With CBD-based products representing one of the fastest-growing markets in the United States, it may seem like CBD – or cannabidiol, as its officially known – is in the back of everyone’s mind, if not on the tip of their tongue.
But even something as seemingly ubiquitous as CBD can have a surprising tidbit or two up its sleeve.
So even if CBD is all your friends talk about, you may still be able to wow them with some of the following facts:
1 – CBD Is Only One of More Than 100 Cannabinoids
That’s right. The hemp plant is truly an incredible specimen, packing more than 400 chemical compounds of all types that help create its unique taste, color, character and other properties.
Cannabidiol hails from a specific class of those compounds called cannabinoids, which are the primary forces interacting with the human body when hemp products are consumed. But CBD is far from alone there, with the last scientific count yielding nearly 140 different types of cannabinoids that all have an influence over us – including CBD’s more notorious cousin, THC.
2 – CBD Is 100% Legal
Advocates of this natural supplement really had reason to rejoice in 2018.
That was the year a bill was passed that made hemp—and hemp-based products—legal in all 50 states of America.
Now, this is where things can tend to get tricky, since determining the difference between hemp, cannabis and marijuana is both a legal and botanical effort – and there are strict rules attached to each.
But suffice it to say, that as long as CBD is extracted from a hemp plant and the product contains 0.3% THC or less, it should be considered 100% legal to sell—and consume.
3 – CBD Was Actually Discovered In 1940
It may have all the buzz of a brand-new concept, but cannabidiol was originally extracted from its hemp plant home in 1940, by a Harvard graduate named Roger Adams.
It was first studied shortly thereafter, in 1946, when it was tested on lab animals and found to have no intoxicating effects. Meanwhile, that same year, the chemical structure of the compound was first sketched out, by a scientist named Ralph Mechhoulam.
It’d be nearly 70 more years before the substance would be granted legal status in the United States.
4 – But Hemp Dates Back to 2700 BC!
Still, as with most things related to nature, early man got the jump on even the most sophisticated scientists of the 20th century.
Hemp was one of the first crops ever cultivated by man, and it was used for everything, with its hardy leaves making strong rope, paper, clothing and shoes, and its seeds and oils used for eating – or treating specific ailments.
The ancient Egyptians were especially big fans of the stuff, with pharaoh Ramses II specifically advising his people to partake in the medicinal benefits of the cannabis plant.
5 – CBD May Counteract the Trippy Effects of Marijuana
The science behind the mechanics of this one is still emerging, but the evidence is clear: Taking CBD at the same time as THC can have a “dampening” impact on some of the side-effects of marijuana – including some of the plant’s most notorious symptoms, paranoia and insatiable hunger.
Scientists think this might have something to do with how cannabidiol interacts with certain receptors in our bodies, making it more difficult for THC to bind with – and have influence on – those same receptors.
But, whatever the reason, several studies have borne out the odd implications of this relationship.
6 – CBD’s Original Nickname Was “Hippie’s Disappointment”
Only somewhat related to the above fact, this less-than-flattering moniker was tied into the fact that CBD didn’t mimic its sister compound THC’s tendency to get people high.
The hippies who cultivated the first modern strain of medicinal CBD – which they named Charlotte’s Web after Charlotte Figi, who helped inspire the push for medicinal marijuana – were, apparently, less-than-impressed with some of their plant’s less-than-trippy attributes, and made sure anyone else coming in contact with their strain of CBD would be aware of those feelings.
7 – Pets Can Use CBD Too
Despite the disappointment of some hippies, however, we’d wager even more are actually delighted by CBD’s cross-species potential.
Indeed, the compound has been found – at least, anecdotally – to be equally impactful on the four-legged members of our family, with vets now more regularly prescribing cannabidiol for help with everything from seizures to anxiety to joint pain to upset stomachs.
8 – More Than Half of Adults Don’t Know the Difference Between CBD and THC
Still, despite CBD’s rapid growth in visibility and seeming cultural acceptance, many people still have trouble telling the difference between cannabidiol and tetrahydrocannabinol, AKA THC.
In fact, according to one 2019 survey conducted by marketing research agency BDS Analytics, as much as 56% of adults age 21 and over got the two substances confused.
To put it simply: THC is the compound in the hemp plant that makes people feel high. CBD has no such psychoactive properties, but it can interact with our bodies in ways that help us feel physically, or even mentally, better, without feeling stoned.
9 – There Are More Than 160 Ongoing Clinical Trials Involving CBD
But if the amount of research going into the compound means anything, the number of people confusing THC and CBD is only likely to shrink.
According to the database of clinical trials maintained by the National Institute of Health, there are currently more than 160 ongoing research efforts involving the various impacts of cannabidiol, with the studies covering everything from how CBD can be used to help fight cancer, treat anxiety or promote a good night’s sleep.
10 – The CBD Industry Is Predicted to Be Worth Double-Digit Billions By 2024
And, it seems, where the science goes, the money soon follows.
As science confirms more about what CBD is capable of, it’s likely the compound will only become more popular – and, in fact, that’s what many economists are banking on.
Indeed, the same 2019 BDS Analytics survey predicted that the CBD market would be worth a whopping $20 billion by 2024.
That’s a mind-boggling jump from its $1.9 billion valuation in 2018, representing a compound annual growth rate of 49%.
In other words, buckle up, because we’re only beginning to see everything CBD can do.