Hey y’all! One thing I love about living a natural lifestyle is that you’re never fully reached the end of the “crunchy” spectrum. There is always something new to learn about and I’m constantly learning about new things to add to my natural lifestyle. For example, recently I’ve been learning about homeopothy and CBD products! More on homeopothy later! But when I first started researching CBD I quickly became overwhelmed with all the information out there. There is SO MUCH and it was honestly really confusing and overwhelming, so I gave up trying to learn about it for awhile. Then I got an email from some readers who were interested in writing about this topic on my blog, and while I don’t normally do guest posts of this type, I was very interested to learn about this myself, so I thought what the heck, lets do it! So the following will be a beginner’s guide to CBD written by Tara DeVincenzo! Tara is a Brooklyn-based freelance writer focused on validating CBD. She covers the latest research, products, and developments of America’s blossoming hemp industry. I found this beginners guide very helpful since I literally knew nothing about CBD! If you’re like me and are just starting to learn and dip your toes in this stuff, this article will be really informative! If you already use CBD let me know how you use it and what you use it for in the comments!
Every so often, a new ingredient comes about that sends the health and wellness community into a frenzy. Since cannabis has begun rising in popularity–and legality–more conversations have been surrounding the sneaky part of the plant that doesn’t cause any high. That part of the plant is cannabidiol, CBD for short.
CBD seems to be everywhere, from beauty products to food and drinks. It’s touted as a miracle worker for all types of discomfort, but a lot of people don’t really know what they’re getting into when they pick it up. We’re here to strip it down to give you the bare facts and figures you need to know about CBD.
What is CBD?
First and foremost, CBD is not the same as marijuana. Though marijuana is also part of the cannabis family, most CBD is made from its relative–hemp. Hemp is a cannabis plant that is packed with CBD and only contains trace amounts–up to 0.3%–of the THC responsible for the marijuana high. It’s for this reason that most CBD products are made specifically with hemp as opposed to other types of cannabis plants like marijuana.
CBD (cannabidiol) is one of the many active chemical components of the cannabis plant. All plants have active chemicals that give them their distinct smells, tastes, and nutritional value, and cannabis is chock-full of chemicals that our bodies are open to receiving.
In fact, cannabis has been in use for millennia. Some of the earliest known references to cannabis in a medicinal setting can be traced back to 2900 BC China. Since then, there have been records indicating its spread throughout the Middle East and, of course, eventually to the West.
Throughout history, the whole plant was used as part of herbal healing practices. Now that we understand more about the plant on a molecular level, it comes to light that CBD is one of the main sources of this healing power.
What is CBD good for?
In Ancient China, cannabis was a commonly used medicine. Ancient Greeks and Egyptians used it for glaucoma, earache, inflammation, and enemas. In India, it was used as an anesthetic. It makes appearances in religious texts and Ancient Rome. So how, exactly, does it work?
Modern science has allowed us to isolate the active chemicals of cannabis and see how they react in the body. One of the most remarkable elements of this discovery is not only what the cannabis plant contains, but that the human body is equipped to receive these exact components and may even make them on its own.
This necessary network, known as the endocannabinoid system (ECS), has receptors throughout the human body. These receptors are made to receive messages from cannabinoids like CBD and can help to regulate pain caused by chronic illness.
Pain, in this sense, isn’t just considered physical. Pain can also be mentally and emotionally manifested through anxiety and depression. While most other modern methods of dealing with or treating pain involve levels of toxicity, it seems cannabinoids like CBD may offer a natural approach.
How it CBD made?
Getting the CBD from the plant is no easy feat, but, again, is possible thanks to modern science.
There are a few different options of extraction, but one of the most commonly used throughout the industry is CO2. The CO2 extraction method involves heavy machinery that exposes hemp leaves to immense pressure and supercritical cold that turns CO2 into a liquid solvent. This solvent is able to extract the CBD from the hemp leaves. Once the extraction is complete, the temperature rises to allow CO2 to evaporate leaving behind only CBD extract.
The evaporation of CO2 doesn’t leave behind any harmful chemicals or contaminants, which is why this method is preferred amongst most CBD manufacturers.
Is CBD legal?
Most CBD, unless otherwise stated, is made from hemp. The federal government recently removed hemp from their list of controlled substances and approved industrial hemp when it passed the 2018 Farm Bill. Growing hemp and using it for retail products is now legal at the federal level, allowing states to create their own laws to govern it.
At this time, the FDA has not approved CBD as a supplement or food additive.
How to Use CBD
Though it isn’t FDA approved, you can still start implementing CBD into your wellness routine. It’s versatile enough that you can make it as little or as big a part of your day (or night) as you want!
Since CBD is believed to be helpful for inflammation, people who suffer from skin conditions (like psoriasis or eczema) or joint or muscle pain (like arthritis) find that applying it right to the skin does the trick. Topical formulas of CBD come as balms, salves, lotions, roll-ons, and basically any other blended form of skincare products you can think of!
For others, the issue may be under the surface, so consuming CBD is the best way to achieve the intended results. CBD capsules, tinctures, and gummies are popular options for people who need help coping with stress and anxiety or have trouble falling asleep.
CBD remained a mystery for a long time, and only now are we beginning to realize the powerful potential of this isolated plant extract. It’s hard to be definitive in saying what is known for sure, but there is plenty of research and testimonial on CBD’s effectiveness for a range of pain, discomfort, and inflammation.
It’s federally-legal standing was a triumph and is the first step in solidifying it as a life-changing addition to the wellness community.