Most people have heard of CBD by now–the cannabis compound that’s created a multi-billion-dollar industry in less than a decade. But despite its increasing popularity, there’s still a lot that people may not know or understand about the basics of CBD. This is in part because there’s still a lot that we don’t know about cannabis in general, although it’s under critical and intense research.

However, there are a few important things we know and love about this ancient plant. Here are some interesting facts about CBD that you might not have considered before.

1. Hemp & CBD Are Not the Same

Hemp & CBD are often used interchangeably, but they’re not the same thing. CBD is actually derived from hemp. Hemp belongs in the cannabis family, as does marijuana, but the two are legally recognized as two different plants.

Hemp refers to cannabis that contains 0.3% or less of THC–the compound that causes psychoactive effects, giving the high that cannabis is known for. But with such a small amount of THC in it, hemp does not cause a high.

Hemp seed oil is another popular hemp-derived product, but this oil is not the same as CBD. Hemp seed oil generally doesn’t contain any CBD and is extracted using a completely different method.

2. CBD can be sourced from both hemp and marijuana

Yes, CBD is typically derived from hemp (we use hemp-derived CBD at ZV Botanicals), but it can also be sourced from marijuana. The majority of CBD products (those that are legalized under the Farm Bill) must contain 0.3% or less of THC and are therefore sourced from hemp. CBD that comes from marijuana is only legal in states that have legalized medical or recreational use of marijuana.

3. CBD is one of many cannabinoids

There are over 100 cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant, and CBD is just one of them. THC, another well known cannabinoid, is another. The rest of the cannabinoids are less well known but are believed to contain their own unique beneficial properties. These cannabinoids include CBG, CBC, CBC THCV, CBDV, CBCV, and CBGV.

But wait, what are cannabinoids?

Cannabinoids are chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant. They’re also produced by the human body and are an essential part of our endocannabinoid system (ECS). This system is primarily responsible for maintaining internal balance across all major systems in the body. Cannabinoids impact many bodily functions like sleep, pain, stress, appetite, and more when interacting with the ECS.

4. Your pet may also benefit from CBD.

Like humans, dogs, cats, and other animals also have an endocannabinoid system (ECS). This means that CBD interacts in the same way it does with your ECS and may offer similar benefits. As in humans, endocannabinoids like CBD interact with endocannabinoid receptors located in the central and peripheral nervous systems of animals, helping their bodies maintain balance.

The benefits of CBD for pets is still under intense study, but anecdotal evidence suggests that CBD may treat pain, control seizures, and provide relief from itchy skin and sore muscles or joints when applied topically.

As always, if you’re using CBD on your pets be sure to purchase organic, full-spectrum, pure CBD. We create a specific blend at ZV Botanicals called PURE for pets and people with sensitivities. It contains only two pure ingredients: organic extra virgin olive oil and full-spectrum hemp extract.

5. CBD might counteract the negative effects of THC.

Evidence suggests that CBD may counteract some of the effects of THC, like anxiety and paranoia. It’s thought that CBD may affect the body’s CB1 receptor so that less THC binds to it. This won’t necessarily reduce someone’s high, but it may impact some of the side effects of THC.

Another recent study published in The Journal of Neuroscience found similar results that CBD blocks THC from overstimulating the ERK pathway. In the study, rats that were given THC showed more anxious behaviors and were subject to fear-based learning. However, rats that were given both THC and CBD had less anxious behaviors, were less sensitive to fear-based learning, and more.