Character Co. Blog
A Crash Course on CBD
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol, better known as CBD, is all the hype these days. You’ve probably seen these three letters before, but what is it exactly?
CBD is a chemical compound known as a cannabinoid, which is extracted from the cannabis plant for its therapeutic benefits. A better known cannabinoid is delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the cannabinoid responsible for that “high” feeling people experience. Unlike THC, cannabidiol contains very little psychoactive elements, which means it does not alter or change the consumer’s state of mind. This is the reason CBD is primarily consumed for medicinal purposes.
How does CBD work?
All cannabinoids, including CBD, attach to the human body through receptors in order to produce effects. As mentioned earlier, the human body produces certain cannabinoids on its own, as well as having two receptors specifically for cannabinoids, called the CB1 receptors and CB2 receptors. CB1 receptors are located throughout the body, but many are found in the brain. CB2 receptors are most commonly found in the immune system.
Methods of Consumption
Cannabidiol is most commonly consumed orally, topically, or vaporized. The preferred method varies depending on the ailment. For example, studies have shown that taking CBD orally (capsules or tinctures) does very little to help inflammation or joint pain. However, topical applications such as creams or gels infused with CBD have shown much more promising results.
Before trying CBD for yourself, it is always recommended to read the latest research publication for the best methods, or preferably, consult your family doctor.
When CBD is taken orally, it is absorbed through the digestive system and then metabolized by the liver in what is referred to as the “first pass effect”. This function actually reduces the concentration of CBD compounds that end up in the bloodstream.
While ingesting CBD is the easiest administration method, it is not the most efficient for high absorption levels. A recommended tip is to hold the CBD oil under the tongue for 60 to 90 seconds before swallowing. This will allow the mucus membranes in the mouth to absorb the CBD compounds and reach the bloodstream without being broken down by enzymes through the liver.
CBD applied directly to the skin never reaches the bloodstream, but it does interact with receptors near the skin surface to reduce inflammation and swelling. The application of CBD balms, creams, or lotions, must be applied liberally and often to overcome the skins low permeability.
When inhaled, CBD compounds are absorbed through the alveoli in the lungs, and then immediately transferred into the bloodstream. This method is the fastest method of absorbing CBD, as well as the most efficient.
How is it made?
CBD is made through an extraction process. This process usually includes a solvent (ideally a non-toxic fluid CO2, which is generally regarded as sage by the FDA and used extensively for extraction in the food industry) to separate and collect the essential oils and compounds from the cannabis plant. Generally, plants with low-THC and high-CBD are cultivated specifically for this purpose.
Now that you are more familiar with cannabidiol, visit our store for a variety of CBD products available.
If you would like to learn more about the medical benefits of CBD in particular, here are a few recommended articles to check out: