A Complete Beginner's Guide to CBD in Hong Kong.

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You know that feeling you get when you finally find a solution to a menacing pain point? That feeling of relief when you are one step closer to solving a problem?  That’s what discovering CBD was like for us. Between seriously debilitating back pain from a lifelong ailment to cultivating a calm and focused mindset for those Hong Kong 9-7 workdays… Gorilla Weekend certainly started as a project of passion.
Despite the growing popularity of CBD here in HK, our journey has been unique. We weren’t fully satisfied with many of the white label solutions local brands were selling at expensive price points, so we decided to dig deep in research and build a brand around solutions that came from our own curiosity, a demand for quality products that worked and most of all, the drive to create a brand that made CBD in Hong Kong more vibrant and accessible than ever.

Here we will cover some of the basics you need to know and hopefully set you off on your own CBD journey.



Table of Contents: An Complete Beginners Guide to CBD in Hong Kong:

  1. What is CBD?
  2. What does taking CBD feel like?
  3. List of health benefits from CBD
  4. How CBD works with our bodies - The Endocannabinoid System (ECS)
  5. Is CBD legal in Hong Kong?
  6. Things to look our for before buying CBD
  7. The three types of CBD: Full Spectrum, Broad Spectrum, and Isolate
  8. In-depth look at CBD and health benefits
  9. Conclusion

 

1. What is CBD?

CBD stands for Cannabidiol,  one of over 100 cannabinoids found in cannabis plants. For the record, the term cannabis includes both marijuana and hemp plants and CBD is a naturally occurring compound found in both varieties. The key difference is that hemp contains a much higher percentage of CBD and only trace amounts of THC, while marijuana strains contain higher concentrations of THC than CBD. This is why you’ll find hemp-derived CBD more readily available on the market.  Marijuana-derived or hemp-derived CBD will have the same benefits.

 

2. What does taking CBD feel like?

Cannabidiol is non-intoxicating, which means that it doesn’t contain the psychoactive effects that are associated with THC. THC is short for tetrahydrocannabinol, and is the second most abundant cannabinoid after CBD found in hemp plants. 

So what do you feel if CBD doesn’t make you high? Let’s take a look at fish oil supplements. What happens when you take it? How does it make you feel? It’s hard to explain it… if you take it consistently enough, you might feel your skin and nails feel better, you might feel like your memory or focus has improved. Point is, you know it’s working but you don't necessarily feel the changes until you have supplemented consistently.

CBD works in a similar way. Instead of ‘feeling’ something extra, it is the absence of unwanted conditions whether that be anxiety, pain, etc. which signal that CBD is working.

 

    3. So...what are the Health Benefits of CBD?

    CBD and THC can be extracted exclusively from each other, thus allowing for a multitude of form factors that take advantage of the many therapeutic effects that CBD provides, including (but not necessarily limited to):

    • Anti-inflammatory
    • Anti-anxiety
    • Mental cognition
    • Pain relief
    • Skin care
    • Muscle recovery
    • Mood regulation

     

    OK, now you might be thinking “this is way too good to be true”, but fortunately for us there are a growing number of scientific studies that back many of these claims up. You probably aren’t reading this with the intent of understanding the full, scholarly profile of CBD but it’s good to understand the fundamentals of how it interacts with your body.

    4. CBD and Me - How CBD works with our bodies

    By "me" we mean "you" but it rhymed. So, how does CBD work with the human body to provide some of these wonderful benefits?

     

    The endocannabinoid system (ECS)

    Our bodies have these things called endocannabinoid receptors, which bind to the endocannabinoids (molecules) produced in the brain and all over the body. This complex system is called the endocannabinoid system (ECS) and it actually plays a vital role in balancing our body’s functions and processes such as regulating things like: pain, inflammation, digestion, appetite, memory, motor function, neural tissues protection, growth, and blood pressure. 

    It’s safe to say that without the ECS, we would probably all drop dead! So when our bodies don’t produce enough endocannabinoids, it may cause some illnesses such as migraines, IBS, fibromyalgia, just to name a few.

