CBD is the new wellness product that is creating a buzz nowadays. Since it's legalisation in the UK in 2018, it has become quite popular. Several beauty companies have released a line of CBD based lotions and creams. Spas are offering CBD facials and coffee shops are offering CBD lattes!
However, despite its popularity, many people still have some confusion regarding CBD what it is and its usage. This post will answer your main question ‘what is CBD? ‘, and discuss its different forms and potential health benefits.
What is CBD?
Short for cannabidiol, CBD is one of the many chemical compounds (called cannabinoids) found in the Cannabis sativa plant. This plant has two primary species: marijuana, and hemp. Although both of these contain CBD, there is a much higher percentage found in hemp.
Hemp also contains extremely low levels (less than 0.3%) of the psychoactive compound, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), as compared to marijuana. Cannabidiol makes up about 40% of the hemp plant. In the UK, CBD is legal as long as it is derived from a UK- approved industrial hemp strain.
CBD has a wide range of physiological effects on the body. It is mostly used in the form of oils and edibles to generate feelings of relaxation. Research into the medical benefits of cannabidiol is still in its infancy. However, anecdotal evidence as well as some animal studies do show certain benefits of cannabidiol.
Can CBD make you high?
No, CBD cannot make you high. It is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), another major cannabinoid found in cannabis plants, that is responsible for causing euphoria and ‘high’ sensations. Cannabidiol, unlike THC, is completely non-psychoactive.
According to a report from the World Health Organisation (WHO), cannabidiol in humans doesn’t exhibit any effects which are indicative of any dependence or abuse potential. There is no evidence yet of any health-related problems associated with the usage of pure CBD.
It is this very quality of CBD that makes it an appealing option for those seeking pain relief without the mind-altering effects of prescription opioids or marijuana.
What is CBD oil?
CBD oil is derived mainly from the hemp plant. Manufacturers usually extract cannabidiol in the form of powder or oil. However, since oil is easier to work with, it is a far more popular form. CBD oils are often paired with other carrier oils, such as coconut oil. This makes their consumption and digestion much easier.
For More Information, read our blog on: What is CBD Oil?
Is it the same as hemp oil?
The terms ‘CBD oil’ and ‘hemp oil’ are often used interchangeably, but they are two very different things. Hemp oil is made from the seed of the hemp plant and there is hardly any cannabidiol found in it. It is, however, rich in omega acids, vitamins and healthy fats and is used as a health supplement.
CBD oil, on the other hand, is extracted from the flowers as well as the leaves and stems of the hemp plant. It contains remarkably high levels of cannabidiol as well as other beneficial compounds such as flavonoids, omega acids and other phytocannabinoids.
People use CBD oil in several ways. It can be vaped, added to food or drink, or taken sublingually. We have a good variety of CBD Oils at Fortune Flavours.
Read or related blog on: Can you Smoke Hemp?
What is CBD Flower?
CBD Flowers are the buds or blossoms derived from the hemp plant. For the most part, hemp plants are specially bred for their high levels of cannabidiol. CBD flowers contain high levels of CBD and are also rich in other compounds such as terpenes and flavonoids.
CBD flowers derived from hemp also contain exceptionally low levels of THC. Therefore, they should not be confused with cannabis buds. While cannabis buds do contain some cannabidiol, they mostly have high levels of THC.
Smoking CBD Flower
Smoking CBD flower is one of the most popular methods of consuming cannabidiol in the UK. It has high bioavailability levels, meaning the volume and rate at which the body absorbs CBD.
When you smoke CBD flowers, the cannabidiol enters directly into your system, bypassing the liver and digestive tract. You also tend to experience its effects very quickly this way. Smoking CBD flower also allows you to choose from a variety of flavorful strains.
Read our related blog on: Benefits of smoking CBD
What are the best methods to take CBD?
Now that you have your questions, ‘what is CBD’ and ‘what is CBD oil’ answered, you will be wondering about the best methods to take CBD. Well, there is no one way to consume CBD which is the best. All methods have their own set of associated benefits.
The best method of consumption may not be the best for someone else. It depends on your end goal and why you’re taking cannabidiol in the first place.
Some of the most common ways of consuming CBD are:
- Edibles (for example CBD gummies)
- Creams and balms
All these different methods listed above have varying times frames of when the cannabidiol takes effect. They also have differing bioavailability. For instance, vaping cannabidiol produces fast results, but effects wear off quickly too, usually in about two hours. On the other hand, edibles and tinctures take longer to work, but the effects usually last for four or five hours.
Some people may not want to ingest cannabidiol and prefer a more topical method such as applying CBD creams and balms. These may help provide localized pain relief for aching muscles or joints.
For more information, read our blog on: How to Take CBD?
What is CBD good for?
You may be wondering what is cbd good for? Cannabidiol usage is gaining momentum in the health and wellness world nowadays. Although limited in number, some scientific studies do show potential health benefits of CBD, and that it could:
1. Help relieve pain
Recently, scientists have discovered that CBD may have strong pain-relieving effects. These effects come about when it interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid receptors. The human body has a specialised system, known as the endocannabinoid system (ECS). It is responsible for regulating a variety of vital functions such as the immune system response, appetite, sleep, and pain.
