Chances are you know at least one person claiming to experience significant benefits using CBD. Their enthusiasm may have sparked your curiosity. If you’ve been trying to learn about CBD by questioning the CBD users in your social circles, their explanation of CBD may have you wondering if they got the facts straight. It happens.
While we admit there is a lot of potentially confusing terminology to decipher, CBD is not difficult to understand. You likely want to know what CBD is, how CBD works, and what CBD could do for you.
CBD is A Non-Intoxicating Component Found in Cannabis
The first part of the explanation is easy. CBD is the scientific abbreviation for cannabidiol, the most abundant of the 113 potentially beneficial cannabinoids found in cannabis. Since the extract of cannabis plants contains a significant amount of CBD, the extracted product is commonly referred to as CBD oil.
CBD Has Two Potential Sources
It’s quite natural for people to be a bit concerned when they first learn that CBD is extracted from cannabis. For decades, we have been using the terms, marijuana, cannabis, and hemp, to identify a single plant of the cannabis species, marijuana. Over the years, we seem to have forgotten about the other cannabis plant, hemp. While hemp is cannabis, hemp and marijuana are not the same. Consider the following differences:
CBD from Marijuana
Marijuana is a short, bushy plant. The oil extracted from marijuana contains a significant amount of CBD, but marijuana also contains high levels of the cannabinoid tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). It’s the THC content that causes the type of intoxication marijuana is known for, the high. Marijuana is commonly 5-30 percent THC. Because of the THC content, marijuana is classified as a schedule 1 drug. The legality of marijuana varies by state.
CBD from Hemp
Hemp is a tall weed-like plant. The CBD extracted from industrial hemp contains only trace amounts of THC, not enough to cause intoxication. It’s the THC content that differentiates the two plants. To be classified as hemp, the cannabis plant must contain less than 0.3 percent THC. Because hemp does not cause intoxication, hemp oil use is not restricted. Hemp-derived CBD is also available in isolate form, which is a purified, 0% THC alternative.
Most of the CBD products available to the general public are derived from industrial hemp. When you select hemp-sourced CBD products, you have access to all the health and wellness potential of cannabis, without the risk of intoxication from high levels of THC.
The Significant Differences Between CBD and THC
THC and CBD are both cannabinoids. The chemical composition is the same, but the structure is different. Since the structure is different, they don’t have the same effect on your body. You can’t get high from CBD because it doesn’t attach to the receptors that cause intoxication. Consider the following:
THC causes intoxication because of the way it interacts with a certain receptor located in high concentrations within your brain and spinal column. Not only will this cause the high marijuana is known for, but THC can also cause significant side effects. THC can cause anxiety, impair motor function, increase heart rate, impair memory and increase your risk of developing psychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia.
Unlike THC, cannabidiol does not cause an intoxicating effect. It may also be reassuring to know that CBD actually interferes with THC’s binding ability, which potentially diminishes the effects of THC. CBD is not shown to cause any significant side effects, there is no risk of overdose, and no known risk of chemical dependency.
CBD Supports Essential Functions in Your Body
Now that you know that CBD is a cannabinoid found in cannabis and that you can’t get high from hemp-sourced products, it might be helpful to know how CBD works within your body.
CBD works by interacting with a recently discovered communication network. A relatively short time ago, researchers identified a previously undiscovered system of messengers and receptors that regulate every essential function in your body. They named their discovery the endocannabinoid system, after cannabis the plant leading researchers to its discovery.
The messengers of this regulatory system are called endocannabinoids, meaning cannabinoids made within your body. Your endocannabinoids function as neurotransmitters. The endocannabinoid messengers interact with the endocannabinoid receptors to initiate a response. The response is determined by the chemical composition of the endocannabinoid messenger. Just a few of the numerous functions the endocannabinoid systems helps to regulate include:
- Your moods and emotions
- Memory and learning
- Thermoregulation and metabolism
- Inflammation and pain perception
- Immune system function
- Muscle movement
- Cardiovascular function
- Immune system function
- Reproductive processes
- Digestive processes
While your body makes the messengers of the endocannabinoid system, the cannabinoids made in your body are quickly broken down by enzymes. Stress, illness, and injury can create situations where the endocannabinoid supply does not keep up with the demand. The imbalance of supply and demand can cause the communication network to break down.
CBD Supports Your Endocannabinoid System
During their investigations, researchers also discovered that our bodies are wired to respond to the plant-based cannabinoids in cannabis, particularly CBD. They found that cannabidiol mimics the effects of the messengers and influences the receptors of your endocannabinoid system.
Through its interaction with your endocannabinoid system, the ability to influence key endocannabinoid receptors, CBD is shown to provide significant health and wellness potential. The product we commonly call CBD is hemp oil. It’s the oil extracted from the stalks and stems of the plant that contains the cannabinoid CBD.
Hemp oil products are shown to provide significant health and wellness benefits because of the way cannabidiol mimics the messengers and influences the receptors of your endocannabinoid system. By influencing the receptors of your endocannabinoid system, hemp-derived CBD provides significant health and wellness potential. Maybe it’s time to discover what CBD could do for you.
To learn more about hemp-derived CBD and the many potential health and wellness benefits, download The Ultimate CBD User Guide at CBDistillery. At CBDistillery, our hemp oil products are derived from non-GMO hemp seeds grown in the U.S. using natural farming practices. You can verify the quality, purity, and potency of CBDistillery products by accessing the third-party test results within the product images or by scanning the QR code on your product label.