It’s been touted as a miracle cure, a health elixir, the answer to all your problems. Patients and scientists say it offers all the health benefits of cannabis but without the ’high’. Even green-living guru Gwyneth Paltrow endorses it. Yes, CBD is the new shining star of the health and wellness world.
But what does CBD stand for? What is it? And how does it work? If you have missed a trick when it comes to CBD and need to catch up on all there is to know, then this article is for you…
CBD stands for ‘cannabidiol’
If you want to sound smart when talking about CBD, then refer to it by its scientific name, ‘cannabidiol’ - pronounced “can-a-bid-i-ol”. Cannabidiol is a chemical derived from the cannabis plant. It’s from a group of chemicals known as cannabinoids, which appear to be unique to the cannabis plant (there is some speculation that hops - which are from the same family as cannabis - may produce CBD, although this is unconfirmed).
THC (or tetrahydrocannabinol) is another cannabinoid. It's the one that has for a long time received most of the attention thanks to the fact it’s responsible for the intoxication effect that cannabis is known for. Both CBD and THC are secreted by glands in the flowers (or buds) of cannabis plants.
Legal healing without the high
‘But isn’t cannabis illegal?’, I hear you ask. Yes and no. While most forms of cannabis are indeed illegal in much of the U.S. (barring legal states) and most other countries around the world, cannabis plants with low levels of THC are actually perfectly legal to grow. It’s known as hemp.
And while hemp can’t be abused for psychoactive effects thanks to its low THC concentrations, it can produce high amounts of CBD, which is completely non-intoxicating and even has antipsychotic properties.
Cannabis grown for high THC levels is usually referred to as marijuana. This is the type of cannabis you will most commonly find in dispensaries in legal states like Colorado and California.
CBD products like our Good Vibes 250mg+ CBD Oil, however, are made from legally-grown hemp (ours are grown organically in Colorado). This is why CBD products derived from hemp are legal in all 50 states, irrespective of marijuana laws.
How CBD works
People who use CBD report that it gives them a sense of calm and relaxation; that it can take the edge off after a long or particularly stressful day. It's becoming increasingly popular amongst athletes as well thanks to its potent anti-inflammatory properties. And it’s also proving to be an effective form of treatment for patients suffering from epilepsy, diabetes, anxiety disorders, insomnia, IBS, PTSD, chronic pain and more.
So how can CBD have positive effects on all these unrelated conditions? The detailed answer to that is still being mapped out by cannabis scientists. However, we do have some data that can give us a general idea as to the mechanisms at play.
Overall, it seems that CBD works via numerous molecular pathways to encourage your body to achieve balance (or homeostasis, as it’s known by science).
You see, CBD interacts with many different receptors in your body. And it’s the interaction with these receptors that allows CBD to influence so many different physiological processes. For example, high doses of CBD have been found to directly activate serotonin receptors in the brain, resulting in decreased anxiety and improved mood.
CBD also binds to TRPV1 receptors, which are known to mediate pain perception, inflammation and body temperature, as well as PPARs (peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors), which play a role in the proliferation of cancer and Alzheimer’s.
Additionally, CBD has been found to block, or deactivate, a receptor known as GPR55, which is involved in modulating blood pressure and bone density, among other physiological processes.
What’s CBD good for
There are many benefits of CBD. Since being discovered in the ‘40s, it has been tested in hundreds of laboratories and human subjects around the world. And there are some clear findings that can be gleaned from the data, as well as some less clear implications.
To start with, let’s stick to what we do know CBD is good for…
- Anxiety disorders
- Fighting inflammation
- Neuropathic pain
- Sleep condition
There is also evidence - scientific and anecdotal - that CBD could be helpful for the following conditions:
- Irritable bowel syndrome
As the word about CBD has spread, the demand for novel CBD products has exploded... And the industry responded.
While CBD oils are the most popular CBD-containing products, you can also buy a wide selection of edibles like candies and CBD-infused coffee, topicals like lotions and balms, cosmetics and vaporizer e-juices, with more products being released all the time.
Online, there are now thousands of CBD sellers and brands, with more appearing every day it seems. Across the country, hundreds of physical shops have popped up to serve the demand, while many health shops are also stocking CBD on their shelves.
Along with the unprecedented growth of the CBD market has come some cause for concern. As CBD is classed as a food supplement rather than a medicine (as it is in the UK), the industry remains unregulated.
This has allowed some unsavory individuals with mislabelled products to enter the scene, which is why choosing a reputable seller, either online or in store, is vital. Do some research on the brand, read reviews, and always make sure third-party lab results are clearly displayed. Here’s ours.
As CBD has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), there are no official guidelines as to how much you should take for any medical condition. However, from what data is available, as well as the experience of thousands of CBD consumers around the globe, we can offer some advice and recommendations.
When using CBD for the first time, consume only a small amount. Somewhere in the range of 1-5mg makes a good starting point. If, after an hour or so, you feel relaxed or your condition or symptoms subside, there’s no reason to take more than that next time.
If, however, your symptoms remain or you still feel stressed or anxious, up the dose to say 5-10mg. Most people find dosing like this once or twice per day - or as is necessary - to be very effective. Of course, depending on your intentions for using CBD as well as your personal preference, you should vary your dose and dosing schedule to suit you.
And remember, what works for one person might not work for you. It’s best to experiment not only with dose but also with the method of application, type of product and brand until you find what works best for you.
You’ve now graduated from the school of CBD. Not only do you know that CBD stands for cannabidiol, you also know exactly what it is, where it comes from, how it works in your body, and all the positive effects it can have.
Go forth and spread the word. And if you want to try a high-quality product from a reputable brand, click here and order our popular Good Vibes 250+mg CBD Oil made from organic hemp grown in in Colorado.