What is CBD?

What is CBD?

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You’ve likely heard of CBD, and if you haven’t tried it, odds are you know somebody who has—and swears by it. Whether you’ve felt its benefits or not, you may wonder how and why it works, what all the fuss is about, and whether it’s safe for you to try. CBD Review Lab is here to help demystify this rising trend.

So what is CBD, really?

CBD is an abbreviation for cannabidiol, one of many compounds known as cannabinoids found in the infamous cannabis plant. It is not, however, a psychoactive nor addictive compound, and can be safely consumed without risk of getting high or developing dependence.

But why does it work so well?

Like a teacher that helps a student find an answer rather than giving it to them, consuming CBD stimulates our body’s own natural mechanisms for maintaining health and wellness.

Humans have what is known as an endocannabinoid system. Our cells have specific receptors that accept cannabinoids, which in turn activate a particular, often positive, response. We naturally produce our own cannabinoid-like compounds (endocannabinoids), which influence just about every system in the body—most notably the nervous, digestive, and endocrine systems. They help keep the body and all its chemicals at normal levels. If anything gets out of balance, endocannabinoids will help bring the system back to order. 

Human Endocannabinoid System

Unfortunately, endocannabinoids are easily and naturally degraded by other compounds in the body, giving them a short lifespan. Exercise and a diet rich in polyphenols (nutmeg, turmeric) and omega-3 fatty acids (walnuts, fatty fish) will help stimulate endocannabinoid production, but with the declining nutrition and exercise habits of most Americans, our endocannabinoids can’t keep up. Thus we turn to supplements for aid. CBD is one such supplement rapidly gaining popularity. 

CBD not only increases the amount of cannabinoids in our system, but it offers support to our natural endocannabinoids by slowing down their degradation, allowing them to be active in the body longer. Thus CBD acts less as an external healing aid, and more as a buffer that allows our body to use its own mechanisms for healing.

OK. So, what is CBD good for?

Most consumers use CBD to alleviate pain, inflammation, sleep troubles, anxiety, depression, or any combination of these. All manner of users, from college students to professional athletes, find potent relief from these symptoms of stress. CBD may also have potential therapeutic efficacy for conditions as serious as seizures, multiple sclerosis, psychosis, and even cancer, though more research is needed.

But is it safe?

Generally speaking, yes.

While some users have reported adverse side-effects after consuming CBD, this is likely due to their consuming a marijuana-derived or impure supplement. Since CBD is classified as a dietary supplement and not a medication, the FDA does not strictly regulate its production, thus there is no guarantee of its purity or ingredient content on the label.

CBD is a relatively new supplement to the market and much research has yet to be done. If you choose to include CBD in your diet, research the products and be sure you are getting a pure, hemp derived form of CBD. If you intend to treat a specific medical condition with CBD, it is imperative that you consult with a medical professional. Even when consuming CBD for its more general heath benefits, it is always a good idea to consult a doctor.

Michael Gurley

Michael Gurley

Michael is a contributor to CBD Review Lab.

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