Cannabidiol or CBD is a term you may have heard, being a popular compound that enjoys frequent discussion in wellness circles.
If you pay attention to the news, print media, the internet, and social media sites, you may have seen CBD products being advertised across different platforms.
While scientists are continuing to explore the uses of this plant extract and conduct further research on its alleged benefits, several people are already using CBD oil and other CBD products for recreation and wellness.
With so many uses and touted benefits, it’s no surprise that so many people want to know exactly what cannabidiol is.
Here is what you need to know about CBD and how you can enjoy it.
Where Does Cannabidiol Come From?
Odds are you’ve heard the words marijuana, hemp and cannabis at some point.
Many people make the mistake of considering all these terms interchangeable. In actuality, hemp and marijuana are both distinct strains of the cannabis plant.
It’s from the hemp plant that most UK manufacturers draw cannabidiol. Although CBD is present in all strains of the cannabis plant, hemp provides it in the largest quantities with a lower concentration of unwanted cannabinoids, such as THC.
Unlike THC, cannabidiol is non-psychoactive. This means it cannot get someone high. THC has a much higher concentration in marijuana than in hemp.
Though cannabidiol is a vital component in medicinal marijuana, marijuana is not necessary to extracting CBD.
Cannabidiol can be extracted from hemp in various different ways. Each method is designed around the same principle: identifying and separating different types of cannabinoids, with CBD being the most important.
Once extracted, the CBD compound will go through several distillation and filtration processes to ensure that the final product is of sufficient quality.
The Difference Between CBD & Marijuana
The cannabis plant consists of over 100 cannabinoids, including THC and CBD.
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the primary cannabinoid in marijuana, and it is highly psychoactive.
Marijuana is illegal to possess, grow, and distribute in the UK because of its intoxicating effects.
CBD on the other hand contains zero-to-trace concentrations of THC.
Any CBD product that is legal in the UK will contain trace levels of THC, too small a concentration to have a noticeable psychoactive effect.
This makes CBD products very different from marijuana.
When you use CBD products, you do not have to worry about getting high or failing a conventional drug test.
THC and CBD have a similar chemical formula.
That is 30 hydrogen atoms, two oxygen atoms, and 21 carbon atoms. What makes them different is the way the atoms are arranged.
Both of them work with receptors found throughout the body called endocannabinoid receptors. These serve a multitude of roles, but mainly help with maintaining internal conditions and homeostasis.
The key difference is that THC’s interaction results in a psychoactive effect, whereas CBD does not.
Hemp contains a higher percentage of CBD when compared to marijuana. From the hemp plant, you can also extract hemp seed oil.
Hemp seed oil contains little-to-no CBD or THC. It does contain plenty of healthy fats and amino acids, so it is mostly used in beauty products for its moisturising effects
How Cannabidiol Works
As stated the human body contains an endocannabinoid system, which is responsible for helping the body maintain its internal functions.
This system is made up of endocannabinoids, enzymes, and receptors.
These work together to regulate how other systems and functions of the body behave such as the skin, stomach, eyes, heart, and brain.
It is also believed to help regulate a person’s emotional state to a lesser extent.
You can take CBD orally through edibles such as gummies, cookies, chocolates, cakes, tablets, and capsules, or apply it topically as a cream or ointment.
Other ways of taking CBD are through vaping and sublingually (placed under the tongue) as a tincture.
Each of these dosing methods carry a slightly different effect as their CBD is processed by the body in different ways.
For example CBD that is vaped or taken sublingually will quickly enter the bloodstream through capillaries in the mouth, whereas CBD applied topically will only interact with those endocannabinoid receptors close to the skin.
CBD that is ingested has to first pass through the digestive system before taking effect, giving it a more gradual impact.
The way you take CBD will determine how fast it is absorbed in your system, how much is absorbed, and its ultimate effects on you.
Though taking CBD sublingually is one of the fastest and most effective methods, it’s taste and impact means that it will not be suitable for everyone.
Whether you chose to use CBD edibles, tinctures, E-liquids or apply it topically, you should ensure that you take the proper dose and buy only high-quality CBD products from reputable suppliers.
Is It Safe?
Cannabidiol is generally considered safe as no significant side effects have been confirmed.
Some of the common side effects of CBD use include a slight reddening of the eyes or an increase in hunger, whilst excessive use can result in nausea and fatigue.
These side effects are more prevalent in first time users and tend to fade with time.
If you are using CBD products, you should ensure that you take the right dosage.
This will ensure that you gain more from its reported benefits and keep the side effects as minimal as possible.
CBD is sold off the counter as a supplement and not as a medication. Therefore, there is no defined universal dose.
Your body’s reaction to CBD will be unique, depending on everything from the kind of CBD you use to your height, weight and metabolism.
This makes finding the correct dosage a little difficult.
Many CBD users will go through a period of experimentation before settling on the right amount of them.
For these moments we can only suggest that you start small, slowly working your way up, and that you do not exceed the FSA recommended limit of 70mg of CBD in a single day.
To ensure that the product you buy is safe, order from a trusted supplier or make your purchases from a reputable health shop.
It is crucial to know where you are getting your product to ensure you only consume high-quality CBD, giving you the best experience possible.
Although many people enjoy CBD without issue, there are certain conditions under which an individual should not use any CBD product whatsoever.
These conditions include:
- Being under the age of 18
No reputable CBD retailer would ever sell a product to a minor.
If you are currently taking any prescription medication, we urge you to consult with a medical professional before dosing CBD.
Cannabidiol has enjoyed fantastic popularity in recent years, catching the interest of people the world over.
As much as there is a wealth of information around CBD freely available online, there is unfortunately also a large amount of misinformation.
This has resulted in a certain confusion around CBD and the reason that people use it, with people misunderstanding the purpose of CBD or making purchases only to be disappointed.
There is still a lot more to be discovered about cannabidiol, its potential uses, and the benefits it may offer.
If you want to use CBD, you should know as much as possible about the compound itself and what exactly you want to gain from your experience.
You should also know how to determine the right dose before taking it, aiming to find that perfect level that satisfies you.
Hopefully this article has shed some light on cannabidiol, dispelled some myths and answered your questions on just why CBD is so popular.