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Curious about CBD oil and its growing popularity? Welcome to CBD 101. We’ll help you to clear the fog and figure out how to use this powerful plant product to help manage pain, anxiety and enhance your beauty without getting high.

cbd 101

The popularity and availability of CBD oils have made this one of the hottest products on the natural health market today, but many people are still confused about what it is, how it can help them, and whether it is even legal to use. To help clear the confusion, this guide gives you all the basics of using CBD oil, so you can determine if it can help you.

What is CBD Oil?

CBD stands for cannabidiol, which is a natural compound found in certain species of the cannabis plant. Hemp is one such species and, unlike its cousin which is commonly known as marijuana, hemp contains only very tiny amounts of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the compound responsible for the euphoric high you get from using cannabis. Hemp contains exceptionally high concentrations of CBD, which is used to produce effects on the body, not the mind.

Why are Cannabinoids Important?

Cannabinoids are compounds found in cannabis and hemp. Our brain has many cannabinoid receptors, especially in the regions of the brain responsible for cognition, memory, motor coordination, and emotions. We also have cannabinoid receptors in our immune system and central nervous system. This combination of receptors has been named the Endocannabinoid System or ECS, and it plays a role in stress management by regulating cortisol and maintaining homeostasis in the body. Our bodies are designed to work with cannabinoids.

What is the Difference Between Hemp and Cannabis?

Cannabis is marijuana, and while hemp is a similar variety of the same plant species, hemp contains very low levels of THC, which is the intoxicating cannabinoid that causes you to feel “high” when you use cannabis. Hemp is specifically bred to have low levels of THC but very high levels of CBD. Under federal guidelines, a plant can contain no more than 0.3 percent THC for it to be considered hemp.

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Is there a difference among CBD products?

CBD is extracted from the hemp plant and then distilled into a final product. There are various methods of extraction and distillation that can change the purity of the oil as well as the percentage of CBD found in the final product. One hundred percent pure CBD contains none of the other plant materials found in hemp, but some products choose to leave many of the natural terpenes and phytochemicals of the hemp plant because they can increase the bioavailability of the cannabinoids to your system.

Why Should I Take CBD Oil?

In recent years, researchers have learned a great deal about the many benefits that CBD oil has on human health. We now know that this product can help relieve pain and reduce inflammation. It also can help with anxiety and depression. Many people with cancer use CBD oil to help deal with the side effects of cancer treatment. New research also suggests that regular use of CBD could help to protect your heart and your brain from long-term damage from aging and oxidative stress.

Most people today use CBD to help with pain and stiffness in their joints. A common use for this product is to help with arthritis pain and other joint problems that result from aging, autoimmune disorders, and injuries.

Is CBD Oil Safe?

The cannabinoids in CBD oil are not psychoactive, which means they do not interfere with your brains’ cognition or perceptions or result in the “high” commonly associated with marijuana. Taking CBD oil or using products that contain CBD will not alter your mind or make you feel different. It has been widely studied and is believed to be safe for use as directed for many different ailments, diseases, and symptoms. It is even safe to use on pets.

Most people have no effects from using CBD oil, but in rare cases, it can cause diarrhea, fatigue, or changes in appetite. CBD can interact with some medications, though, so you should talk with your doctor before using this product if you take any prescription drugs.

Why CBD Is So Popular

It seems you can’t go anywhere these days without seeing billboards for CBD oil, hear advertisements for products containing CBD, or view articles about how CBD oil can help you. Everyone from Mandy Moore to Dr. Gupta has been touting this natural compound, it seems. So, what is all the fuss? And why is CBD so ubiquitous these days?

The Rise of CBD

One of the main reasons CBD is now so popular is that hemp production, which had been illegal for several decades, was legalized in 2018. When the federal government authorized the growing of hemp, it opened the door to CBD production. Because researchers have known of the benefits of CBD for a long time, and because it can help you feel better without affecting your mind like THC, it has risen in popularity as a natural, legal option for using cannabinoids to improve your health.

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Users of CBD describe its effects as similar to taking a warm bath. For those with anxiety, it provides enough relaxation that worries are calmed, and you feel more comfortable around other people.

While some might suggest that CBD is popular because our aging population could always use a little help with issues like arthritis and chronic pain, others have noted that it is the perfect antidote to the high anxiety of today’s younger generations, as well. As a soother to the constant pressure of the information age, CBD offers something from everything, it seems.

