CBD is cannabis, but it’s not the same as what you find in a dispensary
By now, no matter where in the US you live there’s no way you haven’t heard of CBD. Whether it’s popping up in billboards and online ads or suddenly featured in gas stations and corner stores, all of a sudden CBD is everywhere — and in everything — from food, to beauty, health, and wellness products. But what exactly is CBD, and why is it suddenly so popular?
CBD is the standard acronym for Cannabidiol, one of the major cannabinoids found in the cannabis (marijuana, weed, pot) plant.
CBD is also found in hemp, which, unlike cannabis, is federally legal, making hemp-derived CBD products more readily available. But we’ll dive more into that aspect of things later. For now, let’s discuss CBD: what it is, what it does, how it’s sourced, and why you want it.
As I stated before, CBD is a cannabinoid, one of the major cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. But what is a cannabinoid? A cannabinoid is one of any dozens of compounds found in the Cannabis sativa plant that interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system. Over 140 cannabinoids have been identified, and more are constantly being discovered.
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a complex cell-signaling system that plays a role in regulating a range of bodily functions and processes; including, but not limited to: mood, sleep, memory, appetite, and reproduction; and the ECS exists and is active in the body even if one does not consume cannabis.
The only cannabinoid more famous than CBD is, of course, Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive compound in cannabis primarily responsible for the “high” sensation it causes when consumed. CBD, unlike THC, however, does not make you feel high; in fact, it actually inhibits the psychoactivity of THC. CBD comes in super handy, then, for those unfortunate times when you’ve accidentally consumed too much, and want to come back down quickly. But what if you’re not a heavy user of cannabis? Read on, friend, for I am sure that CBD can help you too.
Hemp CBD and its many benefits
In addition to mediating the high created by THC, CBD is an incredible anxiolytic, or anti-anxiety compound. Patients who take high doses of CBD report feeling a sense of calm and relaxation without brain fog; some even compare it to the relief provided by benzodiazepines, without the “zombie” effect and accompanying powerful chemical addiction. I personally have Severe Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), and have found that taking a 20mg minimum dose of CBD tincture can even head off a panic attack, if I catch it early enough.
The idea of stopping a panic attack in its tracks would have been unfathomable to me even just a few years ago, and I am eternally grateful to the cannabis industry for teaching me about these incredible compounds and their potential. I like to keep microdosed, 5mg 1:1 CBD:THC mints (The Golden Ratio! ←link to our blog about The Golden Ratio) in my purse for pick-me-ups on-the-go.
CBD also works as a powerful anti-inflammatory, combatting overactive system responses and promoting homeostasis. What all these big words mean is that CBD is phenomenally effective at mediating things like autoimmune conditions (e.g., epilepsy, Rheumatoid arthritis), and providing relief from pain caused by inflammation (e.g., joint pain, sciatica pain). In biology, homeostasis is defined as the state of steady internal, physical, and chemical conditions maintained by living systems; the condition of optimal functioning for organisms.
Even patients who don’t have autoimmune disorders can benefit from the balancing, optimizing effects of CBD, and its ability to normalize our bodily functions. In fact, I genuinely believe everyone should be taking CBD daily for overall health and wellness, just like a vitamin – Vitamin CBD!
As we briefly touched on before, CBD can be sourced from the hemp or the cannabis plants. Historically, cannabis contained much higher concentrations of cannabinoids and terpenes than hemp, which contained almost negligible amounts of things like CBD; however, recent advancements in production and processing methods mean that quality hemp products do exist. And how can you be sure that you’re getting quality hemp products? We’re so glad you asked, for The Other Path is here to help!
When sourcing hemp (and cannabis) products, there are a few factors you should always consider:
- Who made it?
- Who is selling it?
- How confident are you about what is in it?
- Does the price make sense?
First, who made it? This might seem obvious, but take a minute. Do you recognize the brand? Does a cursory internet search bring up any information? Is this a real company with a publicly-facing image? You should be able to get a feeling quite quickly if the producer is legitimate or not. The same applies to the person selling the product. Is this a licensed dispensary? A gas station or corner store? A smoke shop? Does this look like the kind of place that cares about sourcing and selling quality products, or is their stock probably more a matter of convenience and profit margin?
The third point absolutely ties into the first two, and reflects on the professionalism of the company that made the product and the location that is selling it. Does the packaging make you feel confident about what is inside? Could you consume this thing and feel certain that you knew what you were taking?
Would you feel confident returning to the same place next week, and that you could get the same or a comparable product, and it would make you feel the same? Is the text on the product primarily buzzwords that mean nothing (“All natural!” “Power boosted!”) or legitimate scientific terms (“Whole plant,” “full spectrum.”). Finally, the price. It bears repeating: if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
How do they source the CBD?
Extracting CBD from the hemp or cannabis plant is a time- and labor-intensive process that requires significant amounts of raw materials for a low yield; meaning anything legitimately potent in CBD is going to be expensive. If claims of ultra-high milligram content aren’t accompanied by prices that are similarly high, continue with caution. This isn’t to say that there aren’t good, budget brands out there – not at all – just that there is affordability, and then there is cutting corners. After all, isn’t your health worth it? You wouldn’t go with an inferior surgeon just to save a few bucks, and you should apply the same logic to all areas of your wellness.
Establishing a healthy daily routine is an important investment in your future, and CBD is a natural super-compound with so many potential benefits, it should be in everyone’s wellness regimen. Hemp-derived CBD is easily available now, but sadly, quality hemp-derived CBD is still rare. Still, the results achieved with quality CBD products are worth the effort it takes to find them. For this reason, The Higher Path is so excited about the opening of The Other Path, our sister store for top-quality, artisanal hemp CBD flower, extracts, tinctures, topicals, pet supplies, beauty products, and more.
The Other Path is dedicated to making it easy for you to find tried and tested hemp CBD goods that really work. Furthermore, because hemp is federally legal, we will be able to legally ship the products we stock at The Other Path nationwide!*
*except Idaho, Iowa, & South Dakota.