What is CBD?
CBD products, CBD blogs, CBD news— it’s all been about CBD recently. It’s now considered the new “big thing”, and is gaining worldwide popularity. But, what really is CBD? Despite its popularity, many still don’t know the answer to this question, even CBD users themselves. In today’s blog, we will be putting these questions to rest, by giving simple, easy to understand answers to the most asked CBD questions.
CBD’s Origins | What is it & Where Does it Come From?
CBD, short for Cannabidiol does not come from the moon or from a mysterious miracle plant, it comes from the cannabis plant. “Cannabis” probably rings a bell, doesn’t it? This is because it is famous for causing a “high” or psychoactive effects in users. However, no need to worry— this is not caused by CBD, but by THC.
THC is also a cannabinoid that is found in the cannabis plant. One of the primary characteristics that make THC different from CBD, is that it is capable of causing psychoactive effects in users (or high). THC is the cannabinoid responsible for the famous “stoner high”. CBD however, does not cause any high.
Although CBD comes from the same plant as THC, it is not the same and does not cause the same effects. CBD is one of the 108 different types of cannabinoids isolated in cannabis, meaning that it is completely unique and special in its own way.
Cannabis is not the only place you can find CBD however. CBD is also extracted from the hemp plant, which contains a much smaller concentration of THC; less than 0.3% THC to be exact. Hemp CBD extraction is more widely used due to the more “widely spread legality” when compared to cannabis, which is still illegal in many parts of the world.
To obtain CBD from hemp or cannabis the way we know it the best, which is in products, it has to go through a complicated extraction process. After all, CBD is not the only cannabinoid in cannabis or hemp plants, and only extracting one of those can be, as you can imagine, pretty tricky.
CBD’s Extraction Processes
There is not just one CBD extraction process option, there are many. Many brands and companies like to use their own unique extraction process that they find the most effective for their products and their CBD preferences. The most widely-known and used extraction process are…
CO2 Extraction - This method uses supercritical carbon dioxide to separate the CBD oil from the rest of the plant. With pressure and very low temperatures, this method is able to get all of the “good stuff”, or CBD from the plant efficiently.
Steam Distillation - As the same of this process implies, it utilizes steam to separate CBD from the plant. This extraction process has been used for centuries to extract essential oils, which is why many still believe it is one of the best for CBD extraction.
Solvent Extraction - This process is similar to steam distillation, but instead of using steam, a solvent is used instead to get all of the CBD from the plant. This process uses either natural solvents or hydrocarbons.
Out of these extraction processes, there is no way to say that there is one that is better than others. It normally depends on the extractors’ preferences, beliefs and budget.
Why is CBD so Popular? | What’s so Great About it?
Now that you know what CBD is, where it comes from, and how it’s extracted, you may still be wondering why there is so much fuss and hype about this cannabinoid. Millions of people are using it, and the media is going off about how great it is, but why?!
One of the main factors that has led CBD and other Cannabinoids to become so popular, is its ability to interact with the endocannabinoid system, also known as the ECS. This system plays an essential part in our body’s health.
To explain the ECS in a simple way, it is a cell-signalling system that plays a primary role mentally and physically. It regulates functions such as mood, appetite, sleep, memory, reproduction and fertility. It is responsible for maintaining homeostasis in our bodies internal environment, which as you can imagine is more than important.
For this complex system to “do its job” efficiently, there are 3 main factors or “pieces of the puzzle”: endocannabinoids, receptors and enzymes. Where does CBD come into this equation you may be wondering? The part that CBD plays in this system is by triggering receptors in the ECS.
One of the most impressive things about CBD is its ability to interact with the ECS without causing psychoactive effects like THC does. This is due to the fact that CBD is only able to trigger one of the two main types of receptors. Instead of triggering both CB1 and CB2 receptors, it only triggers CB2 receptors, which are located primarily in white blood cells, the spleen and tonsils.
Because CBD does not trigger CB1 receptors, which is considered to be the cause of the “high” or well-known psychoactive effects of marijuana, it is able to interact with the endocannabinoid system, and exert its effect without making its users have unwanted effects.
By interacting with ECS, CBD is able to play a role in our bodies homeostasis. This allows it to offer therapeutic properties similar to those of essential oils. It is actually impressive to see how much a natural substance can impact our body in a positive way like CBD does.
CBD, as you now know, interacts with the body in a very unique way. Because of CBD’s uniqueness and the way it reacts with the ECS and the human body, we are definitely going to be seeing more of this cannabinoid in the future.
We still do not completely comprehend what CBD is capable of, but with further research, we may find more than we expect. Millions of people are now becoming more interested in this substance, and many are wondering what types of benefits it can offer.
Although we do know everything there is to know about CBD, we and thousands of others worldwide are looking forward to discovering more of its secrets, and learning more about how a natural substance can impact the body in such an intricate and unique way.