What is CBD?
Whether you closely follow the latest health trends or have just noticed all the adverts on TV these days, one thing is for sure: CBD is a term you will have heard of by now.
Which begs the question: what is CBD?
CBD is short for “cannabidiol”. But we usually just say “CBD” as it’s easier to pronounce.
CBD belongs to a family of compounds known as “cannabinoids”. There are more than 100 of these cannabinoids in the flowers of the cannabis sativa plant. Among certain strains of the cannabis plant, CBD is the most prevalent cannabinoid of all.
Several of these cannabinoids have been proven to have significant positive effects on our overall wellness and health. This is the primary reason for the great worldwide interest in CBD over the last decade.
We are, after all, a people looking for natural alternatives and plant therapies wherever possible. Now more so than ever. And cannabis affords us a new, exciting avenue of exploration – not least because these cannabis-based compounds are exclusive to the cannabis plant. A plant that for so long was legally restricted.
Now that things are changing, we can finally take advantage of what cannabinoids offer us… first and foremost: better health.
The Endocannabinoid System
So there are these compounds called cannabinoids that are found in cannabis flowers. One of the two most common cannabinoids is CBD. But to experience the benefits of CBD, our bodies would need a way to process it – and we do have a way, fortunately. It is called the “Endocannabinoid System”.
The Endocannabinoid System was discovered by scientists in the 1980’s. They reasoned that if CBD and THC had such a strong effect on us, we might also produce natural versions of these compounds, and therefore might have a system to regulate these chemicals.
This reasoning was proven correct: the scientists discovered that our bodies produce chemicals called endocannabinoids.
We all have cannabinoid receptors throughout our bodies – in every single organ. These allow cannabinoids – both exogenous and plant-based cannabinoids – to interact with us, and affect profound changes within the body.
Crucially, these receptors are known to be responsible for the regulation of systems in our body that support general health and well-being.
There are two types of cannabinoid receptors inside us: CB1 and CB2. The CB1 receptors generally interact with the neurological pathways in the brain and central nervous system whilst the CB2 receptor supports the immune system and organs elsewhere in the body.
Therefore, through the use of the CB1 receptor the mind can be impacted. Through the CB2 receptor the organs around the body can be impacted.
The big picture, though, is this: The Endocannabinoid System is an evolutionary mechanism designed to keep our organism in balance. This balance – or “homeostasis” – is vital to the long-term prosperity of the body. There are lots of specific ways of using cannabis – for body and/or mind – to help yourself and ease particular complaints, but the ultimate goal is homeostasis.
The Entourage Effect
Right, so there are cannabinoids made by the cannabis plant and by the human body. We have receptors throughout our body which interact with these cannabinoids, generating desirable effects that aid the well-being of the individual. But are there ways to maximise this potentially revolutionary scientific breakthrough? Yes, absolutely. We can deploy something called “The Entourage Effect”.
I mentioned earlier that there are more than 100 cannabinoids found in the flowers of the cannabis plant, and that these compounds interact in various ways with the Endocannabinoid System. And this produces a wide array of effects for body and mind.
But on top of this wide diversity of effects produced by 100+ different cannabinoids, other components of the plant also factor in. One of these are a family of compounds known as “terpenes”. Terpenes are the perfume of cannabis. There are dozens of primary terpenes in cannabis. Depending on the specific strain of cannabis, a wide array of aromas can be produced – from lemon to pineapple to skunk (unfortunately).
Not only do terpenes affect the smell of the cannabis plant, they also change the effects of cannabinoids within the human body. Terpenes magnify and modify the impact of cannabinoids.
And this is why a true cannabis extract is something we will always choose over a pure CBD powder.
Why restrict yourself to one beneficial compound when the plant is jammed with other beneficial compounds? Especially when they produce stronger effects in unison than isolated?
This is why here at Love CBD we like to use cannabis oil rather than isolated CBD powder to make our CBD products. We know that when CBD is paired with other cannabinoids and terpenes it will prove more effective. We know that The Entourage Effect works and it would be foolish to not utilise this powerful knowledge.
We called ourselves Love CBD because of our obvious love for CBD. But we love the cannabis plant as a whole, and we understand that to get the most from CBD we must use the whole plant and not just extract one element from it.
This is our motivation. It is why we created The Entourage Oil. And it is why nearly 10 years after we did so we remain a major name in the UK CBD market when others have long since come and gone.
By Gary Phillips