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CBD: What is it?

We all know the letters, but do you know the facts?

With all the CBD, CBG, THC, and now CBN being advertised on labels nowadays, it’s tough to keep up with what’s what. CBD and THC are probably two of the most well-known chemical compounds coming from hemp and marijuana plants, but there are over 100 known cannabinoids out there! We’re on a mission to inform you further on these compounds so that you know what they are, where they come from, and what impacts they may have on your body. We’re calling this “Know More November” so stay tuned for more lessons on cannabinoids!

Let’s start with one of the most common compounds: CBD.

What Does it Mean and Where Does it Come From?

CBD stands for cannabidiol [ka-nuh-buh-dai-uhl] and it is a chemical compound found in both marijuana and the hemp plant. Most products, such as ones provided by High Peaks, utilize hemp extract specifically for their CBD products.

Marijuana plants have higher amounts of Delta-9-THC or tetrahydrocannabinol [teh-truh-ha-druh-kuh-na-buh-nuhl] than hemp plants, which is more CBD heavy. By law, hemp plants must contain less than .3% Delta-9-THC, while marijuana contains more than .3% Delta-9-THC.

Because CBD is found in hemp and marijuana plants, that makes it a phytocannabinoid. Phytocannabinoids [fight-o cuh-nabba-noids] are cannabinoids that are derived from plants like hemp and marijuana. Endocannabinoids [endo-on cuh-nabba- noids] the other hand, are neurotransmitters that are created by the body. Our bodies produce endocannabinoids to regulate functions such as pain, immunity, stress and memory. Essentially, they are just one of the many molecules our bodies produce that help keep our bodies in balance.

What Does it Do?

CBD has a lot of different uses, as we’re sure you’ve inferred from the various products featuring it as a main ingredient. So let’s talk about how and why it works for so many different things.

Let’s start with the mind! Cannabidiol is a non-psychoactive compound, meaning it does not affect the brain like THC does, or in other words, CBD doesn’t get you ‘high’. Research has linked CBD to decreased anxiety and depression by increasing the serotonin levels in the brain. Studies are also showing that daily CBD doses may provide mental clarity and better focus!

CBD is also being used in many skincare products right now, which makes sense based on what we already know about this chemical. Not only might cannabidiol reduce inflammation and therefore calm redness and any swelling that may come along with acne, it also has Vitamin C, which is what helps the body create collagen. That collagen prevents signs of aging and even helps with scarring. You may attain these healthy skin benefits by both consuming CBD and applying it directly to your skin. That’s why you’re seeing CBD featured in so many new skincare products these days.

And finally, the muscular system. CBD has been linked to anti-inflammation, and just as it may work to calm redness from acne, it may do the same for your muscles after a tough work out. Because we know our bodies create endocannabinoids, we know that we have the receptors for phytocannabinoids, as well. Introducing CBD is giving your body a little boost in the right direction after you’ve broken down some muscles, whether it was during yoga or a lengthy hike.

Yeah, but are there side-effects?

Research is still being conducted on CBD and its side-effects. Right now, it is known that one of CBD’s documented side-effects is restfulness. However, this is a plus for many of us. Researchers are using this sleepy-time inducing side-effect to help those of us struggling with insomnia.

While there are some additional side-effects from CBD that have been reported, compared to what a lot of us tolerate with other anti-depressants, sleep-aids, and anti-anxiety meds, the side-effects have thus far not been daunting.

Final Thoughts on CBD

It’s an exciting time for those of us that are in tune with the research being conducted with hemp and cannabinoid extracts. Researchers are forging forward, refining isolation techniques and cross-breeding plants for optimal CBD content in order to target specific ailments. And they’re doing it all with plants!

Cannabidiol is largely not FDA approved and while lots of research has been done to establish proof of CBD’s medicinal properties, more research is being done every day to get us there. There is one CBD drug that is FDA approved, and it is used to treat two types of epilepsy and preventing seizures caused by epilepsy. This drug is approved for both children and adults.

While the research still needs to be more conclusive, the future is bright for the health potential of CBD and the hemp plant specifically. We encourage you to speak to your doctor and stay up to date on new research, so that you’re aware of new studies, new products, and new potential to reach your peak!