What Is CBD?
What is CBD? That’s a question that has been on the minds of Americans for the last couple of years. We’re going to break that down for you, now. We’ll go over every aspect of CBD that you need to know, and a few facts might surprise you.
The Cannabis Family Explained
CBD is derived from plants in the cannabis family. When you hear the word cannabis, your mind might conjure up images of Willy Nelson rolling massive joints and smoking his worries away. However, it’s a little more complicated than that. Cannabis comes in countless strains, and there are two main forms of it. Let’s talk about the two main forms in this section.
Marijuana is the form of cannabis that most people have a little bit of knowledge about. It’s the female cannabis plant, and it’s what people smoke or pack into edibles to get high.
Marijuana usually isn’t used for commercial CBD products due to its psychoactive effects. CBD products are typically designed solely to provide the many health benefits that cannabis plants offer without getting anyone high.
The psychoactive effects are caused by the high concentration of THC in marijuana plants. The buds of the plant are what you usually smoke or extract chemicals from, and they are absolutely filled with THC, CBD, and several other lesser-known cannabinoids.
Since the buds are filled with so many different substances, it is difficult to separate the CBD from the THC to make non-psychoactive CBD products from marijuana. THC is illegal in most states, and that obviously makes it less practical for companies to utilize marijuana-derived CBD, and most CBD users are using CBD because it’s non-psychoactive. If they wanted to experience the effects of THC, they’d just smoke marijuana.
That doesn’t mean that marijuana isn’t used in the CBD industry, though. It’s usually used to make pharmaceutical-grade medicines that are only available to people who are diagnosed with certain conditions, but it is used.
States that have lenient marijuana laws also allow marijuana-derived CBD to be sold in some stores. There are only a handful of states that allow that, though.
In most cases, marijuana is either smoked by itself, or it’s transformed into highly-potent medications.
Hemp is the form of cannabis that CBD manufacturers typically use to make their products. It’s the male counterpart to marijuana, and it does’t have nearly the same amount of THC in it. In fact, it often has less than .3 percent THC, and that’s not enough to get people high unless a lot of it is extracted and concentrated.
Obviously, that makes it much easier for manufacturers to create the non-psychoactive CBD products that CBD users crave, and it means that products made from it are legal in the vast majority of states.
The reason hemp is legal in most states is the 2018 Farm Bill. While it doesn’t specifically legalize hemp-derived CBD, it does state that hemp-derived products are legal. Most states took that as permission to manufacture and sell hemp-derived CBD using their industrial hemp crops.
Now, that’s not entirely true, but you can read our various state guides to see why CBD is legal in some states and not others.
In general, hemp provides you with all of the benefits of marijuana, but it doesn’t have any psychoactive effects that might affect your job or daily duties. That also makes it appropriate for children if they’re unfortunate enough to suffer from certain ailments.
Besides being used to make CBD, hemp can be used to make a lot of the materials we rely on daily to build homes, tools, and other products that any civilized society requires.
Where CBD Comes In
We briefly spoke about CBD in the previous section, but we’ll go more in-depth, now. As we said, CBD is a cannabinoid that is found in marijuana and hemp plants, but it’s much easier to extract CBD from hemp plants.
CBD is the most beneficial substance in cannabis plants. It’s the cannabinoid that offers the most practical benefits. It can be used to treat less serious forms of depression and anxiety, and it can treat most minor pains due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Certain medical versions can be effective treatments for very serious diseases, and they typically allow people to live normal lives when they otherwise wouldn’t be able to.
That’s why CBD has been growing in popularity in recent years. It can work as an alternative to a lot of different medications that people use all the time, and it’s more enjoyable to use.
For instance, instead of popping a few Tylenol to treat your work-related back pain, you can drink a CBD smoothie or coffee to get the same results. Unlike Tylenol and other common medicines, CBD doesn’t have any serious side-effects. The most you’ll suffer from due to CBD is a headache or some minor nausea.
That makes CBD more flexible than traditional medicines, and it can be taken in so many ways that everyone should be able to find a CBD product that they enjoy using.
How CBD Is Made
CBD is found in marijuana and hemp plants, and it’s usually located in the buds of those plants. However, marijuana is rarely used to make CBD because it’s also rich in THC. So, manufacturers use hemp instead. Well, there are also legal problems that manufacturers can run into if they use marijuana, but it’s mostly due to the fact that there isn’t much THC in hemp.
CBD is also found in smaller concentrations in the stems and leaves of hemp plants, and manufacturers usually try to extract as much CBD as possible from those parts by crushing the plants and removing oxygen from them. Most hemp plants don’t yield a lot of CBD, and manufacturers have to use as much of the plant as possible.
Once the CBD is extracted, it is added to a carrier oil that makes it easier for customers to work with it. The oil can be added to food items, taken by itself, or added to creams and pastes.
The issue with using carrier oils is that it makes it easier for dishonest retailers to create low-quality products. They can use low-quality oil, or they can just sell you a bottle of glorified vegetable oil while marketing it as a CBD product.
Luckily, most states have laws that force manufacturers to submit their products for testing, and low-quality products are immediately rejected. You do need to be careful if you don’t live in one of those states, though.
Finally, almost all the products currently on the market are made with industrial hemp. Industrial hemp isn’t a special strain of hemp or anything. It’s just a hemp crop that has been approved by the government.
How CBD Differs From THC
You might have picked up on this by now, but CBD differs from THC because it doesn’t have any psychoactive effects. It does have all the positive effects that cannabis plants offer, though. You can think of CBD as a sort of watered-down marijuana that is used as a medicinal product. For some people, that’s a bit boring. However, the majority of people seem to enjoy getting the benefits associated with marijuana without having to crash on their couches for a couple hours everyday. After all, that’s simply not an option for many people.
Benefits Of Using CBD
Here is a list of all the benefits of CBD. Only a few have been officially proven by the FDA and other government agencies, but most people agree that these are the things you should use CBD for.
- Anxiety relief: Anxiety effects the majority of Americans, and CBD can help treat it. A standard dose of CBD can help the average person get over their social anxiety, but it can also help people who suffer from PTSD, anxiety-related insomnia, and other more serious forms of anxiety.
- Anti-Seizure: CBD can stop seizures that are caused by epilepsy and other brain disorders very quickly. This is one of the only benefits of CBD that is actually confirmed by the FDA, and that’s why CBD-based epilepsy treatments were legalized long before recreational CBD was legalized.
- Neuroprotective: Some researchers believe that CBD can protect the brain receptor that degenerates and causes Alzheimer’s, strokes, and other serious ailments. This isn’t confirmed yet, but there is some evidence that supports the claim.
- Pain relief: Most pain that isn’t caused by a major injury such as a gunshot wound or a broken limb stems from inflammation in the joints and muscles. Since CBD has anti-inflammatory properties, it can treat those pains.
- Treats acne: Acne is typically caused by pores that are clogged due to inflammation once dirt and oil get in them. The same anti-inflammatory properties that allow CBD to treat pain allow it to reduce the amount of acne you suffer from.
- Cancer treatment: Do not take this statement as a suggestion to only use CBD to treat your cancer. The results could be horrific. However, CBD will lessen the side-effects of your cancer treatments, and some researchers believe it may slow the growth of cancer cells.
As you can tell from reading this guide, CBD is almost a miracle drug. Some people make claims that are a bit dishonest, but it really does treat a large number of ailments without subjecting you to any negative side-effects. If you want to learn more about CBD and how you can use it, check out our other guides.