All Your CBD Questions, Answered.
Cannabis is a broad term that describes two types of plants: Marijuana, known for its high THC content, and Hemp, known for its high CBD content. Many people are turning to hemp products for their high levels of CBD. Why? Turns out that CBD just might be the next wonder drug poised to shake up the pharmaceutical industry.
What’s the difference between cannabis, marijuana, and hemp?
Let’s back this pineapple express train up and go over some basics. Under the plant species of cannabis, there is both hemp and marijuana. Hemp and marijuana both contain THC and CBD (along with other cannabinoids, the unique compounds found in the plant) but in different levels. Hemp contains low levels of THC and marijuana contains high levels of THC.
Cannabis also contains terpenes, which is like the plant’s natural essential oils… like when you zest a lemon or smell fresh lavender. These aromatic oils (which also contribute to flavor) contain medical benefits on their own.
So where’s the CBD part?
CBD is found on both marijuana and hemp plants. Most CBD products are derived from the flowers on Hemp, but some products also contain CBD from the leaves, stalk, and stems of the plant.
So what is CBD and what does it do?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a versatile botanical compound that interacts with receptors in the endocannabinoid system to balance your mood and appetite, maintain healthy joints and promote wellness.
Oh, so you never heard of the endocannabinoid system? You may not have even realized that you have one, but it’s what allows our body to be affected by cannabis. In fact, we produce our own cannabinoids and we have more receptors in our brains for cannabinoids then we do for serotonin and dopamine.
Where is the endocannabinoid system and how does CBD affect it?
There is a complex set of cannabinoid receptors all throughout our body that makes up the endocannabinoid system or ECS.
Here’s a little science lesson: think of receptors (also known as neurons) as little locks located all over our body – in our brains, organs, and systems (immune system, and nervous system, for example). The cannabinoids are the keys. Cannabinoids can find these locks, and interact with them by creating a reaction or signaling a chemical release. This is why when you pop an edible or smoke a joint, you feel a change in your body – the locks and keys have worked together to create a chemical reaction, and that leads our bodies to respond with other reactions.
The ECS has receptors CB1 and CB2 (and others, but we don’t know much about those yet). CB1 is located primarily in the brain, nervous system, intestines, connective tissues, reproductive organs, and other glands. By activating the CB1 receptor, you may experience a host of benefits, and effects vary by individuals.
There are endocannabinoids we create on demand to reduce inflammation and support our body in its never-ending search for homeostasis. So while CBD doesn’t create a “high”, it supports our own ECS and may help our body create more natural cannabinoids, thus, feeling better. #mindblown (P.S.: A diet high in omega 3 fatty acids, and exercise, can also help support the ECS.)
What are the benefits of CBD and what does it feel like?
In smaller doses, the mental effects can include feeling relaxed and easing anxiety. Imagine that knot in your stomach just unwound about 10 clicks or you just walked out of a yoga flow session. Physically, it’s like you just got done with a 1-hour massage, and everything went from feeling bothered to feeling blissed out.
When just starting out, begin with 1 slice of the Alchemy Naturals Squib 100 (which is 10mg) and see how you feel. Adjust as desired. Remember that each person will respond to different doses in their own way – so what works for a friend doesn’t mean it will work for you!
There’s some clinical evidence (and plenty of personal stories we’ve heard) that CBD is helping people with a variety of conditions.
Who should try CBD?
Anyone looking to relax, ease anxiety, or interested in forms of alternative wellness. CBD is really a powerful component of the Cannabis plant and we can’t wait to share it with everyone (over 21, that is). Many people who are seeking pain relief or would like to be less dependant on pharmaceuticals are switching to CBD.
If you are suffering from a medical condition, talk to your doctor about trying CBD for possible pain relief or other benefits. CBD has no known lethal dose and no serious side effects.
Okay, I’m sold. How can I get some CBD?
You can enjoy CBD in many of the same ways THC can be used (and more!). If you are a person that enjoys THC, you may have already been smoking or vaping strains that included CBD (or perhaps you know all about the entourage effect?) Smoking or vaping CBD can be easily done in the same ways as THC. CBD can be purchased at a dispensary, or you can experiment with high CBD and low THC strains from your local shop. You’ll need a pipe or a bong, or a vape if that’s your thing.
Another cool thing about CBD is that it also works topically. Topical applications include pain relief creams, oils and massage creams, bath bombs (yes, you can literally bathe in CBD infused products) or even serums for an extra facial plump and lift. Check your dispensary for these types of products, but also look around at skin care companies either locally or online. Entangled Biome, and Magsoothium are just a couple of places to check out for bath, skin and pain relief products with CBD. Code of Harmony has facial serums if you are looking for a way to get a daily dose of CBD self-care. You can find CBD products by many of your favorite skin care brands. Bonus: Walgreens, Rite-Aid, and CVS just announced that they plan to carry CBD topical productsnationwide.
Interested in trying out a tincture? Good, we can hook you up! Tinctures are another popular way to experience CBD, which allows you to add them to a drink of choice or take them sublingually. Tinctures are better applied under the tongue, making them faster acting and bioavailable. Alchemy Naturals creates both Full Spectrum and Broad Spectrum (THC free) tinctures in varying potencies, and three great flavors.
Our Full-Spectrum Hemp Extract CBD Oil contains a hint of THC, but less than .3% by volume. Full-Spectrum is a term used to describe all of the wonderful compounds found in hemp – nothing has been stripped, so you get a product that is packed with plant power. If you are looking for an entourage effect, look no further. Our Full-Spectrum tincture is available in 1-ounce bottles and comes in 250mg, 500mg or 1000mg strength. If you want to completely avoid THC, then you will love our Broad-Spectrum Hemp Extract CBD Oil which contains zero THC, but still delivers all the good stuff you want (cannabinoids and terpenes) that are naturally found in the hemp plant. It’s a perfect choice for those who can not have any THC in their system, whether for medical, personal, or legal reasons. Our Broad-Spectrum tincture also comes in 1-ounce bottles and is available in a 1000mg strength.
And of course, let’s not forget the treats (both edible and drinkable). Arguably the tastiest way to get your dose of CBD, and also available in varying amounts and flavors, depending on the product. Foods and beverages containing CBD are fun to enjoy and share with friends, but also a great way to medicate. CBD is popping up in restaurants and on drink menus all across the country, so grab some friends and head out to experience them for yourself. Keep in mind that it may take an hour or more to feel the full effects before you reach for seconds.
CBD Squibs are now available!
Speaking of edibles, Alchemy Naturals now offers edible CBD Squibs! Alchemy Naturals CBD Squibs are infused with Full-Spectrum extract derived from Oregon-grown hemp and come in delicious flavors like pineapple, concord grape, green apple, cherry, and blue raspberry. Click here to find them in your area.