By Teri Michel

CBD stands for cannabidiol, which is a naturally occurring substance in hemp that was discovered in 1940. It is just one of over 113 cannabinoids that have been identified in the hemp plant and accounts for up to 40% of the oil extracted from hemp.

There is some confusion out there as to the difference between hemp and marijuana, which are both considered to be cannabis. The main difference is that the hemp plant contains more CBD and less THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol. Marijuana contains more THC, which is the psychoactive substance that produces a “high” or euphoric feeling. In the U.S., hemp is classified by the federal government as cannabis containing no more than 0.3% THC by dry weight. This classification was established in the 2018 Farm Bill and was refined to include hemp-sourced extracts, cannabinoids and derivatives in the definition of hemp. Hemp oil products meeting this requirement are federally legal and do not require a medical marijuana card.

Both plants have been identified as being useful in the treatment of diseases and disorders. Thus, we have medical marijuana and we now have CBD from hemp. Hemp is cultivated for non-drug use. It has long been used for hemp fiber, to manufacture many products, also, the oils, seeds and leaves have been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years. Carbon dating has revealed that these plants may have been used for ritual and medicinal purposed in China as early 494 B.C.

So, what is all the fuss about. Well, it seems that CBD can be used to cure just about everything according to some sources, but the reality is that the CBD does not really “cure” anything, it helps our bodies heal themselves by creating homeostasis. The human body, and actually, the body of any mammal, contains an Endocannabinoid System. This system regulates homeostasis in the body and is also responsible for repairing damaged cells and acting as a biological defense system.

We have receptors in our body that help the body communicate with the brain, so that the brain can tell the body to produce more or less of a specific hormone or change cellular activity. Endocannabinoids and their receptors are found throughout the body: in the brain, organs, connective tissues, glands and immune cells. CBD feeds the receptors in our endocannabinoid system, so that it begins to work properly and begins to self-regulate and self-correct.

CBD may be taken into the body in multiple ways: inhalation, topical, ingestion or sublingual absorption. CBD has many potential therapeutic benefits, including anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-anxiety and seizure-suppressant properties. CDB is not considered to be a drug and is not regulated by the FDA. It is considered to be a supplement, so claims cannot be made as to its medicinal benefits. Clinical studies are ongoing as to all the benefits of CBD, however, many people have found relief from chronic pain, anxiety, depression, insomnia, weight gain, poor mental focus, abnormal heart functions, abnormal blood sugar levels, and suppressed immune systems.

Because of its popularity, CBD is being manufactured by many companies and not all CBD oil is created equal. When you are looking to purchase a good CBD product, look for two ingredients, hemp oil and hemp seed extract. There may, also be a flavoring, such as peppermint. You will get the most benefit from a full spectrum oil, which contains all of the cannabinoids, not just CBD, as an isolate. CBD alone can be helpful, but with a full spectrum oil, you will be reaching more uptake receptors in the body. In addition to the cannabinoids, a full or broad spectrum oil will contain terpenes and flavonoids, which have been found to be essential building blocks of complex plant hormones and molecules, pigments, sterols and even cannabinoids. It should be noted that using a full spectrum oil can test positive for THC on a drug test, even though it is a very small amount and federally legal. So, if you are subject to drug testing it would be best to use an oil that has only CBD isolate.

Teri Michel, is a licensed massage therapist, certified Ayurvedic Health consultant and has recently been certified in the Endocannabinoid System and CBD. She may be reached by email at pranaananda8@gmail.com.

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