This post was most recently updated on May 20th, 2022
CBD is a cannabinoid, but it isn’t the only one. In this quick and informative guide, learn the exact nature of CBD, and find out how it compares to other cannabinoids. By the end, you’ll know which cannabinoid is best for you and how to tell these fascinating hemp-derived compounds apart.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid found in both hemp and cannabis. Compared to THC, which has intoxicating effects, CBD won’t get you high. Regardless, scientists have found that CBD has many impressive benefits, and this cannabinoid has even been formulated into a prescription drug for epilepsy. Most users report that CBD has a gently relaxing effect that doesn’t dramatically interfere with their state of mind.
These days, CBD products are widely available on the internet, and this cannabinoid is generally classified as industrial hemp, making it the same as hemp seeds or a hemp T-shirt from a regulatory perspective. Recognizing CBD’s ability to improve many facets of life, people around the world have started incorporating this hemp cannabinoid into their daily routines. For instance, using CBD oil for pain is a growing trend with no end in sight.
What is CBG?
Recently, the non-intoxicating cannabinoid CBG (cannabigerol) has become nearly as popular as CBD. Offering effects that are subtly energizing compared to CBD’s relaxing benefits, CBG is currently being researched for its own unique slate of potential medical uses. Some users choose to consume CBD and CBG separately, but research suggests it might be best to use these cannabinoids at the same time.
What are cannabinoids?
CBD isn’t the only cannabinoid found in Cannabis sativa. The most famous cannabinoid, for instance, is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). There are many forms of THC, and the most common form, delta 9 THC, remains a Schedule I illicit substance in the United States and is similarly illegal in most other parts of the world.
The primary hallmark of THC is its intoxicating effects, which are surprisingly uncommon to find in other cannabinoids. CBD, CBG, CBC (cannabichromene), CBN (cannabinol), and many other cannabinoids that have recently become popular are fully non-intoxicating, making THC the outlier.
Where do cannabinoids come from?
Cannabinoids are only found in hemp and cannabis even though very similar compounds have been discovered in other places in nature. These unique substances interact with the endocannabinoid system, a regulatory system in the human body designed to manage body-generated cannabinoid-like compounds like anandamide.
What is the entourage effect?
When used together, cannabinoids appear to offer benefits that exceed the sum of their parts. Scientists have dubbed this phenomenon the “entourage effect,” and it seems this beneficial synergy can be triggered even when CBD is only accompanied by trace amounts of other cannabinoids.
How many cannabinoids are there?
Nobody knows exactly how many of these substances there are in the Cannabis sativa plant, but scientists have identified more than 100 unique cannabinoids to date. However, only a few cannabinoids are plentiful enough in hemp to be made into products. That won’t be the case forever, though: Efforts are underway to breed strains of hemp that are high in each cannabinoid that has been identified as beneficial.
What is the best cannabinoid?
When it comes to comparing cannabinoids, there might not be a “best” option. Each cannabinoid is different, after all, and it appears these compounds reach their greatest potential when used together. As a result, you might prefer to combine the benefits of cannabinoids rather than singling one out, but there are many factors to consider.
For some people, for instance, intoxicating cannabinoids like THC might be a no-go. Some states have legalized adult THC use, but possessing or using this cannabinoid remains a federal crime. Also, despite their promise, certain cannabinoids—including CBC and CBN—are still relatively rare and hard to come by, making it necessary to choose alternatives.
What is the best CBD product you can buy?
It’s natural to be curious about how to find the best CBD product for your money. Here are a few factors you should consider as you make a decision:
- Potency: You don’t necessarily need to choose the most potent CBD product on the market, but high-potency products offered for low prices offer the most value.
- Price: Pricing for CBD varies immensely, so try to find a product that’s reasonably priced.
- Product type: CBD tinctures may be the most popular, but capsules or gummies might also be best for your needs.
- CBD type: There’s a big difference between isolate, broad-spectrum, and full-spectrum CBD, so choose wisely.
- Other ingredients: Additional ingredients in CBD products can either boost or reduce the inherent benefits of CBD.
Cannabinoids vs. CBD: The bottom line
CBD may be the most popular hemp cannabinoid, but limiting the cannabinoid conversation to just CBD unnecessarily overlooks the potential benefits of the many other unique compounds found in hemp and cannabis.
As time goes by, we’ll learn even more about cannabinoids, and a greater number of these substances will become available in consumer products. The cannabinoid renaissance is just beginning, and CBD will soon be joined by a wide array of additional cannabinoids that might eventually prove to be just as beneficial.