Although a lot of people have heard of CBD, they might not be entirely clear on what it is or what CBD stands for. CBD is the medical abbreviation for cannabidiol, one of the primary active compounds, or cannabinoids, found in cannabis plants.
It comes from Cannabis sativa plants such as marijuana and industrial hemp. Experts estimate that there may be over one hundred active compounds called cannabinoids, but the two main ones are CBD and THC. While THC is famed for causing a high, CBD is non-psychoactive and is instead said to be an excellent health supplement.
There is a large number of reported uses for cannabidiol. But before we get into that, let’s find out how CBD works.
How CBD Works
To understand how CBD works, you need to know about the endocannabinoid system. This is a system that runs throughout the whole human body, and it is also found in other mammals. It consists of a network of receptors called cannabinoid receptors, which can be found on the surface of cells.
To date, scientists know of two primary cannabinoid receptors, called the CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors exist predominantly in the brain and central nervous system, while CB2 receptors can be found in the organs and immune system. These receptors are designed to work with endocannabinoids, messenger molecules that the body creates to signal changes in the body, and the environment.
When something changes, endocannabinoids are created. These molecules bind to specific cannabinoid receptors, triggering reactions to help the body adapt. Through these mechanisms, the endocannabinoid system keeps the body in balance. It’s a critical system for survival because it maintains homeostasis, and therefore it’s essential to keep it healthy.
This is where CBD comes in. When you ingest CBD, it can stimulate the production of endocannabinoids, helping the endocannabinoid system to run smoothly. While this is happening, the body can stay well-balanced and healthy. Through its mechanisms, CBD has an indirect influence on both cannabinoid receptors.
CBD Derived from Hemp vs. Marijuana
CBD comes from cannabis, which means experts can extract it from either hemp or marijuana. There is an essential distinction between hemp-derived CBD and marijuana CBD, however.
The issue is one of legality. Marijuana is only legal for recreational use in a handful of states; elsewhere, it is illegal due to its THC content. The marijuana plant typically has 0-2% CBD, and anywhere up to 30% THC. These cannabinoid levels make it virtually useless for extracting CBD for the purpose of supplements, but they also make marijuana-derived CBD illegal in many places.
The majority of CBD users are looking for a CBD hemp oil. In other words, CBD oil that uses cannabinoids derived from hemp. Industrial hemp, by definition, contains less than 0.3% THC by dry weight, making it impossible to use as a psychoactive substance. Industrial hemp is legal on a federal level and is allowed in most states – although you will have to check laws in your specific locality.
Basically, you want to find a CBD supplement derived from hemp. Doing so will ensure you are operating within the law and will also mean you get the highest quality CBD. Remember, marijuana-derived CBD oils only contain very low levels of cannabidiol.
Source: Premium Jane