CBD, or cannabidiol, is a phytocannabinoid compound. The prefix phyto – Greek for “of plants,” – indicates that CBD comes from a plants as opposed to humans. While the hemp plant is the richest source of plant cannabinoids, there are other sources of similar terpenes, such as chocolate and black pepper.
Hemp refers to a specific type of the Cannabis sativa L. species. Industrial hemp, as it is legally known in the U.S., contains by definition, less than 0.3% THC by weight. THC is psychotropic, and creates the “high” synonymous with marijuana. Plants that contain high levels of THC greater than 0.3% are known as marijuana. While CBD is non-psychoactive, it has extensive therapeutic effects nonetheless.
CBD is a mild inhibitor of cannabinoid receptors. This means that it decreases the effect of compounds which activate cannabinoid receptors, like THC. It also can help to restore balance to endocannabinoid signaling in parts of the body that may have lost their endocannabinoid tone and homeostasis. CBD also activates serotonin 5-HT1a receptors, which are the target of most anti-depressant and anti-anxiety medications.
Cannabinoid compounds, regardless of their source, have a direct relationship with mammal bodies. All mammals, including humans, have an endocannabinoid system (ECS) comprised of signaling messengers and cannabinoid receptors which respond to them. The ECS can be found in almost every tissue of the body.
The endocannabinoid network has many implications in human health. The best explanation is that the ECS helps maintain balance between opposing symptoms. For example, it is involved in the physiology of both positive moods and of depression, both the creation and the metabolism of muscle tissue, and both the initiation and suppression of inflammation.
The reason CBD appears to be therapeutic for such a wide range of conditions is the same reason that a screwdriver is useful for many different projects. Whether tightening a doorknob, building a bookshelf, or replacing flashlight batteries, the same screwdriver can be effective for achieving all three objectives. Similarly, the endocannabinoid system functions as the “screws” that secure our body systems into homeostasis.
If a screw comes loose, a screwdriver can tighten it, preventing the whole thing from falling apart. Similarly, when the endocannabinoid system stops functioning properly in a certain body system, CBD is like the cannabinoid “screwdriver” that tightens the ECS “screws” that hold the system in homeostasis, restoring its healthy function.
What is CBD Used For?
Because of its similar effects in nearly every system of the body, modulation of the ECS with CBD can help in the management of inflammation, depression, anxiety, some tumors, addiction, epilepsy, and skin health.
Hemp has a long and important history dating back thousands of years. It is widely accepted that hemp products had been used by humans as far back as 3000 BC, but some propose an even longer timeline. Humanity and hemp share a unique history. Humans have used hemp for its medicinal value, to produce human and animal food, to produce incredibly strong cordage, and literally thousands of other uses.
Hemp-derived CBD products, which by definition contain no detectable THC, are very popular among the holistic and naturopathic health communities, but they’re also gaining traction among the traditional western medical community because of their undeniable effects in vivo.
People with diverse conditions including chronic pain, epilepsy, Crohn’s disease, depression, anxiety, acne, and even fungal infections, have found relief through the introduction of CBD into their daily or weekly regimen.
How Does CBD Work?
CBD has only recently gained notice by the medical community. As we have learned more about the endocannabinoid system and the cannabis plant which is able to modulate it, we have learned that CBD and THC mimic the effects of compounds produced in our own bodies, known as endocannabinoids. The endocannabinoid compounds AEA (anandamide; arachidonoyl ethanolamine) and 2-AG (2-arachidonoyl glycerol) are produced throughout our entire body, and they have a relationship similar to that between THC and CBD.
CBD reduces the effects of THC, and AEA reduces the effects of 2-AG.
Anandamide is the most widely known endocannabinoid because it was the first discovered, and most people mistakenly think that anandamide is the endocannabinoid most similar to THC. In fact, anandamide reduces the potency of 2-AG, which is considerably more potent, just like CBD reduces the potency of THC.
Because CBD mimics anandamide in reducing the overall effects of the ECS, it actually boosts the strength of the ECS. Just like lifting weights temporarily hurts muscle tissue on a microscopic level, CBD temporarily reduces the effects of the ECS. This causes the ECS, just like muscle tissue, to compensate and increase its signaling efficiency.
By restoring health and balance to the endocannabinoid system, CBD can indirectly maintain balance and homeostasis in the systems which are regulated by the ECS.
What is CBD Isolate?
“What is CBD isolate?” is a question often asked when discussing hemp and CBD. To best answer this, we will discuss how this product is obtained. In order to extract a pure CBD isolate, the process begins with a supercritical fluid extraction. Supercritical fluids are substances that, under the right temperature and pressure, have properties of both a gas and a liquid. Namely, they have the container-filling properties of gasses, and the permeability and “wetness” of a liquid.
Due to its mix of gaseous/liquid properties, this fluid is able to pass through plant material, selectively dissolving a given compound at a unique pressure/temperature combination. This method pulls out a broad spectrum of compounds by running the same plant material at different temperatures and pressures to obtain the desired cannabinoid cocktail.
To create a CBD isolate, winterization is required, which applies incredibly low temperatures to the extract, causing any pollutants to be expelled from the CBD crystal matrix. This leaves behind a pure 99.9% cannabidiol isolate crystalline substance.
The impacts of a CBD isolate product will be different than a broad spectrum CBD product. Cannabinoids – both phytogenous and endogenous – interact with one another synergistically. This means that the net effect of multiple cannabinoids is greater, or simply different, than the sum of their respective effects.
This synergistic relationship is known as the entourage effect. CBD isolate has many useful qualities on its own, but much of its effect comes from the synergy between it and our own endocannabinoids. That’s why people with endocannabinoid deficiency respond differently to cannabinoid administration than healthy peers. Personal chemistry, preference, and the route of administration of the product will determine whether CBD isolate or a broad spectrum preparation will be more effective.
Pure Relief is here to help you strike a balance and harmony in life through natural remedies that really work. We seek to educate and inspire our customers every single day. Browse our extensive catalog to find out which of our hemp-derived CBD products suit you.