CBD: A Detailed Look

Looking to learn all about CBD? You’ve come to the right place! 

There is a lot of misleading or confusing information out there regarding the side effects, potency levels, and potential health benefits of CBD—which is why we wanted to put together a comprehensive guide that covers the ins and outs of this amazing compound. 

Let’s dive right in our detailed CBD info! 

The Basics

Cannabis is well known for imbuing both physical and psychological changes for those who smoke or ingest it. These changes are caused from different compounds that are called cannabinoids, and currently, science has discovered over 100 different cannabinoids—the most popular being THC and CBD. 

THC is responsible for feeling stoned and mentally high, whereas CBD only provides medicinal benefits without the psychoactivity. It is in CBD’s power to heal without the high that lends to its ever-increasing popularity—being used in natural food supplements, pet products, and cosmetics around the world. 

CBD molecule in 3D.
CBD molecule in 3D.

What Exactly is CBD?

CBD is one of hundreds of cannabinoids found in cannabis, with CBD being the second most abundant one in the bunch—usually making up about 40% of the entire plant’s cannabinoid extracts.

It is extracted from the cannabis plant as an oil that are then put into different products in different potencies. To help determine how potent a CBD product is, look at the percentage of pure CBD that was used, or the total milligrams of CBD per container. A concentration of 18% for example means that specific product contains 18 percent CBD, and 82% of other ingredients. 

Benefits of CBD

CBD provides a wide array of potential benefits. There is strong evidence that suggest CBD could help treat certain types of epilepsy—even coming recommended by the FDA in certain cases. 

With that said, CBD is currently most commonly used to:

  • Soothe Stress
  • Improve Sleep
  • Manage Pain
  • Improve Mood 
  • Repair & Protect Skin
  • Promote a Healthy Heart 
  • Treat the Nervous System

How Does CBD Work?

All animals, including reptiles and mammals have a complex biological system called the endocannabinoid system that was discovered in the 1990’s. It is comprised of receptors that trigger physical and phycological reactions when it interacts with our two main endocannabinoid receptors known as CB1 and CB2.

CBD not only interacts with your body’s own endocannabinoid receptors (CB1 & CB2)—it also encourages your body to produce its own supply of endocannabinoids via blocking enzymes that normally break them down. 

Specifically, CBD’s influence over our opioid receptors have a huge influence in helping to regulate mood and pain, which also could explain why CBD is such an effective medicine. 

Common cannabinoid acids found in cannabis.

Which One is Better? THC or CBD?

The whole THC vs CBD debate is a very common point of contention among cannabis users; however, both would be wrong. CBD and THC are different cannabinoids that offer different benefits. Mounting evidence suggests they are more effectively used together—lending way to what is known as the entourage effect. 

The entourage effect is a fancy way of referring to the synergistic effect of utilizing different cannabinoids together to boost the overall benefits the cannabis plant has to offer. 

Is CBD Safe? 

The most important question you can ask yourself regarding any new product is, is it safe? While we are still learning about CBD and its potential benefits, study after study has shown it is well tolerated by most animals and humans—with no notable side effects on physiology or mood. Most CBD products also let you customize serving sizes, which helps mitigate any potential issues or side effects if there are any. 

What is The Best Way to Consume CBD?

The most effective way to consume CBD is with a little bit of THC to induce the almighty entourage effect, which we talked about earlier. The best route of administration depends on your needs and what ailments you’re trying to combat.

 Inhaling CBD via smoking flower, oil or concentrates is extremely effective because it’s almost immediately absorbed by the body. Compared to other methods—inhalation is the fastest and strongest method of consumption. 

The most common method of administration is sublingually under the tongue, which is great If you’re needing help with stomach issues as the CBD has to pass through the liver and digestive tract before you start feeling effects. 

 If you’re looking for really potent CBD products, isolates and concentrates are a great option, but keep in mind isolates don’t contain other cannabinoids—so no entourage effect. Distillates on the other hand are both potent and contain other cannabinoids, so you’ll benefit from the entourage effect and the high levels of CBD. 

How to Find Quality CBD 

There are a few things you’ll want to keep your eyes peeled for when searching for quality CBD products that include:

1. How it’s extracted: 

Some companies use toxic solvents that pose dangerous health risks like hexane, propane, butane, or pentane. CBD extracted with ethanol is the safest and most effective solvent there is—however, supercritical CO2 extraction is the crème de la crème of extraction methods. 

CO2 extraction involves putting carbon dioxide under intense pressure in an exceptionally cold environment, which allows the CBD to maintain its potency and purity. 

2. How it’s grown:

Cannabis is a “hyperaccumulator” which means it easily absorbs everything the is present in the soil it is grown in. Make sure to be aware of where CBD brands source their plants from—and if possible—try to buy hemp that is grown in the US because American farmers are required to be certified and abide by specific quality standards. 

3. Full or Broad-spectrum:

Isolates are getting increasingly popular; however, isolates are cheaper to make compared to CBD concentrates that use whole plant extracts. Full spectrum CBD contains everything: CBD, THC, terpenes, and other cannabinoids like CBN and CBG. Broad-spectrum CBD contains everything except THC. 

The choice depends on if you want to consume THC or not, but remember, THC does improve the bioavailability of all other cannabinoids. Either way, make sure to look for CBD products that are either broad or full-spectrum. 

4.  Independently Tested:

This is a big one. Making sure a company conducts independent, third party testing is a requirement to ensuring your CBD products are quality. Make sure any product you buy have lab results or a certificate of analysis posted somewhere on their website or on the product page. 

Reputable CBD companies should always post recent lab results on their website and on the products packaging. These third-party tests exist to guarantee their CBD products are everything they claim to be. 

Final Hit

As CBD’s popularity continues to grow, so does our understanding about it, including the many benefits and many ways to consume it. We encourage you to learn all you can about CBD, the endocannabinoid system, and the potential benefits of taking CBD. 

To learn more about Cannabis, CBD and the science behind the entourage effect—check out the video below from our buds at Medicinal Genomics!

Breckenridge Organic Therapy carries a variety of CBD products that are naturally sourced and high quality. Feel free to stop by or contact us with any questions regarding CBD and we will be happy to help!