CBD is a hemp extract that’s taking the world by storm. It has several therapeutic applications, and it’s legal in the U.S. The phytocannabinoid is one of over 525 naturally occurring compounds produced in the trichomes of the ancient plant. It’s non- psychoactive, allowing users to benefit from its wellness properties without getting “high.” CBD is a daily supplement with many advantages. Here are some of the most important things you need to know about CBD, including how it works and how to use it.
What is CBD?
Everyone from your neighbor to your grandmother is talking about it. But what exactly is CBD?
CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a cannabinoid found in cannabis and hemp plants. Merriam-Webster defines cannabinoids as,
“Any of various naturally-occurring, biologically active, chemical constituents of hemp or cannabis that possess psychoactive properties.”
To understand why scientists classify CBD as a psychoactive compound, you need to know the definition of the word.
The National Cancer Institute defines psychoactive compounds as,
“A drug or other substance that affects how the brain works and causes changes in mood, awareness, thoughts, feelings, or behavior.”
You might be asking yourself, “How does CBD change moods and similar feelings?”
One of the most popular reasons for using the hemp compound is to promote calmness to encourage healthy stress levels. This benefit of CBD places it in the psychoactive category.
However, it doesn’t produce any psychotropic effect, unlike another famous phytocannabinoid, delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). In other words, CBD does not make you feel “stoned” or “high.”
Backed by growing scientific evidence, many people are using CBD as a way to reduce anxious thoughts, soothe sore muscles, and promote quality sleep.
Is CBD Legal in the U.S.?
Yes! CBD is 100% legal in the United States.
In 2018, Congress passed an update to the 2014 Farm Bill. Later that year, in December, the president signed the 2018 Farm Bill into law. The new legislation legalized all compounds naturally derived from the complex plant, including cannabidiol.
The 2018 Farm Bill defines hemp as,
“The term ‘hemp’ means the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of that plant, including the seeds thereof and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.”
These legal changes opened up the industry to a wide range of products, including CBD gummies, oils, vape cartridges, capsules, and topicals.
How is CBD Different From THC?
Many people confuse CBD with THC. While both compounds are cannabinoids, they have different effects on the body. Also referred to as “cannabis,” marijuana is known for its psychoactive properties. THC accounts for most of the plants’ results, with some extract products containing 90%.
Unlike CBD, THC is a psychoactive compound that produces a “high” and can make consumers feel out of control. Since CBD doesn’t exert the same effects as THC. It has a broader range of wellness properties for consumers ages 18 and older without the intoxicating effects, including anxiousness and paranoia.
Understanding the Different Hemp Extract Formulas
The three primary therapeutic CBD blends—full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and an isolate. Each contains CBD as the base ingredient and offers different advantages.
A full-spectrum hemp extract contains all the naturally occurring compounds found in a hemp plant. The blend includes CBD, 0.03% THC, the other phytocannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, vitamins, proteins, minerals, and vital nutrients. Product designers like to integrate full-spectrum hemp extract into formulas because it provides a complete spectrum of compounds. This function ensures the highest quality of flavor and efficacy.
Some manufacturers use broad-spectrum hemp extract to provide a CBD product for consumers that are sensitive to THC or undergo drug testing. These formulas remove the THC. Although hemp is legal in the U.S. and can contain up to 0.3% THC, there’s a chance it can still show up on a drug screening.
Specific consumers, including professional athletes, can benefit from the compound but risk their careers if they test positive for any amount of THC. The extraction method retains the remaining compounds, including the terpenes, flavonoids, and nutrients. Although it’s not a whole-plant formula, it provides similar advantages.
A CBD isolate contains only the cannabidiol compound. CBD isolate doesn’t have any of the other naturally occurring compounds found in hemp. Isolates are highly concentrated and create a versatile product for consumers looking to temper their daily active lives. Customers that want a more balanced experience might choose a full-spectrum formula over an isolated one.
What are the Other Compounds in a Full-Spectrum Hemp Extract?
While CBD is enjoying its time in the spotlight, it’s not the only compound with positive results for consumers. Other phytocannabinoids like terpenes and flavonoids are beginning to get recognition as well.
Terpenes are organic compounds found in hemp’s trichomes. They give each plant strain its own unique smell and flavor, and these also occur in thousands of other common plants, not only hemp. Scientists have isolated over 20,000 terpenes, which are typical in many households, beauty, and wellness products.
Flavonoids are plant compounds that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. Similar to terpenes, there are over 8,000 found throughout nature. They also give plants rich colors, like the deep purples and blues of blueberries. Typical flavonoid shades include yellow, blue, red, and purple.
Hemp is rich in both phytochemicals, and they play a vital role in the effects of the potent plant.
Numerous other compounds are common in full-spectrum hemp extracts. While CBD is the most commonly recognized, there are many other cannabinoids and nutrients that contribute to its efficacy.
