The ABCs of CBD

Cannabidiol is finding its way into more and more health products.
Courtesy iStock

CBD is a huge buzzword nowadays in the health world, but what does that really mean and what can cannabidiol do for an average person?

Cannabidiol is the second most prevalent active ingredient in cannabis (marijuana). While CBD is an essential component of medical marijuana, it is derived directly from the hemp plant, a cousin of marijuana, or manufactured in a laboratory, according to Harvard Medical School. One of hundreds of components in marijuana, CBD does not cause a “high” by itself. According to a report from the World Health Organization, “In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential…. To date, there is no evidence of public health related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.”

In the past few years, as the CBD trend started to really grow, it seems like nearly every company and brand was working to enter the category in some way. A 2019 Gallup poll found 64% of U.S. adults are familiar with CBD and/or CBD products and 14% used them at the time. Those numbers likely have increased in the past couple of years. At least one industry analyst expects the market to reach $23.6 billion globally by 2025.

Whether it’s a CBD-functional beverage, essential oil, pills, a balm, or even pet treats, CBD can be a confusing product.

To understand a little more about how to incorporate it into a lifestyle and what CBD is all about, Grand Rapids Magazine caught up with the co-founders of Beam, a CBD brand started by former professional athletes Kevin Moran and Matt Lombardi.

It seems like everywhere you look a new company is launching and companies are incorporating cannabidiol into products. Why is CBD taking off?

Kevin Moran: I think as the years tick by, every generation starts to understand that there are a lot of different ways to unlock wellness in their lives. Cannabis in general, particularly on the marijuana side — but also CBD — had a cultural stigma against them, but as the years go by there is more and more openness to it. People are looking for different modalities to help their physical and mental health and there’s more of a societal acceptance to it, particularly in the last five years.

With so many different products out there, are there any that are more effective than others?

KM: Like any other wellness product, it’s important for people to do their own due diligence about what they’re putting into their bodies. There is varying quality in CBD across the board, like with anything else, so finding the highest quality ingredients is where consumers will find the most efficacy in products.

What is the best and most efficient way to incorporate CBD into a healthy lifestyle?

Matt Lombardi: Routine and consistency with anything is really important. There isn’t one size fits all with CBD, but more so finding the need state for each individual and from there developing a consistent routine you can keep up with. Which is what will ultimately lead to the most benefits.

What’s on the frontier of the CBD market? What should users be on the lookout for?

KM: CBD is still a misunderstood cannabinoid. As we continue to learn more about cannabinoids more will come into focus as well, such as CBG and CBN, and the specific use cases and health benefits they support.

This story can be found in the March/April 2022 issue of Grand Rapids Magazine. To get more stories like this delivered to your mailbox, subscribe here

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