Cannabidiol, or CBD, has become a prevalent part of our society over the past several years. You see it everywhere. Just about every other pharmacy you pass advertises that they sell CBD. It’s available online to order. Health stores stock it front and center.
So what is CBD? Why is it so popular? And perhaps more importantly, what are the health benefits associated with CBD? Since its discovery in the 1940s to today, where you can find it in everything from oil form to coffee creamer, you might say CBD is quickly becoming a global sensation that’s used by everyone from office workers to athletes.
A Quick Hemp History Lesson
What’s interesting about this new phenomenon is that it’s actually not that new; it’s simply been rebranded. Hemp is one of the most versatile plants in the world. It’s cultivation was first recorded as early as 2800 BC in Central Asia where it was harvested and cultivated for its fibers. Hemp later made its way to South America before reaching our continent in the 1600s. Today, it’s industrial hemp that’s producing CBD, and in our case, full-spectrum CBD oil, that the masses are beginning to recognize as a form of relief for various ailments. More on the full history of hemp later...
What is CBD?
CBD is a naturally occurring compound that is derived from the industrial hemp plant, a cousin of the marijuana plant. While CBD is a component of marijuana (actually one of 113 identified), it does not cause the same “high” you’d typically get from the plant. That’s because industrial hemp is a strain of the Cannabis Sativa species that is characterized by extremely low levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the psychotropic cannabinoid found in recreation and medicinal marijuana.
CBD is a naturally occurring compound that is derived from the industrial hemp plant, a cousin of the marijuana plant.
Federal law currently defines industrial hemp as cannabis plants containing less than 0.3% THC by dry weight. Such a small amount of THC is not nearly enough to have a psychoactive effect (get you high). According to the World Health Organization, “In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential. To date, there is no evidence of public health related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.”
Full Spectrum CBD Oil
“Full spectrum” means that an oil or product contains all cannabinoids that are found in the hemp plant in nature, rather than just CBD alone. Whole plant extracts like full-spectrum hemp oil are composed mostly of CBD, as well as other important cannabinoids, phytonutrients, and active compounds. The synergies of these elements are essential to the potency and bioavailability of CBD products.
After harvesting, drying and separating the hemp flower from the stalk, CBD oil is then extracted using a process called subcritical extraction.
To put it in layman terms, this means that CBD by itself is only capable of providing part of hemp’s holistic benefits. When you see CBD advertised on the side of the road, it’s a very marginal effort to get on board with what some may consider a trend. That’s why the educational process of full-spectrum CBD oil is so important. Many purveyors of CBD ignore the true medicinal advantages simply because they don’t know any better. Where the advantages arise is in the combination between CBD and other cannabinoids with non-cannabinoid compounds. This is also known as the Entourage Effect, a coin termed by Israeli scientists Shimon Ben-Shabat and Raphael Mechoulam, to demonstrate that it takes a combination of cannabinoids present in the body at the same time to enhance all their effects simultaneously. Ben-Shabat and Mechoulam recognized that cannabinoids found in the hemp plant work like the body’s own endocannabinoid system. This is why we believe so strongly in formulating whole-plant extracts that result in full-spectrum hemp oil.
CBD and the Endocannabinoid System
The human body has a vast network of receptors, called the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). The ECS supports a number of important functions, including the central nervous system, stress and mood, immune function, inflammation, and sleep cycles. The purpose of this internal system is to help our bodies stay balanced and in good health, despite external factors.
There are three core components of the ECS: endocannabinoids, the receptors to which they bind, and enzymes required to break them down.
Humans produce their own endocannabinoids to support this system, but just like with any other nutrient, we may need extra support. This is where CBD comes in. Phytocannabinoids, or plant-based cannabinoids like CBD, interact with the same receptors as endocannabinoids, helping the body to complete its efforts to keep us in good health.
CBD Health Benefits
CBD is associated with medicinal and healing properties that may be used to regulate everyday stress, mood, recovery, and wellbeing. The strongest scientific evidence for its effectiveness is in treating some of the worst childhood epilepsy syndromes, including Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. Neither of which typically respond to antiseizure medications. However, multiple studies have shown the effectiveness of CBD’s ability to reduce seizures. In fact, the cannabidiol drug Epidiolex was approved by the FDA in 2018 to help treat these two disorders.
Anxiety and insomnia are two areas where CBD has been known to help. Especially in the latter where studies have shown patients are able to fall and stay asleep with the aid of CBD. As the FDA continues its research, we will have more hard data available on the benefits of CBD.
If you’ve ever wondered how CBD may help you, give it a try. To experience the full benefits, find someone who understands the benefits of full-spectrum CBD oil. Not some gas station attendant who couldn’t tell you what’s inside the packaging.
Better yet, check out our full range of tinctures and delicious gummies. We are one of the few CBD operations in the United States that grows its own hemp, extracts the oil, and manufacturers its products. If you have questions, shoot us an email or send us a DM on social. We love hearing from you!