    There are two main endocannabinoid receptors in all of us:

    • CB1 receptors found in the central nervous system (CNS)
    • CB2 receptors which lie outside of the CNS and connected to organs, limbs, skin and immune cells

    To keep it simple, endocannabinoids targeting CB1 receptors will be responsible for relieving pain connecting to spinal nerves and those targeting CB2 receptors will help with inflammation, stomach issues and other nagging ailments.

     

    DID YOU KNOW?

    • All animals have an endocannabinoid system too! That means our pets can process CBD the same way humans can!
    • ‘Phytocannabinoids’ refer to the cannabinoids produced by plants, and endocannabinoids refer to the ones produced by our bodies!
    • The consumption of phytocannabinoids may stimulate our bodies to produce more endocannabinoids and receptors...which means better for us!

    5. Is CBD Legal in Hong Kong?

    We’ll keep this one short and sweet. CBD is legal in Hong Kong as long as there is 0% THC and CBN. 

    6. What should we look out for when buying CBD in Hong Kong?

    Having said that, to the un-informed eye there are some things that you can do to make sure you are only purchasing CBD in a legal and safe form factor, starting with making sure your supplier provides a detailed 3rd party lab report with the amount of CBD content in the formula.

    This not only helps you make sure you are buying a high quality product, but lets you know whether or not you need to be concerned with an impromptu drug test for work, so we will say this now: If you are in a professional role that may be jeopardized by an unsophisticated drug test (pilots and teachers come to mind) please thoroughly research your employers policies before you take CBD. 

    Sorry for that buzzkill, we’re just looking out for you.

    In general, you’ll probably see various CBD “spectrums” and “isolates” within your research, so let’s quickly cover those basics which deserve their own section below..

    7. The Three Types of CBD

    There are over 100 different cannabinoids, which include CBD and THC. Cannabis plants are also a gift that keeps on giving with other beneficial compounds including terpenes, which is what gives plants their fragrance. Different terpenes each have their own unique benefits, and flavonoids… which are also beneficial, but let’s stay on topic here.

    1. Full-Spectrum CBD

    Full-spectrum formulas contain amounts of all the different types of cannabinoids, including THC, which is a big no-no here in Hong Kong, even if it's just trace amounts. When and where it is legal, Full-Spectrum CBD garners a lot of respect particularly for individuals who vibe with the benefits of THC. Whether or not a particular individual feels a degree of “high” is case by case, both for therapeutic reasons and whether or not said individual appreciates the psychedelic effects. Hey, to each their own. 

     

    2. Broad-Spectrum

    Like full-spectrum formulas, broad-spectrum CBD also harnesses the power of other cannabinoid homies, minus THC. Working together in tandem, this is called the “entourage effect” which basically means that all of our cannabinoids work better, together. 

    Broad-Spectrum will often have their own distinct “taste” as a by-product of cannabinoids and terpenes working together. When it comes to ingestible CBD, we’re most excited about broad-spectrum because it gives us more creative freedom to come up with amazing formulas you’ll love.

     

    3. Isolate CBD

    For newbies and those who have not trained their taste buds to appreciate the natural flavonoids in full spectrum and broad spectrum products, CBD isolate might be perfect for you. It is often available in a powder form (sometimes as a crystalline), and contains 99% CBD.  It is highly-processed in order to remove other phytocannabinoids, oils, waxes and other plant material and it is referred to as the most ‘pure’ CBD due to the high potency CBD remaining. 

    We believe that calling CBD isolate products ‘pure’ can be a potentially misleading term because it is actually the most processed version of CBD. 

    8. In-depth look at CBD and Health Benefits

    While we fired off a general list of the therapeutic benefits of CBD above, let’s go a bit deeper into how it’s used and maybe even help you identify a practical use case for yourself.

     

    Pain and Inflammation

    Inflammation is a term that gets thrown around a lot and sometimes seems hard to actually define. We’ve probably all seen a commercial or ad for a particular remedy, with an older individual desperately caressing their lower back whilst making an “oh my stars!” expression on their face.

