What is CBD and How Can it Help?
Over the past few years, the use of both medical and recreational marijuana has been at the legislative forefront. This has left many consumers perplexed about the legality of the plant and just what is permissible and what is not. Adding to this confusion is that a new compound sourced from cannabis has made its way into the mainstream. Cannabidiol (CBD) is a derivative of cannabis that is now federally legal across the US.
Before the enactment of the farm bill of 2018, there were some questions about the legalities of CBD —even though some growers had permission to plant industrial hemp four years prior, and many companies offering CBD products were already doing business in the US. The new legislation took some of the roadblocks away, and it is safe to say that as of June 2019, CBD is currently legal to extract, purchase, sell, and distribute in all 50 US states.
Notably, individual states are given the final say on how they want to address the legalities of CBD, so there are some pockets of resistance that have shown themselves to be uncooperative towards the new legislation, so it is always best to check with your own state.
As you’ve probably gathered, CBD is an acronym for cannabidiol, a compound that is naturally-occurring in cannabis sativa. It is found in large concentrations in the hemp sub-species of the plant. For the past couple of years, it has hit the mainstream health and wellness market due to its immense potential to assist with many different conditions.
In some circles, CBD is considered an adaptogen, and many researchers have colloquially dubbed it the boy scout molecule— as it always does the right thing in any given situation. Its ability to work on so many common conditions is what has gained it such notoriety, and as more research takes place, the popularity of this incredible supplement grows.
The Endocannabinoid System
To truly understand the implications of CBD in the body, it is necessary to understand how and why it works. The human body has many different signaling systems that help to regulate day-to-day functions. We are all familiar with the cardiovascular system, the respiratory system, the nervous system, digestive system, and others. But there is another system that is just beginning to be understood by researchers called the Endocannabinoid System, or ECS.
Discovered within the past twenty years, the ECS contains more receptors than all of the other systems of the body—including neurotransmitters. While researchers once believed that neurotransmitters in the brain were responsible for maintaining homeostasis, it turns out that the receptors of the ECS have an even more significant role in keeping our bodies in a state of balance.
It is now known that Cannabinoids within the body, called endocannabinoids, regulate the most vital functions of human life— including temperature, appetite, sleep, pain perception, immunity, and more. Our bodies naturally produce these cannabinoids on their own.
Researchers believe that stress, diet, environment, and other factors may contribute to what is termed as an endocannabinoid deficiency in the body, which may be the root of many common ailments in today’s society. They have discovered that a potential remedy for this deficiency lies in the introduction of phytocannabinoids found in cannabis.
There are hundreds of cannabinoids present in the cannabis plant, but scientists are only beginning to uncover the potential benefits of each of these. The most popular cannabinoids are THC and CBD. While THC is known for its psychoactive properties that make a user high or stoned, CBD does not have any mind-altering effects, making it an attractive option for those who would like to experience the healing benefits of cannabis without the high.
CBD is primarily sourced from the industrial hemp plant, and operations in several US states are growing and providing high-quality hemp crops for the sole purpose of providing CBD to an increasingly growing market. Prior to legislation that took place in 2014 and again in 2018, much of the CBD used by distributors was sourced from substandard hemp imported from overseas. The newer laws have improved the product dramatically, with growers sourcing their hemp either domestically from all natural or organic farms in the US or select European growers.
Additionally, most reputable retailers conduct third-party lab testing on their hemp crops to ensure the potency and purity of the final product.
For many people, it is hard to believe that a product sourced from cannabis has the potential to treat so many different ailments, yet it does. There are hundreds of accounts of people finding relief from various conditions through the use of CBD. More importantly, the efficacy of this cannabinoid is backed by science, with hundreds of research studies conducted that look into the potential of CBD to treat some of the most common ailments seen in our society.
We must mention that this research into the potential therapeutic benefits of CBD is still in the early stages, although many people have gone ahead and started using it with fantastic results. However, as of right now, it is important that consumers proceed with common sense, perhaps micro dosing a high-quality product to ascertain the effects before moving on to higher doses.
We strongly believe that the many benefits of CBD and consumer demand for the highest quality CBD products will spur even more favorable legislation and product options for those who feel chained to pharmaceutical remedies.