Cannabidiol (CBD) has become the substance of the moment in recent years, partly due to the increasing demand for natural products and the promising results of research related to the cannabinoid system (which we will see later in this same article).
But is it a fad, one more product that has reached the market? Or are the benefits supposedly offered by this substance from cannabis plants actual? This CBD Guide explains everything you need to know about this famous cannabinoid in an entertaining and summarised way, from its origin to the benefits it can bring to your daily life.
Let us begin!
What is CBD?
Surely you have heard of Cannabis sativa more than once. Evidence has been found that it was already cultivated in China over 8,000 years ago! This species of plant has been with us since the beginning of time since it has provided us with many products of all kinds.
Clothes, ropes, sails and maritime accessories, paper, fuel, oils, cosmetic products, medicinal applications, furniture, clothing accessories, bags, mats, and fodder could go on for several pages.
In other words, Cannabis sativa is a source of wealth for man. Recreational use of some varieties is a tiny fraction of the versatility of this beneficial vegetable.
- Cannabinoids: Cannabis sativa has 113 cannabinoids, which are substances that can activate the cannabinoid receptors present in the human body. These receptors are found in practically all systems (nervous, digestive, respiratory). The endocannabinoid system comprises the group of endogenous cannabinoid receptors present in the brain and the central and peripheral nervous systems.
CBD is one of 113 cannabinoids, and it interacts with the cannabinoid system in a variety of ways that are still being studied. THC’s other most famous cannabinoid also causes various effects, including the famous “high” or “high”.
Hemp refers to the varieties of Cannabis sativa that contain very little THC (so it does not cause any psychotropic effect). Its cultivation is legal in most countries, and it is used in textile, food, industrial, health, etc. Because it contains CBD and other cannabinoids, it is often the most common source of CBD products sold on the market.
Colloquially, marijuana refers to those varieties of Cannabis sativa with a THC content sufficient to cause a psychotropic effect. It has been used for religious, recreational or medicinal uses for centuries.
The cultivation of these varieties of Cannabis sativa, and the sale of their buds, are prohibited in many countries.
In other words, CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid present in Cannabis sativa in different concentrations depending on the variety.
How is CBD obtained?
Cannabidiol is extracted from cannabis using various methods, some more effective than others. It is usually obtained from industrial hemp, with minimal THC. Anyway, the THC level will be less than 0.2% at the end of the process.
One of the most used methods and one that offers the best results is CO2 extraction, although ethanol is also used in low-temperature industrial production.
Unless a purification process is carried out, CBD can contain varied terpenes and cannabinoids, which favours the so-called “entourage effect”, which is nothing more than the combined action of the entire spectrum of cannabinoids. Scientists continue to study how the different compounds in cannabis work together, but this entourage effect is partly responsible for some of the benefits seen in numerous clinical cases.
What does the WHO say?
Doubts about the safety of CBD arise immediately, as most consumers associate cannabis with recreational marijuana, a substance that has been banned and reviled for decades.
It must be made clear that CBD does not cause any psychoactive effect, so it is impossible for those who consume it to experience alterations of consciousness, such as the famous “high”.
Moreover, the WHO has already ruled on the matter and states that CBD consumption does not cause addiction.
As for the benefits and side effects, the World Health Organization acknowledges that we are still at an early research stage. Some studies associate CBD with positive effects on certain conditions, but we face uncharted territory.
The recommended doses are so low that there is no clear documentation of possible side effects and very little evidence. However, many user opinions value the experience about the benefits very positively. It is very common to see cases that began “to try” and were so satisfied that they routinely continued the intake.
As the studies progress, the fear and the irrational taboo surrounding this substance are being lost, especially if we consider that cannabinoids have gone from being unknown to vital importance in their action in the human body.
The WHO is increasingly open to considering favourable reports without being clouded by political or social considerations that have little to do with health.
The endocannabinoid system
Before commenting on how CBD products are presented, their dosage, and useful information for the consumer, it is good that you know exactly what the action of cannabidiol is based on.
Everyone knows about the nervous, endocrine, and respiratory systems, but very few know about the existence of the endocannabinoid system.
