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"Sometimes the best medicine grows from weeds"

Beginners guide to CBD. What is all the fuss?

By : Laura Murphy



CBD, which is short for cannabidiol (pronouced ka-nah-beh-die-all), is

the second most sought after active ingredient produced by the

cannabis plant, especially in hemp. Its popularity has skyrocketed

over the past couple years and to be honest, its for good reason. So

let me help reduce the stigma of the word Cannabis and start you down

the right path of discovery.


So, the million dollar question, right? What is CBD?

A naturally occurring chemical compound amongst hundreds of others in

the cannabis plant, CBD is known as THC's non-psychoactive sister

molecule.


Yup, thats it folks. A simple molecule found in the cannabis plant.


Article done, right? Well no, there is more to be discussed! So let's continue.


Hemp vs Marijuana derived CBD


Hemp and marijuana both are in the botanical family Cannabaceae. What

this means is that they both come from the cannabis plant.

The only difference between the two is that hemp typically contains

very low amounts (less than 0.3%) of THC, while marijuana plants have

higher levels.

Its important to note that any cannabis product with a higher than

0.3% of THC is currently only legal for sale at licensed dispensaries.


Knowing the difference between CBD that is derived from hemp vs.

marijuana is very important because marijuana derived CBD can cause

psychoactive effects, and will show up on a drug test. Meanwhile, Hemp

derived CBD only contains the small 0.3 percentage of THC, which is

not enough to cause psychoactive effects and is less likely to show up

on a drug test, although to be clear it still has the possibility to

do so.


Now, why is it being talked about everywhere?


Well, because it has incredible benefits to our natural

endocannabinoid system (don't worry, we'll get to what that is in a

moment), and helps to keep our bodies in a state of homeostasis. The

anti-inflammatory properties of CBD work both in the brain and the

body, and can have a huge impact not only on your health, but overall

well-being; helping with things like a simple mid day headache,

anxiousness, even your grandfathers serve arthritis pains.


Curious about what is an endocannabinoid system?

Its a complex molecular system responsible for regulating and

balancing many processes in the body including pain, memory, mood,

appetite, stress, sleep, metabolism, and immune function. For example,

when you are experiencing high levels of stress, taking CBD can help

with relief by coating receptors in your ECS which is assisting your

body to maintain homeostasis. CBD acts upon our CBD1 and CBD2

receptors inside the ECS. Not directly binding to either of the

receptors, but instead impacts them indirectly.


Now that we talked about what, where and why, let's talk about the

different types of CBD that you can find on the market today.


Full spectrum: the ultimate charcuterie board of all the naturally

occurring compounds, including 0.3% content of THC.

Broad-spectrum: Has all the same compounds as full spectrum, but THC

has been removed

CBD isolates: best known as pure CBD. The only compound found in this

form is CBD and should contain no trace of THC.


I am sure you're now wondering, how do I choose?


Well, a lot of people prefer full spectrum because of what we call the

entourage effect - meaning, you're getting that array of cannabinoids

and compounds working together, targeting more areas of your

endocannabinoid system for a more therapeutic effect.


Broad spectrum is chosen by people who want all the benefits of the

terpenes and flavonoids, but where consuming THC is undesirable.


Lastly, those who prefer CBD isolates may do so because its tasteless

and orderless. All beneficial in their own ways, choosing a type of

CBD is based on you and your bodies needs, because all of our bodies

are different.


I can hear you thinking, "okay, now, what are terpenes and flavonoids?"


To touch on them briefly,


Terpenes are the aromatic compounds found in the cannabis plant that

are reported to have therapeutic and health boosting benefits. There

are some who say that the scent you're most attracted to is the one

your body needs the most. To be honest, I can't prove this, but I

really like the idea. Flavonoids are naturally occurring pigments

found in many plants. They are known for giving a plant, vegetable,

fruit and/or herbs its colors and flavors, and are powerful

antioxidant agents.


How to read the ingredients on your CBD products.


You've finally chosen your product and now you're wondering is this really CBD?


Make sure to check the ingredient list closely. When checking, it

should be listed as CBD or hemp extract. If your product says hemp

seeds or hempseed oil, these ingredients are not the same as CBD.


All CBD companies should be able to provide a Certificate of Analysis,

otherwise known as a COA. An outsourced third-party test is performed

by a laboratory that provides a full composition of a product. For CBD

products, this should include a total list of cannabinoids. If the

product contains heavy metals or pesticides, you can find this report

on the companies website, or in some cases you can even access the COA

while in store by scanning the QR code on the product with your

smartphone.


Reading a COA can be overwhelming but here are some key factors to look for:


First, double check that the CBD and THC content on the COA matches

what is on the product label. Second, if purchasing a broad or full

spectrum product, look for the list of other cannabinoids and other

compounds such as CBDA, CBN, CBG, CBC, etc. Third, always check the

date on the COA. If the date of testing was done a long time ago the

COA may be invalid.


How to find the CBD product for you and how much should I take?


There are so many options available when looking for CBD products.

Between oils, topicals and edibles, companies have done an amazing job

of making them their own. If you live in a CBD friendly state with

cannabis dispensaries, start there. by asking the staff their favorite

CBD companies.


If dispensaries aren't accessible, you may want to consider online

resources, forums and even social media to point you in the right

direction. As long as you do a little homework on how reputable the

source of the information you are getting is, the internet is

definitely your friend here!


I did want to note that just because a gas station has CBD doesn't

mean you should buy it. You really want to put in the time and

research of the CBD company you want to try.

Also, Amazon has a policy that prohibits the sale of CBD products, so

unfortunately, no you cannot get prime delivery for your CBD. Though

there are endless amounts of smaller businesses that have so many

wonderful CBD products to offer.


So there you have it! Now that you know the basics, I hope that you

will start to explore the wonderful world of cannabis and it's array

of medicinal possibilities.




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