From the courts to the papers to the doctor’s office, EVERYONE is talking about this amazing cannabinoid. But what is CBD, anyway?
CBD, or by its full name, cannabidiol, is a cannabis compound associated with relieving pain, inflammation, anxiety, depression and a number of other ailments. It is taken orally in the form of an edible confection or an oil infusion, and it can also be smoked. Most of the confusion about CBD arises from the fact that it DOES NOT elicit a psychoactive response in the user—in other words, it doesn’t get you high, stoned, or impair you in any way.
So Why Take It?
CBD has been shown by a great number of studies (many of which were funded by the US government) to provide natural relief from pain, inflammation, seizures, anxiety, depression, arthritis, diabetes, and many other conditions. CBD is natural, has not been shown to be dependency-forming, and is safe in small and high doses. It also elicits feelings or relaxation in the user. Despite this, those on CBD report being more productive and alert. A pharmaceutical drug containing CBD has even been approved by the FDA and is currently being prescribed by doctors around the country.
What is CBD? Did you say cannabis? Isn’t that an illegal drug?
It’s true that cannabidiol (CBD) comes from cannabis, but that doesn’t mean it’s illegal or that it will get you high.
Cannabis isn’t actually one plant, but an entire genus of plants in the Cannabaceae family (it’s science). These flowering plants contain a bunch of different compounds (over 100!) that all have their own properties. CBD is one of these compounds. Another one is called tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. THC is the compound in cannabis that gets you high, and it is classified as a schedule I substance by the US government, rendering it illegal under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).
This means that cannabis and products derived from cannabis are only illegal under the CSA if they contain the compound THC. CBD is a completely different compound and can be extracted from cannabis independent of any THC.
CBD is legal in most states and countries as long as the product it’s found in does not contain any THC, though you should always check your state’s laws before purchasing CBD or transporting it over state lines or borders. States where THC is legal may have CBD products on sale that contain enough THC to be considered illegal in other states. To be safe, purchase a CBD product with 0% THC.
NOTE: Some legislatures and judges have deemed CBD to be illegal due to confusion about its relationship with marijuana and hemp (an industrial cannabis product that contains no THC). For more information on the legality of CBD, read our comprehensive article on CBD and the law or check out our FAQ page.
How does CBD work?
It’s easy to be suspicious of CBD after reading about its many benefits and its virtual lack of side effects, but the reality is that CBD is an organic compound that reacts with the body in a completely natural way.
Remember learning about the body’s systems all those years ago in health class (circulatory, digestive, endocrine, nervous…)? Well, one that you probably didn’t learn about was the endocannabinoid system. This system is responsible for the production and reception of endocannabinoids (neurotransmitters that send important signals within your body). Yep, that’s right, our bodies make these compounds every day! Endocannabinoids are necessary to regulate various bodily functions such as pain, memory, stress, and appetite, and cannabinoids (compounds from cannabis) imitate these perfectly.
In essence, your natural endocannabinoid system is designed to keep your body ticking as it should. It keeps stress levels under control. It fights inflammation that causes chronic illness. It tells you when to eat and sleep. It keeps your mind clear and present. Taking a cannabinoid like CBD provides your endocannabinoid system with the fuel to do its job.
The benefits of CBD
Our natural endocannabinoid system is ready to receive cannabinoids in our bodies, but not all cannabinoids are created equal.
As we saw above, there are over 100 different cannabinoids present in cannabis, and they all react with the endocannabinoid system in different ways.
CBD is one of the most beneficial cannabinoids that you can take because of its vast array of positive effects. It binds especially well to our endocannabinoid receptors and produces a wide range of responses in the body. While most cannabinoids only produce two or three benefits, CBD delivers far more:
The CBD story continues
Much of the info about CBD is forthcoming. CBD is the continuing subject of multiple studies and is only growing in popularity. The medical community is consistently coming to promising conclusions about the uses of CBD to safely and naturally alleviate some of the most common medical conditions, and stories from the general public are surfacing every day about how CBD has granted so many a new lease on life.
The ability of CBD to provide a range of physical and mental benefits with almost no side effects means that people everywhere can lead healthier and happier lives without the need for expensive medication.
Holistic Watch will always keep you up to date with the most relevant information on CBD. We are dedicated to transparency and to providing you with the information necessary to make informed, healthy, and legal choices.