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CBD (Cannabidiol): What can it do for you?

I’m sure you already have an idea of what cannabidiol (CBD) is. Everyone’s talking about it. It’s everywhere. It’s in stores, on the internet, in the news, and in my grandma’s medicine cabinet (honestly, she has three bottles of full-spectrum oil). 

This stratospheric rise in popularity has not only turned the heads of many users previously unaccustomed to cannabis and hemp-derived products, but also seasoned cannabis vets who want to try this wonderful cannabinoid on its own. 

Purchasing high-quality CBD can be challenging — but as a dedicated team to creating premium CBD products ourselves, we help people do just that.

But what really is all the fuss about? What can it actually do for you?

Let’s find out.

What does CBD do?: At a glance

  • CBD is one of 113 different naturally-occurring chemical compounds found in varieties of cannabis and makes up roughly 40% of the plant’s extract
  • CBD (along with other cannabinoids such as THC, CBN, CBC, CBG, and THCV) interact with your body’s own biological system known as the endocannabinoid system (ECS)
  • This interaction with your ECS results in improved health and wellness
  • Studies into the effects and benefits of CBD are very promising — CBD for anxiety, pain, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, arthritis, diabetes, and substance abuse have all been researched
  • Hemp-derived CBD with <0.3% THC oil is federally legal in the U.S.

What is CBD? (In the simplest way possible)

All across the internet, you’ll find the same info on what CBD is and what CBD stands for — but do you actually know what it is?

Many blogs and articles simply state it’s one of 113 naturally-occurring cannabinoids found in varieties of cannabis and has the potential to do wonderful things for people but I’ve always been left wondering how helpful that is to new users.

Yes. CBD (and other cannabinoids) are naturally-occurring chemical compounds found in varieties of cannabis. 

Yes. It does have the potential to do great things for people now and in the future. 

However, I run on the philosophy that all things cannabis should be explained in the simplest terms possible, particularly if you’re a newbie to the scene. No flowery language, complex terms, or boring scientific jargon — just a good clean food analogy instead, which is quite ironic considering the munchies and all that. 

So, in the interest of simplicity, CBD, and food analogies, let’s go for it. 

Let’s say the cannabis plant is a burrito — or, more specifically, the tortilla wrap. Inside this wrap, you have some pretty delicious ingredients. These ingredients are the cannabinoids (beneficial chemical compounds), which provide your body with the nutrition it needs.  

I like to think THC is the spicy sauce topping and CBD is the cooling slice of avocado. Why? Because THC and CBD are two very different cannabis ingredients with different flavors and benefits for your mind and body. In fact, CBD’s relaxing coolness actually counteracts THC’s high-inducing spiciness. 

CBD doesn’t get you high (unlike THC)

THC is the most abundant cannabinoid in varieties of cannabis and illegal on a federal level as a schedule 1 substance. It’s also the culprit for the red eyes, munchies, and high you get when consuming cannabis-derived products. 

CBD, on the other hand, does not get you high. Not even in the slightest. CBD’s main quality is providing you with relaxation, as well as not causing you to fail a drug test. This alone is why so many people are turning their attention to cannabidiol oil. 

The other cannabinoid ingredients (as well as the terpene ingredients which give your cannabis burrito its fantastic smell) are also said to provide your body with many health and wellness benefits by interacting with a clever system inside your body. 

CBD is completely legal (but there’s more to it)

CBD’s legality is confusing. So, let’s break it down simply to avoid any confusion:

  • The Farm Bill 2018 made the growth, cultivation, and production of hemp and hemp-derived CBD products federally legal 
  • Federal legality doesn’t mean all states have to follow — each state has its own laws and legislation surrounding hemp and hemp-derived CBD
  • 47 out of 50 states have legalized CBD  — 14 of these states have restrictions placed on the purchase, possession, and use of CBD products
  • Nebraska, South Dakota, and Idaho have prohibited CBD completely

How CBD interacts with your body 

When you consume marijuana and hemp-derived products (or, rather, the spicy THC, the cooling CBD, and the other cannabinoid ingredients), it interacts with your body in a way you may not have thought possible via what’s known as the endocannabinoid system (ECS).

Your ECS is a biological system that’s responsible for the regulation and maintenance of your body’s core functions. These core functions include sleep, movement, memory, digestion, sleep, and mood (amongst many others).

This is extremely important to your overall health and wellbeing — something SoulSome puts a lot of focus on.

When we create cannabis/hemp-derived cannabidiol products (in the form of isolate and full-spectrum cannabidiol oils), we make sure every ingredient is perfectly put together to make sure your ECS is getting everything it needs. 

The studies into CBD’s potential power

Naysayers of CBD products (and other cannabis-derived things) will lead you to believe it’s some kind of media-sensationalized cult of personality. This is true to some extent. There is a small section of the CBD industry looking to capitalize on the CBD trend by explicitly stating it can cure every single ailment under the sun.

This, of course, isn’t true — but there are some pretty compelling studies out there suggesting it has quite a fair bit of untapped power. 

Let’s take a look. 

Anxiety (generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety, etc)

Anxiety sucks. We all know it. If you’ve ever suffered from anxiety (or you’re currently suffering from it), you know exactly how debilitating it can be.

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the US — it affects over 40 million people aged 18 and over, which is 18.1% of the entire US population. 

Fortunately, studies into CBD for anxiety are extremely promising. 

In 2015, researchers found CBD to be effective in reducing anxiety and stress-related symptoms in rodent test subjects — particularly behavioral symptoms. They also recognized a decrease in heart rate after CBD consumption. 

