5 essential facts about CBD

Updated on February 25, 2020

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, you are sure to have heard of cannabidiol (CBD), a therapeutic substance being included in many products that are now selling like wildfire. And you may have heard that CBD comes from cannabis, or hemp.

The chances are, if you aren’t overly familiar with CBD, that you’ll have plenty of questions. Here are five essential facts about wholesale CBD products to enhance your knowledge.

Hemp-based CBD is legal at federal level

CBD is not restricted by the federal government, providing manufacturers extract the compound from hemp, and not THC-rich cannabis. While hemp is technically just a non-psychoactive form of marijuana, because of its low THC content and number of uses (for CBD, and also fuel and clothing), the United States federal government has steadily been relaxing hemp laws in recent years. 

Hemp-based products were made legal to sell in 2014, with hemp cultivation legalized in 2018 (several states, including Colorado, legalized hemp cultivation before that). Prior to this, CBD was – in all circumstances – classed in the most restricted Schedule I bracket of the Controlled Substances Act. This explains why the hemp CBD industry has boomed from nothing in the 2010s. 

CBD is non-intoxicating 

CBD’s non-intoxicating nature is its unique selling point as a medicinal and wellness product. The benefits of marijuana have been lost by the wider public due to the psychoactive effects and prohibition, but CBD is filling the gap. While there are still some medical qualities unique to THC, people are finding that CBD products may help with many of the conditions that cannabis is thought to be effective for.

And the beauty of CBD is that you can take it whenever you like, without feeling adversely affected either physically or cognitively. Side effects of CBD are minimal relative to other drugs, although be aware of drowsiness with very large doses. 

CBD functions in the endocannabinoid system 

Many people wonder how CBD actually works – the answer is, mostly, in the endocannabinoid system (ECS). If it’s new to you, don’t panic, it is to scientists, too! Unearthed as recently as the 1990s, the ECS is explaining in great detail why CBD and cannabis generally can be therapeutic, and is highlighting tons of new ways in which the plant could be used as a medicine. 

A dose of CBD can help to improve appetite, boost mood and reduce pain via CB1 receptor modulation, or ease inflammation and manage autoimmune diseases through CB2 receptor modulation. However, since the ECS is a new discovery and CBD research is only just beginning, the chances are that it does much more than that!  

CBD has demonstrated anti-anxiety potential 

Anxiety is one disorder which has received significant attention from CBD researchers, with arguably the most revealing study coming in 2011. Researchers compared the effects of CBD against a placebo on social anxiety patients, who engaged in a simulated public speaking test. A strong 600mg dose was given to the CBD group via a capsule, who proceeded to perform better during the speech, while experiencing less anxiety in the lead up. 

More recent studies have looked at how CBD may relieve anxiety, with results pointing to the serotonin system and gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) neurotransmitters.

More people take CBD for pain than for any other ailment

Because CBD is not an approved medicine and isn’t given out as a traditional prescription, the exact reasons for using products were unclear until a huge survey was released in Cannabinoid and Cannabinoid Research in 2018. Huge data sets showed what products people were taking, the age groups that used them and, crucially, what they were being taken for. 

Chronic pain ran out a clear winner, which is an encouraging sign, considering the current opioid crisis. The analgesic effects of cannabis have long been expected by modern researchers and were harnessed by multiple ancient civilizations. 

CBD does not show up on drug tests 

While cannabis is a no-no for sportspeople as well as those who work regular jobs, CBD poses no such problems. As it is non-intoxicating, there is no need for tests to look for CBD, and when checking for cannabis, the only substance that is flagged up is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). 

Users should feel free to take as much of a CBD-isolate product as they wish, and full-spectrum CBD products (which can have up to 0.3% THC), should be fine providing the dosage is not too high. For those with reservations, simply stick to CBD-isolate products to guarantee a clear test or check out this CBD calculator to determine if the dosage is appropriate for your own consumption. 

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