CBD: What's All The Hype?
CBD (Cannabidiol) is a chemical compound derived from the resinous flowers of the hemp plant. In fact, it is only one of over 100 compounds (referred to as cannabinoids) found in hemp. Fascinatingly, the human body produces its own “endogenous” cannabinoids (which are otherwise unique to the cannabis plant). There are specialized cannabinoid receptors located throughout the human body. This phenomenon is now referred to as the endocannabinoid system; it can be thought of as a central processing unit that influences the functioning of many other important systems and works to maintain balance (homeostasis).
So, what’s all the hype with CBD? It comes down to the fact that CBD kickstarts our body’s endocannabinoid system. According to National Institute of Health researcher Pal Pacher, M.D., Ph.D., “In the past decade, the endocannabinoid system has been implicated in a growing number of physiological functions, both in the central and peripheral nervous systems and in peripheral organs. Modulating the activity of the endocannabinoid system turned out to hold therapeutic promise in a wide range of disparate diseases and pathological conditions, ranging from mood and anxiety disorders, movement disorders such as Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease, neuropathic pain, multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injury, to cancer, atherosclerosis, myocardial infarction, stroke, hypertension, glaucoma, obesity/metabolic syndrome, and osteoporosis, to name just a few.”
The science shows that CBD has significant therapeutic effects, and many people are looking for alternatives to pharmaceuticals (which come with the cost of harmful side-effects). CBD is considered a phytocannabinoid, since it is derived from the hemp plant. When ingested, CBD activates cannabinoid receptors in the human body and influences the central regulatory system. CBD enhances the function of the central regulatory system, which plays a role in: inflammation control, immune system function, mood, memory, appetite and pain sensation.
Where does CBD come from?
CBD is one of the most abundant phytochemicals found in cannabis. It depends on the variety of cannabis, but generally CBD makes up around 40% of its extracts. CBD is found in both psychoactive cannabis (marijuana), as well as non-psychoactive (hemp). Most CBD in the marketplace is derived from hemp, as growing and marketing of hemp products complies with federal law. CBD is non-psychoactive, so you will not get “high” from ingesting it or topically applying it to your body. CBD works on different pathways than THC (which is the chemical compound in marijuana that has psychoactive effects).
There are many different types of CBD products, ranging from tinctures (alcohol extractions), which one would ingest, to topical extractions. With science supporting the benefits of CBD, it has become increasingly popular. While it is easy to access nowadays, the quality of products can be inconsistent. Poorly processed CBD oil can be tainted with toxic solvent residues, pesticides, and even additives such as corn syrup, artificial flavorings and colorings. While Edye does not include CBD in her products (she found it did not improve Edye's Naturals products and would increase cost), there are some products she recommends. To help you navigate CBD products, the next newsletter will focus on recommended products.