CBD or cannabidiol is one of 80 chemical compounds or phytocannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. Cannabinoids from cannabis are mixed with some type of carrier oil, usually, a form of coconut oil called MCT, to produce CBD oil. THC or tetrahydrocannabinol (the compound in cannabis that causes a person to get ‘high’), has until recently been the most well-known element of cannabis, but THC is fast becoming as well-known for its health benefits. CBD is legal in all states with laws that allow the use of medical marijuana. CBD oil is believed to reduce anxiety, pain, stress, depression, inflammation, and improve the immune system. Integrative health experts have found that CBD oil helps in the treatment of epilepsy and the wasting disease associated with cancer. Currently, there is a lot of hype around the product that promises to cure everything from acne to arthritis.
What is CBD Oil?
There are a lot of misconceptions around when it comes to understanding exactly what CBD oil is and what it can be used for. The most important thing to understand is that CBD is not THC. It is not marijuana that contains THC, the part of cannabis that is responsible for its psychoactive effects. CBD is found in marijuana and hemp which has higher amounts of the CBD compound and as a result makes up a large portion of hemp’s genetics. More info here.
Cannabinoids (CBD) are the primary chemical compounds in all cannabis plants. THC is the only psychoactive cannabinoid in cannabis. The hemp plant contains only very small traces (less than 3%) of THC and is therefore non-psychoactive. Functional CBD remedies such as oils and tinctures are made by using whole-plant extracts from the hemp plant that contains all the beneficial elements and cannabinoids of the plant, not just CBD. Whole plant oil extracts rich in CBD are more effective therapeutically than single-molecule CBD extracts.
More than half of the hemp seed’s weight consists of oil which is easily extracted by using a cold-press process. Hemp seed oil is commonly used as cooking oil and is full of healthy fats and antioxidants. It has a host of beneficial uses and is valued for its nutritional properties. High-quality CBD oil is extracted from the flowers of the hemp plant which are harvested when the flowers are very small in order to get the most cannabinoids out of the plant. This is why CBD oil products typically contain a greater amount of beneficial compounds with greater positive health benefits. CBD oils are not the common hemp seed oil you find at your local grocery store.
How Does CBD Oil Work?
CBD oil works by interaction with the body through its endocannabinoid system or its endogenous cannabinoid system (ECS). The normal homeostasis (general state of balance) of the body is regulated by the endocannabinoid system which is responsible for maintaining a healthy appetite, good mood, good sleep, and also regulates the pain response. The body’s normal state of balance is constantly affected by the environment and the endocannabinoid system helps to maintain the balance by mediating the reaction of the body to external stimuli. Supplementation with CBD can enhance the ability of the body to maintain homeostasis by managing emotional and physical stress experienced as a result of changes in the immediate environment.
Marijuana also works with the endocannabinoid system but with certain key differences. Marijuana has a high concentration of the THC cannabinoid that has a psychoactive effect, making you feel ‘high’. Hemp has a higher concentration of CBD and a much lower concentration of THC which is why it is legal to use in most states without a medical marijuana card. CBD oil contains many cannabinoids in addition to CBD that works with the endocannabinoid system of the body to bring about overall vitality and health.