A Beginner’s Breakdown: Why and How Does CBD Work?
CBD has been taking the health and wellness industries by storm. From oils and tinctures to gummies and lotions, the numerous varieties of CBD products available today are remarkable. The incremental growth of the CBD oil market alone is estimated to be $3.52 billion between 2019 and 2024. But what actually is CBD and how does it work? Read on for a beginner’s breakdown to what CBD is, why it works in the human body and who can use CBD for what.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol, often abbreviated to CBD, is a naturally occurring compound found in the Cannabis sativa plants, hemp and cannabis. Manufacturers extract and process the CBD to isolate it for various uses; besides the oils, there are edibles and topicals.
How is CBD different from THC?
THC, or tetrahydro-cannabidiol, is the main psychoactive component in the cannabis plant that creates a “high” sensation. THC is primarily consumed through inhalation of smoke or through edibles, oils or capsules. Both THC and CBD interact with bodily systems, but according to research, THC interacts primarily with CB1 receptors which are linked to the high or euphoric feeling. Hemp plants contain a higher percentage of CBD while maintaining very low levels of THC.
How Does CBD Work in the Body?
CBD works directly with the human body’s endocannabinoid system, or ECS. CBD intercepts both the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the ESC, which are primarily responsible for transmitting messages to the brain. The ECS regulates a broad spectrum of biological and physiological processes including pain management, inflammation, sleep, mood, digestion and more.
What Are the Health Benefits?
The health benefits of CBD are being recognized. In June 2018, the FDA approved the first prescription medication containing CBD, Epidiolex. It is used to treat rare and difficult-to-control forms of epilepsy. Because CBD regulates receptors, researchers hope that early research showing promise for certain autoimmune diseases will show the same results in humans. Proprietary research indicates CBD could help:
-pain pill / opioid replacement
Though CBD is rapidly gaining in popularity, there are more clinical trials and studies needed to confirm its full impact and effectiveness. There has been some evidence of side effects accompanying CBD, but if you are a first time user consulting your doctor or a medical professional is always a good place to start.
Is CBD Legal?
Cannabis- and hemp-related laws in the United States are evolving and changing rapidly. Hemp, when produced at levels below 0.3% delta-9 THC, is not considered a controlled substance at the federal level. Hemp-derived CBD is accessible in most of the 50 states. A Drug Enforcement Administration registration is not required to grow or research it.
Industrial hemp, given in its legal definition in the 2018 Farm Bill, is legitimate if companies are transparent in their manufacturing process and label claims. But each state has its own laws and regulations, so check with your state’s protocols before purchasing CBD.
The hype surrounding CBD is real and does seem relevant. Though there is still more research needed surrounding the impact and potential side effects of CBD, anecdotal evidence and early-stage studies have shed some positive light. If you are curious about using CBD and aren’t sure where to start, begin with a reliable source. Always turn to third-party lab test results to ensure the quality, potency and purity of your CBD product. Choose independent companies with labs like Real Tested CBD to explore which CBD products have tested accurately to label claims and serve best for you.