Sometimes, it seems like the phrase “CBD” is everywhere these days. You’ve probably seen various studies or advertisements for the product online, on television, or maybe on your favorite websites. You’ve undoubtedly become curious about CBD, how it works, and all about its various health benefits. It’s exploded in popularity over the past few years and CBD sales have skyrocketed in the same amount of time. But what is CBD? How does it affect people? Can it get you high? And what are its various health benefits? We’ll answer all these questions and more with this brief guide to CBD.
What is CBD?
In short, CBD is one of over 100 cannabinoids that happen to be contained inside the cannabis sativa plant. CBD is an abbreviation for cannabidiol. It’s considered a safe, non-addictive substance despite being derived from the marijuana plant. Derived from hemp, CBD is known to have some effects on the brain, mood, and mitigating pain. Serious studies on CBD began in the 1940s and by the 1960s, selective breeding of hemp plants started yielding higher levels of the chemical and more recently, scientists have been studying its effects and uses.
How it Works
The human body has a system of receptors, enzymes, and endocannabinoids called the endocannabinoid system. Essentially, CBD interacts with the receptors and binds to them. Certain enzymes break down the endocannabinoid before it binds with the receptors. The endocannabinoids help regulate and run the body smoothly. CBD stimulates the serotonin levels in your brain, impacting many different emotions. This can have an effect on appetite, mood, memory, focus, and pain.
Types of CBD
There are a few different types of CBD, including full and broad spectrum, as well as CBD isolates. Full-spectrum is a mix of different cannabinoids and can contain other parts of the cannabis plant. It can contain some THC. Broad-spectrum has multiple compounds from the plant, but does not usually contain any THC. Isolates are CBD in its pure form, as it comes from the hemp plants. CBD is typically available from various in-person shops or you can get it from a reputable online CBD store. Oils, tincture, gummies, edibles, creams, lotions, pills, sprays, liquid, ointments, beverages, balms, and many other product types.
The primary reason people use CBD for anything is due to its promising health benefits. It doesn’t get users high. Instead, it can have tremendously positive effects when used correctly (it should go without saying to follow the package instructions). Among the myriad benefits of CBD, are its calming, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anxiety-reducing qualities.
- Reducing chronic pain and inflammation
- Treating seizures
- Treating multiple sclerosis
- Increasing focus
- Helping you relax
- Increasing serotonin levels in the brain (useful for treating stress, anxiety, panic, and depression)
- Arthritis treatment
- Curbing PTSD effects
- Possibly preventing acne via topical use
- Helping you sleep better/treat insomnia
Many CBD studies point to CBD’s usefulness in treating these conditions and with new studies coming along every year, we continue to learn more about how it interacts with the body. Speaking with your doctor about the health effects of CBD is always a good move as well.
How to Get CBD Legally
To acquire CBD legally requires first residing or being in a state where it’s legal. Unfortunately, it is not legal in every U.S state, so you’ll need to ensure it’s legal to purchase and possess it in your state, along with how it can be used (medical, recreational, or both). Check your local state laws to be sure, but for quick reference, these are a few of the main states where it’s legal right now: California, Colorado, Arizona, Alaska, Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine, Illinois, Montana, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, South Dakota, and Washington. In Maine and Vermont, CBD is legal but other forms of marijuana are not. So, you’ll need to do your research thoroughly before making a purchase online. If you’re in a “green” state where recreational and medicinal marijuana is legal, you can probably get some at any of the local regulated dispensaries.