What is CBD? Where does it come from?

CBD (Cannabidiol) is one of 113 identified cannabinoids in cannabis plants, along with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and accounts for up to 40% of the plant’s extract. It was discovered in 1940.

Otherwise also known as cannabidiol oil, it is extracted and derived from specific strains of cannabis plants (also called hemp plants).

Hemp is defined as the part of the Cannabis Sativa plant with less than 0.3% of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). CBD is the second most active ingredient in cannabis (marijuana).

The most active ingredient in cannabis or marijuana is THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which is responsible for altering the mental state of the person who uses it and causes the “high”.

Besides being extracted from the cannabis plant in the form of oil, CBD is also manufactured in a laboratory.

It does not have an effect on the mental state of the person as THC does – meaning it does not cause the “high”. Being non-psychoactive, it is not responsible for the addictive properties of cannabis in itself. Stopping its use abruptly will not cause withdrawal symptoms.

CBD is used in a variety of ways: as a dietary supplement, a pain reliever, as an anti-inflammatory, and also as an anti-anxiety drug.

While THC is illegal, CBD is legalized in almost the whole world. However, if it comes from a hemp plant with less than 0.3 percent THC, you can buy it under federal law.

While studies indicate that it does ease your anxiety and worry, it does not intoxicate you as THC does.

CBD is becoming the biggest word in wellness. Its popularity can be gauged from the fact that sales of its products have skyrocketed by 99 percent in the UK in the past two years. It is used in a variety of health and beauty products and makes its presence almost everywhere.

How do you classify CBD? Is it a drug?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a chemical present in the Cannabis sativa plant. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Epidiolex, a drug that contains purified CBD from hemp, to help treat rare seizure disorders. The FDA has concluded that this drug is safe and effective for this use only.

However, its products that contain more than 0.3 percent THC, fall under the legal definition of marijuana. They are, therefore, federally illegal. However, they are legal under the laws of some states.

Health benefits

CBD oil (Cannabidiol) is truly one of the most notable natural healing compounds in the world.

It is a legalized ingredient of the cannabis plant, and unlike cannabis, it doesn’t cause any psychotic side effects as it doesn’t contain THC. Additionally, it’s more potent than other parts of the cannabis plant, including hemp.

There is compelling evidence to show that it can alleviate a variety of symptoms. It imparts benefits in various conditions such as epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, muscle spasms, anxiety disorders, bipolar, schizophrenia, convulsions, chronic nausea, inflammation, and cancer.

Besides its benefits in a variety of health disorders, the strongest scientific evidence is for its efficacy in treating some of the worst childhood epilepsy syndromes, such as Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS), which do not respond to conventional seizure medications.

In treating these conditions, it was able to reduce the number of seizures, and, in some cases, stop them altogether.

Epidiolex, which contains CBD, is the drug approved by the FDA for these conditions.

Harmful effects

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration,

“The FDA is working to answer questions about the science, safety, and quality of products containing cannabis and cannabis-derived compounds, particularly CBD”.

CBD can cause harm even before you experience any adverse symptoms. The limits that separate benefits from its harmful effects are still not defined.

  • CBD can damage your liver.
  • It can interact with other drugs you may take, which can reduce the efficacy of the other curative drugs or cause further side effects.
  • Using it with alcohol or drugs used to treat anxiety, stress, or sleep disorders can make you more drowsy, which can lead to accidents and injuries.
  • Animal studies have shown that CBD exposure can have toxic effects on male reproductivity. However, the same effect on humans is still to be studied.
  • Reduces the level of alertness causing you to feel drowsy or sleepy.
  • Causes gastrointestinal upset leading to nausea, diarrhea, and loss of appetite.
  • Makes you feel fatigued, irritable, and agitated

The FDA also points out grey areas about which not much is known. For example,

  • Effects of its long-term use
  • How much of its consumption increases the risk of its side effects?
  • Does the type of intake affect the risk factor? (e.g. oral consumption, topical, smoking, or vaping)?
  • How does CBD affect the developing brain should children be exposed to its use?
  • What is the effect on the unborn fetus or the breastfed newborn if the mother is exposed to CBD?

CBD products

It’s important to note that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not presently control CBD products the way it does dietary supplements and drugs. Therefore, not every of its product will meet the same standard of safety and quality.

1. CBD oil

CBD oil is extracted from the flowers, leaves, and stems of specific strains of cannabis plants. It has a potential role in giving relief from symptoms of many common health conditions, such as anxiety. Additionally, it may improve heart health and give relief from certain types of pain.

Some common ways to use this oil are sublingually or orally by adding it to your food or drink.

2. CBD gummies

CBD gummies are edibles that are chewed and contain no more than 0.3% THC by dry weight. They are consumed orally and help to support general wellness. They help in giving you proper sleep, relieve stress and anxiety, and give relief from pain.

3. CBD soft gels.

Softgels are like capsules, but the outer material is made of gelatin with the liquid ingredient inside. This makes them easy to use.

Besides, improving your mood, they may support the nervous system and cardiovascular health.

4. CBD massage oils.

Besides giving the benefits of other massage oils, CBD massage oil has the additional benefits of giving relief from tension, stress, deep muscle pain, inflammation, and improved hydration of the skin. It also helps to alleviate anxiety and boosts your mood.

5. CBD gumdrops

CBD gumdrops or gummies are taken orally. Each gumdrop contains 20 mg of cannabidiol, which is higher than most CBD products. They contain five ingredients: gelatin, fruit essences, citric acid, sugar, and full-spectrum, phytocannabinoid-rich CBD.

Manufacturers claim that these gummies are effective in giving relief from anxiety, depression, pain, inflammation, and improving sleep.

6. CBD recovery rub

A CBD recovery rub or muscle cream is topically applied to provide relief from pain and inflammation. It targets your muscles and joints to give relief from post-workout relief.

It is a fragrance-based therapeutic combination of eucalyptus, menthol, tea tree, lavender, rosemary, and peppermint.