We're kicking off our deep dives one compound at a time. CBD (cannabidiol) is one of the hundreds of compounds - known as cannabinoids - and is found in the stems and stalks of the cannabis plant. It is best known for its anti-inflammatory properties, which could help with treating chronic pain, anxiety, insomnia and depression according to user experience and available clinical research.
How does it work?
Cannabinoids interact with our bodies own endocannabinoid system - a translator between your physical body and your mind. In the brain, cannabinoids (from the plant) and endocannabinoids (naturally produced by your body) work as internal messengers that deliver information between cells. Consider it as a widespread network with receptors located in all of the most important parts of our body. These receptors manage everything from our sleep cycles, food cravings, mood, pain perception, memory and inflammation. CBD binds to some of those receptors, which could help with keeping our internal systems in balance.
Will it make me high?
Unlike THC, the other well known cannabinoid, CBD doesn't have any psychoactive properties. The tiny trace amounts of THC that might be present in the full and broad spectrum CBD products will not provide any psychoactive effects either. In addition, CBD is generally derived from (industrial) hemp where little to no THC is present.
Is it legal?
In the Netherlands, only full or broad spectrum CBD products that contain less than 0.05% THC and CBD isolate at 0% THC are allowed. Although there are some general outlines in regulating the CBD market on a European level, the regulations vary strictly by country. We recommend checking your country's policies which are also being updated on a regular basis.
Full Spectrum vs. Broad Spectrum vs. Isolate
Full spectrum CBD is believed to be the most therapeutic because besides CBD, it contains a range of naturally occurring plant extracts such as terpenes, flavonoids and other phyto-cannabinoids (like CBN, CBG, CBC, THC etc.) that work synergistically, also known as 'the entourage effect'.
Broad spectrum CBD also contains several plant compounds, but is typically removed from THC. This means it can be sold in places where the THC percentage has to be altered. That said, there may sometimes still be trace amounts of THC in broad spectrum CBD products.
An isolate contains just one compound in “isolation” - usually CBD. This process involves stripping away all other phyto-chemicals, leaving behind pure CBD. While we will not reap the benefits that small amounts of other phyto-cannabinoids offer when paired with CBD, an isolate is still an effective option.
What to look for when purchasing good quality CBD?
At The Practise, we make sure to do the research for you and uncover the best quality CBD products that are organically grown, transparently sourced and extracted as well as safe, effective and pleasant to use. Below are the questions we seek answers to —
— How and where hemp plants are grown?
We work exclusively with companies that cultivate or work with organic hemp farms and each CBD product can be tracked back to the seed and soil. We look for full transparency in their supply chain such as sourcing and origins of their ingredients.
— Which CBD extraction method has been used?
We carefully selected only the highest quality CBD products that have been extracted using safe and non-toxic methods such as cold-and-slow or supercritical CO2 extraction. In addition, we request and review third-party laboratory test certificates for additional screening on purity of the product.
— How does it taste, smell and look like?
A good quality CBD will have a clear to golden color and a pleasant taste and smell. In pure full and broad spectrum products you should also be able to smell and taste their terpene (flavour) profile. Some of our selected products also include other botanicals or mushroom extracts enhancing their taste and therapeutic benefits.
— Who is behind the company?
We support and work with small, often family-run companies which comply with ethical and sustainable practices. We also pay great attention to the design and aesthetics of the products and the brand which brings joy and pleasure to the daily ritual of taking CBD.