Mind Ful Education
What is CBD exactly?
New to CBD? Don’t worry, you’re not alone.
CBD is short for cannabidiol-- it’s one of the main active chemical compounds that naturally occur in the hemp plant. These “active” compounds are called cannabinoids, and so far scientists have discovered over 120 of them!
CBD interacts with the mammalian endocannabinoid system (ECS for short). The ECS regulates key functions in the body, like sleep, appetite, mood, energy, and metabolism, by producing chemicals called endocannabinoids (endo- meaning “within”), which communicate with our brain. Pre-clinical research has suggested that CBD might actually help these chemicals do their jobs better, by working with our brain chemistry rather than against it.
And, unlike conventional medications, CBD doesn’t just have one molecular target or one specific function in the body. Cannabinoid researchers often refer to CBD as a “promiscuous” molecule because it does its work by binding to multiple different families of non-psychoactive receptors in our tissues and peripheral nervous system. In addition to its relationship with our ECS, it binds to TRP-V “vanilloid” receptors, GPR55, PPARy, GABA, and 5HT1A (serotonin) receptors, to name a few.
Basically, CBD is complicated. And what that means in a practical sense is that CBD can do different things for different people-- and may potentially do different things for the same person at different times. For example, CBD might make you feel sleepy if you take it when you’re sleep deprived, but it might make you feel alert when you take it in the morning after a good night of rest.
Once we have our CBD refined, it’s tested for potency and purity, then blended with our therapeutic-grade carrier oils, essential oils and butters.
CBD needs a carrier oil so that it can be absorbed by our bodies effectively (more on about CBD tinctures down below). Since CBD is “lipophilic” (meaning that it dissolves in fats), it’s important to use high-quality oils like MCT oil rather than harsh solvents like alcohol. Coconut MCT (medium-chain triglycerides) oil is the perfect carrier oil for CBD because unlike alcohol it doesn’t burn when you take it, and the fat molecules are the right size for absorption underneath the tongue.
The CBD we use in our products is derived and isolated from sun-grown hemp grown in Utah. In order to legally qualify as hemp, the plant material has to be tested by a 3rd party lab at every stage of production to verify that the THC content is at or below 0.3%.
Once the plants are harvested, the hemp is dried, cured, then extracted with pressure and CO2 (don’t worry, we don’t use any harmful hydrocarbon solvents like BHO or PHO). CO2 is the safest, cleanest extraction method that leaves no traces of impurity behind.
Read more about CBD drug interactions and side effects on our FAQ page.
Dosing with CBD
If you’ve never taken CBD before, we recommend starting with one 10mg dose every day for about 4-5 days, to get familiar with the effects. After that, if 10mg isn’t enough, try increasing your dose by 5mg, and continue with that again for 4-5 days. Repeat this process until you find your CBD sweet spot.
Everyone’s body is unique and reacts to the effects of CBD differently, so you might find that you need a different dose than someone else for the same effect. It helps to experiment with different dosages, products, and times of day before getting to a place where you can accurately predict the effects of CBD for yourself.
People generally take CBD on an as-needed basis. And while it’s definitely fine to have a structured regimen (e.g. morning and night), it really comes down to whatever works best for you and your daily routine.
CBD doesn’t need to be taken with food, so you don’t need to worry about planning around mealtime. You can take it when you feel like your body needs it, or when you feel like you want to prepare yourself for something coming up. Don’t be afraid to mix things up while using CBD-- your body will let you know that it’s working.
After some time, depending on the dosage and frequency of your use, you might find that a dose that used to work for you just isn’t enough anymore. In this case, you may need to increase either your dose or the frequency of administration.
If you’re in a place where you can take a short pause in taking CBD, a “tolerance break” can be super helpful. Taking a break from CBD for a few days up to a week will help to reset your ECS and bring your tolerance back to baseline. A lot of folks will even schedule tolerance breaks periodically, say, a 2-day break once a month.
Research into CBD is quickly gaining traction in the scientific community, so we will update this section as new developments arise.
Early studies show that CBD may have some anti-anxiety, antidepressant and stress-relieving properties.
CBD has become incredibly popular for sleep recently, and science is still catching up. People have reported CBD promoting sleepiness in some instances, and wakefulness in others. It seems like the efficacy of CBD for sleep issues might depend on the reasons for lack of sleep.
All mammals (our pets, too) have an endocannabinoid system (or ECS). It works sort of like a thermostat; the ECS produces chemicals called endo-cannabinoids (much like the phyto-cannabinoids found in hemp and cannabis), which may help regulate vital bodily processes like sleep, appetite, mood, and pain sensation. Preliminary research suggests that CBD may help regulate the production and uptake of these chemicals, which means it could help the body restore itself, better.
CBD also may have powerful anti-inflammatory and pain relieving properties due to its interactions with our TRP receptors. These receptors have some pretty big implications for various kinds of pain, from cramping to stiff joints, everyday knocks and migraines-- and possibly even for muscle soreness and speeding up recovery time after exercise.