What is CBD?

CBD stands for Cannabidiol, which is a compound that will naturally be found in the cannabis plant. Currently the majority of the CBD you can buy will be found in a hemp plant, which means it cannot have more than 0.3% THC by weight. CBD is constantly being tested and studied for its many therapeutic properties and has been used for such purposes for thousands of years. CBD is only one of more than a hundred cannabinoids that exist in the cannabis plant and is widely used because it is not addictive or psychoactive (does not get you high).


The other major compound that is often studied alone or along side CBD is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the compound that causes the high that cannabis is famous for. They both have therapeutic attributes but often work even better when they are used together as CBD can lessen or neutralize the psychoactive effects of THC. This is why the ratio of CBD to THC is so important. As a general rule of thumb, if the ratio of CBD to THC is 8:1 or greater, there is an lesser chance that you will feel any intoxicating effects when consuming a CBD product.



Why should you use CBD?


With greater access to the internet and research, more and more people are starting to look into natural healing processes that do not have many of the side effects from traditional medicines. It seems the current health system is more interested in prescribing medications and more medications on top of that for the side effects of the first medication instead of trying to solve our health issues. With access to CBD, we can now start to get relief of many ailments with almost no worry for side effects or getting addicted to it.


With more and more backing from the public, there is starting to be much more scientific research into the cannabis plant, especially by the U.S. government. There is increasing anecdotal accounts from patients and physicians who highlight CBD’s potential as a treatment for a wide range of maladies. You can find multiple books that can increase your awareness as well as your knowledge in the subject. Some of the information you may come across is how it can potentially help with (but not limited to):

  • Autoimmune diseases (inflammation, rheumatoid arthritis)

  • Neurological conditions (Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, Huntington’s chorea, stroke, traumatic brain injury)

  • Metabolic syndrome (diabetes, obesity)

  • Neuropsychiatric illness (autism, ADHD, PTSD, alcoholism)

  • Gut disorders (colitis, Crohn’s)

  • Cardiovascular dysfunction (atherosclerosis, arrhythmia)

  • Skin disease (acne, dermatitis, psoriasis)

  • Reduction of addiction tendencies

  • Relief with chronic pain

  • Offsets anxiety and depression


HOW DOES CBD WORK?


CBD comes in many forms including vapes, dried plant, gummies, chocolates, tinctures, patches, topicals, and much more. Although the form may affect how fast you feel the effects of CBD and where you feel those effects, they still work in the body by interacting with our internal endocannabinoid system.


The endocannabinoid system plays an important role in the regulation of a broad range of physiological processes to include mood, energy, intestinal processes, the immune system, blood pressure, bone density, glucose metabolism, pain, stress, hunger, and more.


If the endocannabinoid system is so important and covers so many functions, what do you suppose would happen if it begins to not function properly? This is where disease and chronic issues come from that we cannot seem to find a cure for. Our current health care system is more concerned of the symptoms than the actual cause. Science is starting to show that the dysregulation of the endocannabinoid system is present in almost all pathological conditions.


Which form to take?


By understanding and using the proper amount of CBD and even THC, we can enhance our endocannabinoid system. When we do this we can possibly slow, and in some cases stop, certain disease progression. Some forms of CBD will act fast and you will notice the benefits quickly, but will not be as long lasting. Other forms will take longer to feel, but will also remain in the body for a longer period of time. Each one has its own pros and cons, so let's take a quick look at some of the more common ones.


Edibles are a great way to introduce CBD into the system. It takes anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours to kick in, but will last inside the body for about 6 to 8 hours. This is because it takes a longer time to be processed into the body. It needs to make it through the digestive tract and past the liver before it can make it into the blood stream. Edibles include things like chocolates, gummies, tinctures, capsules, and the many types of different baked goods and even beverages.


CBD can also be smoked or vaped. This will look very similar to how traditional marijuana is used, so it can sometimes come with a negative look to it. We have been raised to believe cannabis is bad, so it will take some time to undo its social intolerance. The benefits of this type of CBD is it acts the quickest and will help the most when symptoms come on quickly and need to be dealt with quickly. It will usually only last in the body up to 4 hours.


Topically is a great way to introduce CBD to the body as it works in a local area on the skin and can help you get relief with pain or skin conditions that are not rooted deep in the body. Topicals can work almost instantly or take up to 30 minutes or more depending on the area. It is best to have some extra help with essential oils or other means that can get it absorbed through the skin. The benefits can be felt for several hours, but will not be felt outside the area it was applied on.


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