CBD has become a buzzword. It’s being talked about everywhere. You see it available in many various forms. And it is showing up as an ingredient in many foods, drinks, as well as in skin and topical products.
And what about all those medical studies, reports, and claims?
But what exactly is CBD, what is it for, and where does it come from? Here are 16 truths that may help you demystify CBD and the sometimes-confusing terminology associated with Cannabis.
Cannabis commonly refers to a group of three plants with psychoactive properties, known as Cannabis Sativa, Cannabis Indica, and Cannabis Ruderalis. Some people call it weed, or pot, while others just call it Marijuana. Cannabis is made up of more than 120 components, which are known as Cannabinoids. CBD, which is an acronym for Cannabidiol, is just one of the many cannabinoids.
Of special interest are the multiple strains of the Cannabis Sativa plant. One of the common strains is called Industrial Hemp. Industrial Hemp and Marijuana are both cannabis family plants but there are some significant differences!
Industrial Hemp has naturally much higher levels of non-hallucinogenic Cannabidiol (CBD), one of many Cannabinoids, and extremely low levels of psychoactive Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC),
which is also a cannabinoid. Along with many Cannabinoids, including CBD, Industrial Hemp also contains many beneficial plant compounds and terpenes.
CBD is the non-psychoactive cannabinoid that is derived from Industrial Hemp. It won’t get you “high.”
THC is the psychoactive cannabinoid in cannabis that is responsible for the “high” that most people associate with cannabis.
Almost all the non-hallucinogenic Hemp Oil, Full Spectrum Extracts, CBD Oil, Distillates, Isolates, Terpenes, and related products you are hearing about, or currently using, are extracted, and produced from Industrial Hemp.
Hemp Extract and CBD (Cannabidiol) are somewhat synonymous because full spectrum Hemp Extract contains CBD plus additional Cannabinoids, including CBD, CBC, CBN, Terpenes, and plant compounds. CBD is extracted from Hemp Extract which is extracted from the leaves, stalks, and flowers (not the seeds) of high-quality Industrial Hemp plants.
Stated in the simplest terms; By removing everything from full spectrum Hemp Extract, except the Cannabinoids, the result is — well — Cannabinoids! — including CBD, which is a Cannabinoid, and if further refined, a pure CBD or other Cannabinoid Isolate.
The cannabis plant and cannabis plant derivatives have been used for centuries. Cannabis Sativa is an annual herbaceous flowering plant species indigenous to eastern Asia. It has been cultivated throughout recorded history, and used as a source of industrial fiber, seed oil, food, recreation, medicine and for religious and spiritual purposes. Each part of the plant is harvested differently, depending on the purpose of its use. The species was first classified by Carl Linnaeus in 1753.
Ancient tablets mention that CBD was used medicinally in Asia as far back as 1800 BC. American medical journals from the 1700s refer to hemp seeds and roots as treatments for many medical conditions such as incontinence and skin inflammation.
Regulations have changed. Because of its non-hallucinogenic properties, Industrial Hemp was recently legalized for cultivating and harvesting, and along with its derivative extracts, like CBD, for distribution in the USA by the US Farm Bill Act. To be legal and in compliance with the US Farm Bill, Hemp Extracts, including full spectrum CBD Extracts, must contain less than 0.03 % THC. However, in Idaho, Nebraska, and South Dakota, HEMP/CBD products are still banned.
The extraction process is also particularly important. The extraction technology and purification process for either an isolate cannabinoid, like CBD, or a full spectrum extract, like Hemp Extract, which also contains CBD, should be designed, carefully controlled, tested, and certified, to preserve high levels of bio-active plant cannabinoids. Whether a pure isolate, or a full spectrum extract containing additional highly desired cannabinoids, plant compounds, and Terpenes. proper processing technology also assures the efficacy of the finished product and eliminates undesirable toxins, impurities, and unwanted levels of THC.
Hemp extracts, including CBD, are generally regarded as safe to use. CBD has no known serious risks or side effects, and it is non-hallucinogenic. That means you won’t get “high” using a premium quality Hemp/CBD Extract. Medical reviews have suggested that in very rare cases it can cause fatigue, weight loss, and diarrhea. It could also interact with some medications so, as always, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor before you start taking CBD (or any other new drug or supplement).
High quality Hemp Extracts, including CBD, can be expensive. One of the most frustrating aspects of the CBD marketing evolution is the vast price disparity. Consider this: Pure CBD, at 10 cents per milligram carries a consumer cost of $2,835 an ounce — considerably more than an ounce of pure gold! A review of major companies revealed CBD prices per milligram ranging from $0.05 to $0.20 per mg. One company charges as much as 60 cents per mg. Premium grade high quality extracts, including CBD, are more expensive to produce than cheaper variants but some prices seem to be excessive. The first and most important consideration you should make is purity and authenticity. Then find a source that is competitively priced.
Hemp/CBD is still being studied. Despite the anecdotal evidence as reported in over 4,000 studies, the medical efficacy of CBD has not been widely verified and accepted, which is not surprising considering it was illegal in the USA until recently. The ethical studies conducted so far, have suggested that CBD may relieve many symptoms of multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, high blood pressure, and anxiety. Additional reports claim it has promise for helping with nerve pain, diabetes, depression, inflammation and more. But until larger, well-designed human studies and trials demonstrate and conclusively verify clear benefits, any health and medical claims for CBD products are just that.
Interestingly, in 2017 the NIH invested $15 million in research which certainly suggests a major interest on a national scale. Recently, the FDA approved a drug, called Epidiolex containing CBD, because it has been shown to reduce severe, mostly untreatable epileptic seizures in children.
