Understanding CBD - What is it and What is the Hype All About? - Edge of Wellness

Understanding CBD – What is it and What is the Hype All About?

By now you have undoubtably heard the acronym CBD. Maybe you have brushed it off or have jumped in head first not really understanding CBD. Either way, I am going to walk you through the basics. What it is, why and how it’s used and if it may be right for you.

Understanding CBD

Let’s start with first things first, CBD stands for cannabidiol. This is the second most prevalent ingredient in Cannabis, but it will not get you high as it is non-psychoactive. CBD is normally extracted from hemp which is a variety of cannabis that is low in tetrahydrocannabinol (THC – the compound that gets you high) and high in CBD.

Understanding CBD

Let’s Get Sciency – The Extraction

According to the Echo Connection, ” Once the plants are harvested, they’re ready for the extraction process. There are many extraction solvents that can be used to separate and collect the essential oils and compounds from the stalks and seeds of hemp. Ideally, producers utilize a supercritical carbon dioxide (CO2) process, which utilizes non-toxic fluid CO2 as a solvent. Supercritical CO2 is listed as GRAS (generally regarded as safe) by the FDA and is used extensively for commercial extraction in the food industry.

To extract all the desired materials, the solvent is forced through the ground plant material. This pulls out the CBD, essential oils, lipids, and beneficial compounds. The solvent is then removed from the final product, yielding oil that is naturally high in CBD.”

There you have it, now we have extracted the CBD!

Is CBD Legal?

Very good question, as this is a somewhat muddy area…In most states CBD is legal and obtainable with unique degrees of restriction in each state. However, the legality around CBD is quite confusing as the federal government still recognizes it as illegal cannabis. They do not enforce the law against it when it comes to CBD though. Okay, so I lied it is very confusing. I am sadly going to tell you it gets even more confusing…

CBD is not regulated by the FDA. That means that you really need to do your homework to ensure you are buying a third party tested product. This means that the distributor has gone through the extra step to verify it’s contents. This is easily done by asking or looking for the products certificate of analysis. If they don’t have one I would suggest moving along to another retailer who does.

I would highly recommend checking out Consumer Reports’ article on buying CBD. This will help you to learn more about what to look for on the label and questions to ask.

What Does CBD Do?

Research is being released on an ongoing basis on the therapeutic effects of CBD. It is important to know that research is still lacking in this area. Meaning, CBD touts some pretty awesome health benefits, but there just isn’t enough data currently to back it up fully. Most claims are anecdotal at this point in time.

However, that being said here are some conditions that CBD may help with:

  • Autism
  • Schizophrenia
  • Alcoholism
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Chronic Pain
  • Inflammation
  • Insomnia
  • Certain Types of Epilepsy

Is CBD Safe?

I highly recommend you reference the above section about the legality of CBD. Remember to do your homework as a consumer before buying. CBD itself can have some negative side effects which might include nausea, fatigue and irritability.

Where Can I Find CBD?

This is really going to vary and depend on where you live. I would advise that you check out the laws in your state before attempting to buy CBD containing products.


Live Science

Harvard Health Publishing – Harvard Medical School

Echo Connection

Consumer Reports

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