As CBD continues to take the world of health and wellness by storm, people everywhere shift their views towards the Cannabis plant. Finding natural relief for dozens of health conditions.
With coverage in major publications like The New York Times and Forbes Magazine and support from leading health professionals like neurosurgeon Sanjay Gupta and Dr. Josh Axe,
CBD is quickly becoming one of the most popular health trends globally.
While the popularity of CBD is continuing to rise, it is still a very new industry. Because of this, many new and experienced users don’t fully understand what CBD is, how it works, and how it can benefit their lives.
If you’re one of those people, don’t worry―our CBD beginner’s guide will help you learn everything you need to know about this fantastic Cannabinoid!
CBD actually counteracts the psychoactive properties of THC! In addition to CBD’s non-psychoactive properties, research has shown that it contains many antioxidant and neuro-protective properties, which opens the doors for a variety of CBD health benefits. So, what is CBD?… It’s a potent molecule packed full of wonder!
Because of this, CBD became a very popular option for those seeking a natural alternative to treat conditions such as chronic pain, multiple sclerosis, PTSD, epilepsy, and other disorders.
At first, many were skeptical, thinking that a natural compound, let alone a Cannabis-compound, could effectively treat such a wide range of conditions. But as medical researchers learned more and the stories from tens of thousands of people began to stack up, the truth was undeniable––CBD works.
So, How Exactly Does CBD Work?
According to leading expert Dr. Josh Axe, “research is beginning to show that CBD is different than other well-studied cannabinoids. All cannabinoids act as ligands, meaning they dock onto the binding site of a protein and have the ability to modulate a receptor’s behavior.” There are two primary receptors that cannabinoids affect: CB1 receptors and CBD2 receptors.
Dr Axe notes that “CBD1 receptors are widely distributed, but are particularly abundant in areas of the brain, including those concerned with movement, coordination, pain and sensory perception, emotion, memory, cognition, autonomic and endocrine functions. While CB2 receptors are found mostly in the immune system, and they seem to reduce inflammation and certain kinds of pain.”
It is important to note that while cannabinoids have similar structures, they can affect these receptors very differently. For example, research has shown that THC positively regulates the CBD1 and CBD2 receptors, resulting in mind-altering effects. In contrast, CBD has minimal impact on these receptors, explaining why it does not cause these effects. This is why CBD can deliver the healing properties of the marijuana plant without causing the adverse effects associated with THC.
For starters, CBD inherits many of the medicinal properties of Cannabis, such as being anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiolytic. This allows it to provide natural stress, anxiety, and pain relief.
But this alone isn’t what allows CBD to benefit so many conditions.
What allows it to effectively treat so many conditions, and maintain health and wellness in the body, is how the cannabinoids found in CBD interact with receptors throughout our body.
Let’s talk about the Endocannabinoid System.
The Endocannabinoid System
In 1988, the first cannabinoid receptor was discovered in a rat’s brain. Researchers found
These receptors reacted specifically to THC and were found primarily in regions of the brain responsible for mental and physiological processes such as memory, high cognition, emotion, and motor coordination.
Two years later, in 1993, the second cannabinoid receptor was found as part of the immune and central nervous systems. It was then that researchers started to realize that they may have been onto something, but these receptors were only found in rodents, so what’s the big deal, right?
Fast forward to 1995, researchers discovered that these receptors, now officially referred to as the CB1 receptor and CB2 receptor, were found not only in rats but within thousands of other species, including humans.
Thanks to advancements in technology and knowledge and tons of clinical trials, researchers were able to reverse engineer what they’d discovered. This allowed them to trace back through the metabolic pathways of various cannabinoids, and uncover an entirely unknown signaling system between the CB1 and CB2 receptors in our bodies and receptors found in Cannabis compounds, which they called “endocannabinoids.”
Due to the role of endocannabinoids in this system, the system was officially named the Endocannabinoid System (ECS).
