We look at the molecule that is CBD, where it comes from and how it works.
Cannabis is a fascinating plant that has been used throughout history for its healing qualities. Its modern medicinal uses are only starting to be revealed. What we know so far is that its many parts and constituents have shown remarkable potential to help everything from anxiety to pain management, sleep to skin care.
Looking for a quick summary of CBD? Jump to the end of the page and watch our video.
CBD stands for cannabidiol, which is a type of cannabinoid, and is a non-intoxicating compound found in the cannabis plant. CBD is the compound responsible for the overwhelmingly positive side effects and benefits of Cannabis, whereas THC is solely responsible for the ‘high’. While CBD can have many positive side effects (aiding in sleep, pain relief, and easing anxiety) our CBD will not get you high.
What is a Cannabinoid?
Cannabinoids are chemical compounds that make up the Cannabis plant. There are over 113 unique cannabinoids, CBD and THC being the most well-known and studied. Both are unique cannabinoids with separate properties and offer an array of therapeutic benefits. They work by imitating compounds our bodies naturally produce, called endocannabinoids, which activate to maintain internal stability and health.
What is the history of CBD?
CBD was discovered in 1942, two years after the first individual cannabinoid discovery was made. CBD until recent years was believed to be a natural precursor to THC because of its molecular similarity. We now know that this wonder compound is produced independently from THC in the cannabis plant.
How does CBD work in humans?
- In recent years, scientists discovered that we have a complex network of cannabinoid receptors in our bodies which work to improve communication with our brains
- This network of receptors is now known as the endocannabinoid system or ECS (just like a respiratory system, immune system, nervous system etc.)
- As a communication network, the ECS alerts the brain to where there too much or too little activity in these various systems and other parts of the body - working to regulate and restore balance (“homeostasis”)
- Cannabinoids like CBD stimulate the ECS, improving communication with the brain, and its ability to restore biological balance results in a variety of physical and mental health benefits.
Why you should know where your CBD comes from. And what to look for.
There was a time when you could only get CBD from a ‘someone who knows a guy’. Access to CBD was limited to what seemed like an inner circle of people who somehow knew someone that got ‘really good stuff’. And that’s pretty much all it took – word-of-mouth and thumbs-up.
As the CBD market expands and becomes ever more crowded with products, promotion and promises, the source of the CBD and how it got from seed to shelf is becoming increasingly more important.
Where does CBD come from? Where was it grown and extracted?
This miracle compound is extracted from the cannabis plant. However, not all plants are created equal...
Whether its a local or global brand, grown in Lesotho or California, traceability is a concept that’s gaining momentum in all cannabis-derived products. And not just for ethical reasons, but for ensuring the industry is held to consistent health and safety standards to build trust with consumers globally.
The other, more obvious point is to ensure your CBD is THC-free.
Quite simply, the more you know where a product comes from – whether it’s a coffee bean or an apple – the more you’ll inherently trust a brand and a supplier. With a natural product like cannabis, transparency, honesty and trust are arguably more important than slick marketing campaigns and fancy packaging.
Key questions to ask your CBD supplier (if it’s not clear from the packaging or website.):
- Where was the Hemp grown (continent, country, state, local area?)
- Where was the product processed? Was is lab-tested by an independent third party?
- How was the CBD extracted?
- What is the amount of CBD in each dosage? Do they fall under the legal threshold? (Your recommended daily dose is 20mg of CBD)
- Is it 100% THC free? (ie, does it contain 0.3% THC or less?
- What other ingredients are listed? There shouldn’t be a long list of other stuff.