CBD products are becoming more and more popular, but what’s all the fuss about?
Whether you’ve already added cannabidiol to your wellness routine and want to learn more, or you have no clue what this cannabinoid is, you’re in for a treat. Our list of must-know CBD facts includes everything you need to know — and more.
1. CBD Is One of Over 100 Cannabinoids
Cannabidiol is just one of over 100 cannabinoids (chemical compounds found in Cannabis sativa plants). Besides cannabinoids, which act on the endocannabinoid system in the human body, Cannabis sativa plants also contain numerous other substances — including terpenes and flavonoids.
2. CBD Is Non-Psychoactive
The main psychoactive compound in Cannabis plants is called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is the cannabinoid responsible for creating mind-altering effects. CBD is, in contrast, neither psychoactive nor addictive.
3. Cannabinoids (Including CBD) Act on the Endocannabinoid System
The endocannabinoid system is a vast network of receptors in the body. It plays a critical role in regulating important bodily functions like sleep, learning, memory, temperature control, pain, appetite, and immune function.
Humans have two different types of cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2:
- CB1 receptors can be found all over the body, but are mainly present in the brain and spinal cord. They’re also found in the nervous system, where they play a role in pain regulation.
- CB2 receptors are mainly present in the peripheral nervous system, particularly in immune cells. The activation of these receptors plays a role in reducing inflammation.
Current research suggests that cannabidiol doesn’t directly bind to either of these receptors. Rather, CBD influences the endocannabinoid system by blocking the action of an enzyme called fatty acid amide hydrolase. This enzyme is responsible for breaking down cannabinoids in the body.
It’s important to note that not all cannabinoids come from Cannabis plants — your body also makes its own cannabinoids. These “DIY cannabinoids” are medically called endogenous cannabinoids.
4. Industrial Hemp and Marijuana Are Both Cannabis Sativa Plants, But They’re Not the Same
Industrial hemp and marijuana are two varieties of the same plant species — Cannabis sativa.
Marijuana plants are primarily cultivated for their psychoactive effects (in jurisdictions where this is legal). They’re naturally high in THC, the main psychoactive compound in Cannabis plants.
Industrial hemp is a versatile crop with an amazing variety of uses. This more fibrous variety has historically been used to produce fibre (textiles and rope) and paper. It’s still used for those things, but industrial hemp has exciting new applications, including novel construction materials.
Industrial hemp is naturally low in THC and high in CBD. Most commercially-available products are extracted from Cannabis sativa plants classed as industrial hemp for this reason — specifically from the plant’s leaves and flowers.
5. CBD Was First Isolated in 1940
Research suggests that the medicinal use of Cannabis sativa dates back to at least 400 BC, while the plant has also been an important source of fibre and nutrition (because of its hemp seeds). People have, in other words, been consuming CBD for a really long time.
They didn’t know it, though!
CBD was first isolated in 1940, and we have the American chemist Roger Adams to thank for this discovery. Scientists didn’t fully understand the chemical structure of cannabidiol until 1963, and research into its potential effects still continues until this day.
6. The UK Considers CBD Products ‘Novel Food’
Cannabidiol products are relatively new, because people only figured out how to extract cannabidiol from industrial hemp plants fairly recently. UK and European Union regulations consider CBD a “novel food” product for this reason.
7. CBD Products Are Legally Available in the UK
CBD products authorised by the Food Standards Agency are legally available in Britain without a prescription. That includes full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD products, with contain a variety of cannabinoids, terpenes, and essential oils, as well as CBD isolate products.
However, THC remains a controlled substance. CBD products can have a maximum THC content of 0.02 per cent in the United Kingdom.
CBD manufacturers and stockists are not allowed to make any claims about the potential medicinal or health benefits of cannabidiol, meanwhile. That’s because much remains unknown about the potential effects of CBD.
8. Research Into CBD’s Medicinal Potential Is Still Ongoing
It’s easy for CBD enthusiasts to get lost in a sea of research — exciting studies are emerging from all over the world!
CBD has been found to contain antioxidants and may have some anti-inflammatory effects.
However, research into other potential benefits, such as reduced anxiety, better sleep, and pain relief, is still in progress.
A 2021 study into UK consumers’ reasons for taking CBD showed that people use CBD products for a variety of reasons. Many consumers cite “general health and wellbeing” as their main reason for using CBD. Some consumers also turn to CBD in an effort to find stress relief, soothe aching muscles after a vigorous workout, or fall asleep more quickly.
Consumers should be aware that research into CBD’s potential in these areas is still in its early stages. More rigorous studies are needed to understand cannabidiol’s potential effects.
Meanwhile, it’s important to know that taking CBD is not risk-free. Potential side effects include diarrhoea, vomiting, and liver injury. Consumers would be advised to consult with their GP, use the lowest possible dose, and immediately stop taking CBD if they notice any adverse effects. In addition, because CBD’s effects are still under investigation, consumers should not use CBD to prevent, treat, or cure specific medical conditions.
9. Consumers Can Choose From a Wide Range of CBD Products
Three types of CBD exist:
- Full-spectrum CBD contains a variety of cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and essential oils. It may have a THC content of up to 0.02 per cent.
- Broad-spectrum CBD is similar to full-spectrum CBD but has been further processed to remove THC. These CBD products may contain trace amounts of THC.
- CBD isolate products are the purest form of cannabidiol; they don’t contain other cannabinoids.
Any CBD product you buy falls into one of these three types. Beyond that, however, the sky is the limit!
CBD oil probably remains the best-known CBD product, and it’s wonderfully versatile. Consumers can simply hold the desired dose under their tongue for 60 to 90 seconds and then swallow it, resulting in a speedy effect. However, some people prefer cooking with CBD oil or adding CBD oil to bath oil, massage oil, or even candles!
CBD gummies, CBD capsules, CBD vape liquids, and CBD creams and lotions are among other popular cannabidiol products. Less well-known options include CBD tea, CBD shampoo, CBD bath bombs, and even CBD beard oil.
10. Not All CBD Products Are High in Quality
The global CBD market remains quite unregulated, so consumers looking for premium-quality CBD products should look for manufacturers that subject their products to third-party lab tests. A third-party lab test shows the precise ingredients and purity of the product.
Other third-party certifications, like organic or GMO-free certifications, can also ensure the product you are considering meets your personal needs.
Essential CBD Facts: Some Final Words
We hope you learned something in this exploration of CBD must-knows and that you feel better informed than you were going in.
There’s always more to discover about CBD, of course — including the many ways to incorporate CBD products into your wellness routine. So stay curious and stay informed!