What is CBD extract?

I first became aware of CBD extract last year, as these products seemed to be available everywhere. “CBD” is short for “cannabidiol” which is derived from the hemp plant, also known as cannabis.

In this article, I’ll share what I’ve learned (so far) about CBD. From there, I’ll consider the possible benefits, uses, misconceptions, and warnings pertaining to CBD for mental health and overall wellness.

For clarity, CBD is not to be confused with THC, which is the psychoactive cannabinoid in marijuana that produces a “high”. Throughout this article, assume that I’m referring to CBD without the THC component (more about that later).

Story time:

There once was an anxious therapist named Johnzelle. One day, Johnzelle had an appointment to see his therapist. He told his therapist that he was on the verge of a panic attack and didn’t have a dose of his anxiety medication with him. Lucky for Johnzelle, the therapist had some CBD extract and offered a few drops to him. Having never tried CBD, Johnzelle was skeptical, but thought “what the heck?” Within minutes, Johnzelle began to feel more relaxed and ended up not going into a full panic attack. Johnzelle was so intrigued by this thing called “CBD” that he researched it so that he could tell his newsletter and blog friends about it. ~The End~

Wow, if this therapy thing doesn’t work out, I think I’ll give short story writing a shot!

Cannabinoids occur naturally in the body (endocannabinoids) and in plants (phytocannabinoids). They act on receptors in the body to help restore a sense of balance and calm. CBD has been effective for people suffering with insomnia, anxiety, epilepsy, hyperactivity, inflammation, pain, and much more.

It’s worth noting that the 2018 Farm Bill legalized CBD products as long as they contained less than 0.3% THC. A level so low, that it’s impossible to achieve a “high.”

Not all CBD extracts are created equal. When looking for CBD products, you want to be careful to get the purest form possible with little to no THC. The brand my therapist shared with me in the above story came from Garden of Life, which is American grown, non-GMO, organic, and tests below the legal threshold of 0.3% THC, meeting the agricultural definition of “THC-free.”

So just like decaf coffee has trace amounts of caffeine, even the purest CBD products have a tiny bit of THC. It is said that products with less than 0.3% THC won’t show up on a drug test, but don’t quote me on that.

CBD extract is available in drops, sprays, pills, and balms. If I wasn’t clear above, buyer beware! As with anything, consult with your physician before trying anything new and do your own research.

I’ll conclude by leaving this topic open-ended. I’ve only used THC-free CBD extract once, so I can’t make general claims as to its impact on mental health beyond its use to prevent my one isolated panic attack.

Have you tried CBD extract? What were the benefits? Any concerns? Share with me in a comment! Looking forward to continuing the discussion with you.

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