If you’re here, you probably have questions about CBD. What is it – and does it work? Our team regularly hears from customers who want to learn more about the natural compound that’s everywhere these days – from your favorite coffee shop to mall kiosks, you’ve likely seen claims about CBD that sound too good to be true. Let’s explore what CBD is, how it works, how to manufacture CBD and why it’s growing in popularity. Whether you’re new to CBD or have been taking it for years, this comprehensive guide gives a conclusive answer to all your CBD-related questions.
What is CBD?
CBD, or Cannabidiol, is a chemical compound found in both Hemp and Marijuana plants. While the plants are both members of the Cannabis family, they differ significantly in composition. Hemp plants have less than 0.3 percent THC. In contrast, Marijuana has anywhere from 3 to 35 percent THC.
Hemp requires lower maintenance than Marijuana and is also cheaper in bulk. It has applications in body care, clothing, and construction. Most CBD companies use Hemp-derived CBD for two reasons: It’s more cost-effective and won’t get you “high” – even in its rawest form, Hemp isn’t associated with psychoactive effects.
CBD and THC are just two of the cannabinoids, or chemical compounds, found in Cannabis plants. Researchers have discovered dozens of other compounds. Some others that you may hear referenced when discussing CBD:
- Cannabichromene (CBC)
- Cannabidiol Acid (CBDA)
- Cannabidivarin (CBDV)
- Cannabigerol (CBG)
- Cannabinol (CBN)
- Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV)
Where is CBD Sourced?
Now that you know more about Hemp-derived CBD, you may be wondering where Hemp comes from. The answer is more complicated than you may expect. For a long time, almost all CBD products came from European farms. That’s because growing Hemp was illegal in the U.S. – but one piece of legislation ended up changing the game. The Agricultural Act of 2014, or 2014 Farm Bill, made it legal to grow Hemp without having a permit from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration – a significant milestone that helped CBD become mainstream.
Why was Hemp illegal? In 1971, The Controlled Substances Act made Cannabis a Schedule 1 substance. Per the DEA, a Schedule 1 substance is one that has “no currently accepted medical use in the United States, a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision, and a high potential for abuse.” More than 40 years later, the government acknowledged Hemp’s potential by making it legal to farm under research and pilot programs.
The 2018 Farm Bill further cemented Hemp’s legality in the U.S., as it explicitly makes Hemp legal in all 50 states and provides support for farmers who cultivate the plant. Hemp Bombs sources all its CBD from organic, superior-grade Industrial Hemp grown in the U.S. While Great Britain, France and China dominate the Hemp production market, American farms in Kentucky, Colorado and other states are gaining traction.
How is CBD Extracted?
There’s more than one way to bake a cake, and the same can be said for CBD. Hemp Bombs manufactures isolate CBD, which is CBD without any other cannabinoids. Many other brands sell full- and broad-spectrum CBD, which both contain other cannabinoids and may include THC. CBD isolate is remarkable for its purity and legality – unlike full-spectrum THC, which holds trace amounts of THC, CBD isolate has no THC and is legal under the 2018 Farm Bill. The legality of full-spectrum CBD is still being debated in some states.
Supercritical CO2 extraction is Hemp Bombs’s preferred method for deriving CBD. This method relies on high-tech equipment and the manipulation of carbon dioxide. Simply put, CO2 extraction pushes pressurized carbon dioxide through the Hemp plant to isolate Cannabidiol. Carbon dioxide comes in many forms and can exist as a gas, liquid and solid. During CO2 extraction, liquid CO2 is pressurized until it reaches a supercritical state. It provides a pure, eco-friendly way to extract CBD from Hemp that’s scientifically backed.
It’s important to know that CBD dosing recommendations aren’t set in stone – you should take the dosage that feels best for you. We provide you with general guidelines and some basic information on the metabolization process to steer you in the right dosing direction. CBD works with your body’s natural biochemistry and metabolism, and everyone reacts to CBD differently. A few of the things that may affect how you process CBD are diet, sex, weight and age.
The best approach is to begin at small doses and work your way up. This will better allow you to understand how your body processes the compound. Try your best to take CBD daily for desired effects and increase dosage by a few milligrams if you don’t see your desired effects. It also depends on why you’re taking CBD. Issues like persistent chronic pain may require a more aggressive approach than issues like mood enhancement. See our CBD dosing chart.
How Does CBD Interact with Your Body?
CBD is effective because of the Endocannabinoid System, or ECS, a biological system found in mammals. It is a collection of cell receptors and molecules spread throughout the body that affects mood, appetite, sleep and more. Receptors are gatekeepers to different molecules and are activated by chemical molecules called agonists. When an agonist binds with a receptor, a message is passed on to the cell.
