An Introduction to CBD
The last decade has certainly been witness to significant progress in respect to cannabis, as legalization continues to sweep across the US on a state level with each subsequent legislative session. Though the wheels have been turning on this movement for decades, the rise of CBD has played a key role in drawing attention to the numerous medical benefits that cannabis products can provide.
The CBD revolution happened seemingly overnight, as numerous shops suddenly began to pop up all over the place, each one claiming to sell this magical substance that can cure or relieve almost anything. This quickly led to CBD being the new hip infusion ingredient everyone is trying to capitalize off of as well, whether it’s in lotions, smoothies, lip balm, or even…fast-food burgers?
As you can probably imagine, there are now a lot of misconceptions about CBD, so you may be a little confused as to what it even is, and what it can actually do for you.
We’re here to help.
Below, we’ll go over all of the basics about CBD, including what makes it different from more traditional cannabis products, and its many benefits.
What is CBD?
CBD is short for cannabidiol, which is one of the 100+ chemical compounds (known as cannabinoids) found in the marijuana plant. It’s also one of the two that occur in the largest percentage, with the other being THC — the infamous compound in cannabis products that’s responsible for the various effects we commonly associated with consumption, such as the general psychoactive effects, euphoria, increased mental stimulation, and so on.
CBD is responsible for different effects than THC, such as relaxation and calm, and it can also provide benefits that have nothing to do with the mental aspect, including reducing inflammation and minimizing issues within the nervous system.
CBD and THC are in every cannabis strain, so if you consume products made from the dried bud of cannabis plants (hash, flower, THC edibles, etc.) you’re getting both. The actual ratio is dependent on the strain, but the ratio almost always has a higher THC content than CBD.
In recent years, several new methods have been developed for extracting CBD from cannabis plants, and thus isolating it from THC. This enables CBD to be administered on its own, without the effects that accompany THC. (In fairness, CBD still contains a trace amount of THC, but it’s not enough to have an effect, even in large doses.)
By isolating CBD and implementing it into products such as tinctures, edibles, oils, and salves, consumers now have numerous ways to take it, receiving all of its many effects and benefits without any of the psychoactive effects that come with consuming THC.
How CBD Works
The scientific explanation for how CBD affects the body is a bit complicated, but here’s a simplified version:
Our bodies contain a system called the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which helps to regulate functions like sleep, appetite, pain and immune system response. The body produces these endocannabinoids, which are actually neurotransmitters that bind to cannabinoid receptors in your nervous system. CBD works by impacting the endocannabinoid receptor activity and interacting with the neurotransmitters.
What Are the Medical Benefits and Effects of CBD?
CBD’s interaction with the brain and body produces a number of positive effects, especially in regards to things like pain, inflammation, and anxiety. In some ways, using CBD is basically a method of isolating certain effects of marijuana from others, creating a smaller package deal that avoids certain effects that may otherwise hinder your body and mind in some ways.
For instance, if you use cannabis to relieve pain and encourage a sense of calm and relaxation, you often have to receive those effects alongside THC-based effects, such as temporary short-term memory loss, euphoria, increased appetite, difficulty paying attention, and so on. If you have to be at work, in certain social settings, or out running errands, these effects can be a problem.
CBD offers a number of medical benefits that address specific issues, while avoiding the high feeling that THC produces. It is essentially a very targeted form of cannabis derivative, void of any psychoactive effects.
The use of CBD can treat a number of issues and conditions, including:
Recent research has also shown promise with CBD helping to treat the effects of Crohn’s disease, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, certain seizure causes, and opioid withdrawal.
Currently, the majority of CBD consumers use it to treat pain and inflammation, along with a large percentage who use it to help with their anxiety. There are also specialized forms of CBD oil used to treat rare seizure disorders—particularly with children—but these are not typically sold at dispensaries.
How is CBD Consumed?
When CBD was first hitting the scene, it was almost exclusively available in oil form. This oil could be added to foods, used with a tincture, or sometimes rubbed into the skin in order to target certain areas.
Since then, many cannabis product manufacturers have developed a number of other ways to take CBD, including vape cartridges, edibles, lotions, and more. Regardless of how you take CBD, its effects are almost always the same, so it’s really a matter of convenience and preference.
Recently, many cannabis cultivators have begun to create hybrid plants that are incredibly high in CBD while offering just a small amount of THC. These are marketed towards those who don’t particularly care for THC’s effects, or have adverse reactions to certain effects. Specialized CBD strains offer a way to receive the benefits of CBD, with a small and much more manageable amount of THC included.
At Straiin, we carry a number of high-end CBD products that have been tested for purity and quality to further ensure their effectiveness. We also understand that CBD may be confusing for those who are new to it, so please feel free to come in during our business hours and we’ll be glad to help you select the perfect products for your needs.