Understanding CBD and The Endocannabinoid System

Understanding CBD and The Endocannabinoid System

December 28, 2019

CBD is one of 114 known cannabinoids found in cannabis - which includes hemp and marijuana. CBD is also known as cannabidiol. In most cases, second only to THC, CBD is the most prevalent cannabinoid in most strains of cannabis. The most commonly known factoid about cannabinoids is that THC - tetrahydrocannabinol - found in cannabis, is psychoactive and can produce a high upon ingesting it. CBD, on the other hand, does not possess these psychoactive qualities. In fact, there are no mind-altering, psychoactive properties in CBD, whatsoever. 

Just like the different instruments in a symphony, each cannabinoid plays its own specific role. Cannabidiol's role is quite elaborate and can be very beneficial to the human immune and central nervous systems. To understand how CBD affects the human body, we need to understand how the human body interacts with CBD, and other cannabinoids. The human body does this through the endocannabinoid system, which is also found in all mammals, even horses, dogs and cats! 

So, let's explore the endocannabinoid system...

The Endocannabinoid System

The endocannabinoid system, in the human body, was discovered in 1992 by Dr. Rafael Mechoulam at the Hebrew University of Israel. In his findings, he grew to understand that the endocannabinoid system is the most prevalent receptor system in our physiology and it creates its own natural cannabinoids within our bodies - both anandamine and 2-AG - through the CB1 and CB2 receptors. 

The CB1 receptors are predominantly found in the brain and nervous systems, while CB2 receptors are commonly found in the immune and gastrointestinal systems. 

The endocannabinoid system is heavily involved in constructing homeostasis within the body - in an array of physiological and cognitive processes including: appetite, pain, mood, memory, fertility, pregnancy and pre/postnatal development. For example, 2AG and anandamine are the main contributors to exercise-induced euphoria, like that of a runners high. 

When it comes to the endocannabinoid system and CBD, the relationship is actually quite interesting. While most people believe that CBD affects the CB1 and CB2 receptors, this is actually not exactly the case. In fact, CBD simply influences the body to use more of its natural, pre-existing cannabinoids. So, when CBD is introduced into our bodies it sends a message to the endocannbinoid system to increase production of naturally occurring cannabinoids, like anandamine and 2AG, in an effort to help the immune and central nervous systems return to homeostasis - a stable equilibrium within all the systems of the human body. 

For example, when our internal systems are out of equilibrium we often feel sick, tired, anxious, stressed, hot/cold, or a slew of other symptoms. Like other natural remedies, when CBD is ingested to combat the internal imbalances, it sends a message to the CB1 and CB2 receptors to produce more of our natural cannabinoids in effort to help the body return to homeostasis and return to our usual equilibrium - in other words, help us feel normal and healthy again. 

In recent years, CBD has stormed onto the market due to continued activism in the hemp and cannabis communities as well as governmental regulations loosening their grip and recognizing its legitimacy and applications. Various known applications and uses listed below: 

  • Inflammation 
  • Loss of appetite 
  • Insomnia 
  • Epilepsy
  • Anxiety relief 
  • Depression 
  • Mood Disorders 
  • Pain Relief 
  • Stress 
  • And many more…

So now we have a surface level understanding of what the endocannabinoid system is, what cannabinoids are, and what exactly CBD is…so I guess the obvious question is - how is CBD made? 

How is CBD Made? 

For starters, as stated earlier, CBD is a naturally occurring cannabinoid in hemp and cannabis plants. That is where you can find CBD in its raw, natural form. In order to use it, companies like the Hemp Foundry take hemp (also known as biomass) and extract the desired compounds (cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids). There are many forms of which CBD and other cannabinoids can be extracted to - most commonly, however, processors like the Hemp Foundry bring the compound to crude, distillate or isolate. 

Crude Oil is the first stop on the extraction and processing train. Crude is very dark green in color and contains various cannabinoids (CBD, CBG, CBN, etc), terpenes, flavonoids, lipids, waxes and plant matter. Most commonly, crude oil is simply a foundation for brands and processors alike. In order to get the crude oil to a form that is ideal for human consumption, it is processed further into either Broad Spectrum Distillate, Full Spectrum Distillate or Isolate. 

Distillate is further refined than crude oil and can be found in Broad Spectrum form and Full Spectrum form. So what is the difference? 

Broad Spectrum Distillate is a viscous liquid compound which is amber in color, has been rid of most waxes, lipids and plant matter and is then ran through a refining process to remove undesired cannabinoids, like THC.   

Full Spectrum Distillate is also a viscous liquid compound which is amber in color and has been rid of most maxes, lipids and plant matter, just like broad spectrum distillate. The difference, however, is that Full Spectrum Distillate still contains trace amounts of THC, under the legal limit of .3% Delta-9 THC. This amount of THC will not get you high. The reason Full Spectrum Distillate is desired is due to the entourage effect. Put simply, cannabinoids, much like a symphony, work best when together. Therefore, when all cannabinoids are present in distillate form and within legal guidelines, the compound is found to be more effective. 

Isolate is exactly what it sounds like. Through a complex extraction process, CBD (or other cannabinoids) are isolated by themselves. Therefore, a product made with CBD Isolate contains ONLY CBD, in it's molecular form. CBD Isolate is a white powder-like substance. It is virtually flavorless and has no significant scent. Most products you see on the market are made from Isolate, as brands and their customers alike, don't want to have THC in their system - even if it is an untraceable amount. For those who have to take random or even scheduled drug tests, products made from CBD isolate are your best bet. 

Consumption: The Many Forms

In order to consume it, you can do any of the following things. Some of these forms require the hemp or cannabis to be processed, while others, like smoking the flower or buds, allow the consumer to utilize the benefits of CBD and other full-spectrum cannabinoids in their natural state.

 

  • Smoking/Vaporizing Hemp/Cannabis Buds 
  • Wax/Shatter & other Concentrates 
  • Sublingual Tinctures
  • Lotions
  • Body Oils 
  • Cooking Oils 
  • Salves 
  • Edibles & Gummies
  • Capsules and Pills  

As you can see, there are countless ways to consume CBD. Finding the best method for you is an important factor in paving the way to your health and wellness journey. If you're looking for relief from aches and cramps, a lotion or other transdermal application of CBD might be best for you. If you're looking to ingest CBD like any other medication, then you might want to try CBD capsules.

The Final Word

In recent years, it's become clear that CBD is an extremely versatile herbal extract that helps millions achieve their personal health goals and a sense of overall well-being. Here at the Hemp House Direct, we strive to make sure that consumers are provided with the correct information they need to make an informed decision in regards to their well-being and furthermore. Every product we carry has passed through extensive quality control parameters to ensure that our customers have access to the best products on the market - bar none. We believe in quality over everything, from seed to stomach. 

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***The statements made regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficacy of these products has not been confirmed by FDA-approved research. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.