To give you an idea of how the ECS helps maintain homeostasis, Let me give you an example. When we become stressed, our mind releases cortisol, which is the compound responsible for feeling when we are stressed. Cortisol can be helpful when we need to react quickly to a dangerous situation. However, too much disrupts the natural balance of our body and mind can result in serious health problems.
When certain endocannabinoids are introduced into the body, it helps provide stress relief and helps manage our perception of stress so that we can look at the situation with a clear mind and make the best decision.
This last section may have been a little confusing with all the scientific jargon. So just to clarify… Scientists discovered that there are systems in our bodies that are solely dependent on their interaction with cannabinoids. These systems are part of vital functions in our bodies.
Basically, our bodies were designed to work with cannabinoids. They can even be considered essential to our overall health and wellness.
CBD Health Benefits
The excitement about the health benefits of CBD started when CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta publicly endorsed CBD.
Gupta, who had been a long-time antagonist of the marijuana movement, was changed when he discovered how several different families from around the country could get relief for their children’s seizures by using CBD Oil. For decades consumers and medical professionals alike have overlooked CBD because it was so closely associated with psychoactive THC. However, now that CBD is proven to be non-psychoactive, there has been a wide range of scientific studies on CBD, revealing its wide range of health benefits.
According to a 2013 study published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology:
CBD benefits include acting in some experimental models as an anti-inflammatory, anticonvulsant, antioxidant, antiemetic, anxiolytic, and antipsychotic agent. Therefore is a potential medicine for the treatment of neuroinflammation, epilepsy, oxidative injury, vomiting and nausea, anxiety, and schizophrenia. If you’re interested in learning more about all the health benefits of CBD, check out more of our health benefits category!).
Is CBD Legal to Use?
So this is obviously a critical question for new users. Still, there isn’t exactly a one-size-fits-all answer.
Over the last 50 years, governments of the world prosecuted Cannabis for its psychoactive effects. They deemed it as a “gateway drug.” Because of this, the world formed a negative perspective about Cannabis and anything related to it.
Now, thankfully, the general opinion is starting to shift in a positive direction. However, there has still been a lasting impact on society, including our governing laws.
Updated on February 10th, 2022, by Miah Schmahl to reflect exact legalities in the United States: In the United States, the 2018 Farm Bill made hemp-derived CBD federally legal to sell and consume. For most states, this means that they can now find CBD products in many of their favorite stores. However, other states are still trying to keep CBD and hemp-derived products off the shelf for various reasons. Always check with your local state laws, but it’s perfectly legal for most states. Worldwide varies as well, but many countries have legalized CBD, and more are continuing to do so.
Where To Find CBD
CBD has so many fantastic health benefits, and we’ve only scratched the surface of the plant. In the United States, most people can order and ship CBD to their doorstep without issues, but it can be challenging to find safe products. That’s why I’ve rounded up my favorite product sources. These are brands that I’ve tried and know are trusted. They each have 3rd party lab testing, reputation, and customer service to back up their products.
Lazarus Naturals is one of my favorite places to get CBD. They sell high-quality products made from the hemp they grow themselves. You know exactly where the hemp they use comes along with their 3rd party labs, and you can be confident about the products you are putting in your body.
They sell everything from pet products to topicals, but my favorite is their tinctures. I’ve enjoyed the flavors I’ve tried so far, even those I wasn’t entirely sure about. I currently use tinctures to get my day started in my morning protein shake. I also use them sublingually for anxiety if needed. My dog uses tinctures to help with seizures and stomach issues in his breakfast and dinner. What I love the most about these tinctures is that they have them in 3 different potencies. I buy the high potency versions for myself and my dog.
They also offer a discount program for low-income, veterans, and the disabled; the process is straightforward. Just fill out a form and submit one form of proof; they’ll approve within a day or two. The discount brings a large bottle of high potency tincture down to 48 dollars which is a huge saving!!
The pain relief cream is equally high quality and soothing sore muscles. In addition to their tinctures and topicals they sell, edibles like gummies and coconut oil. Along with concentrates like CBD isolate, smokeable RSOs, and softgels and capsules for easy dosing.
Green Roads CBD offers pharmacist formulated CBD products in so many different forms. This was one of the first CBD companies that I tried. I was looking for a topical to help with some skins problems I was having. I bought their hot and cold relief bundle. I was surprised to find just how effective it was on my skin and the occasional muscle aches I get in my shoulders.
There are so many other products from Green Roads that I either want to try or have tried. My favorites include their bath bombs and CBD gummies. I also love their pet line because they have tinctures formulated for different size dog breeds, from small to large. Unfortunately, they don’t have any tinctures for giant breeds yet. But most people are unaware of how large some dogs are; mine weighs in at 125lbs. They even have mushroom-based products so you can reap the health benefits of various mushroom species without having to indulge in their slimy spongy texture. Unless, of course, that’s your thing!
Their 3rd party lab sheets are accessible from the product page, and they currently have labs available for 12 different CBD batches. The product you receive will have a batch number attached to it, and that will help you find the correct lab sheet. According to their site, they test for pesticides, heavy metals, solvents, microbial, and mycotoxins.
CBDfx is another top-rated CBD company. They have a little bit of everything between gummies, edibles, topical, and bundles. Like Green Roads also offers mushroom-based products in similar blends. CBDfx has an extensive pet section with everything from tinctures to treats to CBD paw balm to keep their toe beans and noses nice and soft and their minds relaxed. What I love the most is that they have a tincture explicitly formulated for cats and an extra-strength formula for large breed dogs that works perfectly for giant breed friends.
They even sell federally legal Delta 9 products like gummies and vapes. To be legal, they have to have a minimal amount of THC present. Along with a high amount of CBD, it means you likely won’t’ feel an intense high from these products. Still, they are exciting and definitely something to check into if you are curious about legal weed.
Their 3rd party lab tests are accessible for the product page and their lab test page and with access to the current batches being sold and the dates those tests were posted. Unfortunately, I can’t find where CDDfx sources their hemp. According to their lab tests, they test for all the general things like solvents and heavy metals.
Question: What is the Best Way to Take CBD?
Answer: CBD can be ingested in a variety of ways. I’m partial to tinctures or gummies because they are easier to use and don’t effect the lungs.
Gummies are the most popular because they taste good, are easy to eat, and usually don’t have a super-strong hemp taste.
Tinctures and Oils can be used either by swallowing as an edible or by holding under your tongue for 60 seconds. This is a great way to get the effects of CBD quickly without smoking. You can also use most CBD oil in edibles to make your own.
Vape and flower are popular for those that already smoke marijuana or Delta 8 regularly. CBD flower is very similar to marijuana, but it doesn’t produce a psychoactive high; it will, however, relax you. Vape cartridges are more discreet, smell better, and are easier to use. However, you are still smoking a substance, so it can still be harmful to the lungs. I’m a huge fan of vaping and packing a nice bowl in the evening, but I do so at my own risk and recommend that everyone weigh the pros and cons.
Question: How Will CBD Make me Feel?
Answer: CBD generally relaxes my body and clears my mind to help me focus. It also helps calm my stomach down when it’s upset. Depending on what you use and how you ingest it, you may feel anything from a small headrush to pain relief. My dog usually takes a nap after eating his food, so I assume the CBD makes him a bit sleepy. He’s still alert and ready to rock and roll at a moment’s notice.
Question: Why do you put CDB Oil Under Your Tongue?
Answer: The area under the tongue is capillary-rich. The CBD will be absorbed rapidly into the bloodstream. Outside of vaping, this is the fastest way to feel the effects of CBD oil.
CBD is full of medical benefits for humans and pets kind alike. While its certainly been through the wringer and is the target of unfair bias, times are changing, and this plant is finally receiving the love it should be!
Here are some helpful resources to make your job easier:
CBD Law Finder
“Is CBD Legal: The Legal Status of CBD in 2018”
We hope you enjoyed our CBD Beginner’s Guide and that it served as a good start to learning about CBD. If you’re ready to keep learning, check out our next recommended articles: