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What is CBD?

CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of several naturally occurring phytocannabinoids found in cannabis. Sourced primarily from the flowers and leaves of the plant, CBD is one of 80+ phyto- cannabinoids that is found in the Cannabis sativa species that includes both the hemp and marijuana plant. CBD is the most abundant cannabinoid found in hemp and the second-most abundant cannabinoid found in marijuana (after THC) and contains several therapeutic benefits. Unlike THC, however, CBD is non-psychoactive.

How Does CBD Work?

CBD works largely with the body’s own endocannabinoid system, which is responsible for the regulation of several physiological and psychological functions. One of the primary functions of the endocannabinoid system is to bring overall homeostasis (balance) to the body by modulating things such as sleep, pain, appetite, and mood. The endocannabinoid system has a complex action on the nervous and immune system and is found throughout the entire body, including the brain, connective tissues, organs, glands, immune cells, and skin.

At the most basic level, the endocannabinoid system is made up of three primary elements:


  • Endocannabinoids

    Fatty-acid based particles anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) that bind with receptors in the endocannabinoid system. Endocannabinoids are cannabinoids naturally produced in the human body.


  • Cannabinoid receptors

    CB1 and CB2 receptors are found throughout the human body and are thought to be the most abundant type of receptor that exists. CB1 receptors are found in the brain, central and peripheral nervous systems, white blood cells, connective tissues, organs, and parts of the reproductive, gastrointestinal, and urinary tracts. CB2 receptors are primarily found in the immune system, spleen, tonsils, and the gastrointestinal system.


  • Enzymes

    The enzymes fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) and monoacylglycerol lipase (MGL) help break down excess endocannabinoids contained within the endocannabinoid system, particularly AEA.

CBD and other cannabinoids work in harmony with the cannabinoid receptors that are a primary element of the endocannabinoid system. This allows for the maintenance of balanced mental and physical well-being by supporting the body’s physiological processes. As we mentioned, CBD is non-psychoactive, which means it doesn’t get you “high” like THC. This is because THC is an agonist (activator) of the CB1 receptor, which is believed to be the key target in the brain that is responsible for generating intoxication. The reason CBD doesn’t make you feel high is that unlike THC, CBD does not activate the CB1 receptor. Instead, research indicates that it works as a CB1 antagonist, essentially inhibiting the activity of this receptor.

What Does CBD Feel Like?

CBD affects each person differently. Everyone has different needs, and CBD works in harmony with your own endocannabinoid system to provide balance to whatever it is you need personally. That being said, everyone will have a different response when taking CBD. That being said, the effects of CBD will be personalized to meet your individual needs. Some might feel less anxious and more relaxed, while others feel a heightened sense of focus and concentration. How will CBD make you feel? It all depends on what your body needs.

CBD vs. THC

Cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are the two most common cannabinoids found in the Cannabis sativa plant family that includes hemp and marijuana. While the two popular cannabinoids are part of the same family and have the exact same chemical makeup, a slight difference in their molecular structure makes the two compounds react quite differently in the body. CBD and THC, naturally-occurring cannabinoids found in cannabis, interact with the bodys endocannabinoid system to help us maintain several vital functions throughout the body. Cannabinoid receptors in the endocannabinoid system are known as CB1 and CB2 receptors, and CBD, THC, and other cannabinoids interact with these receptors. This interaction is what allows for the myriad of health benefits both CBD and THC contain. Remember, CBD and THC have a slight difference in their molecular structure. Because of this slight difference, they dont interact with the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the same way. This is what makes the effect each cannabinoid has on the body so different. Let’s take a deeper look.

CBD vs. THC: How These Popular Cannabinoids Affect the Body Differently
  • CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of the most abundant cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. It is found abundantly in hemp, as well as CBD-rich strains of medical marijuana. CBD has the same chemical formulation as THC (21 carbon atoms, 30 hydrogen atoms, and 2 oxygen atoms).
  • The structure of these atoms, however, is slightly different in each cannabinoid. This slight variance is what causes THC to produce a “high”, while CBD does not contain any psychoactive effects.
  • THC, you could say, has a special affinity for CB1 receptors and binds directly to them when introduced to the body. When this happens, the strong bond creates signals that are sent to the brain. The result is the feeling of being “high”, as this receptor is thought to play a fundamental role in causing intoxication.
  • CBD, on the other hand, isn’t attracted to CB1 receptors at all. CBD does not bind to CB1 receptors. Instead, it is known to inhibit the function of this receptor. CBD has even shown to counteract the binding affinity of THC to the CB1 receptor, thusly counteracting the psychoactive effects of THC.
  • Both CBD and THC contain several therapeutic benefits. Not everyone welcomes the mind-altering effects of THC, however. Using CBD can offer many of the same health benefits contained in THC, without any high whatsoever.
CBD vs. THC: Legality
  • Currently in the US, cannabis containing THC is legal for medical use in 33 states and Washington DC. The recreational use of THC is legal in 10 states, as well as Washington DC.
  • In the past few years there has been a significant increase in the use of CBD. Because of the close relationship it shares with THC, however, the legal status of CBD has been in somewhat of a grey area for years.
  • While the 2014 Farm Bill allowed states to run pilot programs to research its viability for commercial production, it did not federally legalize industrial hemp or CBD products derived from hemp. States were allowed to determine their own laws regarding CBD, which led to confusion regarding the legality of CBD from state to state. While most states allowed the sale and possession of hemp-derived CBD, the legality was still somewhat confusing.
  • The passing of the 2018 Farm Bill is set to clear up any legal confusion that stands in the way of CBD. According to the FDA, now that the 2018 Farm Bill has been signed into law, hemp (and hemp derived CBD) “will no longer be an illegal substance under federal law”.
  • While THC remains illegal at the federal level, with the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill, the legality of CBD is much more clear. Hemp, and products derived from hemp (including CBD), is no longer illegal under federal law.

