A Guide to CBD: Why it is just the Beginning of the Cannabinoid Craze

Cannabis and the Basics

Before diving into the meat and bones of this topic, it is important to establish a solid foundation for requisite concepts and terminology. While many readers will have a good understanding of these things, they benefit repeating so as to combat the deluge of misinformation that might paint a different picture.

First and foremost, marijuana and cannabis are not the same thing. Despite these words being used interchangeably by media pundits, there is an important distinction to be made. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, the term ‘cannabis’ refers to all plants or products derived from the species of plant cannabis sativa. This means that cannabis can refer to both plants with or without tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), while the term ‘marijuana’ mostly refers to plants with a substantial amount of THC and has historically been associated with cannabis in drug form. For the purposes of this article, we will be looking at a host of cannabinoids and the impending shake-ups of the industry they are sure to bring.

The Untold Potential of Cannabinoids

What are cannabinoids? Cannabinoids are chemical compounds found within the cannabis sativa species of plant. Unless you have lived under a rock for the past several years, you have probably heard of CBD, also known as cannabidiol. In fact, a recent poll suggests around 1 in 7 use CBD on a regular basis. So what is cannabidiol? It is a fully legal, non-intoxicating cannabinoid that is widely available across the country today and has been associated with an impressive range of healing properties. It is this impressive range of suggested benefits though that has many Americans skeptical. Is this not just another corporate cash-grab of big-money businesses looking to capitalize on marijuana legalization? Thankfully, we can answer this question totally with peer-reviewed research and cold, hard science.

There are of course many unsubstantiated health claims floating around the internet, but that is true of any healthcare product. The bulk of what CBD purportedly offers is in the realm of mental health. A recent cross-sectional study of cannabidiol users shows that around 62% of users reported using CBD to treat a medical condition, the top 3 most reported conditions being pain, anxiety, and depression.

Over one third of individuals reported that the CBD treats their medical condition “very well by itself.” This aligns with existing research that has shown a correlation between cannabinoid ingestion and a reduction in depression, anxiety, and even pain. Given the number benefits proven in such a short span of time, we can be certain there are more to find. And beyond this, an even more intriguing factor to consider is that there are over one hundred other cannabinoids in cannabis to explore.

The Other Cannabinoids

One of the most promising cannabinoids to consider is cannabigerol or CBG. How does CBG work? “CBG works by interacting with the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Together, CB1 and CB2 receptors regulate neurohormones which actively affect physiological processes including mood, metabolism, pain response, and appetite,” begins Derek Du Chesne, Chief Growth Officer at EcoGen Laboratories. “When cannabinoids like CBG interact with these receptors, it activates a response and produces physiological changes.”

For the sake of clarification, the endocannabinoid system is the system in the human body that is responsible for processing cannabinoids. While more research needs to be done before we fully understand it, we are seeing that the endocannabinoid system is immensely flexible, and depending on the type of cannabinoid introduced into it, a wide array of physiological and psychological benefits can be targeted. This is why researchers are finding so much promise in the endocannabinoid system--because we think that through the hundred plus cannabinoids on offer and the flexibility of the endocannabinoid system, we can target symptoms and diseases which previously had poor outcomes through natural medicine. And make no mistake about it, finding such a treasure trove of medical potential in a totally natural compound is nothing short of miraculous.

How to Evaluate Cannabinoid Products

With an impending tidal wave of medical discoveries and new cannabinoid products, it is more important than ever to be able to properly evaluate these things accordingly. Is a medical discovery just a tailor-made headline to push a product, or is the real thing? As scientists we often find ourselves relaxing our standards once we’re at home, but particularly when it comes to cannabinoids, it is crucial to make sure we are evaluating based on real science. Thankfully there are a host of reputable sources that have answered this call to duty.

GuidetoCBD.com for instance offers an excellent combination of CBD product guides, reviews, and peer-reviewed research to direct individuals toward the right product for a specific situation--be it pain, fibromyalgia, or even a pet-related issue. A good rule of thumb for exploring cannabinoid products is to explore the reviews. While this may seem like a no-brainer, it is fundamental to choosing the right product and the right company. This is true because of the fact that all of these companies and products are new by nature. That means that there has been little time for testing and iterations, and moreover it means that many of these companies have changed or will change as they grow and infrastructure evolves--and this change can be for the better or it can be for the worse.

Thoroughly exploring cannabinoid company/product reviews will you help you to picture a company’s current and future trajectory, as well as whether they have a reputation that warrants your support. And if it doesn’t, well then there are literally thousands of companies, both established and in-development, who would love the opportunity to win your business. This is another excellent characteristic of the cannabinoid marketplace. The veritable deluge of cannabinoid business operations drives enormous competition between them, which empowers the consumer tremendously in that dynamic. So much so, in fact, that many companies are incorporating affiliate sales programs in order to rapidly build a consumer following and consumer integration. So if you find yourself interested in the cannabinoid market, but don’t know where to start, an affiliate program with a reputable cannabinoid company may just be a perfect fit.

While there are certainly a large number of attractive benefits that make the cannabinoid market highly appealing, this guide would be incomplete if it did not mention the unique risks as well. Because the market is so new, the quality of many products is questionable at best. And this is not always the manufacturer’s fault. The supply chain between the cannabis farms, the manufacturer, and distribution is in a constant state of innovation--and therefore it is in a constant state of flux. This means quite simply that you might not get what you ordered. This is also the reason for many of the headlines reporting things like an individual failing a drug test after reportedly taking a THC-free cannabinoid product. This has become an all-too common excuse for drug-users who fail their drug test, but in the few honest cases, it does indicate that consumers must be vigilant in engaging the cannabinoid market. As explained above however, there are more than a few reasons the risk is worth it.

Author's Bio: 

Jerry Boehm is an independent researcher and business coach, providing consultation to entrepreneurs and business pundits on how to prepare and take advantage of the "green rush."