CBD Products

CBD can be found in a wide variety of products today, including cosmetics, balms, dog treats, food products, and much more. It is marketed to those who are looking for natural alternatives, those looking for indulgence without the hangover or ill effects, and those with chronic medical needs that have not responded to other types of therapy. In short, CBD appeals to a broad audience and is more available than ever before, making it one of the fastest-growing markets today.

Unlike other cannabis products that contain THC, CBD is not marketed as a recreational drug. In fact, most claims regarding CBD focus on the opposite effects, giving you the relaxing effects of a stiff drink without the hangover.

This natural compound has even reached the artisan niche of marketing, with many products using terms like “small batch” and “single origin” as a part of their packaging to up their credibility among those seeking organic, natural solutions for their health and beauty.

Most importantly, CBD offers a safe and reliable alternative to prescription drugs, which more and more people are eschewing these days or simply cannot afford. Because it can influence the body in such helpful ways, CBD has risen to a place of prominence in the alternative medicine sphere in a short amount of time.

Main Uses For CBD

CBD or cannabidiol is an increasingly popular natural treatment for many common ailments and symptoms. CBD is one of many different cannabinoids or chemical compounds that can be found in cannabis sativa, which has two species, including marijuana and hemp.

While marijuana contains tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a psychoactive compound that produces a euphoric high, hemp only contains trace amounts of this substance but a high concentration of CBD. Hemp, by legal definition, cannot contain more than 0.3 percent THC to be grown in the US, making it a non-intoxicating alternative form of this plant species.

CBD is gaining momentum as a natural and alternative treatment for many medical conditions today. Researchers are investing more energy and time into studying the effects of CBD now, giving us a better picture of its proven benefits for human health, as well. Here are the main reasons people are using CBD to improve their health.

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Pain Relief

The CBD found in both marijuana and hemp is effective for relieving pain. Our bodies contain cannabinoid receptors, and these play a role in pain response and perception. We even produce our own cannabinoids, known as endocannabinoids, which bind to these receptors and help to block pain perception. CBD can be used to reduce chronic pain by interacting with various neurotransmitters as well as by reducing inflammation, another of its many benefits.

Treatment for Anxiety and Depression

CBD can influence serotonin receptors in the brain, helping to boost the influence of these neurotransmitters which regulate mood and control social behavior. Those taking CBD often experience a reduction in anxious feelings, improvements in depressive symptoms, and overall improved mental health. CBD can also help to improve insomnia symptoms, which also plays a role in these mental health symptoms.

Treats Epilepsy

The FDA has recently approved the use of CBD in certain drugs that treat seizures. Taking CBD has been found to reduce seizure frequency and severity in those with certain types of epileptic conditions, including Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome.

Reduces Some Cancer Symptoms

Those with cancer or who are undergoing cancer treatment often experience pain, vomiting, and nausea. CBD can help to reduce these symptoms and help control the side effects of certain cancer treatments.

Could Reduce Acne

New research indicates that CBD could be used to help control acne by reducing the inflammation that worsens the condition and controlling the production of skin oils that create acne. Additional research is needed in this area, but initial studies provide promise for this treatment in the future.

Protects Your Brain

CBD has been studied extensively in the treatment of both epilepsy and multiple sclerosis, which are neurological disorders. New research has also examined this compound’s ability to improve symptoms of conditions like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, as well. By acting on the endocannabinoid system and other neurotransmitters, CBD could provide many protective benefits for your nervous system.

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Boosts Heart Health

Because of its ability to lower inflammation, CBD could also help keep your heart healthy. CBD could lower blood pressure, which is a significant risk factor for heart disease, stroke, and heart attacks. CBD reduces the inflammation that leads to oxidative stress and cell death that contribute to heart disease risks, as well.

Helps with Smoking Cessation

Those trying to quit smoking could benefit from CBD, as it alleviates cravings and helps reduce anxiety associated with withdrawal and quitting. It has also been shown to help those who try to stop using other substances, as well.

CBD has risen in prominence because it can help treat many common and chronic health problems, including anxiety, depression, pain, and inflammation. Because of these benefits, CBD helps enhance your physical, emotional, and mental well-being.