Cannabidiol (CBD) is a naturally occurring, non-intoxicating, phytocannabinoid compound found in the various Cannabis Sativa plants. It is one of over 100 different cannabinoids, and present at different levels depending on the species and environment within which the plant is grown. Together with Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a cannabinoid known for its intoxicating effects, CBD is one of the most abundant cannabinoids of the Cannabis Sativa plants.
While both CBD and THC are organic phytocannabinoids, they function in different ways as they both interact with cell receptors in the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) (one of the body’s largest neurotransmitter networks).
- CBD indirectly stimulates the most known CB1 and CB2 cell receptors in the ECS, and encourages the production of the body’s natural endocannabinoids.
- Unlike THC, CBD does not directly bind to cannabinoid receptors and is not intoxicating. CBD sits imperfectly in these receptors, not activating them yet preventing other compounds from binding to them.
- CBD has also been shown to increase the amount of Anandamide in the body (an Endocannabinoid produced naturally by the body) through reducing fatty-acid-amide-hydrolase (FAAH), the enzyme responsible for breaking down Anandamide. By reducing FAAH, the body can create and release more Endocannabinoids. Endocannabinoids are then used by the ECS to perform its multitude of balancing functions.
To put it simply, phytocannabinoid CBD complements the body’s own synthesized endocannabinoids and supports the ECS to carry out its functions.
See our blog post about the ECS for more information.
Where is it from?
CBD is most usually extracted from the ‘hemp’ stream of the Cannabis Sativa plant. Whilst the plants are almost identical, the hemp plant carries a THC level that is below legally set levels (in the EU this is typically a level of THC of 0.2% or lower, however refer to your specific jurisdiction).
Fullspectrum vs. broadspectrum
From either type of plant, CBD extraction can be done to include the complete compound of the plant, including small levels of THC (typically 0.2% or lower) and other compounds such as terpenes, cannabinol (CBN), cannabichromene (CBC) and cannabigerol (CBG), to name a few. This extraction results in a fullspectrum product.
A broadspectrum product includes all the compounds of the plants, except THC which has been removed completely.
CBD can also be extracted as an isolate, i.e. its chemical compound extracted to only include a particular CBD molecule.
The wide number of various compounds found in fullspectrum CBD products make them popluar due to the potential synergistic physiological benefits of all the compounds when working together, including small levels of THC. This is sometimes called the ‘Entourage Effect’.
BeOlea Be Original CBD oils are fullspectrum and thus contain all the various plant compounds available in addition to the premium carrier oil compounds. However, our THC levels are below 0.01%!
Why take CBD if the body naturally produces endocannabinoids?
There has been research suggesting that phytocannabinoids can help support an ECS that is otherwise deficient. Such deficiency is referred to as ‘Endocannabinoid deficiency’ (Ethan B. Russo, Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency Reconsidered: Current Research Supports the Theory in Migraine, Fibromyalgia, Irritable Bowel, and Other Treatment-Resistant Syndromes, 2016). In other words, phytocannabinoids, such as hemp derived fullspectrum CBD, may augment endocannabinoids and stimulate the ECS network and receptors to support achieving homeostasis.
Whilst more research needs to be made, there is a growing number of supporting clinical research being conducted, increasing availability of CBD as a prescription medicine and over the counter products has generated a new awareness by health and wellness advocates, and medics alike.