When we talk to customers, friends, family, or random strangers about CBD, there are understandably a lot of questions. The market for CBD has grown exponentially over the past few years, and education about this hemp-derived compound has not kept up. It complicates matters that there aren’t standardized regulations for how companies market and sell CBD products, so we see all kinds of wild claims about CBD on the internet. Due to this gap in information, we’d like to share the three most common questions we hear about CBD, and attempt to provide clear, concise answers so that you can be as informed as possible should you decide to invest in a CBD product.
1. WHAT IS CBD?
Cannabadiol, or CBD, is one of over a hundred known cannabinoids found in the hemp or cannabis plant.
CBD interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system, which is one of the body’s largest neurotransmitter networks with neurons found mostly in the brain but also throughout the body in our organs, muscles, digestive tract and immune system.
The endocannabinoid system was only discovered by researchers in the early 1990s, and while there is ongoing research to learn more this system, we currently understand that it functions as a general regulator and works to maintain homeostasis throughout the body.
Our bodies naturally produce cannabinoids to serve this function, but it’s believed that our modern lifestyles lead to chronic deficiency for many people, which can contribute to a range of issues including anxiety disorders, sleep disorders, inflammation, and chronic pain.
Research is emerging to show that CBD can help to address many of these chronic issues and bring the body back into a state of balance.
2. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CBD AND MARIJUANA?
Let's start with some important definitions:
- Cannabis: family of plants that contain cannabinoids, which are chemical compounds that interact with the body's endocannabinoid system when ingested. There are over 100 known cannabinoids that have been found in the cannabis plant, including THC, which is the psychoactive compound known to produce a "high", as well as CBD, which is non-psychoactive.
- Hemp: member of the cannabis family that contains less than 0.3% THC and potentially high levels of other non-psychoactive cannabinoids, including CBD. Hemp was legalized in the U.S with the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill in December 2018.
- Marijuana: member of the cannabis family that contains greater than 0.3% THC, potentially up to 30% THC content in some strains, as well as varying levels of non-psychoactive cannabinoids including CBD. Marijuana is still illegal according to the U.S federal government, but 33 states have legalized medical marijuana and 10 states have legalized recreational marijuana.
So, hemp and marijuana are both members of the cannabis family, but the difference is that hemp contains less than 0.3% THC and marijuana contains greater than 0.3% THC. CBD can be present in either hemp or marijuana plants, but only CBD derived from hemp plants are legal in the United States.
At Branch, all of our CBD is sourced from organically grown U.S hemp plants and formulated into water soluble CBD powder, which maximizes the amount that can be absorbed by the body. Every batch of our CBD is third party tested to verify that it contains 0.0% THC and to ensure that there are no harmful pesticides, heavy metals, microbes, or residual solvents. We include a batch number and date on every package of Branch CBD, and you can find copies of our third party lab testing for every batch at branchcbd.com/transparency.
3. WHAT IS WATER SOLUBLE CBD, AND WHY DO WE USE IT?
CBD in its natural form is not water soluble, so when ingested into the body, the stomach and digestive system filter out much of the active compound before it ever makes it to your bloodstream where it can have it's active effect. Some studies indicate that 10% or less of the dose is actually absorbed into your bloodstream when taking a typical CBD oil orally. Given how expensive it can be to buy CBD oil, we think it’s critical to maximize the amount that actually makes it to its desired destination in the body!
This is why at Branch, we use water soluble CBD powder in our tea. In this innovative process, the CBD molecules are encapsulated in water soluble nano-particles which carry the CBD molecules into the bloodstream. This formulation results in the highest possibly bioavailability of any oral ingestion method, so the CBD that we claim to be in the product actually ends up in your body to have its active effect.