The CBD craze, also known as the “green rush,” has swept across the globe, with its latest wave sweeping the U.S. The federal level legalization of hemp based products at the end of 2018, and an unstoppable momentum of legislation aimed at full scale legalization of all marijuana products across the board has everyone’s eyes dead set on the cannabis industry. Consumers, investors and entrepreneurs alike have seen the benefits and opportunities of CBD based products and have contributed to the skyrocketing growth of the burgeoning vertical.
If you’re new to CBD or haven’t quite pinned down what it is and what the craze is all about, here are the basics, in a few nutshells.
What is CBD?
First things first, what is CBD? CBD is short for Cannabidiol – it is one of many different chemical compounds found within the cannabis plant. Out of the approximately 100+ compounds present in cannabis, the 2 main ones are THC and CBD. It is a naturally occurring substance that is used in products such as oils, tinctures, isolates and edibles.
What is the Legal Status of CBD?
The form of the cannabis plant that is the least processed is hemp. It contains most of the CBD used in the U.S. market now due to the landmark 2018 Farm Bill which made products derived from hemp specifically federally legal. It also puts no restrictions on the sale, transport or possession of hemp-derived products with the condition that the items were produced in a manner consistent with the law. There is, as an example of regulations still in place, a 0.3% THC content law for all CBD products.
Despite this federal level of legislation, there is still a bit of inconsistency between the legal status of cannabis products, varying from state to state. In some states, all cannabis products are fully legal, while in others, only medical use and limited amounts of possession are permitted; it is important to look up what the laws are in your individual state and in any states you intend to sell to, if you are looking to do business with it.
How Does CBD Work?
Cannabinoids have certain effects on the body when they attach to receptors. The brain has an endocannabinoid system that contains receptors. The human body actually produces its own cannabinoids – the CB1 and CB2 receptors. CB1 receptors can be found throughout the body with a high number of them in the brain. These kinds of receptors have a role in regulation when it comes to movement, coordination, pain, emotions, mood, memories and appetite. These are the receptors that interact with THC and result in the quintessential “high” effects. CB2 receptors have an effect on the immune system and help regulate inflammation and pain. In early research, it was thought that CBD attached to these receptors, but in new findings, it seems CBD actually has a role in promoting the body to produce its own cannabinoids.
Why the Popularity?
What’s the hype around this specific compound you may ask? Unlike other compounds in cannabis such as THC or tetrahydrocannabinol, it is not psychoactive – meaning it will not get you high. THC is the compound that, when it has heat applied to it and is introduced into the body, causes the effects associated with being high like euphoria, sedation, paranoia and other known effects. Marijuana/Cannabis, has for a long time, been stigmatized, mainly because of the psychoactive effects it has on the human brain. Remove that little detail by separating the compound that causes it and excluding it, and you are left with a laundry list of health benefits, minus the drawbacks and often unwanted altered mental state.
Part of its popularity is also due to the fact that it has a high level of versatility when it comes to consumption and application. It can be included as an ingredient in anything from drinks and food to topical ointments, creams, tinctures and more. This versatility is part of why it has been disseminated into such a wide array of industries – from the food and beverage industry to the beauty industry to the alternative medicine industry to eCommerce and even the pet industry. This is also why CBD is becoming a popular business avenue for many entrepreneurs.
What are the Benefits of CBD?
CBD for anxiety: people who deal with anxiety disorders and depression or paranoia can benefit from using CBD because of its therapeutic effects that help reduce the symptoms. CBD is being used by people living with panic disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorders, general anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and social anxiety disorders, among others. Many of the current conventional treatments tend to have side effects and other complications which many times cause problems or cause the patients to refrain from taking them. While there are more studies needed on CBD, it is currently not evidence that it causes and adverse side effects.
CBD as a Natural Alternative Medicine Option: People who use over the counter drugs or prescription drugs often have to deal with not just the symptoms of whatever condition they are trying to treat, but also the side effects of the medication they are supposed to be using to treat it. CBD offers a naturally derived option that, at the moment, has not been shown to cause any adverse side effects.
CBD for Chronic Pain and Inflammation: one of the main causes of chronic pain is an overdrive of inflammation. Studies have pointed to CBD helping reduce chronic pain by reducing inflammation. This means patients living with inflammation-based conditions such as arthritis, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia and other types of joint pain. Even cancer patients have been using it for symptoms caused by chemotherapy.
Other Health Benefits:
- Antioxidant properties
- Neuroprotective properties
- May help people with Diabetes
- May help slow the progress of Alzheimer’s Disease
- May help protect against schizophrenia and psychosis
- Contains sleep benefits that can help treat insomnia and help establish stable sleep patterns
- Helps with autoimmune diseases such as Lupus, Crohn’s Disease, Grave’s Disease, Celiac Disease and more.
CBD’s Cosmetic Benefits: CBD is being used as a powerful age-reduction agent and is being included in skincare products. CBD is used in topical application in the form of gels, oils, creams and serums, skin moisturizers and products that help combat acne and wrinkles. It is being used to result in a more youthful, more rejuvenated look.
How do you use CBD?
There is CBD Isolate and CBD Oil. You’ll most likely come across CBD oil more often. Using CBD oil is different than smoking cannabis whole. Because of the versatility of using CBD oil, you can find it in a long list of different types of products – everything from coffee to kombucha to chocolate to gummies and more. You can choose to consume pre-incorporated CBD products, such as gummies, that usually come in bottles marked with the number of milligrams included. You can also purchase oil dropper bottles that allow you to add CBD drops into whatever edible items you want. If you are looking at cosmetic uses, you can use cbd in the form of creams that you lather onto your face or skin. CBD oil can also be vaped. When it comes to dosage, there is still a lack of clear FDA regulation, so the dosage can be identified by a closely monitored period of trials, generally starting with a very low dosage and working your way up. Be sure to consult with a qualified healthcare professional, such as your primary care physician, to be certain that introducing CBD to your medicinal intake regimen is right and safe for you specifically.