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Kannaco Answers - What is CBD?

Written by: James Garman | Posted on 11/11/20

You may have heard about CBD with the growing buzz around its various health benefits - but what really is this mysterious substance? Well, for one, CBD is the reason we are here and something we are pretty dang passionate about!

Where Does CBD Come From

More formally known as Cannabidiol, CBD is a naturally occurring substance that’s derived from the hemp “Cannabis Sativa-L" plant.  It is part of a family of substances called cannabinoids – and happens to be the first most prevalent of these cannabinoids found in hemp (there are many minor cannabinoids within the plant as well). You still with us?

Okay, so cannabidiol, cannabis… tomato, tomato, right?

twitter screen shot discussion difference in pronunciation of data and data

WRONG! But don’t be too hard on yourself; it’s a very easy mistake to make. Many people associate Cannabidiol (CBD) with marijuana and getting high, and this is primarily because of the most prevalent substance in marijuana, which is CBD’s cannabinoid pal, THC. That’s right, THC is also considered a cannabinoid. So, let’s break it down.

Psychoactive vs. Non-psychoactive

Our darling in question, CBD, is non-psychoactive, meaning that unlike the other active component of cannabis, THC, CBD does not get you “high” or alter your state of mind. The other major distinction to make here is that cannabis refers to the general genus of plant where CBD comes from, but that genus is further broken down into marijuana and hemp.

Hemp vs. Marijuana

Although they are “cousins,” hemp and marijuana are very different from a chemical structural standpoint, with marijuana naturally being more concentrated with the intoxicating THC, and hemp having a very low amount of this substance BUT containing a much higher concentration of CBD! (and of course, that’s where we get the CBD for our quality products)

If that all still sounds like jibberish, here is a visual breakdown:

diagram showing the difference between hemp and marijuana

Okay, we get that CBD is a naturally occurring substance found in cannabis plants; what does it do?

To understand what CBD does, you really need to know how it affects your body. Along with other cannabinoids, CBD interacts with what is called your endocannabinoid system (we’ll be referring to this term a lot, so let’s call it ECS for both of our sakes). Basically, you can think of the ECS as a signaling system within your body to keep everything in balance. While research is still being done on this system, it is widely believed that the ECS plays a role in maintaining normal levels in things like:

  • Sleep
  • Appetite
  • Mood
  • Reproductive Health
  • Memory

The ECS gets “signaled” to activate by what are known as endocannabinoids, which all of us actually produce naturally on our own. This signaling is done by the endocannabinoids attaching themselves to specific receptors classified as CB-1 and CB-2 Receptors. CB-1 being located largely in the central nervous system (head and spine), and CB-2 being located in the periphery nervous system (arms and legs).

 

So, I know what you’re thinking at this point. What the heck does CBD have to do with this?

Well, researchers believe that CBD and other cannabinoids work with the endocannabinoid system in similar ways that our natural endocannabinoids do. However, they do so in different ways.  

Some cannabinoids, like THC, bind directly with our receptors and cause some of the more profound psychoactive effects. Other ones, like CBD, don’t bind directly but enhance our own endocannabinoids to work within our endocannabinoid system.

Okay, so CBD works with my natural endocannabinoid system. What does that mean for me?

Research is exploding in the CBD space, so we’re learning more and more about the benefits of regular CBD use, but we’ve already discovered some pretty cool things. Some of the more intriguing benefits people have found when taking CBD for everyday use include:

  • Stress and Anxiety Relief
  • Increased Appetite
  • Pain Relief
  • Promotion of Healthy Sleep Cycles

In gif terms, it means feeling more like this:

And less like this:

Because the endocannabinoid system (ECS) is active throughout the whole body, benefits from CBD tend to be very holistic.

Fun fact: CBD has even found a particular benefit when researched to treat seizures in patients!

We’re not going to tell you that CBD is the magic pill to make everything peachy… (it can’t get you out of Christmas with your in-laws, sorry). Still, we fully believe in the benefits, both from a research perspective and our personal perspective (or else we wouldn’t make it our business).

But if you want to feel more like Oprah in a bubble bath and less like a tired toddler – why don’t you just see for yourself.