What is CBD: All You Need to Know About Cannabidiol
Whether you’ve heard about it from a friend, on the news, or while browsing your Instagram feed, you’ve probably heard about Cannabidiol (CBD), the cannabis-derived compound.
While its rise in popularity has created a surge of excitement about CBD, there is a lot of inaccurate information out there. With that being said, it’s important for users to thoroughly understand CBD before they can properly benefit from it.
If you’re new to CBD or on the journey to expanding your knowledge, you’ll find it here in this guide.
What is Cannabidiol (CBD)?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of at least 85 active compounds identified in the Cannabis plant known as cannabinoids.
CBD can be extracted from Cannabis as an isolated compound independent of the other cannabinoids, or as a whole plant extract that contains a range of different cannabinoids.
In an isolated state, CBD is non-intoxicating and can deliver a range of natural benefits without the mind-altering effects associated with “getting high.” In fact, studies have shown that CBD can actually alleviate the psychoactive effects induced by Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the intoxicating component of Cannabis.
So, how exactly does CBD work?
Let’s talk about the Endocannabinoid System.
CBD and the Endocannabinoid System
In 1988, the first cannabinoid receptor was discovered in the brain of a rat. Researchers found that these receptors reacted specifically to THC, and were found primarily found 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, 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).
As researchers learned more about the ECS, they discovered that it was a vital component in maintaining the body’s homeostasis, which is the ideal balance between interdependent elements in the body.
In layman’s terms, our bodies were designed to work with cannabinoids, and they can even be considered as essential to our overall health and wellness.
So now that you know a little bit about this amazing cannabinoid, let’s talk about how you can use it.
Different Ways to Use CBD
CBD can be used in a wide variety of ways including:
- CBD Oil Tinctures
- CBD E-Liquids
- CBD Vape Pens and Cartridges
- CBD Topicals
- CBD Capsules
- CBD Patches
- CBD Edibles and Beverages
While there are certainly a wide variety of ways to use CBD, each offers certain advantages and disadvantages. This leads many to wonder, “what’s the best way to use CBD?”
What’s the Best Method to Use CBD?
First of all, there isn’t any single method that’s best for consuming CBD.
Generally, it comes down to the needs and preferences of the individual and which method is best suited for their situation.
There are, however, important factors CBD users should consider in order to determine which method of consumption is best for them. Some of these factors include:
- The method’s bioavailability rate or the amount of CBD that enters the bloodstream
- The maximum concentration of CBD delivered from the method
- The average cost versus value of the method
Taking these factors into consideration, here’s a list of what we think are the best ways to use CBD:
1. CBD Vape Pens and E-Liquids
Vaping CBD is one of the most popular methods of consuming CBD, and the first method on our list.
Aside from the advantages offered by traditional vaping (alternative to smoking, relaxing, enjoyable flavors, etc.), vaporizing allows the CBD to enter the bloodstream directly through the lungs. As a result, a higher bioavailability of CBD is delivered to the body, more quickly and more effectively than if it had gone through the body’s digestive tract.
2. CBD Oil Tinctures
CBD Tinctures are made by extracting cannabinoids from the hemp plant, then infusing the cannabinoids with a liquid solvent, such as alcohol or apple cider vinegar.
As a liquid concentrate, CBD tinctures are administered sublingually under the tongue, where the CBD oil is then absorbed into the salivary glands under the tongue.
While the saliva on the tongue does breakdown a portion of the CBD, it enters the bloodstream more quickly and does not get filtered out by the body’s digestive tract.
Because of its use of use and fast-acting relief, CBD oil tinctures are one of the most popular ways to enjoy the many benefits of CBD.
3. CBD Capsules
While vaporizing CBD provides higher bioavailability and CBD tinctures provide quicker results, our next option provides important benefits that the other methods may not.
Discretion and accurate, consistent dosages.
When this is your primary concern, CBD Capsules or CBD Softgels are going to be your best option.
CBD Capsules can come in many different forms with different casings and concentrations, which allows discreet ease of use, and accurate dosing. With capsules you don’t have to deal with the stigma of vaping or the uninviting flavors of tinctures, but, of course, capsules do have their downfalls. For example, capsules take longer to take effect and deliver less bioavailability of CBD to the body because our bodies take longer to break down a capsule, and a capsule will also go through most of our bodies filtration systems.
Still, it’s a great option for many users, and to offset the decrease in bioavailability, you can always take a higher concentrated capsule.