As CBD products have begun flooding the markets and showing up in everything from coffee to shampoo, many people are already familiar with its possible effects and benefits for health and wellness. Yet, not many people are entirely familiar with what exactly CBD is and where it comes from.
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is one of the 100+ cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. Cannabinoids are chemical compounds that interact with the endocannabinoid system, a natural network of receptors, signaling molecules, and enzymes found in all vertebrates. In fact, it’s quite similar in structure to the opioid system, which also includes an expansive network of receptors through the brain and digestive system that allows the body to process and utilize opiates for a variety of bodily functions.
There’s a common misconception that CBD is the same thing as marijuana and, as such, that it can make users feel “high.” One of the first things to note about CBD is that, unlike its cannabinoid cousin THC, cannabidiol is completely non-psychoactive. THC is the psychoactive cannabinoid prevalent in marijuana that produces intoxication. While CBD is also present in marijuana, there’s another important distinction to make here: marijuana is generally regarded as cannabis with high levels of THC and lower levels of CBD, while hemp, by legal definition, is cannabis with less than 0.3% THC.
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Most CBD products on the market today contain cannabinoids derived from hemp, not marijuana. That’s because hemp was federally legalized last December under the 2018 Farm Bill, but marijuana is still classified as a Schedule 1 controlled substance under the Controlled Substances Act. As of yet, only 12 states have actually legalized the production of recreational marijuana. It is possible for CBD products to contain extracts from marijuana, but only from those 12 states.
There’s also a common misconception that CBD from marijuana is actually better than CBD from hemp – this is not true. CBD is CBD, regardless of its source. However, its presence alongside other cannabinoids can have a big impact on homeostasis. This is because of something called the “entourage effect,” which is the concept that many of the compounds in cannabis work together to produce a multiplier effect. This is also why Bluebird Botanicals specializes in full-spectrum hemp extracts, which include the entire array of 100+ cannabinoids plus the other beneficial components of the cannabis plant like terpenes, flavonoids, omega fatty acids, trace minerals, and vitamins.
Related Article: CBD From Hemp Vs. CBD From Marijuana: What’s The Difference?
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