These days, people use CBD and hemp to support their health. It’s an exciting time – news stories and advertisements are popping up again and again with new methods of absorbing CBD (not to mention studies and new findings about CBD’s potential benefits).
Quitting nicotine, easing stress, promoting alertness, etc.
The list goes on and on. You can find CBD and hemp products all over the place now. They’re not just decorating shelves in sneaky little dispensaries. They’re in grocery stores, gas stations, and bakeries. You can find CBD drinks at coffee stands and CBD lotion in fitness stores.
But what is CBD anyway?
Why are people so excited about it? And what does it do to your body when you ingest it? We’re going to dive right into exactly that. Here’s the lowdown on CBD, hemp’s famous nicotine-quitting chemical.
CBD: What on Earth Is It?
For starters, CBD is an active compound in cannabis. To be clear, cannabis is not necessarily marijuana. Hemp and marijuana are two different types of cannabis, and hemp is perfectly legal in all 50 states.
Hemp does have a little THC in it (that’s the compound in marijuana that gets you high). However, we’re talking trace amounts here – there is so little THC in hemp that in order to get high off it, you’d have to ingest a superhuman amount (like hundreds of dollars worth of CBD all at once).
Anyway, high-CBD-content hemp is designed to offer potential benefits to users like stress management, inflammation, and, of course, reduced craving for addictive substances like nicotine.
CBD is just one of several “cannabinoid” molecules in the hemp flower.
Cannabinoids are a kind of chemical produced when hemp flowers deliver certain molecules into a plant “storage center.” This storage area in the plant is called a “trichome,”and it also stores components like “flavonoids” and “terpenes.”
Of course, these obscure chemicals aren’t household names, but it’s worth noting that these are the things that give blueberries their blue color. They are also responsible for making strawberries bright red, and for the strawberry’s unique smell. So hemp has these chemicals along with “phytocannabinoids,” which are unique to cannabis plants and others from that family.
These molecules cooperate in a remarkable way, producing the effects that many CBD lovers report.
Ultimately, CBD can do more for you and your body when it works in tandem with other cannabinoids, terpenes, and hemp flavonoids. This is sometimes called the “entourage effect.”
CBD and Your Body – What Does It Do?
The secret to unlocking CBD’s potential lies in your endocannabinoid system (ECS).
The ECS is a complex biological system that actually works alongside a lot of other systems in your body. Human beings have a ton of ECS receptors throughout the body. They’re in the skin, organs, spinal cord, and the brain.
Cannabinoids are chemical compounds that bind to these ECS receptors, triggering various effects depending on dose, composition, and your unique physiology. Here’s something weird though… Your body literally produces cannabinoids of its own! Cannabinoids from the body are called “endocannabinoids,” and when they come from a plant, they’re called “phytocannabinoids.”
Both of these compounds target the very same human ECS receptors to achieve various effects.
Using vitamin D for comparison, you have receptors for D in your body as well.You can produce your own by getting out in the sun and absorbing its light. This essentially converts the sun’s rays into the vitamin D we know and love. But if you prefer to dwell in a cave, you can still get that vitamin D from things like fish, eggs, or vitamin D supplements.
Likewise, your body makes its own cannabinoids, although getting these compounds from external sources like filtered hemp pre-rolls can be helpful. It’s pretty incredible that the body even produces these compounds on its own, and it implies good things about the impact of CBD on one’s health.