Cannabidiol (CBD) is the nonpsychoactive, natural constituent of the cannabis plant. It is non-intoxicating and gives nonpsychoactive effects. CBD is only one of over 100 cannabinoids that exist within the plant and is known for its range of natural benefits.
All mammals have an endocannabinoid system (ECS) that is responsible for regulating and balancing a variety of functions within the body, including mood, immune system response, movement, sleep, metabolism, memory, temperature, and sensory processing. CBD attaches itself to receptors located in the body.
CBD oil can be extracted from either cannabis or hemp plant, but the difference between hemp CBD oil and CBD products derived from cannabis is the THC. Because industrial hemp contains less than 0.3% THC, it is considered legal under federal law to cultivate, harvest, and process into finished products. Cannabis, on the other hand, contains more than 0.3% THC (often much higher levels) and remains federally illegal.
Hemp and cannabis are closely related; in fact, industrial hemp is actually Cannabis sativa L. The difference in name is mostly a function of a legal definition, which sets the threshold for THC content. The flowers of a hemp plant contain little to no THC, while the flowers of a cannabis plant (commonly referred to as marijuana) contain much higher levels of THC. The federal government considers marijuana a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act, making it illegal for interstate commerce, even as dozens of states legalize it for adult use. Industrial hemp, on the other hand, was recently removed from the Controlled Substances Act altogether, opening the way for its cultivation and harvest in the U.S. for the first time since 1937.
If you've done any research into the CBD market already, you've likely encountered the terms "full-spectrum" or "isolate." Depending on the extraction methods used, the CBD oil obtained from the plant might contain other cannabinoids and compounds found in the source plant. This is what is known as full-spectrum CBD. Full-spectrum CBD not only contains other cannabinoids found in the source material, but also compounds known as terpenes, which are responsible for creating the flavor profile, aroma and specific effects of the plant.
CBD isolate, as the name suggests, is a concentrate that only contains CBD and no other cannabinoids or terpenes. While the purity of CBD isolate might sound desirable, there is some evidence to suggest that full-spectrum CBD promotes an "entourage effect," that is, the compounds in a full-spectrum hemp extract work together to promote more significant effects. The entourage effect is still under investigation by researchers studying CBD and other cannabinoids.
Now that you know a bit more about CBD and how it is extracted from the hemp or cannabis plant, let's take a look at some of the products currently on the market. The CBD industry is diverse and evolving, so you could likely find many more products infused with CBD oil beyond this list. However, these are among the most common types of products available today:
· Sublingual tinctures: A sublingual tincture is CBD oil that generally comes in a small bottle with a dropper. Sublingual products are ingested by placing them under your tongue and allowing the oil to absorb.
· CBD edibles: CBD edibles are a rapidly growing sector of the industry, including baked goods, candies and foods. CBD edibles have faced significant regulatory scrutiny from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration but remain commonly found products on the market today.
· Vape concentrates: Vaporizer concentrates, such as CBD oils and waxes, are another common product. These can be used with an electronic device to vaporize and inhale the CBD product.
· CBD topicals: CBD topicals include gels, creams and sprays for aches and pains. These products are placed directly on the skin to target a localized region of the body.
There are many varieties of these products and others you can find out there, and as we learn more about CBD, the industry is coming up with new products all the time.
*Information from Business News Daily, May 28, 2019