CBD as a treatment for social anxiety disorder (SAD) has also been studied. Patients were given an oral dose of 400 mg of CBD (as well as a placebo). The patients who took the CBD dose showed remarkable results. It decreased their overall anxiety symptoms. 

Anti-epilepsy

The connection between CBD and how it can help combat certain types of epilepsy (Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Drevat syndrome) is well-documented. In fact, the FDA finally approved a CBD based drug called Epidiolex back in 2018 — the first drug to actually be given the FDA seal of approval. 

The clinical study leading up to its approval was (and still is) fascinating. Researchers found that Epidiolex reduced seizure frequency and intensity quite substantially. 

This drug was listed as a controlled substance upon release but as of April 2020, the FDA declassified it. As a result, doctors can prescribe it easily. 

Pain relief

Everyone experiences some pain in their lives. You have, your mom has, your second cousin twice removed has — hell, even your pet lizard has. It’s a natural part of life. However, there are times when pain can cause problems, especially when it’s long-term, chronic pain. 

Many users relied heavily on pharmaceutical pain relief medicines to combat their pain-related symptoms but have now turned to CBD as an alternative — some have noted promising but mixed results, whilst others swear by it, suggesting it has completely cured their chronic pain and inflammation. 

While the jury is still somewhat out on how effective CBD really is for pain, multiple studies have shown very compelling results — though more needs to be done in terms of research before we can conclude anything with 100% accuracy. 

Let’s hope CBD for pain is something researchers are chomping at the bit to find out more about!

Multiple sclerosis & arthritis

The second drug to be given the FDA certified stamp of approval is Sativex, a CBD & THC oral spray developed by the clever ladies and gentlemen over at GW Pharmaceuticals as adjunctive treatment to combat signs and symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS) and arthritis. 

Sativex studies show its effectiveness against spasticity — or, rather, stiffness or tightness of the muscles commonly found in MS patients. 

Diabetes 

Approximately 34 million people in the US are affected by diabetes — that’s over 10% of the entire population. A further 7.8 million people are said to have undiagnosed diabetes. That’s a substantial number of people affected by this shitty disease. 

Many pharmaceutical drugs have been developed to tackle the onset and progression of diabetes. However, many others are turning their attention to CBD as an alternative. 

Studies on rodent test subjects are very promising. Researchers found that CBD “significantly” reduced insulitis and inflammation. However, CBD’s effectiveness in blood glucose control is undetermined.

Substance abuse

Drug addiction and CBD’s effectiveness as a treatment is quite well-documented, though, of course, more conclusive research is needed in this area. Right now, there are approximately 14 published studies — 9 on animals and 5 on humans.

In a 2015 review of CBD and substance abuse, the authors believe CBD may help “modulate various neuronal circuits involved in drug addiction”. CBD may also indirectly combat substance abuse via its therapeutic qualities (management of stress and neurotoxicity). 

COVID-19 (human trials currently underway)

I don’t need to introduce COVID-19 to you — you for sure already know what it is (unless you’ve been living under a rock with no TV or internet for the past couple of months). 

Researchers at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada are looking to see if certain strains of cannabis can be used as a method of preventing the novel coronavirus from entering the body via ACE2 receptors. 

The team injected these strains into artificial 3D models of oral, airway, and intestinal tissues containing ACE2 receptors and the results were pretty staggering — they found the cannabis strains reduced ACE2 activity by roughly 73%. 

This reduction in ACE2 activity suggests the virus won’t have a lot of wiggle room to play with. 

This, of course, is still a non-peer reviewed study, so it’s a long way from being conclusive — still fascinating nonetheless. 

Where to buy high-quality CBD

If this guide to what CBD and CBD products can do for you has piqued your interest, the time has come, my Young Cannabis Padawan, to find out where to buy high-quality CBD products. 

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned cannabis vet, wading through the endless number of companies and their #lifechanging products can be a struggle, especially if you have no idea what you’re even looking for. 

So, in light of your endless struggle, I’ve admittedly been a total legend and concocted a little guide within a guide to give you an idea of where to find legitimate CBD products, as well as what you should be looking for. 

Make sure the products are third-party tested

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: Third-party testing is incredibly important and will determine whether or not your chosen product is high-quality, above-board legally, and not the shit you find being sold in gas stations. 

All third-party testing should be conducted by independent accredited laboratories. These laboratories will impartially analyse the CBD products. Once complete, the laboratory will then issue a Certificate of Analysis (COA) as proof of analysis. 

A COA will show you:

  • How many cannabinoids are in the extract/product 
  • How many terpenes are in the extract/product
  • Contaminants (or lack thereof) — residual solvents, mycotoxins, etc

In other words, you get a nice in-depth snapshot of what exactly is in your product. If a company doesn’t have publicly-available COAs attached to its products, request them from a customer service representative. If they don’t provide you with any, stay away from the company. 

Have the product(s) been CO2 extracted?

The way your CBD is extracted from varieties of cannabis matters. Some extractions methods are abysmal and won’t produce quality results, whilst others are clean, safe, and very effective.

There’s a common thought amongst many in the cannabis industry that CO2 extraction (Supercritical CO2 specifically) is by far the best way of extracting CBD (and other chemical compounds) from cannabis. 

Without getting too technical, CO2 extraction is the act of using highly-pressurized carbon dioxide to get the beneficial chemical compounds (cannabinoids, terpenes, essential oils, etc) out of varieties of cannabis. 

Because it works at lower temperatures than, say, ethanol extraction, it helps retain much of the hemp extract’s natural chemical compounds (terpenes, flavonoids, etc).
*Statements not evaluated by the FDA. Information is based on credible, but inconclusive scientific studies, and should never be taken as advice or recommendation to treat, cure or diagnose any condition. Always consult a physician.

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