What is CBD?
Everyone is talking about it, but what is CBD?
CBD is cannabidiol, a safe, non-intoxicating cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant in both hemp and marijuana. CBD is one of the two major cannabinoids found in cannabis. The other major cannabinoid is THC. CBD is found in more concentrated quantities in hemp than in marijuana. Conversely, marijuana contains high concentrations of THC, the intoxicating compound in cannabis.
CBD is found primarily in the floral material of hemp and normally contains anywhere between 1% and 20% CBD. Conversely, hemp, by law, always contains less than 0.3% THC.
In addition to CBD and THC there are 100+ other minor cannabinoids that include compounds like CBC (cannabichromene), CBG (cannabigerol), CBN (cannabinol), THCV (tetrahyrdrocannabivarin). Less research has been published about these minor cannabinoids than CBD and THC but we know that all of these cannabinoids act on the body’s endocannabinoid system, and the receptors within this system.
What is the endocannabinoid system?
The endocannabinoid system is a system of receptors and neurotransmitters found within the body’s peripheral and central nervous system. The endocannabinoid system was discovered in the early 1990s and has the responsibility of maintaining homeostasis, or balance in the human body.
The endocannabinoid system regulates physiological and cognitive responses in the body. These may include: mood, memory, appetite, thermoregulation, sleep, pain-sensation, and more. Currently, there are two cannabinoid receptors in the body that have been recognized by the scientific community, called CB1 and CB2 receptors.
The scientific community is still investigating this system, and given the infancy in our scientific understanding of this system, further research could inform us of more receptors than these two. In addition, more recently scientists have found that beyond the endocannabinoid system, CBD may also be acting on the Serotonin and Adenosine receptors.
What is Full Spectrum CBD?
Retail bottles commonly contain the words CBD on the bottle; however, in many cases the CBD is a combination of CBD and other minor cannabinoids. Terms commonly used are hemp extract, hemp oil and full spectrum CBD.
Full Spectrum CBD is a combination of primarily CBD, other minor cannabinoids and usually terpenes. These cannabinoids may include smaller concentrations of minor cannabinoids like CBC, CBG, THCV, CBDa (the precursor to CBD) and more. In addition, Full Spectrum CBD will contain THC at concentrations less than 0.3%. These minor cannabinoids play a role in binding to receptors in our endocannabinoid system, creating an entourage effect.
Below is an example of a Full Spectrum CBD retail product, containing primarily CBD but also minor cannabinoids like CBN, CBC, and CBG.
When retail products specify a purity level of CBD stating the CBD is “99.9% pure” or 99.9% CBD this means the product is CBD isolate. Isolated CBD is beneficial for individuals who may be drug tested, because isolated CBD contains zero THC.
What are the Health Benefits of CBD?
In 2003 the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services became an assignee to patent 6,630,507 which states “cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants.” This patent specifically mentions “nonpsychoactive cannabinoids, such as cannabidiol, are particularly advantageous to use,” because there is no associated toxicity because it is non-intoxicating.
According to the World Health Organization, CBD is a non-addictive compound with therapeutic and medical benefit. The World Health Organization reported that CBD has medical benefit for epilepsy for drugs like Epidiolex. The World Health Organization also reported potential therapeutic benefits of CBD for 18 diseases including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Multiple sclerosis, Huntington’s disease, Hypoxia-ischemia injury, Pain, Psychosis, Anxiety, Depression, Cancer, Nausea, Inflammatory diseases, Rheumatoid arthritis, Infection, Inflammatory bowl and Crohn’s disease, Cardiovascular diseases, and Diabetic complications. WHO also reported benefits for opioid, cocaine, psychostimulant, tobacco and marijuana addiction.
We encourage you to visit PubMed to research the subject as well!
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