Full Spectrum CBD vs. CBD Isolate

When purchasing CBD, you’ll come across options for both full spectrum CBD and CBD isolate. While both full spectrum CBD and CBD isolate do contain CBD, there are significant differences between the two. Let’s take a deeper look.

Full Spectrum CBD

CBD oil that is referred to as “full spectrum” is that which contains all the various compounds found in cannabis. Full of Cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and more, full spectrum CBD provides the natural benefits of the plant. Many contend that full spectrum CBD is superior to CBD isolate, as the compounds full spectrum CBD contains work synergistically to create what is known as the entourage effect. Simply put, the entourage effect is when each compound in cannabis works together to strengthen its therapeutic effects.

Cannabinoids

CBD is actually one of several phytocannabinoids present in cannabis. In fact, there are over 100 cannabinoids that have been discovered in hemp. Some of the most common phytocannabinoids present in full spectrum CBD include:

  • Cannabinol (CBN)
  • Cannabichromene (CBC)
  • Cannabinol (CBN)
  • Cannabigerol (CBG)
  • Cannabinol acid (CBDA)

Terpenes

Something else full spectrum contains is the terpenes that are naturally occurring in the cannabis plant. What exactly are terpenes? And why are they beneficial when it comes to CBD oil? Terpenes are part of a class of compounds called aromatic hydrocarbons and are an important component of cannabis (and other plant) resins. Terpenes are the aromatic compounds that are responsible for the smell of cannabis and other plants. They also contain therapeutic benefits of their own. Terpenes are known to work with various cannabinoids to create the entourage effect. Research has discovered that terpenes “could produce synergy with respect to treatment of pain, inflammation, depression, anxiety, addiction, fungal and bacterial infections.” A 2007 study, for example, found that terpenes have a broad range of biological properties that include:

  • Antimicrobial
  • Antiviral
  • Antihyperglycemic
  • Antifunga
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antiparasitic

Trace Amounts of THC

Full spectrum CBD also contains trace amounts of THC (0.3% or less). While this isn’t enough to produce any psychoactive effects (the “high” associate with marijuana), there are individuals who would rather use CBD where all THC has been removed. These are the individuals who could benefit from using CBD isolate, a product where everything is stripped from the oil, except for the CBD. Our full spectrum CBD is a bit different, however. Using a proprietary extraction process, we’re able to provide a full spectrum CBD oil that contains zero THC, yet is still rich in other beneficial phytocannabinoids, terpenes, and other beneficial plant compounds. By removing any trace amounts of THC, we’re able to offer a full spectrum product that can confidently be used by anyone.

CBD Isolate

CBD isolate is pure CBD and nothing more. To isolate CBD from all the other compounds present in cannabis, a process known as chromatography is used. This strips away everything (including other cannabinoids, terpenes, and other plant compounds) except for CBD. The outcome is an odorless and tasteless white powder that contains 99% CBD. CBD isolate is considered to be the “purest” form of CBD you can find. It is typically less expensive than full spectrum CBD products, as it doesn’t contain any of the other naturally occurring plant compounds present in cannabis. There are individuals that prefer CBD isolate to full spectrum products as they contain zero trace amounts of THC, are odorless and tasteless, can be measured precisely for dosage control, and ultimately contain a lower cost per milligram. CBD isolate does not, however, contain any of the other therapeutic benefits and synergistic effects contained in full spectrum CBD products.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)

What is CBD?

What is CBD Most Commonly Used For?

What are the Different Types of CBD Products?

Does CBD Get You High?

Is it Possible for CBD to Show Up on a Drug Test?

Is CBD Legal?

What is the Most Effective Way to Take CBD?

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How Do I Take CBD Tincture?

What are Terpenes?

What is the Endocannabinoid System?

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