What is CBD?

CBD is an abbreviation of cannabidiol. It is one of the many naturally occurring chemical compounds found in hemp and cannabis plants. It is one of about 113 cannabinoids identified in the plant. The compound is extracted and added into products such as oils, creams, pills, and edibles. CBD is perhaps the most well-known cannabinoid in the media today, along with THC. There has been an increase in the influx of CBD products into the market. These products come in all shapes and sizes, like oils, capsules, tinctures, sprays, etc.

Is CBD Psychoactive?

Unlike its counterpart THC, CBD itself is not psychoactive.  It does not induce a high. In addition, most CBD products such as oils are also derived from industrial hemp and only contain a small amount of THC (below .3%). What Types of CBD are there? In the market, CBD products are differentiated into three categories based on their specific cannabinoid contents. They are:

  • Isolate CBD – this consists of products that contain only CBD. They are commonly found as crystals or crushed as fine powder.
  • Full-spectrum CBD – this type of CBD contains all cannabinoids found in cannabis plants like mild THC, terpenes, and fatty acids that form naturally in cannabis.
  • Broad-spectrum CBD – this is the middle ground between full-spectrum and isolate. It contains almost all other cannabinoids except THC.

The Process of Producing CBD

There are many ways CBD can be extracted from cannabis. One method is oil fusion. The cannabis is heated to activate its compounds in this technique, then olive oil or similar carrier oil is added and heated at 100 C for an hour or two. This produces CBD oil mixed with the carrier oil. Once the oil is extracted, it is combined with 200-proof alcohol and frozen overnight. It will be ready to be run through a filter in the morning, which can remove fats and other such materials. When the oil is of the quality you want, it is heated to the boiling point of alcohol to boil off any alcohol.

Another method involves the use of CO2. In this process, a closed-looped extractor with a piece of solid CO2 within one of its chambers is used. The chamber pressurizes the CO2 forcing it to remain at a liquid state and it absorbs the oils and flavors of the plant. Afterward, the CO2-cannabinoid mixture gets pumped into a third chamber where the CO2 is allowed to return to a gas state, leaving behind the oil and flavors from the plants. Many other compounds, such as butane, ethanol, hexane, and isopropyl alcohol, are also used for CBD oil extraction similarly.

Is CBD Legal?

The shorter answer is yes, but it depends on how it is derived. The question of CBD’s legalization has been a hot political topic for decades. Cannabis has been around and in use for over 2000 years and has proven health benefits, but it is often overshadowed by the culture of narcotic abuse. However, the rise in the amount of scientific research done on the numerous benefits of CBD products and the hope they provide in the aid of curing certain illnesses has challenged its prohibition. The determining factor in legality is the THC level (the molecule that can induce a high). CBD can be derived from hemp or marijuana. The THC levels in hemp are virtually non-existent, whereas, with marijuana, the THC content is more severe. Therefore, a CBD product derived from hemp and adheres to the following regulations is legal:

  • The hemp must contain less than 0.3% THC
  • It must adhere to the shared state-federal regulations
  • A properly licensed cultivator must grow the hemp.

In America, marijuana-derived CBD is only legal in certain states for recreational or medicinal use.

How Does CBD Affect the Body?

CBD works on the endocannabinoid system (ECS) within the human body. This is the system that regulates sleep, appetite, pain, and the immune system. The body produces neurotransmitters called endocannabinoids, which bind to cannabinoids that enter your body after consumption of a CBD product. The CBD impacts the endocannabinoid receptor activity and hence reduces pain and inflammation. This essentially makes CBD an effective pain-killer and allows it to have a variety of other benefits.

What are the Benefits of CBD

While CBD is not an all-solving miracle molecule, it has been used for therapeutic purposes for thousands of years and has been shown in numerous studies to aid naturally in the relief of chronic pain, anxiety, inflammation, and depression.

• Helps with chronic pain

The use of cannabis as a pain reliever has been famous since 2900 B.C. CBD products have been popular in recent years as a treatment for chronic pain. For example, one study published on the ‘National Library of medicine’   found that CBD injections given to rats, reduced pain response to surgical incision, while another rat study found that oral CBD treatment significantly reduced sciatic nerve pain and inflammation.

• Reduces anxiety and depression

A 2011 study published in the ‘Neuropsychopharmacology’ science journal, revealed that a 300-mg dose of CBD was the most effective at significantly reducing anxiety during the test. Another study published in the ‘National Centre for Biotechnology Information’  in 2019, found that out of 11 patients with PTSD, 91% experienced reduced symptoms after taking CBD. These provide significant evidence that CBD can help treat depression, anxiety, and PTSD. CBD also has been shown to act on the brain’s receptors for serotonin. It is a neurotransmitter that regulates mood and social behavior, hence it is a good treatment for anxiety and depression.

Unlike pharmaceutical drugs used to treat these conditions, CBD has shown to have little to no side effects such as insomnia, agitation, or addiction.

• It can alleviate cancer-related symptoms

A 2019 review published on ‘The National Centre for Biotechnology Information’, focusing on pancreatic cancer suggests that cannabinoids may help slow tumor growth, reduce tumor invasion, and induce tumor cell death. Another 2014 study also notes that CBD may have the potential to inhibit the spread of colorectal cancer cells. The use of CBD products can help reduce chemotherapy-induced nausea or vomiting.

What is the Future of CBD

The scientific research surrounding CBD is still at an early stage but is continuously growing. The healthcare industry is beginning to recognize the potential of CBD and tailoring it to use in treatments for many ailments. For example, a study published in the ‘National Library of medicine’ showed that an oral CBD spray, Salvitex, developed to treat pain associated with multiple sclerosis, had caused improvements in pain, walking, and muscle spasms.  In addition, the popularity and adoption of CBD are growing daily. Already 33% of Americans have tried CBD and the industry is projected to grow annually at 21% for the next 7 years. The bottom line is, we can no longer ignore the promising potential CBD provides.

If you are interested in finding out more about CBD products and the industry, feel free to reach out to us with your inquiries. We would be glad to provide you with more information!