CBD: this short abbreviation has been generating a lot of interest recently. Short for cannabidiol, CBD is a chemical compound found within the hemp plant. Think of it almost like hemp’s most active ingredient!
So, why all the interest? Because the human body has a lot more in common with CBD than most people realize. In fact, CBD’s renowned health benefits can be credited to its activation of the most overlooked receptor system in the entire body: the Endocannabinoid System.
Before we can begin to understand CBD and how it works, though, we must first understand the chemical family it comes from.
WHAT ARE CANNABINOIDS?
The Cannabis plant family that hemp belongs to contains naturally occurring compounds called cannabinoids. These cannabinoids are classified as phytocannabinoids, meaning they’re derived from plants. The human body also produces its own form of naturally occurring cannabinoids; these are called endocannabinoids.
Due to similarities in their chemical composition and behavior, endocannabinoids and phytocannabinoids go together perfectly. Scientists have identified over 113 different plant cannabinoids so far…some common examples include:
● Cannabidiol (CBD)
● Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)
● Cannabinol (CBN)
● Cannabigerol (CBG)
● Cannabidivarin (CBDV)
● Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV)
● Cannabichromene (CBC)
● Cannabicyclol (CBL)
WHAT IS CBD?
CBD is the primary cannabinoid found within the hemp plant. It’s a fat-soluble molecule that doesn’t really seem to stand out at first; in fact, early researchers overlooked CBD because its actions were so gentle. And yet CBD turns out to be the perfect compound to activate the endocannabinoid system and promote health.
After CBD, the second most abundant cannabinoid in hemp is THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). THC is the compound responsible for the intoxicating upliftment one often gets from recreational cannabis. While THC does impart some health benefits, we can do better!
Unlike THC, CBD is non-intoxicating and won’t cause a ‘high’ or disrupt normal cognitive function. CBD is legal in all 50 states, too, thanks to 2018’s Federal Farm Bill and its inclusion of hemp that contains .3% THC or less. To fully grasp the concept of CBD, it’s essential to have a clear understanding of the cannabis plant and the differences between hemp and recreational cannabis, or marijuana.
CLEARING UP THE CONFUSION
You may hear terms like hemp and marijuana being used interchangeably, but this can be misleading. They are often referred to as different “strains” of cannabis, but this is inaccurate as well — they’re actually two entirely different chemotypes.
Hemp refers to cannabis that contains 0.3% THC or less by dry weight… while marijuana refers to cannabis that has 0.3% THC or more (usually much more).
While this concept is actually pretty simple, it’s often misunderstood because of the negative connotations surrounding cannabis. In some ways, CBD’s reputation got off to a bad start by virtue of its association with drug culture.
The good news, though, is that every Olakino CBD product is manufactured using proprietary CBD-rich hemp that contains no THC. Our products provide the health benefits of cannabinoids without any mental high. Though they might make you feel more peaceful or uplifted, you won’t ever experience intoxication from CBD.
THE SCIENCE BEHIND CBD
Let’s look a little deeper into why CBD has risen to popularity the way it has. Of course, there’s the impressive health benefits that CBD users often experience — but what explains these effects?
That would be the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Not discovered until 1994 because of its ubiquity, this system operates by sending and receiving biochemical messages. When running at its best the ECS is amazing, able to promote full-body homeostasis by balancing and fine-tuning virtually every other part of the body.
Endocannabinoid system health can be boosted by using phytocannabinoids and the body’s own endocannabinoids in tandem. Phytocannabinoids like CBD interact with cannabinoid receptors like CB1 (located primarily in the brain) and CB2 (located primarily in the body) to nourish and vitalize the ECS. And with a healthy ECS comes reduced inflammation, a stabilized mood, better sleep, and much, much more.
Like anything else, though, the body’s endocannabinoid system can get exhausted and run down. When this happens, the best thing one can do is supplement with phytocannabinoids like CBD. But even those with adequate endocannabinoid levels can stand to benefit from CBD, especially when it comes to long term health benefits.
If this sounds amazing, that’s because it is! Here’s what the science says so far:
- CBD for Pain: Studies show CBD may be an effective solution for chronic pain relief
- CBD for Inflammation: Studies show that CBD is highly anti-inflammatory and may relieve the symptoms of painful inflammation
- CBD for Anxiety: Studies show that CBD has the potential to remedy the negative effects associated with anxiety
- CBD for Sleep: Studies show that CBD has the potential to help users fall asleep, stay asleep, and feel thoroughly rested throughout the next day
- CBD for Epilepsy: Studies show that CBD has anti-convulsive properties which may reduce the frequency and severity of seizures
- CBD for Arthritis: Studies show CBD may help with many types of Arthritis
- CBD for Fibromyalgia: Studies show that CBD may reduce inflammation and promote sleep in those impacted by fibromyalgia
- CBD for MS: Studies show that CBD may help reduce muscle spasms in those with Multiple Sclerosis
- CBD for Cancer: Studies show that CBD may be beneficial for various forms of cancer
- CBD for Skin Care: Studies show that CBD may help reduce redness and inflammation in the skin
- CBD for PTSD: Studies show that CBD may help with PTSD by regulating mood and promoting neuroplasticity
- CBD for Public Speaking: Studies show that CBD may help reduce the acute anxiety that comes with public speaking.
To summarize, CBD is a naturally occurring phytocannabinoid found in the hemp plant. Our bodies have a receptor system called the endocannabinoid system that CBD is able to gently activate, and with this activation comes an amazing variety of health benefits. Thankfully, CBD doesn’t produce intoxicating effects like THC. Instead, it may subtly shift brain chemistry to foster an improved mood — and more hope — in the minds of its users.