A study shows that CBD, a cannabinoid, may help reduce chronic pain and inflammation by impacting the body’s endocannabinoid receptor activity and interacting with neurotransmitters.
For example, a study using an animal model found that CBD injections reduced the rats’ pain response to surgical incision. Another rat study highlighted cannabidiol's substantial immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory effects. It showed that oral CBD treatment in rats significantly reduced inflammation and sciatic nerve pain.
One study cited in the European Journal of Pain, using a rat model, showed that the transdermal cannabidiol application helped reduce inflammation and pain due to arthritis.
Several human studies have also found CBD to be effective in treating pain related to arthritis. In a study consisting of 58 patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, Sativex, an oral spray containing cannabidiol, was found to significantly improve pain during movement, pain at rest, sleep quality and morning stiffness.
2. Help reduce anxiety and depression
As you may already know, anxiety and depression are mental health disorders that can have devastating impacts on a person’s wellbeing. You might question; what is CBD doing here, what role is it playing in helping people suffering from these mental health disorders?
CBD usage is seen to substantially reduce anxiety and depression in both animal and human studies. CBD basically interacts with the CB1 and serotonin 5-HT1A receptors in the brain that regulate anxiety-induced behaviour. Serotonin is an important neurotransmitter that regulates mood and social behaviour. It is usually low in people suffering from anxiety. Cannabidiol helps alter these serotonin signals and produces a calming effect.
Doctors usually prescribe pharmaceutical drugs to treat anxiety and depression. Studies show that the long-term usage of these drugs can cause several harmful side effects such as agitation, insomnia, headaches, drowsiness, and sexual dysfunction. Moreover, prescription medications like benzodiazepines may lead to substance abuse and addiction.
One Brazilian study shows that a 300 mg dose of CBD was effective at significantly reducing anxiety in a simulated public speaking test.
A recent study also showed that CBD oil effectively led to a maintained decrease in anxiety and insomnia in children suffering from PTSD.
Animal studies have also shown the anti-depressant like effects of cannabidiol. In a study involving mice, researchers observed that cannabidiol had anxiolytic properties and altered their neurobehavioral responses.
Read our related blog on: Can CBD be used for anxiety?
3. Have Neuroprotective properties
Researchers believe that cannabidiol's ability to interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system may prove beneficial for those suffering from neurological disorders.
In fact, according to a Harvard University’s health blog, the most studied uses of cannabidiol and the strongest scientific evidence is for CBD’s effectiveness in treating childhood epilepsy syndromes, such a Lennox Gastaut syndrome (LGS) and Dravet syndrome. Typically, these don’t respond to anti-seizure medications. A study found that CBD oil usage significantly reduced seizure activity in children suffering from Dravet Syndrome, as compared to a placebo.
Recently, the FDA approved the first-ever medicine, Epidiolex, containing CBD for these conditions.
Additionally, several animals studies have shown that cannabidiol may help prevent neurodegeneration and decrease inflammation associated with Alzheimer’s disease. In a long-term study, researchers gave cannabidiol to mice that were genetically predisposed to Alzheimer’s disease. The researchers found that cannabidiol helped prevent cognitive decline in the mice.
4. Reduce Acne
Recent scientific studies show that CBD oil may be beneficial in helping treat acne. Due to its anti-inflammatory properties and ability to alter sebum production.
Acne is a common skin condition that is caused by a number of factors. These include underlying inflammation, bacteria, overproduction of sebum and your inherent genetics.
One test-tube study found that CBD oil effectively prevented the sebaceous glands in the skin from secreting excessive sebum. It also exerted anti-inflammatory actions and prevented the activation of inflammatory cytokines.
5. Alleviate cancer-related symptoms
Cannabidiol may potentially reduce symptoms and side effects related to cancer treatment, such as pain, nausea and vomiting. A study looked at 177 people suffering from cancer-related pain, who did not experience noticeable relief from any pain medication. Those treated with both CBD and THC extract experienced a marked reduction in pain, as compared to those only given THC.
One study also showed that CBD helped reduce nausea and vomiting, the common side effects of chemotherapy.
Moreover, some test-tube animal studies have even shown that cannabidiol might possess anti-cancer properties. One test-tube study found that concentrated CBD dosage prompted cell death in human breast cancer cells.
Another animal study found that cannabidiol repressed the spread of aggressive breast cancer cells in mice.
It is noteworthy that only limited evidence available from these studies. There is a need for more evidence from human clinical studies before any solid conclusions regarding cannabidiol’s efficacy can be made.
Now you have all the answers to the question ‘what is CBD’. You may want to try it out for yourself. However, an important thing to keep in mind is to only buy cannabidiol products from reliable sources. Fortune Flavours offers the highest quality CBD flowers and oil. These are third- party tested and completely safe for consumption.
If you liked reading this, be sure to check our other blog: The Ultimate Guide To CBD