The Endocannabinoid System and CBD
Humans have a natural endocannabinoid system (ECS). It includes internal endogenous cannabinoids, cannabinoid receptors, and enzymes that break down the internal and external cannabinoids after they complete their functions.
The ECS is a master regulatory system that helps maintain balance throughout the brain and organs. It regulates things such as sleep, mood, appetite, and memory. It also plays a role in controlling the body’s pain and inflammatory response.
When you ingest CBD, the ECS can interact with it the same way it communicates with endocannabinoids produced by the body. This communication is vital because it helps keep internal systems in balance and allows for a healthier lifestyle. CBD’s ability to interact with the body’s ECS has a long list of potential benefits.
The Benefits of CBD
Consumers are flocking to the hemp compound for the plethora of wellness advantages it offers. From anxiousness to soothing skin, scientists are only beginning to discover the full benefits of CBD.
CBD and Anxiety
Everyone experiences anxiousness and high-stress moments in their lifetime. Many consumers are searching for an all-natural option to encourage less stress and a more positive mood.
CBD is emerging as a promising option for consumers who are feeling overwhelmed with their daily lives. It has the power to ease nervousness and encourage a healthy mind and body.
Studies indicate that as a supplement, CBD shows potential for managing common body responses to anxiousness and stress, including mood changes, occasional sleeplessness, sluggishness, lack of focus, and restlessness.
A large review of CBD for anxiety studies found the compound is safe and effective. The authors concluded,
“Current understanding of the physiology and neurologic pathways points to a benefit with anxiety-related issues. The results of our clinical report support the existing scientific evidence. In our study, we saw no evidence of a safety issue that would limit future studies. In this evaluation, CBD appears to be better tolerated than routine psychiatric medications. Furthermore, CBD displays promise as a tool for reducing anxiety in clinical populations.”
CBD and Post-Workout Recovery
Today’s working world demands high-energy performance daily. Consumers are looking for all-natural options that’ll help them stay sharp, focused, and engaged.
CBD could be a beneficial addition to an active lifestyle because it interacts with the ECS positively. After a challenging workout, its ability to reduce the body’s stress response and manage pain could also come into play.
The ECS is known for helping to manage the body’s pain. Because CBD can attach itself to CB1 receptors in the brain and other areas where the ECS is located, it may encourage a reduction of pain.
Many athletes have turned to the hemp extract since the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), which oversees the Olympics drug testing rules, approved the isolate for supplement use during competition. However, WADA makes it clear that any traces of THC, even the 0.3%, is forbidden and will disqualify athletes from participating in events.
Tara Laferrara, a former professional sprinter and current personal trainer, explained to Men’s Health in 2019,
“As a personal trainer and someone that works out every day and really pushes myself a lot, I noticed the biggest difference in inflammation and stress after a workout.”
CBD and Sleep
Sleepless nights are part of everyday life, whether you’re a hardworking parent or a college student who stays up studying. Breaking the habit isn’t easy, and over-the-counter drugs don’t consistently deliver the results you need. Additionally, these options can leave you groggy and unproductive in the morning.
The gentle calming effect of CBD is emerging as a helpful tool for consumers who are struggling with disrupted sleep. Some studies have found that it can reduce the body’s anxiety response and encourage a night of more restful sleep.
CBD could be a natural solution for consumers in search of better sleep. Studies show that it has the ability to reduce anxiety and promote a healthy mind, which can, in turn, encourage a healthy sleeping pattern.
Although scientists are currently working on how CBD helps improve sleep quality, testimonials and the available research shows promise. The authors of “Cannabinoids, Endocannabinoids and Sleep,” a Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience study, concluded that,
“It is becoming increasingly evident that endocannabinoids play a prominent role in sleep and sleep neurophysiology, and cannabinoid drugs alter these processes. There are clear overlaps between the brain eCB system and sleep-wake circuitry, and cannabinergic manipulations are capable of altering sleep on a large scale …”
CBD and Skincare
CBD is a topical powerhouse. Its ability to calm the body and ease physical discomfort makes it an appealing option for those looking to improve their skin. While there aren’t many studies available on the effects of CBD and skincare, consumers are finding success with this natural alternative for beautiful skin that’s soft to the touch.
Because its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties can be so beneficial for reducing and preventing acne and the redness and swelling that accompany the facial condition. CBD is a promising option for those hoping to find wellness and youthful-looking skin.
Additionally, hemp’s compounds have antioxidant benefits that offer natural skin protection. A 2020 study by the Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology Journal, concluded,
“Though the outcomes of this study are stemming from oral treatment at higher doses, it does have sound advice to treat any topical application of cannabinoids with due diligence. While many topical CBD products appear to be relatively well tolerated, topical safety studies are underway, and the evidence is still emerging.”
