What is CBD and how does it work?
Posted by DAVID WALBY
What is CBD and how does it work?
CBD or to give it's full name Cannabidiol, is a naturally occurring compound within the Cannabis genus of plants. There are three main varieties of Cannabis plant, but CBD is most commonly derived from the Hemp plant (also known as the Cannabis Sativa plant) due to the potential for high levels of CBD and low levels of the high-inducing compound THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). These plants produce many natural phytocannabinoids (including CBD) alongside an array of terpenes and flavonoids, all of which can be extracted and used for many different purposes.
What is a Phytocannabinoid and why are they so useful?
The human body contains cannabinoid receptors that can be unlocked by the correct cannabinoid. Cannabinoids are produced by our bodies (endocannabinoids - ‘endo’ meaning within) to keep our bodies functioning normally, but they also occur naturally in plants (phytocannabinoids - ‘phyto’ meaning plant) these plant based cannabinoids can be used to interact with our bodies natural cannabinoid receptors to cause a response and each cannabinoid causes a different response. This is why phytocannabinoids are so powerful; they are like a key that can be used to unlock certain benefits within the human body in a completely natural way. In addition to this, phytocannabinoids are grown within plant cells and are therefore 100% natural, organic and vegetarian and vegan friendly.
CBD is widely regarded to be the most effective of the non-psychoactive cannabinoids.
There are many first hand reports from users that CBD is effective for anxiety, pain relief, inflammation, arthritis and epilepsy. Indeed, the reason that Dr Calm was started was due to the experience of one of the founders in finding CBD effective for reducing his anxiety. And whilst there is, as yet, no firm scientific evidence to prove that CBD is able to affect these things, it is potentially worth trying for your individual use case to see if it works for you.
Why is CBD expensive?
CBD is grown naturally within plants, which of course take time to grow and then have to be harvested. There are also not that many farms in the world that are licensed to grow industrial hemp plants, so those that do can charge a premium.
Then there is a further process to extract the phytocannabinoids, terpenes and terpenoids and preserves the ones you want to keep and eradicates the ones you do not. We ensure that our suppliers only use supercritical CO2 extraction to guarantee perfect results every time from a quality and effectiveness perspective. The goal is to eradicate the high-inducing THC (which in industrial hemp is naturally very low anyway) but keep the majority of the remaining compounds to provide what is known as the 'entourage effect.'
What is the entourage effect?
Studies have shown that whilst CBD is effective on its own, in general, it is more effective when taken alongside other compounds that are naturally present in the Hemp plant. This is known as the 'entourage effect' as each ingredient works together for the most effective response within the body.
All our CBD products include the full range of natural phytocannabinoids, terpenes and terpenoids (apart from the ones we don't want, such as THC and THCV). These are preserved within the formulation (not added afterwards) to ensure anything that was useful in the natural make-up of the plant are present in our products to ensure the most effective product for our customers.
What is the difference between Full-Spectrum CBD, Broad Spectrum CBD and CBD Isolate?
There are three different types of CBD, based on how they are extracted and how many other compounds are preserved to work alongside the CBD. The simplest one is CBD isolate, which unsurprisingly is just the CBD phytocannabinoid on its own, completely isolated from the other phytocannabinoids, terpenes and terpenoids. Isolate is perfect for athletes and those that require a CBD product that is safe for drugs testing, as it contains no other compounds that could give a positive result, i.e. THC is not allowed to be taken by athletes. However CBD isolate does not provide any 'entourage effect' as all other compounds are removed, therefore it is not as effective as a Full-spectrum or Broad-spectrum CBD.
Full-spectrum is the other end of the scale, where all of the original phytocannabinoids, terpenes and terpenoids are left in their original form to provide everything the hemp plant has to offer. This gives the most potent 'entourage effect' and may therefore be suitable for those who require higher pain relief. However, as all of the compounds remain, Full-spectrum has a higher THC content and can therefore be illegal in some regions. Depending on the THC content that remains it could potentially cause some psychoactive effect (a high).
Broad-spectrum is the middle ground between the two, still providing the majority of the original plant compounds, and therefore the prized 'entourage effect', but eradicating (or scaling down to much lower levels) the compounds that some customers would like to avoid (THC and THCV). This is the basis for our Dr Calm Original blend products, as we feel it is the perfect balance of effectiveness to natural compound ratio and suits the majority of customers requirements. Through our supercritical CO2 extraction technique we are able to preserve all of the required compounds to offer a product that is highly effective, whilst still 100% safe to consume and with 0.0% THC; so you can be sure there will be absolutely no psychoactive effect.
What is THC and why is it removed from your CBD products?
THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) is another phytocannabinoid found within the cannabis genus of plants, however, THC (and THCV) is the high inducing compound that is found in Marijuana and therefore when it is included within a CBD product it can cause a psychoactive response (or high). Different levels of THC are allowed within CBD products, depending on where in the world you live, but we wanted our products to be suitable for everyone and have therefore developed all of our products to contain 0.0% THC; whilst still maintaining the 'entourage effect'.
How much should I take and what strength do I need?
This is a very subjective question and one that can only be answered through trial and error, unfortunately there is no one size fits all approach to CBD effectiveness, as everyone will have their own use case and each person will react slightly differently.
However, we recommend that you begin with 20-50mg of CBD per day (link to products in article) and adjust your dose accordingly. Please see our blog on this subject for a more comprehensive overview of CBD strength and effectiveness (link).
NOTE: CBD products require at least 5-7 days to become fully effective, so please keep in mind that if you do not feel the product is working within the first few days it can take some time to feel any effects. We recommend a consistent dose per day for 14-21 days before adjusting your dosage. High doses (above 200mg per day) are not recommended and can cause side effects, such as nausea, fatigue, diarrhoea and changes in appetite.
How do I take CBD drops/CBD Soft Gel Capsules?
It is best to take all CBD alongside or just after a meal or snack. This may increase the amount of CBD that is able to be absorbed by the body (bioavailability).
Dr Calm CBD Drops
Dr Calm Soft Gel Capsules