You’re not alone in wondering about CBD, and whether you should be taking it to boost your overall wellness, or to treat a specific health issue. Increasing numbers of people are becoming interested in CBD and its healing powers, especially after this simple hemp-derived compound stopped a child’s epileptic seizure on national television. So, what do you need—and want—to know about CBD and its health benefits? Let us tell you.
CBD is shorthand for cannabidiol, one of the most prevalent chemical compounds in the cannabis plant, second only to THC. In hemp, however, CBD dominates the plant’s makeup, which is one reason we use hemp to derive our CBD. That, and CBD found naturally in non-psychoactive hemp is legal in the United States. Once extracted from the hemp plant, CBD is primarily consumed in oils, extracts, and crystals. It can be taken orally through drops, vaporized to smoke, or cooked into edibles. Hemp also provides nutrition that is tough to find elsewhere from just one source, such as essential amino acids and Omega-3 and Omega-6 essential fatty acids.
CBD works by interacting with our naturally occurring systems, including the central nervous system, skin, digestive track, and the reproductive organs, to “unlock” cell receptors that are part of the endocannabinoid system (ECS). You see, the ECS affects just about every aspect of your health and wellbeing, from mood and memory to pain perception and motor control to appetite and sleep. Because CBD has a similar composition to chemicals the human body produces naturally, it can help the ECS with neuroprotection, stress recovery, immune balance, and homeostatic regulation (a fancy way of saying optimum energy balance).
Unlike THC, CBD is completely non-psychoactive, which means you can expect to relax with CBD, but you won’t feel intoxicated. In fact, CBD seems to act as a natural barrier against the “high” (and potential anxiety) associated with THC.
Now to the good stuff—how can CBD help you?
And more! The effects of CBD on the body are thought to be broad and far-reaching. It is suspected to directly and indirectly affect the vanilloid receptors (important for pain modulation), adenosine receptors (important to the sleep-wake cycle), and serotonin receptors (important for mood and stress management).