If it looks like we see CBD products everywhere, that is because we are. Because of the passage of the US bill in 2018, which legalized industrial hemp, and therefore the state level of legalized medical cannabis, CBD products have popped in the market and recognition over the last year. 

The only thing expanding faster than CBD appears to be excited over what exactly it is and who it is for. Whether we are already a user or are just CBD curious, this primer will assist us to traverse the misinformation.

What is CBD?

CBD, or cannabidiol, maybe a compound from the cannabinoid family that naturally occurs within the cannabis plant. Scientists have isolated 108 different types of cannabinoids in cannabis. 

Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is perhaps the best-known because of its psychoactive properties — it is the one that gets us “high” — but CBD is quickly gaining ground thanks to its potential therapeutic benefits. 

How does CBD work?

CBD (and THC) works by interacting with our body’s endocannabinoid system, a regulatory system made from present cannabis-like molecules. These endocannabinoids, as they are called, work like neurotransmitters, shuttling messages through the body to assist in maintaining the balance within our body system. Cannabinoids like CBD and THC interact with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) with receptors.

CB1 receptors are chiefly present within the brain — where they are involved cognition, memory, motor skills and pain — but also within the peripheral systema nervosum, liver, thyroid, uterus, and more. THC attaches itself to those receptors, inhibiting the discharge of neurotransmitters and possibly increasing the release of others, altering normal functioning.

Researchers once thought that CBD did an equal thing, but with CB2 receptors — which are abundant within the immune and gastrointestinal systems, also because of the brain and systema nervosum. 

Although the precise way CBD affects our bodies remains unknown, scientists think CBD encourages the body to supply more of its endocannabinoids, which can help reduce anxiety, pain, and inflammation.

What are the health benefits of CBD?

CBD is marketing as a touch of a cure-all, with producers claiming it can do everything from relieving anxiety to preventing the spread of cancer. However, cannabis’s classification as a Schedule 1 drug has severely hampered American scientists’ ability to study both indica and sativa strains of the plant. Moreover, it also limits the research on all of the cannabinoids specifically the CBD, making it hard to verify or refute these claims. The available studies tend to be small or are done on animals or in laboratories. 

That said, CBD is showing promise. Early experiments suggest that it is going to help fight anxiety, ease schizophrenia symptoms and reduce pain (though the latter is usually wiped out conjunction with THC).

The most reliable evidence of CBD’s effectiveness, though, is about epilepsy. Last year, the FDA approved Epidiolex, a medicine wont to treat Lennox-Gastaut and Dravet syndromes, two rare and severe sorts of epilepsy. It had been the agency’s first approval of a cannabis-derived drug.

How is CBD Used?

CBD is out there during a sort of form. A number of the foremost standard CBD delivery methods are listed below, but how it has presently used depends on personal needs and preferences. The types of a dose of CBD affects how fast it works and what sorts of effects on the body.

  • Edibles are a broad range of goods to eat or drink, like gummies or chocolates. Edibles can take anywhere from 30 minutes to four hours to expect the effect. 
  • Oils and tinctures are processed and concentrated sorts of CBD that are often placed under the tongue employing a dropper and absorbed into the bloodstream. 
  • Pills and capsules are ingested orally and appear almost like the vitamins and drugs we would find in a pharmacy. They regularly contain CBD oil or tinctures.
  • Topicals are CBD-infused oils, creams, and lotions that are designed to be used straight on skin, hair, or nails. They seem to be popular thanks to treating localized pain, but also are used as skincare, haircare, and massage oil too. 
  • Vaping includes inhaling a vaporized e-liquid that contains CBD oil. Nicotine is not usually present if CBD is, though it is likely to combine them.

Is CBD legal?

Technically yes, but the solution is not quite so cut and dried. 

The cannabis plant comes in many various varieties. For many years though, the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) treated all of them an equivalent, classifying cannabis as a Schedule I substance. Schedule I drugs are considered to possess “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse” and are thus illegal to supply or maintain. 

Still, the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 changed all that. The bill legalized “hemp,” which the legislation defined as cannabis that contains no quite 0.3% THC at the national level.

Cannabis that contains the highest THC strain is now listed as “marijuana” and remains a Schedule I drug. 

It means that if a CBD product originates from a hemp plant, it is legal; if it comes from a cultivated marijuana seed, it is federally illegal, despite local laws. Moreover, albeit it does come from a hemp plant, there is often no guarantee it will not contain THC because of things like cross-pollination and, therefore, the lack of industry regulation.

Side Notes

The FDA is currently attempting to work out the way to regulate CBD, which now falls under their purview. However, in the meantime, experts recommend buying CBD products from companies located in states like Indiana and Utah that need cannabis products to be tested for potency and purity. 

Natalie Gray is a Biochemical Engineer. She works in the Research and Development team that focuses on the design and construction of unit processes. She is a recreational marijuana supporter and her love for organic chemistry brought her to medical cannabis. She grows her own flowers, working on different projects and study everything above and under cannabis roots. For more awareness and news follow me @ Facebook.

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