The Beginner's Guide to CBD
What is CBD?
You have probably heard of CBD being used in recipes to promote health and wellness. There is a lot of information out there about CBD, and before you try it, it’s important to know what it is exactly and get your facts straight. We’ll start with the basics.
Where does CBD come from?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a naturally occurring chemical compound found in hemp and cannabis plants. It is not to be confused with THC, the compound in these plants that makes you feel high, as it does not have the same psychoactive effects. While these two compounds have the exact same chemical structure, the way they interact with enzymes and receptors in the brain is completely different.
CBD is extracted from cannabis plants, commonly referred to as marijuana. Like hemp, CBD products are one of the myriad ways that cannabis plants can be used to benefit the planet. There are many different strains of cannabis, including strains that don’t have any psychoactive properties--that means they don’t get you high--but still have plenty of medicinal properties and therapeutic value. The best CBD extract comes from organically grown cannabis and is full of terpenes and lots of beneficial compounds from the plant. This type of CBD is called full-spectrum CBD, and it’s Wildwood Herbal’s specialty. But to get the purest form of CBD, it needs to be extracted from the fibers of the cannabis plant.
There are 3 popular ways to extract CBD from Cannabis:
- CO2 Extraction - a safe extraction process that uses Carbon Dioxide to pull CBD molecules out of the plant
- Solvent Extraction - using a chemical solvent (similar to paint thinner) to extract the CBD
- Olive Oil Extraction - an all-natural, healthy extraction process that is safer, and contains the least amounts of chemical residue after extraction
Once the concentration of CBD is extracted from the plants, it can be added to a wide range of products including topical creams and lotions, candies, chocolates, and lots of other foods and beverages including smoothies and tea.
What does CBD do?
When scientists were studying the effects of THC on the brain, they discovered the endocannabinoid system (ECS), a system that helps maintain homeostasis in the brain. It was only discovered in the 1990s, so there is a lot to learn about it still. Research is ongoing on this system, but here is what we know so far:
The endocannabinoid system is a complex cell-signaling system run by enzymes, neurotransmitters, and endocannabinoids. Endocannabinoids are cannabinoids that are naturally made inside the body. One of these endocannabinoids is called anandamide, derived from the Sanskrit word for joy or bliss because of its ability to increase feelings of happiness.
Another important part of the endocannabinoid system is the enzyme fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH). This enzyme has the job of breaking down anandamide after it has carried out its duties. Studies have shown that CBD inhibits the degradation of anandamide by fatty acid amide hydrolase, resulting in higher amounts of anandamide in the brain. In this way, CBD consumption may increase the natural positive effect of the endocannabinoid system and potentially result in relaxing and blissful effects on your mind and body.
Is CBD safe?
Yes! If you get your CBD from a reputable vendor that uses safe growing and extraction methods (like we do at Wildwood Herbal). It is important to ensure that the brand of CBD products is high-quality and trustworthy before consumption. You should always check the ingredients to make sure it is authentic and safe to use. Most hemp products grown in the USA and Europe are considered safe to use. This is because of the strict regulations in place to make sure there are no harmful substances or high amounts of THC present. Some components you can expect to see on the label of reliable CBD products are cannabinoids, flavonoids, carrier bases, and fatty acids.
Thanks for reading our beginner’s guide to CBD. We’re excited whenever a new customer visits our website, so please make sure to fill out our contact form or just head over to our CBD shop and buy some organic full-spectrum CBD products. Our product line is always growing, and we’re adding new strains and new combinations all the time so check back often! Thanks for visiting, from the team at Wildwood Herbal.