Some people swear by it. According to Consumer Reports surveys, 26 percent of Americans have tried CBD or a Hemp Extract. By a wide margin, the majority of users say it helped with anxiety, joint pain, sleep, and other discomforts and medical issues. According to the World Health Organization, CBD is nonaddictive, which, as suggested by studies, means it could be an alternative to habit-forming opioid drugs. In the new book “Cannabis and CBD for Health and Wellness,” authored by Aliza Sherman and Junella Chin, DO, they stated, “We believe someday cannabis will be in everyone’s medicine chests like it used to be.”
Another very promising CBD benefit is your ECS. It’s called the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) and it’s present in every one of us. and in every animal, except insects, and it wasn’t even discovered until 1992!! It was then that a scientific panel was organized by the National Institute of Mental Health to study the effects of CBD on the brain. What they found was truly shocking! They discovered an entirely new system in the body that the medical establishment never knew even existed! The Endocannabinoid System.
They found that a healthy ECS was vital to inflammation response and the body’s anti-aging processes. They reportedly also discovered that a cannabinoid deficiency, much like a vitamin deficiency, negatively affects the body’s ECS supported response to inflammation and disease. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) even described CBD as “neuroprotective,” meaning it protects and beneficially supports the nervous system, including the brain. CBD, a Phyto-Cannabinoid, interacts with the existing Endo-Cannabinoid receptors, found in the brain and throughout the body, providing regulatory support. Plus, for many people, helping to relax, fall asleep, and block pain signals.
The Entourage Effect. Whole plant, full spectrum, Hemp extractions typically include CBD and many additional different cannabinoids, plus more than 400 trace compounds. Many of these compounds interact synergistically to create what scientists refer to as the “ENTOURAGE EFFECT” suggesting that the medicinal impact of the whole plant is greater than the sum of its parts. There certainly are specific health benefits attributed to the isolated CBD molecule. However, the vast majority of cannabis compound clinical research suggests that the synergistic action of key Phyto-Cannabinoids and Terpenes working together (ENTOURAGE EFFECT), as in a Full Spectrum Extract, is truly what offers the widest range of potential, medicinal and additional health benefits.
Hemp extracts and isolates like CBD are available in many forms. Pure CBD Oil is available as a liquid, or tincture, that you place under your tongue. Lately, many users have opted for capsules which are generally more convenient and available in 10mg to 25mg CBD or HEMP soft gel caps. A skin patch is also available along with powdered forms. HEMP/CBD is found in a growing list of topical creams, bath bombs, and eatables like ice cream, cocktails, health supplements, and even coffee. It is believed that by 2025 Hemp/CBD will be a multi-billion dollar industry.
You may have a problem. It remains difficult to assess the quality, safety, authenticity and especially the origin of most Hemp/CBD products. Until recently, Hemp growing and distribution was banned in the United States and as a result much of the Hemp/CBD being used today is still extracted from European or Chinese sources. A remarkably high percentage of Hemp/CBD products available today, continue to be bogus, mislabeled, contaminated, or cannabinoid deficient. And distributors of Hemp/CD products are under no obligation to disclose their sources. As public awareness of CBD’s potential has grown, it is especially important that you purchase HEMP/CBD products from reliable, US grown and produced, sources that offer certified, third-party tested, and authenticated products.
Don’t be fooled by HEMP SEED OIL & Extracts. One of the big problems when comparing products is that many terms like CBD Extract, Hemp Extract and Hemp Seed Oil are often confused and used interchangeably. But the difference between Hemp Seed Oil and Full Spectrum Hemp and CBD Extracts is very significant. It’s easy for a brand to blend, or offer, a less expensive Hemp Seed Oil product, adorn it with images of marijuana leaves, and highlight the word cannabis or hemp, to make consumers think they’re receiving a Hemp and/or CBD product containing cannabinoids.
Hemp Seed Oil, and any product made exclusively from hemp seeds, will not contain CBD (Cannabidiol). Hemp Seed Oil can still be beneficial for you, though. Like other carrier oils, Hemp Seed Oil is high in antioxidants, amino acids, and omega fatty acids, (think olive or sunflower seed oil). It is often used in skin care formulations.
Hemp Seed Oil will usually be listed as Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil, Hemp Seed Oil, or sometimes even Hemp Oil Extract (from seeds). CBD Extract will be listed as Cannabidiol, and if it is a Full Spectrum CBD Extract, it will contain and list additional beneficial Cannabinoids. Full Spectrum Hemp Extract will contain, and usually list, many important Cannabinoids’ extracts, including CBD, plus Terpenes and additional plant flavonoids and compounds. Full Spectrum Hemp is also sometimes listed as PCR (Phytocannabinoid rich) or PCR Hemp Extract.
It may not be a quick fix and might take a little time to have an effect. Some people claim that vaping and liquid forms have been credited with a quicker relief for acute pain. Even though some people experience almost immediate results, like most naturally sourced supplements and products, CBD products can take days or weeks to show positive benefits. And you may even have to try several products before you find one that helps you. The most important consideration is an authentic, certified, and trusted source.
You may want to ask your vet about CBD tinctures, capsules, and treats for horses, dogs, and cats. Many Hemp/CBD blended pet foods and treats as well as topical products, such as shampoos, are now appearing in the pet market. Many of the same beneficial effects that people receive may also be available for your pet, such as to help relieve hip and joint pain, anxiety, seizures and even to just promote overall health.
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