A Beginner's Guide to CBD
CBD is a popular and versatile natural supplement. If you’re looking to start using CBD products, it’s important to understand what CBD is, the different types and products, how to use CBD, and how to find a trusted supplier. Once you understand these key points, you can begin to make informed decisions about your CBD journey.
What is CBD?
CBD is short for cannabidiol, and is one of the most well known active cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. It’s relationship with the cannabis plant often causes the misconception that CBD can create psychoactive effects, but this is not true. THC, another of the 112 active cannabinoids in the cannabis plant, is responsible for the ‘high’ feeling that cannabis can cause. In the UK, legal CBD products must contain no more than 0.2% THC, which is not enough to cause any psychoactive effects.
CBD companies cannot claim any specific medical benefits of CBD products due to a lack of long-term clinical trials. While CBD was discovered in 1940, its legality and popularity are still relatively new, which is why there’s still a lot of scientific research to be done in this area. However, people across the globe use CBD for wellness support in a variety of areas.
Simply CBD recently conducted a survey with 550 respondents to understand the reasons that our customers use CBD products. The findings were as follows:
- 3 in 4 use CBD to assist with pain-related issues
- 1 in 3 use CBD to help with mental health issues
- 1 in 4 use CBD for condition related issues such as M.S. or Menopause
- 1 in 5 use CBD for general proactive well-being
What are the different types of CBD?
There are three main types of CBD; full spectrum, broad spectrum, and isolate.
Full spectrum CBD products contain all of the cannabinoids and other compounds from the cannabis plant. Including this wide variety of cannabinoids produces what is known as the entourage effect. This is the belief that the combination of compounds makes full spectrum products more effective in comparison with products that only contain CBD. The entourage effect is thought to be caused by the interactions between terpenes, CBD, and the other cannabinoids that are found in full spectrum products.
Another reason for the popularity of full spectrum CBD products is the nature of their extraction. As the extraction method doesn’t involve isolating CBD and removing the other cannabinoids, it can involve less processing. Some people believe that because of this, full spectrum products are more natural than others.
Broad spectrum CBD products contain a selection of other cannabinoids and plant compounds, but are free from any THC. This is a popular option for people who are looking for a range of cannabinoids in their CBD products but need to avoid THC entirely. This extraction method involves more processing than full spectrum products as it’s necessary to remove some of the cannabinoids, but not to the extent of isolate products.
Isolate products contain only CBD extract and no other cannabinoids or compounds from the cannabis plant. This involves removing everything other than CBD during the extraction process. Similarly to broad spectrum products, some users favour isolate products when they need to ensure that there is 0% THC present, rather than anything up to the legal 0.2% THC that can be found in full spectrum products.
What are the different types of CBD products?
CBD has become increasingly popular in recent years, which has resulted in a plethora of CBD products on the market. Choosing the most appropriate CBD product is heavily dependent on personal preferences and convenience. For example, while some people may only use CBD gummies for their taste and convenience, others may use topical balms to target certain areas of the body. Here’s a look at some of the CBD products on the market:
CBD oils are the most popular method for using CBD. Their popularity stems from the fact that they’re simple to use and it’s easy to adjust the dosage. Taking CBD oil involves placing drop(s) under the tongue and holding the oil there for two minutes before washing it down with a glass of water. This method gives the product a chance to absorb into the bloodstream via thin mucous membranes and avoid digestion.
Edibles provide a convenient way to incorporate CBD into daily activities. They can come in many forms, but the most popular is CBD gummies. Another way to enjoy CBD edibles is by adding other CBD products to food and drink. CBD edibles go through the digestive tract and enter the bloodstream after being partially metabolised by the liver.
CBD patches are useful for anyone looking for a convenient ‘set it and forget it’ type of product. While users may top up their oil, edible or vape dosage throughout the day, patches can last for much longer. Our CBD patches are designed to allow the available CBD to absorb for 12-36 hours.
Topical balms and salves
CBD balms and salves help users target specific areas of the body, including the skin and muscles. When using these products, the act of rubbing them in can produce further relief by stimulating blood flow to the area. In contrast with ingestible CBD options, topical CBD products remain in the skin without entering the bloodstream.
Tablets and capsules
CBD tablets and capsules are a convenient way to use CBD. Tablets often come in a softgel form, while capsules can allow for a delayed release of the CBD. These are both popular ingestion options for people who don’t like the taste of CBD oils and prefer not to use edibles. In terms of absorption, tablets and capsules are similar to edibles in that they absorb via digestion.
For those who enjoy using vaporisers, CBD vape liquids can be a suitable option. These come in many different flavours, including mint, cherry, and tutti frutti. When using this method to ingest CBD, the product is able to move directly from the lungs into the bloodstream.
How to use CBD as a beginner
Every CBD user has a unique journey with CBD as the results are entirely dependent on each person’s body and endocannabinoid system.
What is the endocannabinoid system (ECS)?
The endocannabinoid system, which scientists are still working to fully understand, is a system in the body that involves cell signalling. It plays a role in regulating bodily functions such as sleep, memory, digestion, inflammation, and mood, to help the body maintain homeostasis.
Endocannabinoids (produced by the human body as needed) are similar to cannabinoids (produced by the cannabis plant). These molecules bind to endocannabinoid receptors which prompts the ECS to take a certain action, such as responding to pain. Due to the similarities between endocannabinoids and cannabinoids, the latter is also able to interact with ECS receptors.
There are two types of receptors that endocannabinoids can bind to; CB1 (in the central nervous system) and CB2 (in the peripheral nervous system, including the immune system and major organs). Different plant cannabinoids interact with these receptors in different ways. THC binds to the receptors, while CBD does not. Instead, CBD is believed to prevent the breakdown of endocannabinoids.
How to build up the endocannabinoid system
The next step is to understand the building up process. Starting low and slowly building up in both dosage and frequency gives the endocannabinoid system a chance to recognise and respond to the CBD. This process allows users to find the dosage and frequency that suits their needs.
The rate at which users begin to feel the effects of CBD products can vary widely. Some users feel effects within hours, while for others it can take up to 8 weeks. This is completely normal, as everyone’s endocannabinoid system is different and therefore reacts differently to the CBD. The key is to remain consistent and persevere while in the process of building up.
It’s important to note that while some people believe that starting with a strong product at a high dose will produce better results, this is not the case. Overloading the system with too much CBD at once can cause users to go over the bell curve and experience undesirable effects, as shown in the graph below.
How to select a trusted supplier
To legally sell CBD in the UK, sellers must follow specific guidelines. First of all, it’s important to only buy CBD products from registered businesses that specialise in CBD.
The Food Standards Agency requires all CBD businesses to submit a Novel Food application. This helps ensure quality, safety and transparency within the UK’s CBD market.
Another consideration to take when looking for a reputable CBD seller is whether or not they provide lab reports for their products. In addition to the Novel Food application, lab reports help users verify the quality and safety of different products and brands.
At Simply CBD, we tick all of these boxes and always provide safe, high quality products for a low price.