Whether the acronym initially made its way onto your radar through the internet, a celebrity endorsement, word of mouth, being listed as an add-on ingredient at your local juice bar or through a recommendation from your trusted wellness guru, CBD is increasingly piquing the interest of consumers across the globe, especially those who tend to gravitate toward plant-based products.
As a casual Google search will swiftly reveal, CBD is a shortened term for cannabidiol, which is a compound derived from the cannabis plant. As research has shown, there are reportedly over 100 different cannabinoids that can be isolated from the plant. Of those, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabinol (CBN) have become the most-studied cannabinoids.
If there are over 100 different cannabinoid compounds in the plant, why is it that CBD gets so much shine? Well, for starters, CBD accounts for 40% of the plant’s extract. This allows researchers to have plenty of accessible, distinctive material to study on a molecular level, as well as gives manufacturers the ability to extract CBD specifically in order to ensure a high-quality product is available to consumers looking to incorporate it into their daily routines. Once CBD is extracted from the plant, it can then be used through different methods, such as taken sublingually, either as an oil or in a capsule, used topically or through vaping.
Additionally—and this accounts for so much of CBD’s rising popularity and glowing reputation— research has found that when CBD enters the body, it can yield a variety of healing benefits, such as alleviating pain, reducing inflammation and helping combat anxiety, to name a few. On top of that, it helps treat an array of ailments all without garnering the same kind of psychoactive effects as THC, such as altering perception, mood, cognition, behavior or consciousness. Because of this, CBD is a major draw to those looking to experience its medical benefits without any unwanted intoxicating effects.
However (and this is where things can become confusing), one of the biggest misconceptions about CBD is that it is merely “THC without the high.” It is easy to assume that their only difference lies in which one brings about mind-altering results and which one doesn’t, but the fact of the matter is that both compounds interact very differently with the body and even with one another. There are multiple misconceptions about CBD floating around out there, many of which stem from the legality of the plant from which it is specifically derived. While the current legislative landscape dictates where CBD can be legally purchased and which kind, there are also laws that allow CBD to be extracted, manufactured, sold and consumed as long as it meets certain specifications. To keep it simple, it is helpful to remember that there are different types of cannabis plants and each has a different ratio of THC and CBD compounds. This can vary from distinctive strains to individual plants. Ultimately, it is key to take a closer look at the CBD extract’s original source, and keep in mind that CBD can be derived from both hemp and marijuana.
To keep it simple, it is helpful to remember that there are different types of cannabis plants and each has a different ratio of THC and CBD compounds.
Education about CBD has become increasingly important as it rises to prominence, especially considering the complexities of the plant species it is derived from, as well as the accompanying stigmas that surround it. The more time we take to learn about what CBD is and how it works, the better equipped we will become in determining how to best utilize and understand its benefits to our daily lives.