The Endocannabinoid System
To really understand CBD and its benefits, it’s important to be familiar with our body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) because that’s where it all begins! Understanding your body chemistry brings a new appreciation to CBD and helps you understand how it can work for you.
The human body has incredible processes that keep us healthy, happy and thriving and the ECS is essential to these processes by regulating our body temp, water level, blood sugar levels and more, keeping us comfortable, or in a state of homeostasis.
What is homeostasis?
Homeostasis is the equilibrium within our cells which causes the regulation of our body processes. When our body is in a state of homeostasis everything is just right, for example we’re not too hot or too cold. We achieve this with constant monitoring and feedback through endocannabinoids that bind to cannabinoid receptors in our ECS! Sounds important right? The endocannabinoid system is crucial to our survival.
Where Does CBD Come In?
CBD is short for cannabidiol which sounds very similar to these endocannabinoids and cannabinoid receptors. That’s because cannabidiol is a chemical compound in a group called cannabinoids, all found in the cannabis plant, which are the plant’s version of our body’s endocannabinoids. These chemical compounds interact specifically with the cannabinoid receptors and the endocannabinoid system.
These interactions are what make CBD and it’s counterpart, THC, popular as a holistic option for various ailments. THC binds to the cannabinoid receptors in your brain which causes a psychoactive effect. Researchers believe in contrast, CBD doesn’t bind to any cannabinoid receptors so there are no psychotropic effects, meaning no high. Instead, it’s believed that CBD helps your body produce more endocannabinoids, leading to better functioning of the ECS, promoting homeostasis.
What is the Source of CBD?
Commercial CBD comes from the hemp plant, but CBD is also found in marijuana. CBD is harvested from hemp because it’s more plentiful in hemp. These two plants are both cannabis strains (and look almost identical in America) which is why they are easily confused, but hemp contains less than .03 percent of THC. With the passage of the Farm Bill, hemp became a legal crop and farmers took advantage of this new commodity. Hemp is now grown throughout the U.S. with bushy, thick stalks that can support heavy female flowers since, like THC, CBD is derived from the flower of the hemp plant. Once the flowers are cultivated, they are sent to an extraction facility to be turned into the CBD products you know and love like oil, gummies and more!
Are There Different Types of CBD?
There are three main types of CBD oil:
- Full-spectrum CBD
- Broad-spectrum CBD
- CBD Isolate
All of these types of CBD are made from the same plant, but the distillation process (actually making the CBD oil) produces different types of oil that contain different compounds. Highline Wellness offers broad-spectrum CBD, because it contains absolutely no THC (the compound that gives you a high) and still retains the other natural compounds in the hemp plant that provide health benefits. Broad-spectrum CBD is a great place to start. Want to learn more about the different types and which is best for you? Find out more here.