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What is CBD?

These days, CBD products seem to be everywhere, and many of them are touting various health benefits. As a result, many people are asking what is CBD?

At first glance, CBD might seem like a bit of a cure-all, which is a bit misleading. Although this substance is highly beneficial, it’s not a miracle cure.

So, for those who are curious about CBD and whether it lives up to the hype, let’s dive in and explore the inner workings of CBD.

What is CBD?

CBD stands for cannabidiol, which is the second primary component of the cannabis plant. The first primary component is THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), a psychoactive substance that gets users “high.” Unlike THC, CBD does not have psychoactive effects, so it’s much safer (and legal) to use.

For many years, the federal government classified CBD as a controlled substance, despite its stark contrast to THC. Then, in 2018, Congress passed the Farm Bill, which effectively legalized cannabis that contained 0.3 percent or less THC. This type of cannabis plant is called hemp, and it has far more CBD than THC.

With CBD’s legality now confirmed, many companies hopped on the bandwagon. Now, you can find tons of products with this ingredient, most of which are billed as health-improvement goods.

What Effects Does CBD Have on the Body?

CBD is such a potent ingredient because it interacts with your body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). Discovered in 1988, the ECS helps regulate a wide array of internal functions, such as:

  • Sleep Cycle
  • Anxiety and Depression Levels
  • Pain Tolerance
  • Inflammation
  • Learning and Memory
  • Emotional Processing
  • Immune Responses
  • Eating and Hunger

As you can imagine, when your ECS is working correctly, all of these systems are mostly balanced, leading to a healthy body and lifestyle. Unfortunately, the ECS is not always balanced, which is where something like CBD can come in and regulate its functions.

One crucial element to remember is that everyone’s ECS is different. So, for some, taking CBD can help stimulate various functions, like better sleep or reduced inflammation. However, if your body is already pretty balanced and in homeostasis, CBD might not have much of an impact.

How is CBD Extracted?

There are three primary extraction and processing options when choosing CBD products. Here’s a rundown of each option and how it works:

  • CBD Isolate – If you want pure CBD without any other ingredients or fillers, you should choose an isolate product. This option works well, but evidence suggests that other parts of the cannabis plant (including trace amounts of THC) can benefit the body more than just CBD by itself. Some studies have found that when CBD and THC are combined, they create an entourage effect, which means they are more effective than when used separately.
  • Broad Spectrum CBD – As we mentioned, legal hemp can contain up to 0.3 percent of THC. While this amount shouldn’t get you high or trigger any psychoactive reactions, it’s sometimes better to be safe than sorry. Broad-spectrum CBD contains all the ingredients from the cannabis plant except THC.
  • Full-Spectrum CBD – If you talk with CBD enthusiasts, they’ll likely tell you that full-spectrum products offer the best results. Since these items use the entire cannabis plant (including THC), you can yield all the benefits these elements provide.

How is CBD Used?

Now that so many CBD-infused products are available, it’s never been easier to get your hands on this substance. However, there are a few different ways to take this element, so let’s break them down:

  • Tincture or CBD Oil – This product is a mixture of CBD (pure, broad, or full-spectrum) and oil. Tinctures work well because you can put a few drops under your tongue. Since your tongue has a direct line to the bloodstream, you can feel the effects sooner and more potently.
  • Gummies and Breath Strips – Popping a gummy in your mouth is easier than using a tincture. CBD strips work just the same as bad breath strips. You simply put the product in your mouth and let it dissolve.
  • CBD Infusions – Instead of taking CBD by itself, you can buy it mixed with something already. This option works well to incorporate CBD into your regular routine.
  • CBD Flower – For the people who enjoy the original way of receiving their CBD dosage, you can smoke the flower as you would typically smoke cannabis or tobacco (i.e. Joint, Pipe, Vape, etc…)

Bottom Line

Overall, CBD is a safe and relatively harmless substance that can yield some tangible benefits. That said, not all CBD manufacturers and vendors are upfront about their production processes and manufacturing standards. So, you need to purchase your CBD from a reputable company. Look for independent testing, transparent pricing, and accurate CBD levels. From there, you can determine which products are right for you.