What is CBD and What Does it Stand For?
CBD is short for cannabidiol and is found within the cannabis sativa plant – a strain of marijuana. CBD is extracted from the cannabis sativa plant and then is diluted with a carrier oil making it 100% safe to use directly on the skin, inhale or ingest as a supplement.
Since the Farm Bill was passed in 2018, all CBD products on the market are regulated by the FDA and only produced in safe concentrations as per the FDA’s guidelines:
"…the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of that plant, including the seeds thereof and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a [THC] concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis." FDA
Since 2018, the CBD market has completely exploded. There are hardly any products today that you can’t find a CBD-infused equivalent to. Even some veterinarians are selling CBD products specifically for cats and dogs. Why? Because CBD can remedy an incredible number of ailments and is particularly helpful in reducing pain and seizures.
How CBD Works
Our bodies have what is called an endocannabinoid system (ECS) which is a network of cannabinoid receptors throughout the body. It controls things like memory, cognitive function, pain, stress, mood and immune response.
CBD has the ability to attach itself to these receptors and provide our bodies with therapeutic effects without the risk of making us “high” because CBD is a completely separate extract from THC, the chemical compound in marijuana that has mind-altering and euphoric effects.
CBD has shown to be a leader in homeopathic healing. As science improves and more research is conducted, CBD is likely to continue to prove its worth as a therapeutic supplement.
The Difference Between CBD and THC
Both cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinoil (THC) occur naturally in marijuana plants, but they can be extracted separately with a chemical process. While they both have an effect on the cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptors in the brain, they have quite different effects on the mind and body.
When THC hits the CB1 receptors in the brain, it creates a sense of euphoria or feeling “high” by activating the CB1 receptor. Furthermore, they influence the receptors that affect memory, pleasure, thinking, concentration, sensory and time perception, as well as movement and coordination.
The brain naturally produces a chemical called anandamide and the THC molecule looks incredibly similar to it. When the brain recognises THC as one of its own naturally produced molecules, it attaches to the brain and alters the nervous system’s normal functioning.
However, when a CBD molecule attaches itself to the CB1 receptor, it has the opposite effect as it inhibits the receptor, calming the body and having therapeutic effects. It can even bring someone down from their “high” off of THC.
When CBD oil is extracted from the marijuana plant, it leaves behind all of these THC molecules. Of course, it’s possible to have trace amounts of THC remain in the CBD oil (the FDA allows CBD oil to contain up to 0.3% THC) but it can be refined and manipulated to contain no THC whatsoever.
When you’re looking for the best CBD oil for you, you’ll have to carefully read the label and understand what each different kind means, especially If you are worried about ingesting even the smallest amount of THC.
- CBD isolate contains no THC and is 99% pure. You’ll be in the clear from THC if you choose to use CBD isolate
- Broad spectrum CBD contains 0.3% or less THC as required by the FDA
- Full spectrum CBD has been extracted from the marijuana plant with little to no refining at all and therefore almost certainly will contain THC.
Clearly, answering the question, “what does CBD stand for?” involves a much more in-depth answer than just “cannabidiol.” There is always much confusion as to how closely related CBD is to marijuana and what the different affects are. As time goes on, more and more research is done so we can get closer to making CBD a more mainstream way of treating ailments. However, much more research is still needed.