What is CBD?
Cannabidiol, more commonly known as CBD, is by far the most studied cannabinoid of the 116-plus known cannabinoids found in industrial hemp.
Being all-natural, it comprises around 40% of hemp. Unlike THC, CBD is nonintoxicating which means it will not get you high.
CBD is often regarded as the single most crucial cannabinoid ever discovered. With on-going research, the list of its benefits continues to grow giving more and more hope to patients suffering from a multitude of symptoms.
Whether it’s to maintain general health and well-being or becoming proactive with a daily health routine, there are various ways in which CBD oil is beneficial.
Based on your needs and preferences, you can apply CBD and other cannabinoids through different methods. Your choice of administration vastly affects the therapeutic effects of CBD in alleviating symptoms; common ways of administering CBD is through ingestion, sublingual, inhalation, and topical.
Your body’s absorption of CBD from the application area into the bloodstream is known as its bioavailability – maximizing bioavailability means how much CBD enters the blood without degrading. Taking CBD through various means changes its bioavailability; however, choosing your most-suited method ensures you receive the most health benefits from your dose.
Ancient civilizations have used various strains of cannabinoids throughout centuries for its beneficial attributes. But due to dramatic shifts in legislation and other influences, cannabinoids became removed as an acceptable form of therapy.
However, as the health and science communities continue to further recognize and accept the beneficial components and compounds within cannabinoids, the legalities that once restricted and limited the use of CBD have evolved into protections and freedoms for anyone looking for safe and natural alternatives to modern medications.
Is CBD Oil Legal?
The 2014 federal Farm Bill granted state governments the legal right to grow and research industrial hemp through state-regulated agriculture and pilot programs. It also classified hemp and hempderived products with less than 0.3% THC separate from marijuana cannabis.
With the following 2018 Farm Bill, the interstate commerce of hemp and hemp-based products became legalized.
Both marijuana and hemp come from the same Cannabis sativa plant; the main distinguishing trait between the two is their levels of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Hemp is grown to have low THC and high CBD content (industrial hemp has 0.3% and is therefore federally legal). Marijuana, on the other hand, is bred to have high THC and low CBD, and is only legal in certain states.
Congress' decision in 2014 legally allowed the cultivation of industrial hemp through state-regulated agriculture departments for hemp management and research; their most recent ruling in 2018 removes industrial hemp from the federal Controlled Substance List as a Schedule I drug, and it allows for a hemp market and sales through state borders.
The approved legality of industrial hemp implemented by Congress also guarantees that products created from hemp plants – including CBD oil – are legal because of their non-intoxicating levels of THC.
State governments, however, can still have their own unique rules for cultivating and managing hemp and hemp-derived products which is why CBD use may have a little more restrictions in various areas throughout the country.
But regarding the federal law, CBD oil and products infused with CBD are legal to purchase, sell, and consume throughout the United States.
How Does CBD Work?
Decades of research shows that your endocannabinoid system (ECS) is primarily responsible for managing homeostasis: your body's natural condition of balance.
Everything from your temperature, blood sugar levels, pain sensation, sleeping, inflammation responses, CO2 levels, etc., need to be actively regulated within a narrow range of error to ensure optimal health.
When CBD becomes introduced to the body, it links with two central cannabinoid receptors found throughout the body – CB1 and CB2. Together, these receptors and CBD interact with the endocannabinoid system to help regulate your body’s homeostasis.
Homeostasis is the body’s innate ability to regulate and stabilize itself from the outside environment.
Often described as the “Goldilocks zone,” homeostasis is vital to your body’s optimal performance. Similar to how Goldilocks wanted a bed that was “not too hard, not too soft, but just right” inside the home of the Three Bears, your body needs to stay within specific parameters to function at its best.
However, unlike Goldilocks, your body isn’t dealing with just one obstacle at a time; it’s continuously regulating temperature, digestive function, immune system function, hormone levels, etc
CBD is one of the essential cannabinoids that come together to form the complex molecular structure of industrial hemp. CBD works synergistically in the human body with unique cannabinoid receptors to maintain your body’s homeostasis
Through numerous experiments and clinical trials, CBD has displayed the ability to interact with individual cells in the body that contribute to various health-related benefits.
In fact, many common medications work similarly. Their molecules mimic the look and function of other naturally-produced cells in your body; this mimicry is an attempt to promote recovery and/or provide other positive effects.
But unlike many of these traditional medications, CBD is all-natural and extracted from organic plants – not produced synthetically in a lab. This fact is just one of the many reasons people are looking towards CBD as a possible alternative to current synthetic medications.
CBD Chemistry 101
CBD has a similar molecular shape that allows it to bind and interact with other molecular structures like vanilloid receptors, serotonin receptors, and adenosine receptors.
Each type of receptor has a unique shape that allows it to interact specifically with particular molecules. Imagine these structures as a toddler’s shape toy and the molecules as the shapes – only the square peg can fit through the square-shaped hole, the round peg through the round-shaped hole, etc.
Another unique ability of CBD is that it can inhibit the function of CB1 receptors.
Think back to the toddler toy and imagine a very determined toddler who has decided that the square peg can fit through the round-shaped hole. But no matter how hard the toddler tries, the peg won’t fit through the hole without getting stuck.
CBD interacts with CB1 receptors in the same way.
It won’t activate them, but it can block them. This blockage means that other molecules also can’t interact with the CB1 receptors while CBD is present. This ability allows CBD to produce a wide range of beneficial effects without harsh, adverse effects or dependency.
For example, take vanilloid receptors; biology recognizes these receptors for regulating both pain and inflammation. When activated, you experience less pain and less swelling.
The introduction of CBD has demonstrated the ability to help enable these vanilloid receptors to reduce pain and inflammation.
Unlocking the Benefits of CBD
CBD’s already been identified to provide numerous beneficial effects on the human body.
For instance, CBD has demonstrated the ability to slow the growth of bacteria; it has also been documented to relieve anxiety, lessen pain, and promote overall relaxation.
Research has shown how CBD can keep your nervous system strong and healthy, and it can also help you sleep.
In fact, CBD doesn’t just help humans. Because the ECS is present in most mammals, CBD has also been proven to improve your pet's health and reduce their anxiety levels as well.
At cbdMD, we are hard at work bringing these outstanding benefits to you and your pets. We invite you to learn more about the different symptoms and conditions that studies show CBD may help to improve.