CBD is the shorthand term for cannabidiol, which is one of the active ingredients in cannabis. More specifically, the cannabis sativa plant.
Unfortunately, many still associate the use of CBD with the use of cannabis, the illegal recreational drug. But this most certainly is not the case.
CBD is not psychoactive and does not get you 'high'. It is the high THC content that causes these effects. Often low amounts of THC can be found in CBD products. Whilst this can most certainly be beneficial, there are often legalities to consider.
CBD - like THC - comes from the cannabis plant, is known as a powerful natural pain reliever, as well as having numerous other benefits. For example, it's anti-inflammatory, and also it's antidepressant-like effects.
CBD interacts with the human body's endocannabinoid system, which affect many different processes in the body. Both CBD and THC work with cannabinoid receptors that release neurotransmitters in your brain. These transmitters can affect processes such as mood, sleep, memory and pain.
But CBD and THC are not the only cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant.
In fact, the hemp plant contains over 100 cannabinoids!
CBD products often contain some of these other cannabinoids, as well as flavonoids and terpenes.
This is because the cannabinoids work together and enhance the effect of the products.
This is known as the entourage effect.
CBD products which have this mix of cannabinoids are referred to as full-spectrum products. Be aware that these can contain THC. Products that contain only trace amounts of THC are called broadspectrum. CBD products that contain zero THC are known as CBD isolate. These are the three types of CBD products you can buy.
CBD oil is never just pure CBD oil, it requires a 'carrier'. A carrier oil helps to carry the CBD into your body. Without the carrier oil, your body would be unable to process the CBD properly. It needs to combine with fat molecules.
Whilst the carrier oil's job is predominantly to help your body process the CBD, the oil itself can offer various health benefits. In addition to this, the combination of the carrier oil also helps to control correct potency, and therefore CBD dosage.
Common carrier oils include coconut oil/MCT (Medium-Chain Triglyceride), Olive oil and hemp seed oil, but there are many others. With many opinions as to which one is the best.