What Does CBD Stand for?
Although a lot of people have heard of CBD, they might not be entirely clear on what it is or what CBD stands for. CBD is the medical abbreviation for cannabidiol, one of the primary active compounds, or cannabinoids, found in cannabis plants.
It comes from Cannabis sativa plants such as marijuana and industrial hemp. Experts estimate that there may be over one hundred active compounds called cannabinoids, but the two main ones are CBD and THC. While THC is famed for causing a high, CBD is non-psychoactive and is instead said to be an excellent health supplement.
There is a large number of reported uses for cannabidiol. But before we get into that, let’s find out how CBD works.
How CBD Works
To understand how CBD works, you need to know about the endocannabinoid system. This is a system that runs throughout the whole human body, and it is also found in other mammals. It consists of a network of receptors called cannabinoid receptors, which can be found on the surface of cells.
To date, scientists know of two primary cannabinoid receptors, called the CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors exist predominantly in the brain and central nervous system, while CB2 receptors can be found in the organs and immune system. These receptors are designed to work with endocannabinoids, messenger molecules that the body creates to signal changes in the body, and the environment.
When something changes, endocannabinoids are created. These molecules bind to specific cannabinoid receptors, triggering reactions to help the body adapt. Through these mechanisms, the endocannabinoid system keeps the body in balance. It’s a critical system for survival because it maintains homeostasis, and therefore it’s essential to keep it healthy.
This is where CBD comes in. When you ingest CBD, it can stimulate the production of endocannabinoids, helping the endocannabinoid system to run smoothly. While this is happening, the body can stay well-balanced and healthy. Through its mechanisms, CBD has an indirect influence on both cannabinoid receptors.
For this reason, people take CBD daily to support a healthy lifestyle and general wellbeing.
CBD Derived from Hemp vs. Marijuana
CBD comes from cannabis, which means experts can extract it from either hemp or marijuana. There is an essential distinction between hemp-derived CBD and marijuana CBD, however.
The issue is one of legality. Marijuana is only legal for recreational use in a handful of states; elsewhere, it is illegal due to its THC content. The marijuana plant typically has 0-2% CBD, and anywhere up to 30% THC. These cannabinoid levels make it virtually useless for extracting CBD for the purpose of supplements, but they also make marijuana-derived CBD illegal in many places.
The majority of CBD users are looking for a CBD hemp oil. In other words, CBD oil that uses cannabinoids derived from hemp. Industrial hemp, by definition, contains less than 0.3% THC by dry weight, making it impossible to use as a psychoactive substance. Industrial hemp is legal on a federal level and is allowed in most states – although you will have to check laws in your specific locality.
Basically, you want to find a CBD supplement derived from hemp. Doing so will ensure you are operating within the law and will also mean you get the highest quality CBD. Remember, marijuana-derived CBD oils only contain very low levels of cannabidiol.
There are lots of CBD oil benefits we could discuss, but as of yet, none of them have been clinically proven. Trials are underway that are testing CBD’s specific capabilities. The US government even has a patent on CBD as a neuroprotective agent, allowing tests to be carried out into this area.
If you search online, you can find anecdotal evidence that CBD can achieve all many of things. CBD is sometimes regarded as a panacea, but unfortunately, this isn’t quite the case. Hemp oil benefits that are often discussed online are mostly down to tests conducted on animal models. So far, scientists have mostly experimented on rodents such as rats and mice.
While these animal studies are promising, you can’t take them too literally. We will have to wait for solid confirmation that CBD is able to provide specific benefits.
That being said, CBD might be able to support the endocannabinoid system, in turn helping your general health and wellbeing. For this, you can take a daily supplement of a reasonably low dose. Despite the lack of proven benefits on humans, CBD is considered safe to take (as confirmed in a report by the World Health Organization), so there’s no harm in giving it a try if you want to support overall wellbeing.
What Are the Different Types of CBD Products?
These days, CBD can be taken in a vast number of different ways. You can find almost anything infused with CBD! Below, we explain some of the most popular products and terminology you will see when shopping for CBD.
Hemp Seed Oil
Hemp seed oil is a term you will regularly see in the CBD industry. Don’t be confused – it’s not quite the same thing as CBD oil. Hemp seed oil is a food oil created by cold pressing the seeds of the hemp plant. These seeds contain no cannabinoids, so they are not a source of CBD.
However, many companies use hemp seed oil as the carrier of choice for CBD. When making a tincture, the extracted cannabinoids must be suspended in a carrier oil. Hemp seed oil is a common one because it reduces wastage by allowing manufacturers to use multiple parts of the plant. Furthermore, hemp seed oil has its own reported benefits for health.
While you shouldn’t buy hemp seed oil alone when looking for CBD, it can be a good idea to seek out CBD hemp oil.
In case you were wondering, CBD oil of any kind is taken orally by dropping it under the tongue. This method is called sublingual administration. The CBD is taken up by blood vessels in the mouth, giving it a quick route to the endocannabinoid system.
A CBD isolate is a product that contains pure CBD and nothing else. To make an isolate, manufacturers extract multiple cannabinoids from the plant and filter the extract repeatedly until only CBD is left. Most isolates contain around 99% pure CBD. Isolates are ideal for users who are regularly drug tested and don’t want to risk trace amounts of THC.
Isolates come in many forms and textures. Powders are common. Users can add isolate powder to cooking, mix it into beverages, or take it orally. There is also shatter, wax, and crystal.
The opposite of an isolate, full-spectrum CBD oil contains a full range of plant compounds and cannabinoids. It is the least processed form of CBD. When made from hemp, full-spectrum CBD still only contains trace amounts of THC that will not lead to intoxication. You can get full-spectrum CBD in a number of products.
Full-spectrum CBD is said to be very useful. The presence of multiple cannabinoids and plant compounds like terpenes may cause an entourage effect, meaning that the benefits of the CBD are multiplied.
Broad-spectrum CBD is somewhere in between full-spectrum and an isolate. It contains multiple cannabinoids and terpenes but has been filtered a little. Manufacturers often say the product is broad-spectrum if it contains no THC.
Nano CBD refers to cannabidiol, which has been reduced down to an extremely small size. This process requires a lot of expertise and science, so why would manufacturers go through the effort?
The smaller the CBD particles, the better the body can use them. Shrinking CBD down increases its bioavailability. In theory, nano-enhanced hemp oil is more effective than a regular CBD tincture.
Another advantage of nano CBD is that it is water-soluble, so it is even better for making CBD drinks.
What Does CBD Stand for? Final Thoughts
There is a lot of questions people have about CBD oil. Luckily, there is plenty of information out there for potential users.
To answer the titular question ‘what does CBD oil stand for?’: It stands for cannabidiol. It’s an active compound from the cannabis plant that might provide some health benefits. Hemp-derived CBD is not a part of the Controlled Substances Act, and it can be used in most states. Make sure to look up the laws in your individual state to be on the safe side.
CBD users now have a massive range of choices when it comes to product types, so do some shopping around and find the perfect product for you!
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