Tracing the Source of Cannabidiol: Where Does CBD Come From?

    As human beings, we are programmed to have critical thinking. It is an essential part of our cognitive function that helps us to make an informed decision by evaluating available information and weighing the pros and cons. That is why when it comes to new things or products, it is understandable why a lot of us do not trust them easily due to many reasons. This includes not having enough information about the company that produces it, false advertisements, or the uncertainty of its origin and where it comes from. Often, we are sceptical about things that we know little about. 

    One good example of this is Cannabidiol, better known as CBD. Because the first thing that usually comes to people’s minds is its association with the addicting plant, cannabis, this compound sometimes gets frowned upon. 

    Cannabis has long been considered a dangerous and addictive drug with few medicinal benefits. Despite its long history in many cultures, cannabis has been demonised, tarnishing its reputation in many countries. This also significantly affects the legalisation of cannabis-derived products worldwide. 

    Despite its bad reputation, there is growing evidence that cannabis has many medicinal benefits and can be used to treat various health conditions. In recent years, the stigma around cannabis has lessened, and more people are beginning to recognise the potential therapeutic value of the drug. 

    The spotlight of CBD has been earning many fans across the globe. With the growing scientific and anecdotal evidence, more and more people are seeking benefits from this cannabinoid and finding relief using CBD products. Despite this, many are still asking where does CBD come from?

    The Origin of CBD

    In recent years, researchers have been studying the effects of CBD and discovering its potential therapeutic and medicinal benefits. The origin of this active chemical compound is the hemp plant. Believed to originate from Asia, archaeological evidence proposed that the hemp plant started in China around 8,000 BCE before it spread widely across other parts of the world. These hemp plants were originally cultivated as a commercial source of rope, fabric, paper, construction materials, food, and even medicines.

    Some people get confused with hemp and marijuana hence the scepticism about using CBD. Although it is true that CBD is also present in marijuana, the source of most CBD oil nowadays is industrial hemp plants which yield more CBD than THC. Unlike hemp plants, marijuana, on the other hand, is abundant in THC and has very little CBD. And despite being from the cannabis plant family, hemp-derived CBD products do not contain high amounts of THC making them non-psychoactive.

    CBD is extracted from the leaves, stalks, flowers, and buds of the hemp plant. And to create the CBD oil that we now all know, it undergoes an extraction process before diluting with a natural carrier oil, like hemp seed oil or coconut oil. Depending on the type of CBD, at the end of the extraction process, there can only be small traces of THC left or none at all. Only then can CBD oil be added to create other CBD products, including tinctures, vapes, gummies, creams, balms, edibles, and more.

    How Long Does CBD Stay in Your Body? 

    Whether for relief or overall wellness, after taking CBD, you are probably wondering, “how long does CBD stay in your system?”. Several factors can influence the duration of CBD in your system, including:

    Metabolism

    Each person’s metabolic rate differs from another. So, the duration of CBD in one’s body can be longer or shorter than the other user. Metabolism can significantly affect how long CBD stays in the body. Meaning the faster your metabolism, the faster CBD will be eliminated. 

    Dosage

    Finding the right dose for you is one thing, but it is different when we speak about the duration of its stay in the body. The amount of CBD a user takes can also affect how long it lingers. Hence, it is true that if you take higher doses of CBD, its presence in your system may be longer.

    Frequency

    Depending on one’s preference in taking their CBD dose, the frequency of how often you use CBD can also affect how long it stays in your system. Taking smaller amounts of CBD more frequently can increase the time CBD remains in your body. 

    Body fat

    Our body fat affects how long CBD stays in the body. Each individual’s body fat percentage can affect how long CBD stays in your system as it is stored in fat cells. This means that if you have a higher body fat percentage, CBD might stay in your system for a longer period. 

    Diet

    Remember how CBD is stored in fat cells? This explains why diet plays an important role when determining how long CBD stays in the body. Eating a healthy diet consisting of fibre, fruits, and vegetables can help to speed up the elimination of CBD from your body. A high-fat diet is suggested to significantly increase CBD’s bioavailability and slow its elimination from the body. 

    There is no definitive answer to how long CBD stays in the body as the amount of time CBD remains in each individual’s system varies significantly depending on the abovementioned factors. However, CBD is estimated to stay in the body for up to 5-10 days.

    Health Benefits of CBD

    Without the psychoactive and intoxicating effect that THC causes, CBD has caught the attention of cannabis fans. According to scientific anecdotal reports, CBD is beneficial in many health problems, including:

    Pain relief and Reduced Inflammation

    According to a 2015 study published in the European Journal of Pain (EJP), pain and inflammation are suggested to improve with CBD, which is one of the major concerns of many. As CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system, it decreases inflammation which helps improve chronic inflammatory and neuropathic pain. 

    Anxiety and Depression

    As CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid receptors, which regulate many body responses, including emotional responses, a 2016 review published in the Frontiers in Immunology journal suggests that it works the same as mood stabilisers, delivering an anxiolytic-like effect to the user.

    Sleep 

    Many people use CBD to help them improve the quality and quantity of their sleep. But besides positive anecdotal reports, a ​​2019 study published in The Permanente Journal suggests that CBD can be beneficial in managing sleep problems as it can reduce cortisol production in the body resulting in its users having a good night’s sleep.

    Neuroprotection

    Based on the 2021 in vitro study published in the Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research Journal, CBD is suggested to be beneficial in the brain. Its ability to increase the glutamate and serotonin levels in the body may help protect and preserve the neuronal structure and function of the central nervous system. It is also proposed that CBD has anti-oxidative stress and excitotoxicity properties that help prevent cell damage. 

    Are there side effects?

    CBD oil is generally considered safe and has few, if any, side effects. It is generally well tolerated, and its potential side effects are usually mild. These may include: 

    • dry mouth; 
    • diarrhoea;
    • low blood pressure; 
    • drowsiness; 
    • fatigue;
    • lightheadedness; 
    • changes in appetite.

    While only a few CBD users experience these symptoms, it is still suggested that users take precautions and consult a healthcare professional before taking any CBD products. This especially applies if they have a pre-existing medical condition and are taking other medication. 

    Takeaway

    CBD, although initially associated negatively with marijuana, is non-psychoactive and is generally extracted from industrial hemp plants, primarily produced for commercial products like paper, construction materials, food, and more. It is a versatile compound with many potential therapeutic benefits. However, determining how long it can be present in the body can vary depending on many factors such as metabolism, dosage, frequency, body fat, and diet. But, it is suggested to stay in the body for 5-10 days.

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