What is CBD?
CBD stands for cannabidiol. It is one compound, of many, found in the hemp plant. There are many active compounds, like CBD, found in hemp. CBD just happens to be the most abundant. The active compounds in hemp, like CBD, are called cannabinoids. There are many other cannabinoids in hemp, such as CBC, CBG, CBN, and small amounts THC (less than 0.3%). Other compounds found in hemp include phytochemicals like terpenoids and flavonoids, which have their own therapeutic properties, adding to medicinal value of hemp. Full spectrum CBD oil contains all of these compounds, which is why full spectrum CBD oil may have a greater therapeutic influence. CBD for therapeutic purposes typically comes from medicinal hemp plants, not industrial hemp like many are familiar with. Industrial hemp plants are genetically predisposed to grow tall and lanky, with small flowers, using much of their energy for developing fibers. Medicinal hemp plants, on the other hand, are designed for phytochemical production, growing shorter and bushier, with more branches that support more flowers, and therefore an abundance of therapeutic compounds, like CBD.
CBD Doesn’t get you High
CBD does not cause psychoactive effects when ingested, smoked, or vaped, like its relative, marijuana. The reason being, the hemp plant contains less than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the compound in marijuana known for psychoactive effects. In fact, CBD counter acts the psychoactive effects of THC.
How does CBD work in the Body?
Cannabinoids, like CBD, interact with a system in our bodies called the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). The ECS is responsible for keeping the body in balance (homeostasis). The ECS has receptors throughout our whole body, including the brain, internal organs, skin, immune cells, and GI tract. Being able to reach multiple areas in our body, through the ECS, is one of the reasons why CBD has such a wide reach of healing power! Blood pressure, blood sugar, pain response, immune response, inflammation, hormones, and brain chemistry are some of the things the ECS manages. All mammals have an ECS!
Full Spectrum Vs. Isolate
As explained above, the hemp plants that produce CBD also contains many other cannabinoids, such as CBC, CBG, CBN, and small amounts THC (less than 0.3%). Cannabinoids and the other compounds (flavonoids & terpenes) in CBD oil have a synergistic relationship, meaning they work better together than on their own. Full spectrum CBD oil keeps all of these compounds together, and in the ratios and amounts as they are in nature. Full spectrum CBD oil has the advantage of containing not only CBD, but all the other phytochemicals and compounds found in the plant that have therapeutic effects. CBD isolate is when the oil is isolated down to just the CBD molecule. As said before, all of the compounds like to work together, when using isolate this is not possible. Some research has shown full spectrum CBD oil to be more effective than CBD isolate. This may be due to the “Entourage Effect”, which suggests the utilization of all the compounds found in hemp exert a more therapeutic outcome when taken together, than when taken as separate entities.