CBD 101: Get Started Taking CBD with This Beginner’s Guide

The CBD market, from its estimated value of $591 million in 2018, could become a $22-billion industry in 2022.

That’s a whopping four-fold increase in four years!

That’s not all. With the legalization of hemp, a major source of CBD, this market is sure to grow even bigger.

All the hype surrounding this cannabis plant extract likely made you think of trying it too. Before you do, make sure you go through our CBD 101 first.

Ready to learn how this non-intoxicating component of cannabis can transform your health? Then let’s dive right into it!

CBD 101: The ABC of CBD

As a newbie, you’ve likely thought of CBD as the same thing as medical cannabis, which is now legal in 33 U.S. states. True, CBD has the same therapeutic effects, but that’s because it’s a derivative of the plant. Medical cannabis users ingest (through various ways, like smoking) the plant itself.

CBD, as mentioned above, stands for cannabidiol. It’s one of the 420 known components of the cannabis plant. To be more specific, it’s one of the 60+ cannabinoids found in cannabis.

Cannabinoids are chemicals naturally-produced by both the cannabis plant and the human body. Cannabinoids produced in the plants are “phytocannabinoids”. Those in the human body are endocannabinoids.

Anyway, these compounds are responsible for the therapeutic properties of the marijuana plant. They’re also the reason for its recreational effects — the “high” associated with weed. THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the main cannabinoid with psychoactive effects.

Whereas CBD products, such as high-quality CBD oils, have little to no THC in them. In short, pure cannabidiol brings therapeutic effects without the “high”. Also, reputable manufacturers source CBD only from industry-grade hemp.

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How CBD Works

So, how does CBD work exactly?

First, let’s talk about the endocannabinoid system (ECS) found in all mammals. The ECS is one of the body’s messaging centers, regulating many biological processes. These include physiological processes like pain, sleep, appetite, and immune system functions.

When we sustain an injury, feel pain, or have inflammation, the ECS notifies our brain. It does so through its cannabinoid receptors, which act as messengers.

CBD interacts with these receptors by either activating or inhibiting certain bodily compounds. It helps the body use the endocannabinoids it produces in a more effective way.

For example, CBD prevents absorption of anandamide, a compound said to regulate pain. This leads to higher levels of the compound in the bloodstream. These higher levels may then help lessen the amount and severity of pain someone feels.

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The Role of CBD Products

If the body produces its own cannabinoids, what’s the sense of using CBD products?

Sometimes, the body doesn’t produce enough endocannabinoids to say, relieve pain and swelling. So, increasing CBD through external means can help bridge this “gap”. This includes the use of top quality CBD sources, such as CBD oil, tinctures, and supplements.

When we say high quality, we mean products that contain pure CBD and has little to no THC content. It should have less than 0.3% THC, for it to even be legal. Any more than that and it’s against the law, plus, it may cause unwanted “high” sensations.

This is especially important if you want to use CBD for your pets. While some THC isn’t toxic to humans, it can be to dogs, cats, and other animals. So, be sure to look at the label and buy only from a manufacturer that provides lab test results.

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The Main Reason for CBD Use

Pain relief, help with anxiety symptoms, and even possible dementia treatment. Those are only a few of the many other science-backed benefits of CBD.

Let’s take a look at some of the most common reasons people use CBD products.

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Pain Relief

50+ million folks in the U.S. suffer from chronic pain. That’s why doctors issue millions of prescriptions for opioids every year. In 2017 alone, there were 191 million issued opioid prescriptions.

As helpful as these pain-killing drugs are, they’re very addictive. They’ve caused about two million people to develop substance use disorder. What’s more, up to three in every 10 people given these prescription drugs misuse them.

CBD has been the subject of many studies, many of which show its effectiveness in managing pain. That includes difficult to treat pain, especially chronic cancer and nerve pain.

Best of all, this cannabinoid doesn’t have an addictive component. So, it can be your much safer, more effective alternative to opioids.

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Researchers have also noted CBD’s anti-inflammatory effects, especially on arthritis. One study done on rats showed that topical CBD relieved arthritis inflammation. The scientists also noted no side effects from the use of the CBD gel.

separate osteoarthritis study noted the same inflammation-reducing effects of CBD. Rats were again the subjects, but they exhibited relief from symptoms of OA. 

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Mood Boosters

Studies also noted CBD’s anti-depressant and anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) effects. It can even negate the anxiety-inducing effects of THC.

It’s in the same way that CBD can help make sleeping easier for those with sleep disorders. It helps balance out moods and makes people feel more relaxed. It won’t make you sleepy, but taking cannabidiol may help you fall asleep faster and get better sleep.

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Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease

A 2004 study discovered CBD’s nerve-protecting, antioxidative, and anti-apoptotic effects. All these may help provide protection against what scientists call “beta-amyloid peptide toxicity”. According to them, it’s the main culprit behind Alzheimer’s disease main cause.

A separate study noted how CBD can help prevent deficits in memory. The long-term study involved the use of cannabidiol on AD-affected mice. They discovered that this compound prevented the development of social recognition issues.

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Get Your Health Back in Check with CBD

In this CBD 101, you’ve learned how this cannabis extract works and how it can do wonders for your body. Again, it’s unlike THC, which although can be therapeutic, can also be psychoactive. If you rather not feel “high” from medical cannabis, CBD oil is your better choice.

Still wary of taking CBD because of all the rumors you’ve heard about it? Then, time to debunk and unlearn them! Check out this CBD myth list so you can get your facts straightened out.