A Beginner’s Guide To CBD

Updated on April 13, 2021
hemp essential oil in small glass bottle. container with cannabis leaves and cannabis seeds on wooden.

Cannabis is well-known for its psychoactive properties, and, lately, its medicinal uses. The Cannabis sativa plant is composed of predominantly cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), along with more than 80 active chemical compounds called cannabinoids.     

CBD products contain very little THC, and, therefore, don’t have psychoactive properties that could alter one’s state of mind. Hence, CBD won’t cause a ‘high’ or ‘stoned’ feeling. 

If you’re one of the few who are curious about cannabidiol (CBD) use, but are too afraid to ask, today’s your lucky day. This article has curated some useful information to create this beginner’s guide to CBD to help you get started. Read on as this piece runs you through a few basic yet important topics on CBD and its uses, which you’ve been wanting to know about.  

Where Does CBD Come From? 

You might’ve already heard about and are confused about the terms cannabis, marijuana, hemp, CBD, and THC. With the difference between THC and CBD out of the way, this piece is left to discuss cannabis, marijuana, and hemp. Understanding these basic terms is necessary in learning more about CBD.   

  • Cannabis: The Cannabis sativa plant has two primary species: hemp and marijuana.  And, while both of them contain CBD, hemp has it in higher concentrations. Hemp also differs from marijuana in that it has relatively lower THC content. Comparatively, an average cannabis plant is said to contain about 12% THC.
  • Hemp: Apart from the low THC and high CBD content, hemp fibers are used in various applications in the garments, paper, food, and construction sectors, as well as other industries. Hemp is, typically, the term used to identify a cannabis plant that contains 0.3% THC or less. On the one hand, when people talk about CBD oil, they’re referring to the oil extracted from the hemp plant. Almost all cannabidiol-derived products sold in a CBD store are called from hemp.    
  • Marijuana: As mentioned, marijuana contains higher levels of THC and, thus, gives the user a kind of high or a euphoric feeling. Thus, marijuana use is, still, widely prohibited in most countries. As the main choice for recreational use, marijuana is sold in various forms. In most cases, users light up and inhale dried marijuana flowers, although some manufacturers extract oils that can be used as a raw material for various edibles, topicals, and other products.    

How Does CBD Work? 

Research suggests that the compounds produced by the cannabis plant interact with the human body’s endocannabinoid system, which restores balance in the body’s overall processes that include: 

  • Mood 
  • Memory 
  • Sleep 
  • Appetite
  • Digestion  
  • Motor controls
  • Liver functions
  • Central nervous system processes
  • Bone growth
  • Muscle formation 
  • Reproduction
  • Skin function  

Apart from imitating the body’s own endocannabinoid system, other researchers believe that CBD encourages the body to further regenerate its own endocannabinoids, which helps the body address several health symptoms. This repairing action is believed to be responsible in regulating pain, nausea, and the other damaging consequences of certain ailments. 

How Can It Help?

As earlier mentioned, CBD is believed to be beneficial in the restoration of various processes. These include: 

  • May ease mental health issues. As CBD is said to be helpful in stabilizing mood, it may also be effective in easing the signs of depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. These may include anxiety, stress, insomnia and other related symptoms.   
  • May minimize incidents or intensity of persistent pain. Endocannabinoids may be effective in chronic pain set off by arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and certain types of cancer. 
  • May be a potential cancer treatment.  Aside from minimizing persistent pain caused by cancer, a study has also indicated that CBD may help prevent cancer cell growth.
  • May reduce inflammation. Because endocannabinoids are responsible for the body’s anti-inflammatory processes, CBD, which mimics these naturally-occurring chemicals in the body, may aid in reducing inflammation as well. 
  • May help with seizures. The United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) has approved a prescription CBD oil for the treatment of two types of epilepsy. 
  • May neuroprotective properties. Packed with antioxidants, cannabidiol is said to have brain-protecting properties. When taken regularly, it may help prevent the development of Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s disease.  

Where To Get CBD

CBD is most often extracted as oil or in powder form, and then made into several products, such as lotions, gel capsules, sprays, and other types of edibles and topical products. Various products carrying different brands are sold in a CBD store, also called a cannabis dispensary

Depending on your mode of consumption, you may choose from any of these product forms:  

  • Oils and tinctures: Perhaps, the most common CBD product forms, these can either be ingested or placed under your tongue via a dropper, or applied on your skin. 
  • Creams and lotions: These products are typically used to help ease muscle and joint pain, as well as reduce skin irritations from eczema and psoriasis.  
  • Gel capsules and pills: Often used for seizures and digestive problems. The only issue with these forms is their delayed impact versus the oil, which directly goes into your bloodstream.   
  •  Edibles or gummies: They’re one of the more famous forms, perfect for beginners who want to be discrete.
  • Vape juice: The compound is inhaled through a vaping machine and goes into the lungs, then your bloodstream. However, some have expressed worries about the impact of vaping on the lungs.   

Key Takeaway

As mentioned earlier, more clinical studies are needed in order to really establish the current health claims of CBD use. That’s why it’s important to consult a doctor before taking any CBD supplements to avoid adverse reactions.

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