What Is CBD?

CBD is short for cannabidiol, which is one of over a hundred naturally-occurring cannabinoids found in the cannabis family. The cannabis family is known for two of its members: hemp and marijuana. Cannabinoids are the building blocks of the chemical makeup for these two plants. Recent advancements in science have given researchers the ability to isolate each of these naturally-occurring cannabinoids for further research.

The majority of cannabis research has been focused on THC, the cannabinoid responsible for the euphoric, psychoactive effect. As researchers begin to learn more about all the possible applications that CBD may have, here is what we do know:

The Source of Cannabinoids

There are three different categories of cannabinoids: endocannabinoids, phytocannabinoids, and synthetic cannabinoids. Endocannabinoids are produced in the biology of any living organism with a spine. Phytocannabinoids are produced in plants– CBD is phytocannabinoid that’s derived from either hemp or marijuana. Synthetic cannabinoids are created in a lab setting. All three types of cannabinoids have the same chemical makeup regardless of their original source and are capable of attaching to the cannabinoid receptors found throughout the endocannabinoid system.

CBD and the Endocannabinoid System

The endocannabinoid system is an integral biochemical communicative system that plays an important role in all of our major physiological functions. Its purpose is to regulate all of our body’s systems through mind-body homeostasis and to provide an inhibitory feedback system for cooling down the body’s inflammatory response. The endocannabinoid system is made up of three crucial parts: endocannabinoids, cannabinoid receptors, and metabolic enzymes. Endocannabinoids are neural messengers produced in the endocannabinoid system with differing responsibilities. Cannabinoid receptors are found throughout the body with high concentrations in the central nervous system and immune system. Endocannabinoids activate cannabinoid receptors in order to nudge the body towards natural balance and homeostasis.

Since CBD has the same chemical makeup as our endocannabinoids, it creates the same cooling-off effect for the body’s inflammatory response to external stress, health conditions, and more. Scientists hypothesize that endocannabinoid deficiency may play a major contributing role in various chronic conditions. This theory has opened the door to extensive CBD research and its potential applications.

The Chemical Properties of CBD

Unlike THC, CBD does not have any mind-altering effects. Based on current research, CBD is non-habit forming and safe in large doses. With no overdose risk, individuals that take CBD regularly can’t build a tolerance either. Side effects have been rarely reported, but include dry mouth, diarrhea, fatigue, and changes in appetite. These side effects can sometimes be avoided with changes in dosage, different administration methods, switching from a full-spectrum to isolate product, or preventing drug interactions.

CBD and Potential Drug Interactions

While CBD may be a natural approach, it does pose potential drug interactions. CBD temporarily deactivates the p450 cytochrome system which is responsible for metabolizing about 60% of all traditional medications. Grapefruit, watercress, and St. John’s Wort all have the same effect, temporarily deactivating the enzymes required for breaking down certain pharmaceuticals. However, topical CBD does not pose any drug interactions since it is not metabolized through the liver. This potential drug interaction makes it crucial for all individuals to speak to their healthcare professional prior to trying CBD.

CBD for Pregnant and Nursing Women

There isn’t enough research available regarding the safety of CBD for nursing and pregnant women. We recommend not taking CBD when nursing or pregnant– please air on the side of safety until more solid research is available. Always speak to your healthcare professional regarding CBD.

CBD Legality

Hemp-derived CBD is legal across all 50 states. Hemp has a naturally-occurring minimal THC content of 0.3% or less. Hemp-derived CBD’s minute amount of THC offers no mind-altering effects. Marijuana-derived CBD is only legal in states with medical marijuana, recreational marijuana, and/or limited-access CBD laws. Marijuana-derived CBD will have a more significant THC amount that does have mind-altering effects. This form of CBD can only be purchased in brick-and-mortar dispensaries.

Learn More About CBD

Hemp Depot is proud to educate our clients on all things CBD. Since CBD is a relatively new discovery, we’re happy to be committed to the continued learning of this chemical compound. For more information regarding what CBD is, please contact us!

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