What is CBD?
CBD stands for cannabidiol and is one of 100 active cannabinoids in the hemp plant. It interacts with the endocannabinoid system and is usually consumed as CBD oil, but also comes in a variety of other products. Aside from cannabinoids, the hemp plant contains other active ingredients such as terpenes.
CBD has been researched more and more in recent years, and in the meantime, the first highly concentrated CBD products have entered the market. Worldwide research results have led to the interpretation that CBD is anti-inflammatory, relaxing, and can speed up recovery of intensely worked muscles.
Unlike its notorious counterpart, THC, which is prominent in many strains of medicinal cannabis, CBD is not psychotropic. It doesn’t get you high, wired, blazed or stoned, the way a high THC containing strain does. But what effects does CBD have on our bodies and health? And where does this healing substance come from?
CBD – Facts Worth Knowing About Cannabidiol
- What effect does CBD have on the body and our health?
- From where is CBD obtained?
- Is CBD legal?
- CBD research
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1. What Effect Does CBD Have On The Body And Our Health?
CBD helps you keep your balance and control, thanks to cannabidiol’s interaction with the endocannabinoid system. This system not only passes through your brain, but throughout your entire body, regulating functions such as hormone production, appetite, sleep, mood, pain sensation and immune system reactions. It might not be a miracle disease cure, but it can naturally improve your quality of life.
CBD keeps the endocannabinoid system harmonious and balanced, supporting your overall sense of well-being. Simply put, cannabidiol and hemp help the EC-system to make important adjustments. Learn more about the endocannabinoid system here.
CBD takes effect with differing speeds and intensities, depending on which product you use. In CBD oil, the dosage is absorbed through the mouth’s mucous membranes, sidestepping the stomach and thus taking effect faster and with more intensity than CBD capsules do. CBD diffuser pens, on the other hand, are absorbed through the lungs and thus take effect the quickest and most intensely.
2. From Where Is CBD Obtained?
Cannabidiol is primarily derived from the hemp plant. An ever-growing fanbase sings CBD’s praises, while few actually know the process through which CBD is derived to retain its terpenes and cannabinoids.
This process is one of the safest and most effective ways to extract CBD in its essential components. See the most important processes listed in the following table:
CBD extraction process
Subcritical CO2 extraction process
Supercritical CO2 extraction process
Low pressure extraction
Steam distillation extraction
The most important step here is the supercritical CO2 extraction. Sounds complicated––and it is. So put away the little chemistry set. Producing hemp extracts yourself is no easy feat. The extract is produced alongside extractors, which separate the desired ingredients from the rest of the plant material under various pressure ratios and with help from carbon dioxide. This gentle extraction process means that the valuable components of the hemp plant remain unchanged. The intermediate product is a raw oil (crude oil, which has little to do with normal CBD oil) which is then cleaned and filtered through a second purification process. The final product is a natural full-spectrum hemp extract containing the important terpenes. What are terpenes? Learn more here.
3. Is CBD legal?
Let’s get one thing out of the way: this is no black and white topic. CBD legality differs from country to country, so does its government approval. In the United States, for instance, the FDA has yet to approve any CBD products for consumption, while it has approved a seizure treatment drug that contains a purified form of CBD. Is cannabidiol legal for UK users? Yes, because it’s not included under the 1971 Misuse of Drugs Act. CBD is used, among others things, as a dietary supplement in the form of oil, a medicinal product when in the form of capsules, or cosmetics when in the form of CBD gel, for example.
Important to note: The products you use must be THC-free. CBD does fall under the EU’s Novel Food policy, since it’s considered a new type of foodstuff. The Novel Food catalogue is applied differently from country to country, usually behooves the interpretation of the regional authorities, and is reviewed with each new product. This is no problem for consumers - it’s up to manufacturers and producers to ensure that they’ve dealt with it.
If you travel with CBD products, for example CBD oil, you should know that the CBD itself is not a problem. However, you do need to be careful: if the product contains the slightest amount of THC, you should check the corresponding cannabis law of the country you’re traveling to.
In the UK, the deciding law is the 1971 Misuse of Drugs Act, which classifies cannabis as a Class B drug. For CBD to be legal, it has to be officially THC-free, meaning it contains less than 0.2% THC. It also has to be advertised as a nutritional supplement, not as medicine.
Want to know more about CBD’s legal position? Our Hemp Wiki article Is Cannabidiol legal in the UK? answers the important legal questions.
4. CBD Research
Cannabinoids, specifically CBD, are being intensely researched for their perceived high potency and apparent health benefits. In 2019, over 500 CBD studies were published in medical journals. In comparison, 2017 yielded less than half that amount.
In the largest study conducted in Germany to date, we interviewed two different test groups on the subject of the CBD and focused on the CBD experiences of CBD users and experts: CBD survey: What we really know about CBD!
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