Many people have never explored or come across CBD before so we figured it's time that we clarify and educate ourselves a bit more about this legal hemp extract once and for all. We decided to create a comprehensive guide to CBD for beginners. Regardless if you're just curious about the hype or looking to begin your own journey with CBD - here is everything you need to know.
We hope you find it useful - and if you do, make sure to share it with friends to get them up to speed on the latest health hack out there!
What is CBD?
First things first. The CBD lingo can be intimidating and since we want to share our love for CBD self-care with more people it's time that you familiarise yourself with some key words.
CBD is short for cannabidiol and is found in the Cannabis sativa plant along with more than 80 active cannabinoids. CBD can also be found in industrial hemp. Cannabidiol has been used for medicinal and natural remedy purposes for centuries because of how the plant interacts with the endocannabinoid system - a system that balances the body during stress.
The first documented use of cannabis-derived medicine dates back to more than 2700 BC, when a Chinese emperor used cannabis-infused tea to aid conditions such as malaria, rheumatism and gout. Queen Victoria is also suggested to have used CBD for menstrual cramps. In other words - it's royalty approved!
This is plant is truly one of a kind! It has been cultivated throughout history to be used for industrial fiber, seed oil, food, recreation, religious and spiritual moods and medicine. Depending on the purpose of its use it is harvested differently.
The seeds of cannabis sativa are used to make hempseed oil. Hempseed oil can be used in various ways - ranging from cooking, skincare or paint.
Three types of cannabis are typically grown today:
- Plants cultivated for their fibre
- Plants cultivated for seeds that can be eaten raw or for extracting hemp oil
- Plants grown for medicinal or recreational purposes. A distinction is often made between industrial hemp and marijuana.
Hemp is also known as industrial hemp and is a variety of the cannabis sativa plant species. It is grown specifically for the industrial uses of its derived products and contains concentrations of psychoactive compounds far too low to be useful for recreational purpose. Compared to cannabis used for drugs, hemp has lower concentrations of THC (the other primary and most known cannabinoid in cannabis) and higher concentrations of CBD.
Hemp is a very interesting commodity since it can be refined into anything from paper, textiles, clothing, biodegradable plastics, biofuel, food (it's highly nutritious) and animal feed.
From an environmental perspective hemp may be an interesting alternative to a wide range of commercial products. It returns a significant percentage of nutrients back to the ground which results in healthier soil that can keep farmlands healthy for longer, preventing erosion.
The legality of industrial hemp varies widely between countries. Some governments regulate the concentration of THC and permit only hemp that is bred with an especially low THC content.
CBD can be extracted from hemp or from marijuana. Hemp plants are cannabis plants that contain less than 0.3 percent THC, while marijuana plants are cannabis plants that contain higher concentrations of THC. Unlike THC, CBD doesn’t alter your mind or cause a psychoactive reaction. In other words, using CBD won’t get you high.
Tetrahydrocannabinol is one of at least 113 cannabinoids identified in cannabis. THC is the principal psychoactive constituent of cannabis. Yepp, it's what makes you feel high!
THC binds with one of the cannabinoid receptors in our bodies that releases neurotransmitters in the brain and controls pain, mood and other feelings. That's why people may experience feeling euphoric after smoking weed.
In the same glands that produce the cannabinoids like THC and CBD in the cannabis plant, we find terpenes. However, terpenes are aromatic oils that can be found in many plants. These compounds create the characteristics scents of many plants such as cannabis, pine and lavender. Essentially, it's the combination of terpenes that determine the fragrance of a plant. The purpose of terpenes in plants is to protect them from animals or germs.
Many people associate terpenes with cannabis because cannabis plants contain high concentrations of them. Terpenes are suggested to offer various health benefits to the human body. Some terpenes may act on the endocannabinoid system similarly to cannabinoids.
Interested in learning more about this fascinating compound? We previously created a post dedicated solely to terpenes. Read it here!
The Endocannabinoid System
We don't know about you but this hard-to-pronounce word was completely new to us before we were introduced to CBD. Quite unbelievable given everything the endocannabinoid system (ECS) does for us and our wellbeing.
The ECS is a biological system that is composed of endocannabinoids that bind to cannabinoid receptors. The ECS is under research but is suggested to play a role in regulating processes such as fertility, pregnancy, various immune system activities, pain-sensation, mood and memory.
Endocannabinoids (ECs) are defined as the endogenous ligands of cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2). The endocannabinoids regulate the functioning of multiple organs and tissues of the body. Compared to cannabinoids (like THC and CBD), endocannabinoids are produced internally in the body, hence the term -endo in the name.
Are you still with us at this point? Take a few deep breaths and a moment of appreciation for the complex yet amazing creation the human body is. We have to admit - the more we learn, the more fascinated we are!
We can't say more than that when CBD interacts with the ECS it can have a balancing effect on mind and body. Everyone responds differently to CBD and experiences different effects. We recommend giving it a try and see how it works for you! However, CBD is not a medicine and can not diagnose, treat or cure diseases. Always consult a doctor before starting a new dietary program.
How to use CBD in your daily life
The possibilities of how to take CBD are endless and nowadays the extract comes in various forms. CBD is extracted as an oil or powder and can be added to lotion, in capsules, gummies, sprays and various foods.
The natural oil can be applied topically or ingested. It can also be inhaled by way of vaping or taken sublingually (placed under the tongue).
Pure CBD oil and tinctures
Tinctures means something that includes an alcohol. A CBD tincture contain extracts of hemp combined with a mixture of alcohol, glycerin or cinnamon/peppermint oil. Compared to a CBD oil, tinctures contain a lower potency of CBD. However they have longer bioavailability (and thus, shelf time) than CBD oil because the alcohol acts as a preservative.
Topical CBD products may come in the form of a cream, salves, balms, serums or lotion. As the name suggests, they are intended to be applied topically on the skin. Considered one of the latest trends in health care and skin care - of course the MANTLE team are very interested in this form of CBD usage! Stay tuned for more on this in the future.
Pills and capsules
CBD pills are easy to use and offer reliable dosing, as each dose is premeasured. Compared to a CBD oil, CBD capsules and pills breakdown in the digestive tract in a process known as the first pass effect. This implies that the potency may be decreased before it reaches the systemic circulation.
CBD is added in many products food and drinks these days - it is a popular and fun way to take CBD and a good place to start. There is everything from CBD tea, CBD gummies and CBD health drinks available. We love the creativity brands are displaying within this space!
It is possible to inhale vaporized CBD oil. It's the fastest way to access the effect of CBD since the compounds are inhaled and absorbed directly from the lungs into the bloodstream. It isn't completely clear if the vaping damages the lung tissue so be cautious if this way of taking CBD speaks to you!
Bear in mind that there’s no one-size-fits-all dose because everyone’s body responds differently to CBD. The best tip we can give you is to experiment and find the perfect dose for you and your body.
If you are trying our CBD oil, we recommend to begin by placing 1-5 drops under your tongue and let it be there for 30-60 seconds before swallowing. This allows the CBD to absorb directly into your body. As you become more comfortable with CBD you can increase both the dose and frequency.
Do you prefer more of a smooth start? Add 1 to 5 drops of The Original Oil in your favorite food or drink. We personally swear by mixing it in our daily morning cappuccino or a few sprinkles in our afternoon mocktail during sunny summer days!
... That's all for now. We hope you have learnt something new about CBD through this guide and that you feel encouraged to introduce CBD health hacks in your daily routine. If you are interested in learning more, check out our post on carrier oils for CBD.