The two cell receptors involved in the Endocannabinoid System are called CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors are most commonly found in the brain and spinal cord, while CB2 is in the peripheral nervous system, central nervous system and gastrointestinal tract. Endocannabinoids are the chemical messengers that signal certain functions with the ECS network. The overarching purpose of the ECS is to maintain homeostasis (body balance).
Anandamide and 2-Arachidonoylglycerol, or 2-AG, are the two primary endocannabinoids active in the ECS. Anandamide has been dubbed the “bliss molecule” and plays a role in the regulation of appetite, pleasure and reward. 2-AG is thought to affect immune system functions and pain management.
One CBD misconception is that it binds directly to receptors CB1 and CB2 – in reality, Cannabidiol has a low binding affinity with those receptors. The effects of CBD occur because of an enzyme called FAAH (Fatty acid amide hydrolase). FAAH is responsible for breaking down anandamide, and CBD inhibits FAAH. The result is higher levels of anandamide, which means increased feelings of well-being.
We’ve covered some of the minor differences between CBD and THC, especially as it relates to intoxication. Let’s explore another difference between the two compounds. While both CBD and THC interact with the Endocannabinoid System, they affect your body in significantly different ways. THC binds with the CB1 receptor, but CBD can sometimes be an antagonist of THC. Essentially, it works against a THC “high,” which is why some people take CBD and THC together. Of course, one of the most significant differences is legality. THC is illegal in many states and can carry a hefty prison sentence and fines. In comparison, CBD is legal in all 50 states and many countries.
What are the Benefits of CBD?
It’s good to know what CBD is and how it works, but knowing its potential benefits are even more valuable. Let's explore the benefits of taking Cannabidiol.
CBD may help with a variety of pain-related conditions, according to developing research. One example: a study published in the European Journal of Pain found that rats with arthritis experienced less inflammation after taking CBD. Inflammation and pain almost always occur together. When you experience an injury, your body uses inflammation as a tool to protect you from infection. It’s when inflammation becomes overactive that your body begins to attack itself, essentially treating healthy tissue as if it is harmful.
The anti-inflammatory effects of CBD are often attributed to the way CBD affects the immune system response. The CB2 receptors are spread throughout the central nervous system. When CBD binds to overactive immune cells, a protein called caspase is created. Caspase is a messenger that induces immune cell death, which prevents inflammation.
Having trouble sleeping? If you spend most of the night tossing and turning, CBD may be the answer you’ve been searching for. Researchers have found compelling evidence that CBD helps regulate sleep. Up to 70 million adults in the U.S. struggle to fall and stay asleep every night, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Some common symptoms:
- Not feeling well-rested upon waking up
- Interrupted sleep
- Difficulty falling asleep
- Decreased mood, concentration, and mental performance
Insomnia comes in acute and chronic forms and is considered primary or secondary. Primary insomnia is not caused by other health conditions, while physical and mental conditions can trigger secondary insomnia.
While many people turn to prescription medication for sleep relief, CBD is an attractive option that has fewer side effects than traditional sleep medication. With no known potential for addiction and few side effects, CBD for sleep is worth checking out. If you’re dealing with any of the symptoms we’ve discussed, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor about CBD for insomnia.
CBD is believed to help remedy insomnia symptoms in the following ways:
- Increased daytime alertness
- Reduced anxiety
- Minimized pain and discomfort
CBD is not a medication, nor is it associated with drowsiness. CBD works by promoting daytime wakefulness (anti-somnolence) and can benefit people with primary and secondary insomnia
Mood disorders are a category of illnesses that are marked by a serious change in emotional state. Examples of mood disorders include major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder and persistent depressive disorder. Anxiety disorders can also affect demeanor, and they include generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorders and phobias.
Cannabidiol has been shown to be especially useful for anxiety disorders. A 2011 study showed that CBD significantly reduced social anxiety and discomfort during public speaking engagements. Recent research has suggested that CBD could help PTSD patients and those who have panic disorder.
CBD in Review
When you look at CBD’s potential benefits, it’s no surprise that the industry is exploding. Forbes estimates that CBD will be worth $22 billion in 2022 – impressive for an industry that only began to gain traction in 2014. The future for CBD is bright.
With the market growing at such a rapid pace, hundreds of companies are throwing their hats in the ring. Because the FDA doesn’t regulate CBD, some companies claim to have pure CBD while selling a product filled with unnecessary additives and chemicals. That’s why it’s important to choose a trusted brand like Hemp Bombs. With third-party lab tests, reviews from real people and transparency about manufacturing, we set ourselves apart from the competition and provide you with the best products available.