A Simple Guide to CBD

CBD is one of the hottest topics in wellness, gaining momentum for its reported ability to aid in numerous conditions ranging from epilepsy to anxiety to psoriasis. CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of at least 113 chemical compounds found in the hemp plant. Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation and mystery around CBD due to its close ties to another cannabinoid: THC. Unlike THC, CBD has no psychoactive qualities, but the close association has added legal fog around the compound. Until the early 1990s, all products derived from the cannabis plant were considered a Schedule 1 drug by the DEA, but state laws have since begun to loosen. This has allowed greater access to CBD, but has also raised far more questions as to what CBD actually is and how it works.

In short, cannabidiol works to supplement naturally produced endocannabinoids, a chemical that interacts with the body’s central regulatory system. This system manages many factors, such as the immune system, energy, mood, blood pressure, metabolism, and bone density. It also assists in regulating pain, hunger, and stress. Unlike THC, CBD does not bind with CB1 and CB2 receptors, but instead prolongs the life of endocannabinoids that bind with the receptors, positively impacting the body’s central regulatory system.

With the CBD market emerging into the public sphere, there have been a lot of unanswered questions regarding what it is, what it can do, and who can use it. Our purpose is to help inform and provide answers to the questions you may have regarding CBD.

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol, commonly referred to as CBD, is one of the many chemical compounds derived from the hemp plant. CBD is gaining in popularity as a possible remedy for a wide variety of ailments due to how it interacts and supports the body’s natural endocannabinoid system. As stated above, this system controls a plethora of factors in our body, and regulates pain, hunger, and stress. CBD mimics natural chemical compounds already present in our body, thereby supplementing the system’s occasional deficiencies.

What does CBD stand for?

CBD is the shorthand for cannabidiol, one of 113 chemicals derived from the hemp plant. These chemicals are called cannabinoids and are very similar to our body’s natural endocannabinoids. Endocannabinoid receptors within our nervous system manage things like pain, appetite, immunity, and bone density, amongst a variety of other health factors.

This endocannabinoid system is a fairly new discovery in the medical community. It was first identified by Dr. Raphael Mechoulam’s laboratory in Israel in 1992 when they were researching a chemical produced by the body called anandamide. This fatty acid seemed to have an effect on many of the systems mentioned in the previous paragraph— appetite, depression, memory, pain, and fertility. While exploring the receptors that anandamide bonded with, scientists first began developing this idea of the endocannabinoid system.

Is CBD legal?

As of 2018, upon the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill in the United States Congress, the hemp plant was declassified as a Schedule 1 drug, allowing farmers to cultivate and businesses to produce CBD products. This declassification gave the regulatory authority of hemp products to individual states, meaning laws can be different depending on where you live. CBD is not currently able to be marketed as anything other than a dietary supplement, with the key exception of Epidoplex, the first FDA-approved, CBD-based medication.

Will CBD get me high?

Unlike THC, another hemp derivative that is known for the high it can provide the user, CBD has no psychoactive qualities. It boils down to one simple feature— their atomic arrangement. THC will bind with CB1 and CB2 receptors, which control memory, pain, and mood; CBD, on the other hand, doesn’t bind in that way due to its molecular structure.

Will CBD make me paranoid?

No, CBD will not make you paranoid or anxious. Unlike THC, CBD is not psychoactive and does not bind to any receptors in your brain. This means that you will not get high or experience any psychoactive effects like you would when using marijuana. In fact, CBD is often used to counteract some of those negative effects associated with THC, such as paranoia and anxiety. This is due to how CBD functions within the body. CBD activates many of the body’s receptors so the endocannabinoids being produced within the body can begin binding properly again, helping to restore the brain to normal cognition.

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