What is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a phytocannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. There are over a hundred chemical compounds known as cannabinoids in cannabis, some of which are psychoactive — meaning they produce a “high” — while others are not. CBD and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are the two most prominent and well-studied cannabinoids.
CBD vs THC
CBD and THC are both found in the cannabis plant, which has two classifications: hemp and marijuana. The major difference between marijuana and hemp lies in how much THC content is in the plant. Both types of cannabis contain CBD, but CBD is more abundant in hemp, while THC is more abundant in marijuana. Hemp contains trace amounts of THC, less than 0.3%. In contrast, marijuana contains much higher levels of THC, ranging from 5 to 30%.
CBD and THC interact differently with the body. THC is a powerful psychoactive compound and can induce a “high” or a sense of euphoria. CBD is a non-psychoactive compound and does not induce a high or alter your mental state. It is a non-hallucinogenic chemical compound that is well-tolerated and delivers clear-headed, functional effects. CBD is a great choice for someone needing to medicate throughout the day to control pain, inflammation, anxiety, sleeplessness, and other chronic conditions.
How CBD interacts with the body
The human body also produces its own cannabinoid compounds, called endocannabinoids, which interact with the body through the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS has a network of receptors in the brain, nervous system, and immune system and helps maintain homeostasis, or balance, in our bodies. Additionally, the body’s ECS plays an essential role in regulating a variety of functions including stress, anxiety, pain, inflammation, appetite, immunity, and sleep.
External and internal stressors can disrupt our bodily functions, which activates the ECS to signal receptors to return the body to a state of balance. Many stimuli throughout our daily lives, including stress, anxiety, viruses, diet, and exercise all influence your body’s ECS and throw it out of balance. CBD works in tandem with our body’s natural receptors to help and heal the body. Endocannabinoids and phytocannabinoids bind together and interact with receptors in the brain and body, contributing to therapeutic benefits.
CBD Comparison: Isolate vs. Full Spectrum
Understanding the difference between CBD isolate and full spectrum CBD will help you make a more educated decision on which CBD products will best suit your needs and concerns.
CBD Isolate is a pure, crystalline powder that contains only CBD. This type of CBD is extracted from the hemp plant and removes any traces of THC, terpenes, flavonoids, fatty acids, vitamins, and other natural compounds. One of the drawbacks to CBD isolates that it does not capture the benefits of the whole-plant — which is often more effective than isolated chemicals.
Full Spectrum CBD is extracted from the whole hemp plant and contains CBD, trace amounts of THC, less than 0.3%. The small a percentage THC activates every benefit the cannabis plant has to offer, without the psychoactive properties. This version of CBD is minimally refined so that all the compounds naturally present in the whole plant, including terpenes, flavonoids, oils, and fatty acids, remain intact. The combination of all these naturally occurring compounds generates an “entourage effect,” a synergistic interaction that enhances the therapeutic effects of the plant’s individual components.
The Power of the Entourage Effect
The entourage effect is based on the idea that compounds that occur together in nature interact in useful ways that are greater than each compound in isolation. The interaction, or synergy, between the various cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids present in the whole cannabis plant contributes to the plant’s unique effects and potentially more effective than anyone of those components alone. Essentially, it means that the impact of the whole cannabis plant is greater than the sum of its parts. The collective activity of all of the components within the plant has been shown to provide great benefits by interacting with the human body to produce stronger therapeutic effects.
What are Terpenes?
“Terpenes play a key role in differentiating the effects of various cannabis strains. Some terpenes promote relaxation and stress-relief, while others promote focus and acuity.” — Leafly
Terpenes are the various essential oils present in cannabis plants. These terpenes give the plants their scents, taste, and color. There are 200 terpenes found in the cannabis plant which allows us to create an effective product that is high in concentration in order to provide the desired effect. For example, linalool is known to work as a sedative, myrcene shows promise as an analgesic and muscle relaxant, and limonene displays some anti-anxiety effects.
- Muscle relaxer
- Pain relief
- Promotes sleep
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