It is normal; it is a relatively recent discovery. The first cannabinoid was discovered at the end of the 19th century. But it would not be until the 90s that the CB1 and CB2 receptors began to be investigated. In 1995, the endocannabinoid system was becoming increasingly clear in the eyes of research scientists seeking to unravel the mystery of cannabinoids.
The discovery was of colossal magnitude. The cannabinoid system regulates vital functions essential for life and ensures that the system remains in balance.
It can influence the body’s self-healing mechanisms (sometimes related to the placebo effect), control appetite, blood pressure, mood and state of mind, and many other aspects. Every year more functions of this incredible unknown system are known.
However, this fantastic discovery went unnoticed by the general public. The association of recreational marijuana with criminal activities and health damage has had a lot to do with it.
A negative stigma
Cannabis has been used as a medicinal herb in many ancient cultures, from China to Ancient Egypt, through classical Greece, Vikings, Arabs, and pre-Columbian peoples. Virtually all cultures have had some use for this generous plant.
However, in the early 20th century, various political considerations began to overshadow the traditional medicinal use of cannabis. In addition, recreational use became popular and was associated with other narcotics, thus being prohibited and stigmatized in most countries.
Today, 100 years later, many pro-cannabis activists are fighting for the disappearance of this negative vision that today tarnishes the popular imagination. Although recreational use generates controversy, consumption to promote well-being and the relief of conditions should not. Something that scientific studies and testimonies demonstrate day by day.
Health is balance
As we have already seen, the endocannabinoid system plays a fundamental role in various regulatory mechanisms, including body homeostasis. Imbalances in the physical body and the mind often lead to problems of all kinds, including illness.
And if the endocannabinoid system is in charge of regulating the balance, could we help it somehow?
Indeed, that is “the trick” of CBD. But keep in mind that we are still in our infancy in understanding all the beneficial effects (or not) that this substance brings. But the signs are very promising and, certainly, many people have been enjoying its advantages for years and say so openly.
What can be said today is that cannabidiol exerts a positive influence on a person’s well-being. But this influence varies according to the individual, their state of health, dosage, etc.
Now that you have a better understanding of the so-called “miracle component”, perhaps you have decided to take the plunge and give it a try. You will not be the first or the first to do it, so don’t worry.
First of all, something important needs to be clarified: most companies that manufacture CBD products offer different concentrations or quantities of the substance, all considered safe. So much so that you do not need a prescription to take it.
Currently, CBD products can be found in numerous presentations:
- CBD oil: It is one of the most widespread formats due to its ease of use and level of absorption. A few drops are usually taken under the tongue and are ingested after a minute. Currently, CBD products can be found in numerous presentations:
- CBD creams: They can be used on the face or anywhere on the body. Many athletes have been using them for years after long and intense training sessions. But it is always highly recommended to consult with your doctor first.
- CBD capsules: offer greater absorption than CBD oil since a capsule protects the compound that better resists stomach acids and is easier to take anywhere.
- Vaping liquids: can be used with regular sales vapes or vaporisers. The great advantage is the ease of use and increased bioavailability. It is the optimal way to take CBD to take advantage of the substance.
Dosage and treatments
We must always remember that we face a new dawn, and there is a long way to go. The role of cannabinoids is much more important and immense than it seemed at first. The scientific reason why this plant was commonly used in traditional medicine centuries ago is being discovered.
Therefore, there is no specific dosage based on the desired result. Rather, the dosage should be adapted to the effects and personal experience.
The method is quite simple: start with the lowest dosage and go up depending on the result and response of the organism. The doses are usually between 5% – 500 mg of CBD up to 20% – 2000 mg.
Since no significant side effects have been described, the dose adjustment system does not pose any more inconvenience than the time required for it.
Here ends this CBD Guide for consumers. We wanted to give an overview of CBD so that you can make an informed decision. Undoubtedly, cannabidiol has brought about a revolution due to the discoveries of the last decade, and the benefits it brings are on the table. It is advisable to choose a brand that offers quality and safety guarantees to enjoy results that are as expected. And remember to share your experience with CBD!