CBD, short for Cannabidiol, is one of many chemical compounds found in the Cannabis sativa plant. Having become increasingly popular in the mainstream health and wellness market in recent years, you’ll now find it everywhere from coffee shops to beauty stores, making its way into your morning cup of joe and even your night time eye serum.
While recent consumer reports have indicated that more than a quarter of people in the U.S. say they’ve tried CBD, there’s still a lot of confusion around what it actually is, and isn’t. What’s more, conflicting and anecdotal information which surrounds it further adds to the uncertainty and skepticism. We understand that in order to truly believe in a supplement you have to understand how it works and why it’s having the effects it is, so we’re demystifying this potent plant with a little CBD 101...
CBD is a chemical compound found in the cannabis plant. Hemp and Marijuana are two variations of this plant, and CBD is present in both, but there tends to be a greater concentration of it in hemp.
Unlike the chemical compound THC, which is the main psychoactive constituent of the cannabis plant, CBD is non-psychoactive. It interacts with many receptors found in the brain and body, known as the endocannabinoid (ECS) system. If you’ve never heard of that before, think of it as the body’s master regulatory system. The main role of the ECS system it to maintain a stable internal environment despite whatever fluctuations are occurring in our external environment, be it stress or changes in temperature. It will perform whatever tasks necessary in order to achieve this goal. So, CBD works with the ECS system to promote this state of homeostasis (aka balance) in the body.
CBD’s therapeutic potential spans the body and mind; reducing inflammation, regulating blood pressure, alleviating chronic pain and having a calming effect which results in lowered anxiety levels and a better sense of focus. Studies have even found CBD to help treat disorders associated with the gastrointestinal tract by maintaining a healthy gut function, optimal hunger signaling and gut permeability.
Due to its close biological link with marijuana, there is a misconception that CBD is addictive; although it’s one of the many components of marijuana, this simply isn’t the case. The World Health Organization recently released a report stating that CBD “exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential”. So there’s no need to worry about becoming dependent.