Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, has exploded with popularity in recent years. The benefits of CBD oil have not gone unnoticed. You may have heard that CBD is a “miracle” drug with minimal to no side effects. While the part about minimal side effects might be right, CBD is not a cure-all.
The benefits of CBD are wide-ranging, and has indicated to help with conditions ranging from pain to headaches, possibly! With all the hype surrounding CBD comes disinformation and substandard products, and you may find yourself asking: What is CBD?
Our CBD oil guide will answer that question plus give you some tips on how to find high-quality products as well as how to avoid substandard ones.
By the end of this guide, you will have a better understanding of whether you or a friend/family member could benefit from CBD’s therapeutic properties.
Getting to know cannabidiol (CBD)
CBD oil guide terminology
As I am sure you have noticed, there are many acronyms and terms related to CBD. We must understand them and their differences.
Here are the most common words you will come across in our CBD oil guide.
CBD- Cannabidiol, CBD is defined as a phytocannabinoid derived from the Cannabis plant. It does not have any psychoactive properties but does display analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antineoplastic, and chemopreventive activities upon consumption.
THC- Tetrahydrocannabinol, THC is the chemical derived from the resin of dried cannabis flowers. It is a psychoactive compound and will produce an intoxicating effect upon consumption, whereas CBD will not.
Cannabinoid- is a chemical compound that acts on the endocannabinoid system, which functions to regulate neurotransmitter activity within various parts of the brain. THC and CBD are both cannabinoids and produce unique neurochemical effects when they bind with cannabinoid receptors.
Cannabinoid receptor- is a protein within the neurochemical network of the brain that binds cannabinoids, producing their varying effects. There are two types of cannabinoid receptors: CB1 and CB2. It’s important to know where the location of the receptors. As a result, you will know how they generally function. CB1 receptors are found in the central nervous system, while CB2 receptors are located in the immune system.
Endocannabinoids- cannabinoids that occur naturally within our bodies that can bind with cannabinoid receptors.
Phytocannabinoid– a cannabinoid that comes from the Cannabis plant, THC, and CBD are both phytocannabinoids.
The Endocannabinoid system– is the network of cannabinoid receptors within our bodies. It interacts with our internal cannabinoids (endocannabinoids) or external cannabinoids (phytocannabinoid). It is responsible for regulating a variety of physiological and cognitive processes within the human body.
What is CBD oil?
Found within the resin of hemp flowers are over 85 active compounds. Cannabidiol is one of them, and it’s been making waves ever since it’s discovery. An extraordinary amount of applications for CBD are developing as we speak. Not only has CBD shown promise in healthcare, but it also displays this in the sphere of human wellness. CBD’s massive antioxidative properties and phytonutrient profile give it enormous potential as a daily wellness booster.
If you go to your local health food store, you will find many forms of CBD. Some products have packaging with a label printed in plain letters: “Does not contain THC” or something of that nature. The lack of education causes people to miss out on CBD’s benefits. The great thing is that you get all the benefits of CBD WITHOUT getting “high.”
I hear so many people talking about CBD with hesitation. They say things like: “Well, doesn’t it get you high?”. It does not get you high; in fact, it has the complete opposite effect. A lot of misconception surrounds marijuana in general. For example, many people don’t know that there are three different species of the cannabis plant: Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis.
Cannabis sativa vs. cannabis indica vs. cannabis ruderalis
All three species of the cannabis plant contain cannabidiol, and it can be extracted through various methods. The difference between these three species comes down to their ratios of THC and CBD concerning their given varieties. A variety is a strain of a plant within a species. Different types of cannabis plants have different rates of cannabinoids. This part of our CBD oil guide will teach you the differences between the three strains of Cannabis.
Higher amounts of CBD are present within Cannabis sativa. However, unlike hemp, it still contains THC, which produces a potent intoxicating effect. With that said, certain varieties contain deficient amounts of THC and would also be considered hemp.
Cannabis indica has a higher amount of THC compared to CBD and, as such, a potent intoxicating effect. Like Cannabis sativa, this strain comes in varieties that have shallow THC content. And lastly, the one we have all been waiting
Cannabis ruderalis contains almost no THC and a very high amount of CBD compared to the other strains. This strain of Cannabis is the closest one to the strain found by humans thousands of years ago. It remains mostly undomesticated; however, it is becoming more popular due to the smaller size and amazing CBD content.
Hemp vs. marijuana
At this point in our CBD oil guide, you should have a better understanding of where CBD comes from and some of the essential ways it acts on our bodies. At Healspire, we strive to educate our customers about CBD, and it’s healing properties. Part of that understands that there are drastic differences between hemp and marijuana.
There have been many testimonials surrounding CBD’s ability to manage a multitude of conditions. Extensive research has shown massive potential for CBD. Due to a lack of understanding, people all over the country are missing out on the benefits of CBD.
