD, is among the 113 chemical compounds produced by the cannabis plant. These chemical compounds are typically referred to as phytocannabinoids.

All types of cannabis produce marijuana. However, hemp comes from specific strains of the cannabis Sativa. That being said, marijuana strains give high amounts of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and low percentages of CBD.

History of CBD

Its discovery dates back in 1940. It occurred when a researcher decided to study the Egyptian Indica strain and the Minnesota wild hemp.
However, in 1963, it’s when its stereochemistry and atomic structure were established. It’s the second most abundant phytocannabinoid after Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

Sources of CBD

CBD

We have mentioned earlier on that CBD comes from the cannabis plant. However, it is worth it to say that there are different types of cannabis plant.
Such include Cannabis Sativa, Cannabis Indica, and Cannabis Ruderalis.
Under cannabis Sativa, there are two different strain species. Those comprise:

  • Marijuana
  • Hemp

All types of cannabis produce marijuana. However, hemp comes from specific strains of the cannabis Sativa.
That being said, marijuana strains give high amounts of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and low percentages of CBD.
On the contrary, hemp plants produce skyrocketed levels of CBD and trace amounts of THC.
Specific parts of the hemp plants are, therefore, the primary sources of Cannabidiol. Such comprise the leaves, flowers, and stalks. Hemp seeds don’t have any traces of CBD nor THC.

How to extract CBD

cbd oil

Now that marijuana plants produce negligible CBD plants, we are going to lay our basis on extracting CBD from hemp.
Most CBD manufacturers use two methods – CO2 extraction and ethanol.

1. CO2 extraction

In this method, the manufacturer uses pressurized carbon dioxide to extract CBD from the specific parts of the hemp plant.
The CO2 extraction equipment majorly harbors a myriad of chambers and pumps. Each chamber has a special function. The pumps, on the other hand, help in subjecting carbon dioxide to low temperatures and high pressure to give the most pressurized gas possible.
In the first chamber, it’s where the manufacturer places their finely pressurized CO2. In the second chamber, it is where the parts of hemp get held.
A pump is then used for pressurizing the CO2 from the first chamber into the second chamber containing the plant matter.
The applied pressure is responsible for breaking the hemp plant matter, hence causing CBD in the form of oil to separate from the plant parts.
The obtained oil then gets pumped into a different chamber with the pressured carbon dioxide. Due to evaporation, the extraction left is in its purest form.
Depending on the manufacture’s preference, they can adjust the pressure to get even more concentrated Cannabidiol.

2. Ethanol extraction

The ethanol extraction of Cannabidiol typically involves introducing ethanol into the hemp plant. Heat has to be used to lay off the ethanol and leave the cannabinoids intact.
However, some materials like chlorophyll remain, which means the process has to continue further and have refining started.
Chromatography can be used to remove all the unwanted plant matter. This translates to 99% purely extracted Cannabidiol.

How to use CBD

After extracting CBD, the next point is determining how you can use it to the fullest. It’s, however, available in different forms, all of which have different usability.

Some of those forms include:

  • CBD oil
  • Tinctures
  • Edibles
  • Capsules
  • Topicals
  • Concentrates

It is relatively similar in the way how one can use CBD oil and tinctures. Under most circumstances, the user places them beneath the tongue on the sublingual gland.

That’s achievable via the usage of a dropper or using a finger. The absorption, along with the bloodstream can take quite some time, hence taking longer to see effects.

In the case of edibles, one may use the extracted CBD to bake their favorite cakes, candies, or biscuits. They can as well infuse it in beverages. The effects may take anywhere from 20 minutes to be felt.

CBD capsules are ingested the same way one would with a pharmaceutical pill. These capsules mostly harbor CBD in oil form.

CBD topicals primarily get applied on the skin. One can also use them on the head if that’s their main pain point. 

A vaporizer can be used to vape cannabis concentrates like CBD wax, shatters, and concentrated forms of CBD oil.

Cancer chemotherapy comes with an array of side effects. For example, some patients may start vomiting anyhow, become nauseated, or develop chronic pain on the affected part.Cannabidiol helps in triggering impulses meant to suppress any of these symptoms.

How does CBD work in the body?

All mammals, including humans, have a unique organ referred to as the endocannabinoid system.

This system harbors its cannabinoids, scientifically called endocannabinoids. It also has the potential to receive cannabinoids from outside, including CBD.

That’s achievable from its diverse range of neurotransmitters, called cannabinoid receptors. The function of the cannabinoid receptors is creating a balanced homeostatic effect in the mammalian body.

Cannabinoid receptors are majorly split into CB1 and CB2.

The CB1 receptors are mainly present in the brain region and are responsible for pain perception. They are found in smaller quantities along with the peripheral nervous system, thyroid, and the liver.

THC binds with the CB1 receptors to offer a solution to any pain point associated with any of those parts.

CB2 receptors, on the other hand, are majorly present along with the central nervous system, immune, and gastrointestinal systems.

Proponent pieces of research show that CBD binds directly with the CB2 receptors and stimulates more production of endocannabinoids. That way, the body can get relief against inflammation, pain, and mental disorders like anxiety, stress, and depression.

Can CBD get one high?

Proponent pieces of research show that CBD binds directly with the CB2 receptors and stimulates more production of endocannabinoids. That way, the body can get relief against inflammation, pain, and mental disorders like anxiety, stress, and depression.

Can CBD get one high?

hemp oil and joint

The answer to this query is a resounding no. Cannabidiol lacks psychoactive properties hence can’t alter the consumer’s mental consciousness.

Secondly, CBD doesn’t have intense interaction with the brain endocannabinoid receptors. Instead, THC does, thus making it the primal phytocannabinoid responsible for getting their consumers high.

