CBD stands for Cannabidiol, a non-psychotropic compound found in the cannabis plant. Unlike THC, the chemical most stoners are familiar with, CBD is found not only in the flowering female marijuana plant, but in the male hemp plant as well.
You may have noticed products with CBD in them for sale online and in stores in states that do not allow legal marijuana, medical or recreational. The reason these products are able to be sold is because the CBD in them is extracted from the male cannabis plant and not the female.
Just as we have many strains of the female marijuana plant to smoke and ingest, there are also many varieties of the male hemp plant. Some have been grown for textile and paper products, with larger, fibrous stalks. Some have been grown for medicinal purposes and contain higher amounts of CBD.
The extract made from these high CBD hemp plants is sometimes called hemp oil, but that name does not guarantee meaningful CBD content. Hemp is currently experience a rise as a trendy beauty and food product, so read labels carefully if you are looking for CBD specifically.
Most CBD products you’ll see made from hemp plants are topical lotions, balms, gels, and oils. There are also tinctures and oils safe for ingestion, sometimes sold as sprays or capsules. CBD is best known for its anticonvulsant effects, with higher doses in medical states being prescribed to help seizure patients. In low doses, CBD can help with muscle pain, spasms, and cramps. Topical CBD products are meant to be massaged into muscles and can also be used on inflamed joints with arthritis or tendonitis. Oral sprays and capsules in low doses claim to lower anxiety and offer relief from other mental health issues such as depression or PTSD.
While access to CBD products made from the hemp plant is fantastic for those in non-legal states, it is definitely not perfect. CBD works best in conjunction with other cannabinoids, such as THC. Many believe that embracing cannabis’ medical potential should not manifest as splitting the plant into individual chemicals, but rather looking at the collection of more than 80 identified cannabinoids, and how they work together. We must continue to push for more research to funded -- cannabis in many forms helps people and animals to feel better.