    On a less dramatic note, you may know of inflammation as the after effect of scrapes, allergic reactions or exposure to toxins, but it goes a bit deeper than that. 

    Inflammation in and of itself is your body’s way of protecting itself from harm by sending a bunch of white blood cells to an affected area. 

    Pain is often a side effect of inflammation that results from a buildup of fluid pushing against nerve endings. 

    Inflammation can become particularly harmful when all of these cellular responses become chronic and potentially lead to cell mutation, which can lead to the development of cancer, heart disease and other oogly boogly conditions.

    CBD has been shown to alleviate pain and other harmful effects of inflammation by binding to the cannabinoid receptors, suppressing nerves and interrupting free radical chain reactions that play a role in damaging our bodies. In addition to the benefits when ingested, CBD can benefit skin inflammation, targeting issues like acne, eczema and psoriasis through topical application.

     

    Anxiety

    Anxiety is another term that gets stigmatized  in modern culture, but that’s not to take away from the negative, often crippling effect that it can have on our quality of life.

    In the spirit of brevity, fear and anxiety are adaptive responses that are biologically programmed into pretty much all humans, in-line with that “fight or flight” response that we tend to have when assessing risk. This can be a good thing, preventing us from jumping head-first into situations that could, well, lead us to perish.

    The bigger problem with anxiety is when we suffer it in excess, where we can find it linked with neuropsychiatric disorders like obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and even depression (various forms). 

    A neurotransmitter called serotonin plays a big role in impacting our emotions, motor skills and mood stabilization. Low serotonin levels are often associated with those suffering from depression, anxiety and other neuropsychiatric disorders.

    Remember those cannabinoid receptors we mentioned before? Well, CBD is known to interact with receptors that include the serotonin 5-HT1A receptor which, go figure, plays a large role in mood stabilization, and fear and anxiety regulators.

    If you want to dig into some cool scientific studies of the results, CBD was actually proven to reduce anxiety induced by public speaking!

     

    Focus and Mental Clarity

    Focus and a lack thereof manifests itself in many ways and similarly can be caused by a plethora of different triggers, including but not limited to:

    • Lack of or poor quality sleep
    • ADHD and other neurological disorders 
    • Anxiety and depression

    At this point in time, a direct correlation of CBD to focus is still up for scientific debate, but you better bet there are numerous studies that are diving deeper into the investigation. Instead, we will take a more logical approach to the discussion through the various “downstream” effects CBD has on focus through its myriad interactions, some of which we have already covered; focusing on CBDs interactions with acts on 5-HT1A and non-cannabinoid receptors present in the brain.

    CBD increases the levels of anandamide in the brain, which regulates serotonin and dopamine. While serotonin stabilizes mood and a sense of well-being, dopamine is the chemical responsible for signaling a sense of “reward” when completing tasks. Low dopamine levels have also been known to play a role in substance abuse and addiction.

    So what’s the conclusion here? While we have personally found CBD effective for focus and mental clarity during the workday, it’s possible that it’s a combination of factors playing together -  from CBD’s role in lowering anxiety, improving quality sleep and it’s reactions with the brain's regulation of our biological chemicals… we’ve found we’re not alone on this one either.

    9. Conclusion

    We hope that this gives you a better understanding of how CBD works and what it can add value to your lifestyle. Backed by scientific research, there are benefits for all types of individuals, but it’s time you write your own story and try it for yourself! Our 1000mg multi-oil is a great starting point for beginners, but look out for exciting new formulas from us in the near future that we promise will stand out for CBD users in Hong Kong. Our goal at Gorilla Weekend is to make sure that CBD is as exciting and useful for you as it has been for us. 

    If you are wondering how you can best keep up with us, consider subscribing to our newsletter (no spam, promise) or following our colorful feed on Instagram.

     

    Disclaimer: The information in this article is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide any medical or health advice. Before taking CBD, you should always consult with your medical professional. People’s experiences with CBD and reasons for taking CBD largely fluctuate, and none of this information is intended to guarantee any results.

     

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