CBD 101: Overview Of An Amazing Compound

What Is CBD?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a therapeutic compound that comes from the cannabis plant. Cannabis is known around the world as a powerful and versatile medicine which contains hundreds of health boosting compounds known as cannabinoids. Among this wide array of cannabinoids, CBD is the one that seems to stand tallest in the public's eye. What is it about CBD that makes it so popular? Simply put, it’s versatile, simple to use, safe, and effective.

How Does CBD Work

Like any other bioactive compound, CBD begins to work its magic after ingestion (or inhalation, if you’re vaping or smoking). The compound navigates itself towards specific cannabinoid receptor sites that exist throughout your body. This neurotransmitter network is known as the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Receptor sites cluster around important parts of the body such as the brain, the gut, the heart, the reproductive organs, and skeletal muscles [1]. As CBD reaches a receptor site, it signals a regulatory action in the body.

These signals are what make CBD so versatile. Depending on the person, these signals could help your body regulate appetite, sleep, pain, mood, and even boost neurological function [2]. Because CBD works actively with an existing network of receptors in your body (endocannabinoid receptors), many people receive effective relief without side effects (Note: everyone is different, but the majority of people never experience unwanted side effects).

Why do people use CBD?

Because it’s got such a wide range of uses, many different people use CBD for different reasons. Direct application of CBD via topical oils or creams are used by professional athletes to reduce inflammation and improve recovery time. Night-time capsules and tinctures of CBD are used to improve sleep quality and make it easier to fall asleep.

Some take CBD to reduce daily anxiety, including social anxieties. Extreme epileptic cases find CBD to be a “one-and-only” treatment for reducing seizures. There are even people who use CBD as a nootropic to help them think more clearly and improve their overall brain function. CBD’s connection to the diverse endocannabinoid system makes it uniquely suited to benefit the body in many different ways.

How to Pick the Right CBD for Me?

It can be difficult to figure out which CBD is best for you. It starts by asking yourself why you feel you may need it. If one or more of the CBD benefits listed above lines up with a problem you’re having, then that’s a good place to start! Because CBD comes in many forms, it’s likely that there’s a specific form for your specific issue.

Next, you’ll want to look at the different CBD options. It’s increasingly hard to find something that IS NOT infused with CBD (Ever heard of CBD potato chips?). However, to keep things simple, oils and isolates are the most basic forms of CBD.

Full Spectrum oils include a full cannabinoid profile extracted from the cannabis plant. That means CBD will be present among all the other beneficial cannabinoids. Because of this mixture of natural compounds, full spectrum oils offer the benefit of something called “the entourage effect”. This effect is basically what happens when cannabinoids work together to generate benefits that are greater than the sum of their parts. Some people prefer Full Spectrum oil for this reason.

Isolates, on the other hand, are strictly CBD. Usually in the form of a crystal or an oil, these are isolated extracts consisting of around 99% cannabidiol. These extracts are mainly good for getting higher doses of this beneficial compound at a better price. You can also add isolates to your own medicinal recipes very simply.

Some research suggests that higher doses are better for pain relief and brain-related issues (anxiety, depression, stress, etc.), and the side effects of high doses of CBD are few and far between. That being said, everyone does respond differently, so it may be best to start with low doses and build your way up.

FAQs on CBD in Particular

Q: Do CBD products contain THC?

A: Legally, a CBD product cannot contain more than 0.3% THC. Full Spectrum Oils will usually contain THC in these trace amounts.

Q: Will CBD cause me to fail a drug test?

A: This truly depends on the type of drug test you’re being administered. CBD Isolates will never result in a positive THC test. Full Spectrum Oils only contain trace amounts of THC, however, there are rare anecdotes of these oils resulting in positive tests. A good CBD brand will offer access to a Certificate of Analysis (COA) that you will be able to share with your testing site, should you need to do so.

Q: What dosage should I take?

A: First timers should start small and build up. If you’ve taken lower doses and feel comfortable with CBD, then it is okay to increase your dosage. Some research suggests that higher doses do have more positive effects until a certain threshold is reached.

Q: Is CBD legal?

A: CBD is federally legal when it is extracted from hemp containing less than 0.3% THC. Every state has its own policy regarding CBD, so it’s important to know your own states legality.

Q: Are all cannabinoids a type of CBD?

A: CBD is only one cannabinoid. There are more than 60 documented cannabinoids in the cannabis plant, each with their own medicinal potential. CBD is simply the most popular!

Q: When should CBD not be trusted?

A: The easiest way to know if CBD is trustworthy is the look for third-party testing on the product you’re interested in. Many brick and mortar stores won’t carry CBD without a credible third-party test.