CBD Crash Course: A Beginner’s Guide
What is CBD? What does CBD stand for? What are its uses, and where does it come from? How does CBD work in the body? If you’re just starting in the world of CBD oil and other botanicals, these are likely some of the first and most pressing questions you have.
If you’re looking to learn all the basics of this fascinating natural botanical, then you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll give you a crash course on all the basics, with links to learn more about everything related to this fascinating therapeutic botanical.
What Does CBD Stand For?
CBD stands for “cannabidiol”, one of over 100 cannabinoids found in cannabis (both hemp and marijuana). Unlike the more famous tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD ingestion or other use does not cause intoxication and has little to no potential for abuse or dependence.
What does CBD stand for, more figuratively? CBD stands for natural wellness, self-care, and a sustainable, vibrant planet. Let’s take a look at how.
What Is CBD Used For?
CBD is used for therapeutic purposes, and clinical studies have shown a wide variety of such uses. These include benefits for:
Regular users often claim that CBD helps them manage a wide variety of other conditions as well. While such claims may have merit, further research is necessary before we can draw definitive conclusions.
For more on the benefits CBD offers, see the articles linked above. For more on how CBD works physiologically, see our articles on the endocannabinoid system and CB1 and CB2 receptors.
How Do You Take CBD?
CBD can be taken in a wide variety of ways.
Most obviously, users can ingest or smoke portions of the hemp plant, which naturally produces large quantities of CBD. However, this method is comparatively uncommon, and most CBD users prefer to take a manufactured product made with CBD extract.
CBD products include:
- CBD oils, which are taken sublingually and are very efficiently absorbed into the body.
- CBD capsules, which deliver convenient, on-demand dosing with no prep.
- CBD edibles and drinks, which deliver a CBD dose with a delicious twist.
- CBD vaporizers, which offer the fastest absorption time of any CBD product.
- CBD topicals, which can target specific areas for pain relief or anti-inflammation.
Does CBD Get Users High?
No, CBD use does not get you high. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD does not have any intoxicating effects and will not cause users to fail a drug test.
Note, however, that many CBD products do contain trace amounts of THC. These products are known as “full spectrum” CBD products. Full spectrum CBD is valued for the “entourage effect”, which occurs when the other hemp compounds are taken alongside CBD, thereby enhancing CBD’s therapeutic effects.
Even if you choose to take a full spectrum CBD product, federally-legal CBD products won’t get you high. That’s because hemp naturally produces only trace amounts of THC, which are far too little to cause a meaningful psychoactive effect. But as any full spectrum CBD fan will tell you, that trace amount has a positive impact; it’s just tricky to define precisely what.
Does CBD stand for a legal way to get high? Absolutely not. CBD is a therapeutic, holistic, all-natural wellness tool, simple as that.
Where Does CBD Come From?
CBD is one of the two most common cannabinoids found in the hemp plant, the other being THC.
Both strains of cannabis (hemp and marijuana) produce cannabinoids naturally, but the balance of these natural compounds varies between the two plant strains.
- Marijuana is very high in THC and produces comparatively little CBD.
- Hemp is very high in CBD and produces comparatively little THC.
Under the 2018 Farm Bill, CBD products are federally legal so long as they follow specific guidelines. The most important being that 1) the CBD comes from hemp (not marijuana), and 2) the finished CBD products are tested to ensure they contain minimal amounts of THC.
To be made into finished CBD products, the CBD and other compounds must first be extracted from raw hemp plants. The most common method is Supercritical CO2 Extraction, which safely separates the CBD from hemp biomass.
How Does CBD Affect the Environment?
What does CBD stand for, environmentally speaking? CBD stands for a greener, more sustainable, and vibrant world.
That’s right! When you shop CBD, you’re not just promoting a healthier body and mind. You’re also promoting a healthier planet.
CBD comes from hemp, an incredibly versatile crop with a startling number of environmental benefits. These include the following:
- While growing, hemp plants dramatically reduce soil erosion.
- Hemp plants are carbon-greedy, so they can reduce greenhouse gas emissions that would otherwise contribute to global warming.
- Once CBD has been extracted, the remaining hemp biomass can be made into:
- A powerful fertilizer.
- Eco-friendly “biofuel”, an alternative to oil and gasoline.
- Textiles, clothing, and other products often made with oil and/or traditional paper products.
- Hemp is fast-growing, and its many uses offer a sustainable alternative to traditional old-forest logging.
For more on how CBD can help create a more vibrant planet, see our in-depth article on the environmental impact of hemp.