What is CBD? It’s History, Forms, and Benefits

Nature's Green House explains the history of the CBD chemical found in cannabis plants

According to the United States National Library of Medicine, CBD, which is short for cannabidiol, is a chemical component in the Cannabis sativa plant, also known as cannabis or heme. CBD is one of two naturally occurring substances that are found in cannabis—with its counterpart being Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The distinction between CBD and THC must be made in order to distinguish them from one another—essentially, CBD is the non-psychoactive portion of the plant, which means it doesn’t have the same effects of THC like euphoria or the feeling of being high. CBD is currently used in a variety of products like CBD Oils and Edibles, which are known for imparting a feeling of relaxation and calm.

The Cannabis sativa plant has two primary species, hemp and marijuana, which both contain CBD. However, there’s a much higher percentage of CBD found in hemp, which conversely also has very low levels of THC when compared to marijuana. Another key distinction is that CBD is not hemp oil. When people refer to hemp oil, they’re referring to oil that is extracted from the seeds of the hemp plant. There are no cannabinoids, neither CBD or THC, found in hemp oil. Hemp oil is vastly different from CBD, and is packed with healthy fats for which its moisturizing benefits make for great beauty products.

History

CBD-rich plants have had a long history of use, even dating back to the Victorian era where it was used to treat pain, appetite, anxiety, nausea, menstrual cramps, and even reduce the likelihood and occurrence of seizures. CBD-rich varieties of plants have become increasingly difficult to acquire as many farmers in the 20th century have attempted to grow Cannabis sativa plants that contain higher amounts of THC rather than CBD.

Types of CBD

SYNTHETIC CANNABINOIDS

Synthetic cannabinoid is CBD made in a laboratory and has been somewhat diluted and features inconsistent effects compared to the natural phytocannabinoids and endocannabinoids. Completely isolated and synthetic cannabinoids have very little scientific evidence to support their benefit.

PHYTOCANNABINOIDS

Phytocannabinoids were first discovered by studying certain active ingredients of marijuana, hemp, or cannabis — hence the name (cannabinoid). More than one hundred cannabinoids have been identified in the hemp plant. It is unique in this way. The existence of plant cannabinoids in hemp has given rise to an unprecedented amount of research being done on hemp, most specifically on the two phytocannabinoids named THC and CBD.

Forms of CBD Products

CBD Edibles and Candies

People enjoy CBD edibles because they’re tasty and enjoyable to consume. If you want to combine your CBD routine with a sweet treat, this is a good option for you. Keep in mind that the effects take longer to kick in with edibles but will also typically last longer.

CBD Flower and CBD Cigarettes

This is the most traditional way to enjoy CBD, and many people say it makes them feel close to nature.

CBD Topicals

Ideal for people who want to enjoy CBD in a targeted manner, CBD topicals can be applied to any part of the body where you want them. Great for aiding in pain relief applications.

CBD Vapes and CBD Concentrates

Vapes and concentrates are well-liked by many because they’re portable, discreet, and offer high levels of CBD even in a small amount of product.

CBD for Pets

We share just about every other part of our lives with our pets. Now we can share the experience of CBD, too. Great for treating dogs with high anxiety or separation anxiety, seizures, or toning down your pet’s high energy outbursts.

Effects

As mentioned previously, CBD doesn’t have any of the psychoactive effects that someone experiences when using THC, and as with most types of chemicals and treatments, everyone’s interaction with CBD will be different.

Increases Dopamine

Some studies have linked CBD with increased dopamine levels in the brain, which can help relieve depression. CBD helps to activate the dopamine neurotransmitter in the brain, resulting in an increased feeling of pleasure, which can alleviate the symptoms of depression.

Increases Serotonin

A lack of serotonin contributes to multiple mental ailments, including depression and anxiety disorders. Like with dopamine, CB receptors help increase the neurotransmitter serotonin.

Reduces Blood Flow

According to the results from a Brazilian Study, in which all patients had a generalized anxiety disorder, they reported that their anxiety symptoms dissipated following the treatment. After they took CBD, the patients underwent a brain scan, and all of the patients had decreased blood flow to the brain, which often results in an anti-anxiety effect.

Benefits

While the benefits of CBD and CBD-infused products are often only speculative, the research has yet to catch up with the burgeoning industry. The only CBD medication that is currently FDA-approved is Epidiolex. Epidiolex was approved last year for the treatment of certain types of epilepsy. While studies are currently ongoing as to the potential or observed benefits of CBD, there is some evidence that CBD may be effective in reducing anxiety, chronic pain and insomnia, or sleep trouble. Some studies show promise for oral, topical, and inhaled CBD for use in many other conditions, including dystonia (movement disorder), Fragile X syndrome (a rare genetic disorder), graft-versus-host disease (bone marrow transplant rejection), multiple sclerosis (MS), opioid withdrawal, schizophrenia, and smoking cessation. CBD is also used in some cases to alleviate the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease, but some studies advise against it.

Regardless of research and FDA approval, many testimonials insist that CBD has helped with a slew of other health conditions. While this anecdotal evidence is enough for some people, skeptics abound, and it’s difficult to cite the real benefits of CBD due to a serious lack of research.

Our trusted staff at Nature’s Green House can help you find what is best for your needs. We have representatives available to help 24/7 with any cannabis questions or MMJ card renewal. We have Florida’s best CBD products for you or your pets and are happy to serve you.

Image Source: Dmytro Tyshchenko / Shutterstock

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