Under the federal law of the United States, marijuana classifies as a schedule 1 narcotic. If you remember from the previous section of this blog, there are three species of the cannabis plant. Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica fall under the schedule 1 definition if they contain more than 0.3 % THC. In contrast, Cannabis ruderalis would be classified as hemp under the newly passed Hemp Farming act of 2018 since it contains less than 0.3% THC and high amounts of CBD. Please note that Cannabis sativa and indica can be classified as hemp if they contain less than 0.3% THC.
The difference between hemp and Marijuana is simply the presence or lack of psychoactive compounds. Hemp does not contain THC, the psychoactive component found within Marijuana.
All the products at Healspire are made from low THC varieties of Cannabis. This means that CBD is all that we can extract from the plant. Thankfully you won’t have to worry about failing a drug test with our products. We can guarantee there will be NO THC present.
Health benefits of CBD oil
A closer look at cannabinoids
Earlier in our CBD oil guide, we defined cannabidiol as a phytocannabinoid that can be extracted from the hemp(low THC Cannabis). So now begs the question:
How does it work?
Well, to start, let’s think back to our terms list. The endocannabinoid system is the network of cannabinoid receptors within our bodies. You can think of this as the postal service. In other words, when you send mail to a friend, you are sending a specific message to a particular location through a mail carrier.
When a cannabinoid binds to a cannabinoid receptor, neurotransmitters are released and function to carry the “message” to the target cell. It is the same concept as the mail carrier putting a letter of instructions in your mailbox; the mail is the cannabinoid, and the mailbox is the receptor.
A perfect example of this is when you are feeling hungry. The hunger you experience is a result of chemical signaling within your body, responding to low blood sugar. As a result, you would need to have to eat something, or your body would break down stored sugar to increase your blood sugar. That empty stomach feeling you feel is a result of your body talking to itself through chemical signals in response to a condition that varies from average.
The endocannabinoid system is a way for our bodies to maintain balance and homeostasis. Similarly, when our body sends a signal from one organ system to another, the endocannabinoid system is there to make sure the message is received and carried out.
What does the endocannabinoid system (ECS) do?
To clarify, the two types of receptors are CB1 and CB2. The central nervous system contains CB1 receptors, while the immune system contains CB2 receptors. These receptors bind cannabinoids and send signals to their various targets.
There isn’t a place in your body that doesn’t have a component of the ECS. Memory, metabolism, and cellular communication can be affected by the endocannabinoid system. Its role is to monitor and optimize these systems through a network of neurochemical signaling.
CBD supports the function of the ECS by optimizing the responses our body uses to maintain itself. In other words, when you ingest CBD, you are helping to enhance your overall performance by making your body better at keeping itself.
Potential benefits of CBD oil
Now to the nuts and bolts of our CBD oil guide. The benefits of CBD oil are wide-ranging since the endocannabinoid system can be found throughout the body. As a result, many conditions could be ease by using CBD.
Below are some of the many ways that CBD may be able to help you.
CBD as a potential pain reliever
According to a study conducted in 2009, CBD could have great potential as a pain reliever. This study found that cannabidiol was able to reduce inflammation in the body through multiple mechanisms. One of those mechanisms was through stopping the reuptake of adenosine, a nucleotide that reduces inflammation.
CBD as a potential relief for substance abuse
According to a study conducted among tobacco users, CBD was able to reduce nicotine cravings by 40 % among the group taking CBD daily. The exact mechanism for this is still being studied; however, it was observed that people who were taking more CBD had fewer cravings.
Researchers believe it had something to do with the weighty density of cannabinoid receptors within the pleasure and addiction areas of the brain, and that taking more CBD helped regulate those areas more effectively.
CBD as a potential neuroprotectant
Several studies have indicated that CBD can act as a neuroprotectant. This means that CBD can protect the brain from damage resulting from trauma.
CBD as a possible mood booster
Have you been feeling down at all lately? If so, you might want to give CBD a try. Several studies have shown that CBD could potentially provide relief for anxiety, as well as act as a general mood enhancer.
Whether you are feeling down or not, CBD may be able to boost your mood. It is because of the effect CBD has on our endocannabinoid system. It prevents enzymes from breaking down anandamide, an anti-depressant, and cannabinoid our bodies produce naturally.
Preventing the breakdown of anandamide produces a general feeling of wellness much like a morning run or meditation session would.
CBD as a potential sleep aid
Do you ever find yourself tossing and turning at night, wondering if you will ever get to sleep? Many people (myself included) have this problem from time to time. Most of us either end up losing sleep or taking medications with hefty side effect lists that leave you tired in the morning.
If you are having this issue and don’t want to take sleep medications, you are not alone, and CBD may be able to help. A study using mice showed that CBD could be a potential sleep aid since it was able to increase the amount of slow-wave and REM sleep the mice got. More slow-wave and REM sleeps means more restful sleep.
CBD as a potential skincare product
CBD has the potential to leave you blemish free! And there is research to back it up.
A study conducted in 2014 showed that CBD was able to significantly reduce sebum production, a substance that increases acne breakouts. It can reduce the amount of sebum through its anti-inflammatory properties upon application to the skin.
This potentially allows for you to have clear, smooth skin without the side effects like dry skin and irritation.
Forms of CBD
Cannabidiol (CBD) can be found in a variety of forms. You can find many of these products in local and online health food stores. The list below briefly describes all the various ways you can find on the market. Hopefully, this part of our CBD oil guide will help you choose what benefits of CBD best suit your unique style.
CBD oil is the most diverse form, it can be applied topically or ingested. As a result, it is often infused into other products like edibles or cosmetics. This allows you to add a creative flair to the benefits of CBD.
For example, you can add CBD oil to your coffee to add an antioxidizing boost to your morning routine!
Cannabidiol in capsule form is the fastest, most convenient way you can ingest CBD. If you have never tried CBD, or are still not used to the earthy flavor, capsules would be perfect for you.
CBD capsules allow you to optimize your health without the hassles of preparing an infusion or tolerating an unpleasant taste.
We have all seen people using vaporizers for nicotine, but who knew you could vape something that is non-addictive and has wellness boosting properties! CBD e-liquid cartridges have become all the rage due to the popularity of vaping in general. While this method is trendy and allows for rapid delivery, it may be less effective compared to some of the other forms.
Many people stray away from this since some are reluctant to inhale vaporized liquid. Keep an eye for additives such as propylene glycol when selecting CBD or other e-liquid products to ensure you get the safest product.
For those of us with a sweet tooth (me), CBD edibles are the way to go. They typically come as pre-packaged baked goods or gummies. These delicious treats are infused with CBD oil, giving you a carefully crafted, antioxidizing yum bomb that will explode your taste buds and boost your health.
Tinctures combine CBD oil and other extracts. They are typically dosed using a dropper. Other extracts are added to increase antioxidant and nutrient profiles as well as improve the flavor. Tinctures maximize the benefits of CBD since it can contain a higher concentration of CBD.
If you are a fan of oil-based products, but can’t stand the earthy flavor, a mint tincture may be right for you.
If you find yourself in need of an all-natural, additive-free cosmetic product, you may want to consider using a CBD infused brand. CBD can be found in shampoos, conditioners, lotions, and much more. It has shown to be a great moisturizer, and some people have even touted it as an anti-aging miracle.
Perhaps you have a rash or other skin condition that irritates, a CBD topical could be the perfect option for you. It’s naturally occurring anti-inflammatory properties can help soothe a nagging itch or a painful rash.
CBD oil dosage
As with any medication or supplement, you need to know how much to take. This section of our CBD oil guide is going to give you some tips on how to find the correct dose of CBD to achieve your health and wellness goals.
Currently, there is no Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for CBD. Hopefully, CBD will have established dietary guidelines in the not so distant future. Until then, we are going to need to rely on the old but reliable principle of trial and error.
Since there isn’t an RDA for it, health experts recommend that you follow the manufacturer’s recommended dosage. Consequently, that makes it more challenging to know how the dose will affect you. That dose may or may not work for you since everyone processes CBD differently. This is where trial and error comes into play. As a result of the compounding effects of CBD, you will need to track your dosing.
Keep track of your CBD oil dose
A general rule of thumb is to take a specific dose for a week or two, take note of how it is affecting your body and your goals. Before you take CBD, consider what you want to enhance your health and your life. Think about which benefits of CBD you want to see. This will better help you determine what dose of CBD allows you to achieve your desired effect.
For oils, tinctures, and capsules, you will have more accurate dosing information since the manufacturer should list the dose per volume on the packaging.
Our CBD oil guide is committed to leading you to the highest quality, Farm bill compliant, hemp products. Finally, here are a few things to watch out for when choosing high-quality CBD products.
Things to keep an eye out for
Do NOT buy any CBD products from stores that don’t have lab results. If you don’t see something about the product being lab tested or GMP (good manufacturing practice) certified, you are likely getting scammed. Around 70% of the CBD products out there have not been lab-tested and are mislabeled. Rest assured, a third-party lab analyzes all Healspire products. If a product does not meet our specific guidelines, the product does not get sold.
Another thing to watch out for is CBD products sold from China. Chinese CBD products are not lab tested and likely contained harmful additives. This includes buying CBD from sites like Amazon, eBay, AliExpress, and 1688. Nothing beats American made CBD products.
The bottom line is that you should never buy CBD products without lab results or that come from China. If you do, you are going to get a low-quality product, or worse, one that could make you ill. We hope that you take this CBD oil guide to heart and take the time to research where your product is coming from.
Where CBD oil is going
As more research is conducted, and as medical science advances, humanity is going to be able to treat more and more diseases. We are just now discovering how the endocannabinoid system works, undoubtedly more research into it will uncover healing properties.
Testimonials from across the nation speak to how CBD is changing peoples’ lives for the better. Hopefully, soon, CBD will not only be in health food stores but also in pharmacy stock rooms as a safe and non-toxic prescription option.