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CBD for People — Your Definitive Guide to Understanding Cannabidiol

Updated: Mar 30, 2020

At Gaia Provides, we focus primarily on the benefits of CBD for your pets. But the CBD wellness craze actually began with pet owners first.

Before CBD pet products were even trending, many people tried hemp extracts for themselves and found them to be so beneficial they wondered if they could be used to help their beloved furry friends as well. Now, there are CBD products specifically created for the unique physiology and dosing needs of pets.


In this article, instead of focusing on your animal companions though, we will be talking about cannabidiol for YOU! We will explain in detail what CBD is, how it works in the human body, and a few of its therapeutic applications in people. After all, if CBD is good enough for the furry members of your family, it might just benefit you as well, right?


What Is CBD Oil?


You've likely heard quite a bit about CBD oil over the past year or so. If that is the case, you may already know what it's all about. For those who would like a primer, we will start by explaining what CBD actually is and isn't.


CBD is a shortened form of the word "cannabidiol." It is a cannabinoid found in cannabis sativa and is one of over 100 naturally occurring chemicals present in the plant. Cannabinoids are found in abundance in all strains of cannabis, but CBD is found in high amounts in the hemp species.


Cannabinoids are also made in the human body and brain. When they are made in the body, they are called endocannabinoids. When they are found in nature, they are called phytocannabinoids. This synchronistic coincidence between humans and plants is one of the main things that makes hemp so fascinating. In a world that is so out of touch with nature, the discovery that we share this vital and interchangeable bond between humans, animals, and plant life is somewhat revolutionary.


While this relationship has always existed, it seems the time has come for it to be revitalized, and we are delighted to be a part of it.


What Is The Difference Between Marijuana and Hemp?


CBD has gained traction in recent years as a viable therapeutic option to treat a variety of conditions, which we will talk about further on. Despite its incredible popularity, there are still many misconceptions surrounding the compound. This is mainly because of its strong associations with marijuana.


While CBD can be found in some strains of marijuana, the primary cannabinoid in weed is Tetrahydrocannabinol—more commonly referred to as THC. This is what most people are referring to when they talk about being stoned or high. THC is a psychoactive compound that is used both medicinally and recreationally. However, it remains illegal at the federal level.


Hemp, on the other hand, is legal at the federal level—provided that it contains less than 0.3% THC by volume. This trace amount is not enough to cause any mind-altering effects. CBD is generally sourced from industrial hemp plants grown specifically for making CBD products. Once the plant has matured, the oil is extracted using sophisticated methods, and it is formulated into a variety of CBD products available for both people and animals.


Why Do People Use CBD?


There are many reasons for using CBD. Like medical cannabis, it is believed to have multiple therapeutic benefits that can assist in treating a wide range of illnesses and diseases. Up until a few years ago, most of the information we had about CBD was mostly anecdotal.


Then, with the passage of the first Farm Bill of 2014, universities and research facilities got the green light to begin studying the hemp plant in depth. We now have more information than ever before with multiple studies backing up the science behind CBD and how it works.


Pain and Inflammation


A primary reason people use CBD is to relieve pain and inflammation. Cannabis has been used since 2900 BC to treat pain, and up until a few decades ago, it was even widely used in the U.S. among physicians for many common complaints. The most recent research confirms that not only is it useful in reducing pain but that it may be a vital component to helping those with opiate addiction.


Recent studies also illustrate that CBD is capable of reducing pain levels and the number of spasms in those with MS, neuropathy, arthritis, and more. It is believed that by binding to a receptor in the body and brain called the CB1 receptor, pain signals are dampened.

Of course, inflammation goes hand-in-hand with pain and is often the primary cause of it. It turns out that CBD is not just a powerful analgesic but a potent anti-inflammatory as well. Because inflammation is related to so many debilitating conditions, the potential of CBD in treating inflammation is enormous.


Anxiety


Millions of people suffer from anxiety disorders ranging from mild nervousness to post-traumatic stress syndrome. It is one of the most widely treated conditions of modern times, with some 20% of adults taking some form of prescription medication for a mental health complaint.


It is a rare physician that suggests holistic remedies, stress reduction techniques, or even changes in diet to deal with the crippling symptoms of anxiety. However, there are some very promising studies showing CBD many reduce discomfort in those who have acute anxiety and panic disorders.