CBD for Pets
CBD comes with various benefits for humans, but did you know it’s also safe for our furry friends? All mammals, including cats, dogs, and even horses, can benefit from the hemp compound. Pets are experiencing the same issues as humans with overwhelming stress, anxiousness, aging joints, and sleeplessness. Customer reviews have been glowing. Many suggesting CBD is a helpful tool for their pet’s stay calm during fireworks and other stressful situations and move around better as they age.
How to Use CBD
So many CBD products are flooding the market that it’s easy to get mixed up about how this compound works and where you should start. There are several different ways to use CBD, and it’s essential to familiarize yourself with each option for the best experience.
Smoking Hemp Flowers
One of the oldest and most common methods is to smoke CBD hemp flowers. The user will be able to feel the effects almost immediately. However, it’s short-lived, wearing off within the hour. Smoking hemp flower is an ideal way to experience the full spectrum of compounds in the plant’s trichomes.
Vaping Hemp Flower & Oil
Are you looking for quick results that don’t involve irritating smoke? You can vape hemp flower and oil safely. Additionally, it’s discreet. So, if you need to take a few puffs before a social event, it’s okay. Vaping doesn’t produce huge clouds of vapor with a strong aroma. The small amount it emits dissipates fast. You don’t have to worry about the fragrance. Similar to smoking, it works in a few minutes and wears off in less than an hour.
One of the most common ways to take CBD is as a tincture. It works after you place it under your tongue, where it absorbs in seconds through the membranes. The sublingual method allows for a quick response, working within 20 minutes, and lasts four to six hours. The therapeutic CBD oil gives you more control of your serving size as you can easily adjust it with a simple drop.
There are a variety of CBD edibles on the market today. These include everything from gummies and chocolate bars to honey sticks and drinks. CBD edibles take time to work, but they are easy to get in a consistent serving without measuring an oil, smoking, or vaping.
Consumables take about 30 to 60 minutes to work because they take the long route, through the digestive process, to the bloodstream, where they cross the blood-brain barrier to interact with the endocannabinoid system. However, like CBD tinctures, edibles last about four to six hours, rather than the hour you get by inhaling the compound.
Some consumers need the traditional way to take a supplement, and pills fill that category. These work the same way as edibles, but instead of candies and drinks, it’s oil infused in a gel cap or a powder. Many users also find these more convenient than oils because the pills are in exact doses.
Products like CBD lotions and creams may ease discomfort and improve your skin’s appearance. Some formulas are ideal for massaging into sore muscles after a challenging workout. At the same time, other blends are available for moisturizing and protecting skin. These don’t go into the bloodstream and are safe to use as needed and with other CBD products. Many topical hemp creams are combined with other natural ingredients to enhance their benefits.
Side Effects of CBD
One reason professionals love CBD over other supplements is that most people tolerate it well. While some experienced no side effects at all, high doses can lead to drowsiness. Mild body responses include irritability and stomach upset. Customers are encouraged to speak with their doctor before beginning a CBD regimen. Some supplements and prescription medications may interact with the hemp compound.
How much CBD you should take depends on several factors, including the product type, why you’re using the compound, potency, weight, and any previous history with hemp extracts. Most experts recommend users begin with low doses, opting for slightly higher measurements until they find the amount that fits their needs.
Make the changes daily or weekly, preventing you from taking too much and having an adverse reaction. Also, remember edibles and capsules can take over an hour to work. Always follow the instructions on each product. If you take too much, you could experience drowsiness and daytime fatigue.
It’s not uncommon to wonder about the safety of hemp flowers and extracts. However, when you choose a trustworthy brand, you won’t need to worry. The potent plant is a powerful hyper-accumulator. It easily and quickly pulls everything from the soil, good and bad. When hemp is grown in nutrient-rich soil with no pesticides, herbicides, or synthetic fertilizers, it’s safe.
Another area where contamination is possible is during the extraction process. Brands that use the efficient and highly effective ethanol method need to ensure no residual solvents are remaining in the extract.
Top CBD brands, including Therapeutic CBD, verify the quality and purity of their products through third-party testing. After completing an in-house review, each batch is sent to an independent laboratory that checks for pesticides, herbicides, heavy metals, mold, and other contaminants, such as residual solvents from ethanol extraction. The technicians also verify the potency and THC levels. After completing the screening, the lab issues a certificate of analysis or COA.
CBD is a naturally occurring compound that interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system to promote relaxation and a healthy lifestyle. The hemp cannabinoid also has benefits as a topical balm, boosting the skin’s appearance and helping soothe sore muscles and joints. Therapeutic CBD offers plenty of options for consumers looking for an organic way to improve their fitness routine and benefit, from CBD gummies and oils to vape products and topical applications.