Lately, you’ve probably either seen or heard about cannabidiol (CBD) because it’s everywhere. CBD has become so part of the mainstream that you can probably find CBD products at your local grocery store.
If you’re reading this page, then you’re probably a bit confused about what CBD actually is. That’s why we’re going to explain what CBD is, what it does, and how it’s used.
Continue reading below as we take an in-depth look and answer the most important questions about CBD.
What Is CBD?
Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is a compound that’s naturally found in cannabis plants. CBD is known to support a variety of mental and physical ailments such as:
- Pain relief
- Heart health
- and more
Technically, CBD is known as a cannabinoid. Compounds that are unique to cannabis plants are called cannabinoids.
There are over 100 different types of cannabinoids, but CBD and THC are the most well-known. Not only that, but they’re also the most abundant cannabinoids found in cannabis.
Does CBD Make You High?
Now you might be wondering, if CBD comes from the cannabis plant, will it make me high? The short answer is no—CBD doesn’t have any psychoactive properties.
That means that CBD can’t affect the mind or alter your perception. The psychoactive cannabinoid in cannabis is THC.
Most CBD products have either tiny amounts of THC or no THC whatsoever. The tiny bit of THC in many CBD products is imperceptible—meaning you won’t feel anything from it.
How Is CBD Made?
So if CBD comes from cannabis plants, then how are CBD products made? CBD products come from a special type of cannabis plant called hemp.
You’ve likely heard of hemp, but hemp is the exact same plant that produces THC-rich buds. The difference in hemp plants is that they’ve been specially bred to have almost no THC.
Hemp farmers grow out their hemp crop and then harvest the hemp flowers. The hemp flowers are then sent to get processed into CBD extract.
CBD extract can then be sold as-is or turned into a nearly limitless variety of CBD products.
How Does CBD Work?
We mentioned earlier that CBD can aid with many different ailments. Now you might be wondering, how can one compound have so many different effects?
That’s because of something called the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is a complex network of receptors found throughout the body—from the brain to the immune system.
The ECS’s role is to keep the body in homeostasis. That means if we injure ourselves or get sick, the ECS is supposed to kick in to bring everything back to normal.
Cannabinoids from cannabis can interact with the ECS. Basically, the cannabinoids can connect to the receptors, which causes something to happen.
For a simple example, we can look at THC. If we consume or smoke THC, the THC connects with an ECS receptor called CB1.
When that happens, we get the feeling of being high, among other effects. The way that CBD works is a little more complicated.
First, we need to understand that our body has natural endocannabinoids. After all, the ECS doesn’t run exclusively on cannabinoids—we have to have our own.
CBD and Endocannabinoids
The two endocannabinoids naturally in our system are called anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG). These two chemicals keep the ECS running smoothly by regulating it.
Usually, after these two compounds perform their function, they’re discarded by the body. Specifically, some enzymes break down both AEA and 2-AG.
However, scientists think that CBD can block the enzyme that breaks down AEA. So if the enzyme can’t break down AEA, there’s a lot more AEA in the body.
That means that AEA can keep the ECS kickin, resulting in decreased inflammation, pain, and more.
How Is CBD Used?
The most popular way to use CBD is through a tincture. A tincture is usually the extract of hemp flowers diluted in oil.
To take a tincture, you need to use it sublingually. That means you take a dose of CBD and drop it under your tongue.
The CBD and other cannabinoids will absorb into your bloodstream through the mouth. Then you simply swallow the rest for good measure.
Edibles and Drinks
Edibles and drinks are the next most popular CBD product. Instead of using a tincture, you can eat a delicious snack or drink a refreshing CBD lemonade.
CBD edibles and drinks can be just about anything. You’re likely to see CBD candy, lollipops, baked goods, coffee, non-alcoholic beers, and much more.
All of these CBD products are made by simply infusing CBD extract with a food or drink. All you do is eat the snack or drink the drink, and then you’ll feel the effects of the CBD.
If you’d like to keep it as natural as possible, there are also hemp flowers. Like THC-rich flowers, hemp flowers can be smoked via joint, blunt, vape, or pipe.
One advantage of hemp flowers is that they’re completely unprocessed. That means that they are natural and come straight from the hemp plant.
CBD extracts need to be processed through an extraction method that uses pressure, heat, and chemicals.
Is CBD Safe?
Likely you’re reading this article because you’d like to know if CBD is safe. The answer is a definite yes.
There have been many studies on the safety and efficiency of CBD, and all results are positive. Even the World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes CBD as a safe supplement.
However, you need to be aware that many CBD products are made using extracts. After all, making CBD extracts requires the use of chemicals like CO2.
Fortunately, the extracts are safe as long as the CBD company doesn’t cut any corners. For that reason, it’s always best to buy CBD from a trustworthy business that tests all of its CBD products.
Now that you know all about CBD, you can make an informed and confident choice to try this incredible compound.