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How CBD works in your body

March 26 2020

Greetings and welcome to the CBDU Crew Blog, your source for the highest quality cannabidiol (CBD) info. To us, a big part of providing the best CBD experience is not only offering top quality products at a great cost, but also providing in-depth information and education on what CBD is, how it’s made, the benefits of CBD for various health concerns, and so much more. The CBD Universe team is here to help, so if you have questions, feel free to ask! 

What is CBD?

First things first, let’s clarify: cannabidiol, or CBD, is not the same as cannabis/marijuana. It’s commonly confused because both varieties come from the same plant family. Both CBD and cannabis come from the same root plant, Cannabis sativaCannabis sativa includes two primary species, hemp and marijuana. Both species include CBD, but the hemp plant has been bred to have much higher levels of CBD than the marijuana plant, so that is where our CBD products comes from. The marijuana plant includes the ingredient tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is what causes the psychoactive effects cannabis is known for. So, while CBD may be from the same root plant as marijuana, it’s not going to induce the psychoactive effect that marijuana is known for. However, CBD does still impact and benefit our body and mind. 

Understanding the benefits of CBD

The biggest benefit of CBD that researchers have found so far is that CBD can provide aid for an impressively wide range of physical and mental conditions. From anxiety and depression to chronic joint pain, there are a myriad of studies suggesting that CBD can help alleviate symptoms and provide relief throughout the body. CBD is even at the root of a new medication, Epidolex, which has been approved by the FDA as a treatment for epilepsy. Scientific study into the effects and benefits of CBD are still ongoing, and it feels like researchers are learning new things about how CBD can help on a daily basis. 

How CBD interacts with the body

In order to understand how CBD can provide such a wide range of benefits throughout the body, it’s important to understand the basics of how the body is naturally receptive to it. Studying the effects of CBD actually led researchers to discover a previously unknown system within the body. The endogenous cannabinoid system, often shortened to the endocannabinoid system or ECS, is named for the Cannabis sativa plant because derivatives like CBD helped researchers discover this system. While researchers are still studying the full impacts of this system, the overarching idea is that the Endocannabinoid System works with compounds like CBD to trigger certain tasks within the body. 

The Endocannabinoid System

It’s interesting to note that the ECS can also be found in any vertebrate species, even down to tiny nematodes. It’s an essential part of existence because it helps the body adjust and adapt to environmental change, among other effects. The endocannabinoid system is found in the brain, organs, connective tissue, glands, and immune cells — basically, it runs through most of your body. The ECS affects each of these areas slightly differently, which is why CBD can have such a wide range of impacts. The overarching goal is that the endocannabinoid system helps the body’s systems reach homeostasis, or a stable internal environment. It’s important to keep the body functioning well on the inside because external factors can cause fluctuations, which is where aches and pains can come from. 

The body naturally produces cannabinoids. That’s actually what endocannabinoid means — that cannabinoids are produced endogenously, or internally to the body. Exogenous cannabinoids would be any cannabinoid that is made externally. Whether they are made internally or come from an external source, cannabinoids trigger reactions within the endocannabinoid system. If you wonder how CBD and cannabinoids trigger reactions and what those reactions are, you’re not alone; these questions are the focus of ongoing studies because the ECS was discovered so recently that scientists still have a lot to learn. 

CBD products and the Endocannabinoid System

While your body naturally produces cannabinoids, CBD products are another means of giving your body cannabinoids to trigger reactions within the ECS. The endocannabinoid system can control everything from autophagy (the process in which a cell will get rid of and recycle any parts that aren’t functioning properly) to communication between different cell types. Since the endocannabinoid system runs throughout so much of the body, and can impact communication between systems, CBD products can help trigger a myriad of different responses to help alleviate pain, adjust systems that are out of balance, and more.

So what happens in the body when you take CBD? Great question! If you have specific questions about CBD for pain or anxiety, stick around our blog; we’ll be digging into those topics more specifically later. There are also a huge range of scientific articles on the effects and benefits of CBD for specific conditions if you want to wade through that jargon. 

In much broader terms, taking CBD products can both signal the body to make more cannabinoid receptors and to tell the body to produce more endocannabinoids, but that process can take time. This is why you may not feel any impacts the first time you take CBD oil for pain, but you may notice an impact the second or third time you take some. When it comes to dosing or the best methods for taking CBD, the answers will depend a lot on the effects you hope to achieve. For example, some physical symptoms can be more easily targeted through a CBD oil-infused lotion or balm. On the other hand, if you seek less-localized impacts, like a treatment for anxiety, a CBD oil or tincture that you can ingest daily may be better for offering the widespread benefits you want. 

Choosing CBD products for your body

Ultimately, the CBD product you choose will depend on your preferences and which product type offers the effects you desire.
But beware! A 2017 study found that nearly 70% of sampled CBD products sold online were mislabeled and had either more or less CBD than advertised. The CBD products you see at your local supermarket or convenience store may not be up to snuff. The FDA is in charge of regulating CBD production, but it’s such a young industry that products are often not checked as rigorously as they need to be. In order to get a better CBD product, you’ll want to look for CBD companies, like CBD Universe, who uphold higher standards, provide third-party testing, and keep other markers to prove the quality of every product. 

The most important aspect is choosing CBD products which are made from high-quality, pure CBD. A CBD isolate is generally going to be the most pure, but that means it will be powdered, which some don’t prefer. Mixing it with a carrier oil like MCT oil makes it easier to ingest, but this can dilute it. Whether you choose an oil, capsules, a topical option, or some other CBD product, you’ll want to pay attention to the CBD quantity and how many other ingredients are mixed in. While some ingredients, like MCT oil, can help provide full-spectrum benefits, most additions are just fillers that dilute the product (and, thus, the efficacy). 

Is CBD Legal?

One question we hear time and time again is whether CBD is legal, or if you need a special license to purchase it. Since CBD is derived from the same plant family as cannabis, it’s an understandable question. However, as we discussed above, CBD is distinctly different from the THC-inclusive marijuana. Starting with the 2018 Farm Bill, cannabis saw a widespread legalization for hemp and hemp-derived products, as long as they contain less than 0.3% THC. There are other restrictions that go with the legalization, but those have more to do with regulating production. With fewer restrictions on hemp, the 2018 Farm Bill also opens up legalization for CBD. Specifically, cannabidiol products are legal if and only if the hemp plants they are made from are grown in a manner that meets the 2018 Farm Bill requirements (as well as any other Federal, state, and local regulations). 

So, is CBD legal? Broadly speaking, the answer is mostly yes, but you will still want to check into the laws in your area for more clarification. State and local regulations can impact that, so be sure to do your due diligence. 

Your trusted source for high-quality CBD

If you’re ready to experience the benefits of CBD for yourself, start by choosing a high-quality product. Here at CBD Universe, we pride ourselves on only offering the best CBD oils, isolates,  and other products. Connect with us to learn more, and shop online today!