Right now, it seems that the world can’t stop talking about CBD. With thousands of CBD businesses, hundreds of CBD products, and dozens of daily CBD news articles, it’s clear that CBD has set the world ablaze.
And yet, despite CBD’s hot-topic status, there’s a lot that most people still don’t know about the world’s second favorite cannabinoid (sorry, CBD — THC is still the reigning champion). While the science has yet to catch up to the wild marketing buzz surrounding CBD, some of the lesser-known truths about CBD simply don’t get enough coverage.
So, whether you’re a CBD skeptic or devotee, here are five of the most overlooked facts about CBD oil and CBD!
CBD Fact #1: Hemp-Derived CBD and Cannabis-Derived CBD Aren’t the Same
Right now, there are thousands of CBD oils sitting on store shelves worldwide. At a glance, these products might seem virtually identical. But, according to science, the truth isn’t quite so simple.
Technically, all CBD oil is made from the cannabis sativa plant. However, depending on whether CBD oil is derived from hemp or cannabis, significant differences in quality can arise — a CBD fact that’s often overlooked by first-time and long-time buyers alike.
Hemp-derived CBD oil is made from the leaves, stalks, and flowers of the hemp plant which contain high amounts of naturally-occurring CBD. However, hemp-derived CBD oils generally contain less CBD than their cannabis-based counterparts. In addition, many of the terpenes and cannabinoids found in cannabis-derived CBD are absent in hemp-derived CBD products.
When it comes to quality, the facts surrounding CBD oil are clear: most hemp-derived CBD oils just can’t compete with their cannabis equivalents.
CBD Fact #2: Some CBD Isn’t Federally Legal in the United States (At Least, Not Yet)
During the end of 2018, the United States CBD industry celebrated a particularly exciting and triumphant political victory. With the passage of the US farm bill, industrial hemp is now legal to possess, sell, and grow within all 50 US states.
However, the same can’t be said for cannabis-derived CBD. Even though 2018’s farm bill removes hemp-derived CBD from the US’s list of controlled substances, any CBD product made from cannabis remains illegal to possess or sell in the US on a federal level.
This CBD fact has created a perplexing legal grey area within the American CBD industry. While hemp-derived CBD producers are free to operate their businesses with little legal ramifications, companies that manufacture their products with cannabis are subject to stricter regulation and tighter vetting.
In some states, cannabis-derived CBD oils can only be purchased with a medical prescription which severely limits the accessibility of these CBD oils. While customers are free to purchase as many hemp CBD oils as they like from local storefronts, getting their hands on cannabis-derived equivalents is a chore by comparison.
CBD Fact #3: CBD is Technically Psychoactive
For years, scientists and the general public were convinced that CBD was entirely “non-psychoactive” and that it had little interaction with the CB1 or CB2 receptors in the brain. As a result, CBD has been marketed and sold as a “non-psychoactive” substance, indicating that it doesn’t affect mood or behavior.
However, in reality, the CBD oil facts established by contemporary science say otherwise. Scientists now know that CBD does interact with the CB1 receptors, although its mechanisms of action differ in comparison to THC.
Rather than binding at the orthosteric binding site like THC, CBD binds at the CB1 receptor’s allosteric binding site. Through these interactions, CBD is able to deliver its stress-relieving and mood-enhancing effects.
Due to these emerging CBD facts, it’s not entirely accurate to label CBD as “non-psychoactive.” While the term has caught on as a trendy selling point, it’s more accurate to describe CBD as “not psychoactive in the same way as THC.”
CBD Fact #4: CBD and Caffeine Share Some Similarities
Even though CBD and caffeine might seem like opposites, the two substances share some notable similarities.
One of CBD’s interactions with the brain involves lowering the reuptake of adenosine, a neurotransmitter that’s found naturally in the body. By temporarily modulating the way adenosine is processed and released, CBD can offer both anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective benefits. This same mechanism, however, could also explain CBD’s factually-founded anti-anxiety properties, as increased adenosine levels prepare our bodies for sleep by promoting feelings of relaxation and sleepiness.
As it turns out, caffeine’s main mechanism of action also targets adenosine. Upon ingestion, caffeine blocks adenosine receptors in the brain and prevents adenosine from binding to these receptors, resulting in lowered sensations of fatigue and drowsiness.
CBD Oil Fact #5: Extraction Techniques Matter
To produce CBD oils and other products, manufacturers use various extraction processes. However, because CBD can’t be dissolved in water, organic solvents must be used.
Unfortunately, many of the solvents used in botanical extraction are toxic to consumers. One commonly understood CBD fact is that solvents like pentane and hexane can alter the THC and CBD ratio of the resulting oil, producing a potentially compromised product.
To ensure CBD products are fully viable, many CBD manufacturers use a process called CO2 extraction to produce high-quality, uncompromising CBD oil. The practice involves using supercritical gaseous CO2 to dissolve cannabis and retain the plant’s original terpene and cannabinoid content.
Unfortunately, not all manufacturers use CO2 extraction processes. Our most important CBD oil fact: if you’re in the market for a high-quality CBD oil, be sure to verify how a manufacturer produces their CBD.
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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. All information presented here is not meant as a substitute for or alternative to information from health care practitioners. Please consult your health care professional about potential interactions or other possible complications before using any product.
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