What is CBD?
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What is CBD?

Over the last few years, it seems that CBD has taken the world by storm. Without question, CBD is a wellness product that everyone – literally, everyone – is talking about. While most of us really can’t quite put our finger on what it is (we know that it is somehow related to marijuana, right?), we have been hearing that CBD is the answer to all kinds of ailments. Accordingly, health spas now offer CBD facials, gyms will add CBD to your post-workout smoothie, beauty products now feature creams and lotions with CBD, and even your local coffee shop has a CBD mochachino on the offing

Yet, do you really know what CBD is? If not, don’t worry; you are certainly not alone. The subject of CBD is still confusing for a lot of consumers.

In this piece, we are going dispel some of that confusion and talk about what CBD is, how it is different from marijuana, and what are some of its possible health benefits. The more information you have about CBD, the better decisions you can make on whether it is right for you.

CBD Comes from the Cannabis Plant

The cannabis plant, which when harvested and dried creates the common drug marijuana, has two main components – CBD and THC. CBD stands for cannabidiol and is the non-psychoactive portion of the plant, which means that CBD will not give you the intoxicating euphoria typically associated with being “high.” Rather, the other main component, THC (which stands for delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) is the component that is responsible for giving you the feeling of being “high.”

Now, you likely have heard the terms cannabis, marijuana, and hemp all thrown together when hearing about CBD. Let’s clarify things a bit. The plant Cannabis sativa has two species – hemp and marijuana. Both species contain CBD. Yet, there is a much higher percentage of CBD in hemp than there is in marijuana. In addition, there is a much lower percentage of THC in hemp compared to marijuana.

How is CBD Different from Marijuana?

As noted, the item we commonly refer to as marijuana (or weed, or pot) is the drug that gives us a “high.” That means that the reason we use marijuana is for the THC that gives us that “high.” CBD on the other hand, though a component of the cannabis plant, is not the component that results in a “high.” Thus, when CBD is presented in a product for health and wellness reasons, it is not “marijuana” in that commonly understood sense. It is the isolated component of the cannabis plant that potentially has a number of health-related benefits.

What are the Health-Related Benefits of CBD?

If you ask some people, they will tell you that CBD is the answer to all health conditions including back pain, arthritis, and even cancer. But, before you jump to any conclusions, you should be aware that, to date, it is difficult to say whether CBD has any major impact on certain health conditions. More studies need to be done to determine precisely what positive impacts are attributable to CBD. Generally speaking, though, CBD appears to have some beneficial effects for pain management. Also, there is one CBD medication that has been approved to help treat some forms of epilepsy.

In sum, CBD could be a great wellness discovery, but be sure to consult with your doctor if you are curious about whether CBD may be right for you.