How does CBD work and are there benefits?
Updated: Dec 18, 2022
By now, you’ve likely heard about CBD, which is short for cannabidiol, one of over 100 natural substances called phytocannabinoids. These natural plant substances are found in both hemp and in cannabis (marijuana). CBD and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) are certainly the most well known. The difference is that CBD is non-hallucinogenic, meaning that it does not produce the psychoactive effects that THC is known for.
Depending on the strain of hemp grown, CBD is found in very high concentrations in certain strains. Marijuana and hemp belong to the same plant family, and while they have many similarities, their chemical (phytochemical) compositions do vary quite a bit. Hemp plants naturally have lower THC and higher concentration of CBD.
Hemp is an extremely versatile plant. It is quite old. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson talk about growing hemp on their farms. Today, hemp has thousands of industrial uses, including everything from rope fiber to biofuel. US farmers actually farm thousands and thousands of acres of hemp. A big reason for the growth in farming is the popularity of CBD for its health benefits.
How does CBD work?
Research on CBD is very extensive, and CBD is widely regarded to have medicinal value. CBD helps to support the body’s natural endocannabinoid system (ECS). What is the ECS? Everyone has one, just like you have an immune system, a cardiovascular system, and a respiratory system.
The body’s organs as well as the immune system all have receptors, and cannabinoids like CBD bind to those receptors. When the binding occurs, it can cause various reactions like releasing a substance or causing a chemical reaction, all designed to balance the body, a process called homeostasis.
The ECS was only discovered about 30 years ago, in 1992, but scientists definitely discovered that plant phytocannabinoids like CBD fit the human ECS receptors.
What does CBD do?
CBD primarily supports the body by slowing down the destruction of our own cannabinoids our body makes (called endocannabinoids). These days, the constant stress of daily life means the body is in constant production of chemicals like cortisol and adrenaline, which are constantly triggered throughout the day by things like traffic jams and constant incoming email. The ECS is overworked and the body can be deficient in endocannabinoids. The body needs additional support, and CBD provides that.
It is also important to get plenty of exercise, eat a healthy diet, and get plenty of sleep. Relaxation activities like yoga, meditation, or massage can distress and support the ECS because all of these activities support the body in making its own endocannabinoids.
CBD provides an incredible amount of support to the body’s ECS. This is why so many people have had success treating everything from arthritis to sleep issues with CBD. In particular, CBD has been used for inflammation and pain, and also for depression, migraine headaches and nausea. CBD is widely used to combat anxiety, and scientists know that the endocannabinoid receptors that bind to CBD are known to promote calm and relaxation in the body.
In fact, CBD has been used as a relief for muscle spasms and seizures. The FDA has even approved the first CBD-based drug for patients age 1 and older. It is called Epidiolex and was approved in 2018 for the treatment of rare epileptic seizures.
There is much ongoing research to determine CBD’s utility for a multitude of health issues. CBD is widely used for a variety of ailments, including:
CBD is available in many forms, including oil, capsules, creams, edibles and beverages. It is generally well tolerated by both humans and animals. Senior citizens are increasingly using CBD for pain and arthritis. They like it because it is a natural, non-habit forming product.
Types of CBD:
CBD comes in three forms: isolate, full-spectrum and broad-spectrum. An isolate is the pure form of CBD, meaning it only contains cannabidiol and no other plant compounds. Isolate is usually sold in crystal or powder form. An isolate of CBD is in its purest form and ideal for a consumer looking for specific health benefits.
Full-spectrum CBD contains CBD as well as other plant extracts including other cannabinoids, terpenes and plant essential oils. Full spectrum products can contain up to 0.3% THC, but the amount is so low that it will not have significant psychoactive effects. Hemp is actually grown to contain only this amount of THC or less, so you will get that included in a full spectrum product. Some research studies suggest that CBD works better when other plant compounds are present, as they are in a full spectrum product. CBD compounds working together synergistically is called the entourage effect.
A broad-spectrum CBD is quite similar to a full-spectrum CBD; it contains the additional plant compounds that are in a full-spectrum formulation. However, a broad-spectrum CBD contains no THC, making it an optimal choice for people who want a full-spectrum product without any hallucinogenic THC in the mix.
CBD is widely used in oil form. It is worth noting that CBD oil and hemp oil are not the same. Hemp oil is derived from pressed hemp seeds and contains no CBD, whereas our CBD is extracted from the entire hemp plant which is naturally high in CBD.
Is CBD Safe?
If you are trying CBD for the first time, you are understandably probably wondering about safety. It is important to know that CBD has few side effects. Most people tolerate it well, and any side effects if experienced at all are generally mild. Some people report drowsiness as their bodies adjust to it. CBD has a subtle effect rather than a drastic effect on the body, so that is comforting. It is typical to start out with a lower dose and gradually increase the dose so that your body gets used to the CBD over time.
Discuss CBD use with your physician before you start using it. CBD can interact with certain prescription medications, but it is safe and non-addictive. In particular, pregnant women and nursing mothers should use extra caution with CBD, just as you would with any other medication or supplement. Pediatric research has demonstrated that CBD and other cannabinoids do pass through the placenta to the fetus.
Product quality plays a huge role in product safety. There are hundreds of CBD products on the market and some do not have good quality. Stay safe and purchase your CBD from a reputable source like Let It Grow Hemp. With our products, you will always know exactly how much CBD is in each dose. Visit our FAQ section to learn more.
Lab testing by a third-party reputable test lab is extremely important when it comes to product safety, so always look for transparent test results. Our Certificate of Analysis (COA) is posted right on our website for every product we sell.
Will CBD Get Me High?
While both the hemp and marijuana plants have CBD, the compound is non-hallucinogenic so you won’t get the intoxicating effect that THC is known for. Hemp is cultivated to be very low in THC. In fact, hemp-based CBD must contain less than 0.3% THC, so you don’t have to worry about that marijuana feeling.
Is CBD legal?
This is a question that many people ask about. The Farm Bill of 2018 did legalize hemp as an agricultural product, making it legal to grow in all 50 states. Hemp-derived CBD is legal in all 50 states. Marijuana-derived CBD is not legal in all 50 states; it does vary state by state. Many states, 23 to be exact, have legalized marijuana for medicinal use only, meaning you as a patient must go through a qualification process to be able to buy it. Ten states have approved marijuana for recreational use.
Let It Grow Hemp is dedicated to consumer education, so we hope that the information in this article has been helpful if you are considering CBD, or even if you’ve used it for a while. We strive to produce the highest quality CBD at a fair price. We love having our Colorado business and we hope that you will be our next new customer. Please reach out to us if we can be of assistance to you as you embark on your CBD journey.