The legality of CBD

The fact that CBD from hemp doesn’t get the user high makes it a legal product across many states. For example, CBD is legal in the United States provided its THC levels don’t surpass 0.3%.

Irrespective of the parental figures, if the THC levels go past 0.3%, the product qualifies to be marijuana according to the 2018 December Farm Bill.

Simply said, if CBD comes from the hemp plant, it’s legal. On the contrary, if it comes from marijuana, it’s a scheduled product, meaning it’s still illegal.

Uses of CBD

Most of the claims of the different methods of Cannabidiol are majorly grounded on CBD’s therapeutic and anti-inflammatory properties.

Some of the pain points that Cannabidiol can help in alleviating include:

1. CBD for epileptic conditions

The Food and Drug Authority (FDA) legalizes the usage of Epidiolex for the treatment of two rare forms of epilepsy – Dravet Syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome.

Epidiolex is a Cannabidiol-rich type of medication was approved for being used by children over two years, including adults suffering from any of the previously mentioned epileptic conditions.

CBD in Epidiolex works by reducing the severity and frequency of seizure conditions. This, in the long run, enables the sufferer to get relief against their medical concern. 

It is worth mentioning that Epidiolex comes in liquid form, and the proper dosage is entirely dependent on the patient’s weight. 

2. Cannabidiol for mental disorders

According to the World Health Organization, depression and anxiety are among the leading causes of mental disabilities.

It gets even sadder after realizing that most of the pharmaceutical drugs out there don’t help a lot in combatting any of these pain points.

Fortunately, Cannabidiol has continued to show more promising results in the way it makes one relaxed after a few minutes of serving.

Research on animal models like rats also shows that CBD interacts with their CB2 receptors to regulate the production of serotonin.

The same can be replicated in humans as they have the endocannabinoid system and cannabinoid receptors just like animal models.

3. CBD for cancer chemotherapy

Cancer chemotherapy comes with an array of side effects. For example, some patients may start vomiting anyhow, become nauseated, or develop chronic pain on the affected part.

Cannabidiol helps in triggering impulses meant to suppress any of these symptoms.

On the same note, research also shows that Cannabidiol harbors anti-cancer properties. The test tube study conducted on mice showed that rats might have alleviated breast cancer from the usage of Cannabidiol.

4. CBD for skin health

In the world, more than 9% of the total population suffer from acne. It’s indeed a disheartening situation to find oneself.

Now, this is the best point to explain the anti-inflammatory benefits of Cannabidiol. Among the pushy factors to acne is the overproduction of sebum.

When one applies Cannabidiol topicals on the affected part, they can get reduced acne because of two ways.

Firstly, CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties help in alleviating skin inflammation. Acne, therefore, ends up reducing to a greater extent after every time the patient applies it.

Secondly, CBD suppresses the overproduction of sebum. That is achievable through the ability of Cannabidiol to bar sebaceous glands from secreting skyrocketed sebum amounts.

CBD also shows promising merits on controlling skin breakouts. The National Center for Biotechnology Information says that Cannabidiol has the potential to regulate skin oil production, which in the long run, curbs skin breakout.

5. CBD for lowering hypertension 

Case studies show that Cannabidiol has the potential to suppress high blood pressure. In overall, that leads to a healthy heart.

The researchers laid their basis of the study on the ability of Cannabidiol to alleviate the high number of mental disorders. For example, anxiety, stress, and depression are the chief causes of hypertension.

When CBD alleviates any or all of those, the patient can enjoy lowered hypertension.

6. CBD for pets

Most pet owners have decided to go the natural way and treat their feline and furry friends with CBD. If you own one and would like to try it out, then CBD is consumable to pets the same way it is to humans.

CBD for pets works as it does to humans, thanks to their endocannabinoid system. 

The best thing to enjoy about giving Cannabidiol to pets is that it is a safe compound. According to the World Health Organization, this compound didn’t portray any instances of addiction or cause for worry.

What to know before taking CBD

cannabis question mark

Before starting the Cannabidiol journey, it is worth it to note that getting in touch with a healthcare professional is crucial.
For example, it isn’t advisable to take CBD while at the same time being under other types of medication.
The medic is in the best position to advise whether or not you are eligible to take Cannabidiol or not.
After their piece of advice, this is the most primal point; there are many unscrupulous CBD product sellers out there.
Conducting due diligence is undoubtedly vital if at all, you would like to get a proper compound. The CBD product in question should be tested appropriately and tested while mentioning the dosage.
That way, you save yourself the hassle of having to use an ineffective or counterfeit product.
Lastly, on enlightenment about taking CBD for the first time, the intensity of the effects vary from a patient to the other. The same also applies to the different forms of CBD.
For example, the time it takes to feel effects after ingesting CBD oil varies significantly from the way you would feel, and the time it could take after dabbing a cannabis concentrate.   

Side effects of taking CBD

There are no common-to-all side effects associated with the consumption of CBD in any of its forms. However, some beginner users may suffer from vomiting, nausea, and temporary anxiety.
All of these side effects are short-term, which typically means that it’ll take a few minutes or hours to disappear.
As the consumer continues familiarizing themselves with CBD products, they tend to get acquainted with the product more and more.

In summary

The hype about CBD and what it can do is undoubtedly worth it. Its myriad of benefits couldn’t get achieved if it didn’t harbor such fantastic medicinal and anti-inflammatory properties.
Ensuring that you get these primal merits involves conducting due diligence before buying any product made from CBD.
For instance, it should have less than 0.3 THC, labeled appropriately, and having the potential to guarantee any of the uses mentioned above. That’s the best way to ensure that you’re subjecting your body to a safe compound.

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