If you have even a passing interest in natural or alternative remedies for common medical conditions, you’ve probably noticed that CBD has become a major topic of conversation, research, and speculation in recent years. This natural compound derived from the hemp plant has skyrocketed into the spotlight as a potential treatment for a vast array of medical concerns, ranging from anxiety and ADHD to asthma, arthritis, and even some types of cancer.
Researchers are learning new things about CBD every day, and there’s a long way to go in understanding the enormous potential of this beneficial compound. But if you’re new to the world of CBD, you’ll want to start with the basics. Here are five essential things to know about CBD.
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CBD is the best-known cannabinoid, but there are many others
Let’s begin with some basic facts that provide a broad understanding of CBD. CBD is a cannabinoid, a naturally occurring chemical compound found in the cannabis or hemp plant. Israeli scientists first discovered cannabinoids in the 1960s, and they’re the compounds responsible for the many medicinal effects of cannabis—which we’ll cover shortly.
CBD, an abbreviation for cannabidiol, is the best known of the cannabinoid compounds. It’s also the most extensively researched, thanks to its wide-ranging benefits for conditions including inflammation, chronic pain, and anxiety. However, scientists have discovered over 110 different cannabinoids and more are likely to be discovered in the future.
Each cannabinoid compound has unique medical effects; some are powerful sedatives, some help with symptoms of nausea and vomiting, some provide pain relief, and some have even been studied for their cancer-fighting potential. Interested in learning more? Here’s an overview of six common cannabinoids.
CBD research has exploded in recent years
Because CBD has such versatile potential as a treatment for common medical conditions, scientific interest in cannabinoids has ballooned in recent years. Here are a few major categories of research for CBD:
Pain and Inflammation
Revealing perhaps the most extensive and promising field of research, CBD has been analyzed in hundreds of studies related to various types of pain relief. Research has shown that CBD works as a powerful anti-inflammatory, and also influences the body’s perception of pain. As such, it has been studied as a potential treatment for sciatica, gout, arthritis, asthma, and even chronic conditions like lupus and fibromyalgia.
Recent research has also revealed that CBD may have soothing and healing effects for a variety of skin conditions. When ingested or used as a topical application, CBD can help to alleviate the symptoms of ailments including shingles and eczema. It has also been the focus of promising research on skin cancer treatment, which has revealed its potential to mitigate cancerous growth in skin cells.
In addition to its benefits for physical ailments, CBD has been studied as a potential treatment for common mental health concerns. Because CBD interacts with the bodily systems that control mood and memory, it has been tested as a possible method for alleviating the symptoms of conditions including bipolar disorder, OCD, anxiety, ADHD, and even autism.
Your body has a built-in system to process CBD
After reading through some of the research above, you might find yourself wondering how CBD can have such wide-ranging effects. The answer lies within our own bodies, in a specialized system known as the endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system is a network of receptors that extends through nearly every major organ, from the brain and spinal cord to the immune system and gastrointestinal tract. Using these receptors, it works to maintain homeostasis throughout the body.
Where does CBD come into play? Exposure to CBD works to trigger activity in the receptors of the endocannabinoid system that regulate bodily functions including pain, inflammation, mood, appetite, and memory. If the receptors aren’t working effectively for some reason, or if they simply need an extra boost, CBD can help the endocannabinoid system regulate the key functions that keep your body healthy.
You can’t get high from CBD—and you don’t have to smoke it
If you’d like to try out CBD for the first time to alleviate symptoms of the conditions above, you might have a common question: will CBD get you high? If you use CBD-only products, the answer is no. Even though CBD is derived from the cannabis plant, it doesn’t have the psychoactive effects traditionally associated with marijuana use. That’s because the “high” from marijuana is caused by a different compound: THC.
While THC and related compounds have been studied for benefits of their own, they do have psychoactive effects. Many cannabis products contain a mix of THC and CBD, so be sure to look for CBD-only products if you’re planning to use them while driving, working, or otherwise going about your daily routine.
You might also wonder if you can only get the benefits of CBD by smoking cannabis. The answer there is no, too! There are lots of ways to take CBD, including CBD oil, CBD pills, and CBD gummies. You can even find CBD blended into a topical cream for targeted relief from pain and skin conditions.
CBD could benefit your pets, too
Just like people, pets can suffer from pain, inflammation, and anxiety. So, human CBD users often wonder if their pets could enjoy the benefits of this natural compound. The answer is yes, and many CBD purveyors are now creating products specially formulated for pets.
CBD can be safely given to dogs, cats, and even horses for a variety of medical conditions. If you’re interested in giving CBD to your four-legged friends, it’s important to use CBD-only products made specifically for animals. THC can have harmful effects for pets, and products designed for human consumption may include ingredients that aren’t safe for animals to eat.
Due to FDA Regulations, we recommend that you do your own research on CBD products. We also suggest that you read the reviews on the Intrinsic Hemp website, where our customers record their real-world results of using our products.