Cannabis’ wellness wonder, decoded.
What is CBD?
CBD is a cannabinoid, a chemical compound secreted by the flowers of the cannabis plant. There are over 100 different cannabinoids; however, cannabidiol (CBD) has been, of late, singled out as possessing a myriad of therapeutic properties. And, unlike its sister cannabinoid, the ever-famous THC, CBD is lacking in psychoactive properties, meaning it will NOT make you stoned. This is because CBD and THC interact differently with receptors in our brain and body.
Interestingly enough, we produce compounds in our bodies called endocannabinoids, which serve an essential role in regulating many of our day-to-day functions. They strike an unbelievable resemblance to those compounds in the cannabis plant, so much so that if cannabinoids are introduced into our system, they will begin mimicking and even “fixing” our endocannabinoids. Bouquet CBD founder Max Tuttleman explains further: “Unlike THC, CBD does not bind to cannabinoid receptors. Instead, it boosts the levels of the endocannabinoids in your body, which then bind to those receptors. Think of CBD as a motivational coach, helping your endocannabinoids perform.”
There is much more studying that needs to be conducted regarding this process; but, science indicates that CBD very well could be the reputation that precedes it.
How is CBD extracted?
CBD can be extracted from hemp through several methods. It’s important to understand the process by which your CBD was made to make informed decisions about what is actually going in your body. For instance, CO2 cannabis extraction remains one of the most popular, due to its supposed safety record and efficiency, as it provides a full-spectrum product with no impurities. However, the equipment needed for this process proves very expensive; and so, it is not as widely used. Solvent-based extractions, using butane, ethanol and alcohol — are very common. The process itself tends to be faster and less expensive. But, the use of solvents destroys plant waxes otherwise saved in the CO2 process. These plant waxes allow for the presence of chlorophyll in the final product. Chlorophyll acts in the cannabis plant as hemoglobin does in our bodies — providing energy and blood cell replenishment. Food for thought. CBD can also be extracted via a method using olive oil, but this is generally reserved for at-home use or by small quantity vendors. Again, this method proves to be safe and very cost-effective, but the end product is less concentrated and subject to perishing more quickly than an oil produced otherwise.
It’s also important to understand what the end result of these extractions looks like. There are 3 — CBD Isolate, Full Spectrum and Broad Spectrum. CBD Isolate is extracted CBD which has been stripped of all other cannabinoids, resulting in a 99% pure oil. Full Spectrum CBD is cannabidiol which has been extracted along with all other cannabinoids present at that time, including THC. In layman’s terms, Broad Spectrum CBD is Full Spectrum minus the THC.
Also of note — look for CBD extracted from organic plants. Like traditional crops, cannabis could be subject to contact with pesticides or other chemicals that could make their way to your CBD oil.
Is it THC-free?
Many CBD products tout themselves as THC-free, but that is not always the case, nor should it be. Max Tuttleman says “research has shown that trace amounts of THC should be present in order to maximize the effects of CBD.” CBD and THC have been shown to work in a synergistic manner to enhance each other’s therapeutic benefits. The magic number to keep in mind is less than .3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). — this percentage is small enough to ensure that your CBD product will not rear any psychoactive effects, and sticks within our government confines. Also, keep in mind that CBD derived from hemp versus cannabis is THC-free.
What are the different potencies of CBD?
Low – 2.5 mg to 15 mg
CBD oils within this category are believed adequate in addressing issues such as moderate pain or mild anxiety, and may satisfy those people who possess more active endocannabinoid systems.
Medium – 16 mg to 33 mg
Those who suffer with more extreme cases of pain and anxiety, as well as recurring bouts of inflammation or digestive issues may seek help from medium potency oils. Your health care provider can determine what potency and/or doses would work best for your condition.
High – 34 mg to 50 mg
High potency cannabinoid oil are reserved for issues such as extreme pain and anxiety, depression, and insomnia. Some physicians are also exploring its uses to address autism, epilepsy, and psychosis.
What are the benefits of CBD?
At the root of CBD’s popularity may be its inherent being as a plant-based medicine. As many of us seek natural methods of healing, CBD ranks highly in availability and exposure. Though clinical studies are still relatively young, the benefits associated with using CBD are vast, and it’s worth mentioning it may vary depending on your gender. With that, the list of purported benefits is an ever-growing one: used to treat anxiety, depression, inflammation, psychosis, seizures, difficulty sleeping, physical pain, substance abuse. More clinical studies must be performed to confirm these benefits, but mounting evidence points to a likely and positive impact.
What are the potentials risks associated with CBD products?
As with any treatment, please consult your health care provider before incorporating CBD into your healing regimen.