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A beginner’s guide to understanding what CBD is, what it does, and how it interacts with our body.

CBD is one of those natural compounds that appear to be popping up all around the world, including the United States, but what is CBD, and what does it do? Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the 113 cannabinoids that are found in both the hemp and marijuana plants. While both plants belong to the cannabis sativa plant family and contain many of the same cannabinoids, they each have very unique properties.

In this beginners guide to understanding CBD, we will take a look at what CBD is, where it comes from, and how CBD interacts with our body. 

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a phytocannabinoid (cannabinoids from plants) that are found in both hemp and marijuana.  Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD has no psychotropic properties. What does this mean? It means that CBD, unlike THC, does not get you ‘high or stoned’ like many products that are high in THC will. Most people report simply feeling ‘relaxed’ or ‘stress-free’ after they begin using CBD products.

Most CBD products that you see available online and in stores are made using CBD that has been sourced from industrial hemp plants. This is because hemp is high in CBD while containing almost no THC (less than 0.3%).

Under the 2018 Farm Bill, the federal government made it legal to produce hemp and hemp products at a federal level as long as they contain less than 0.3% THC.

There are over 113 cannabinoids in hemp and marijuana that scientists have identified so far. However, much more research is still required before we will be able to unlock the full potential of cannabinoids and how they interact with our bodies.

One of the most exciting things about CBD is its versatility. There are a variety of different delivery methods available, each with its advantages and disadvantages. You can choose from convenient CBD products such as oils, gummies, topicals, and lotions.

How does CBD interact with our bodies?

Inside everyone is a system known as the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). It is believed that the ECS is responsible for maintaining homeostasis (balance and harmony) inside our bodies. Whether you have ever tried marijuana or hemp, you have an ECS. Even dogs and cats have one!

Our bodies naturally produce endocannabinoids. When our bodies are not producing enough endocannabinoids, or our endocannabinoids are not functioning correctly, cannabinoids such as CBD can step in and help fill the gaps.

The ECS is made up of a series of receptors that are spread throughout the body but strongly focused on the central nervous system and immune system. Endocannabinoids and cannabinoids bind with receptors in the ECS. They are the eyes and ears of the cells within our bodies. When something is not right, they send a signal to the cells, which then triggers the appropriate response within our body.

There are two main types of receptors with which CBD and other cannabinoids bind: CB1 and CB2. Interestingly, CBD can reduce the negative side-effects associated with high THC products. It does this by blocking the CB1 receptor so that THC can’t bind effectively, reducing the anxiety, paranoia, and nausea that many people experience when they use THC.

What is the next step for CBD?

Depending on your goals and needs, there are a variety of CBD products that could be helpful for you to achieve them. There are also a variety of studies researching the potential benefits of CBD, including as a treatment for anxiety, inflammation, stress, and much more. Further research needs to be conducted before scientists can confirm definitively which health benefits CBD may have.

When you first start taking CBD, it is important to follow the instructions which have been provided by the manufacturer. It is often recommended that you start with lower dosages and gradually increase your dosage until you find a level that is suitable for you.

If you are currently taking any medication, you should consult with your physician before also starting with CBD, and avoid possible negative interactions with some pharmaceutical medications and your body.

Please contact us to learn more about CBD and for ordering any organic CBD products from Karma‘aina CBD. Aloha!