What is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a chemical compound - scientifically known as a phytocannabinoid - found within the cannabis plant. There are hundreds of these naturally occurring cannabinoids in the cannabis plant, each of which has its own unique set of effects. CBD’s popularity has been growing as it’s been discovered to help with a wide variety of things including but not limited to stress.
We’re going to answer some of the most common questions concerning CBD. In the end, we hope this information helps you decide whether CBD is right for you or not.
Where Does CBD Come From?
As mentioned, CBD comes from the cannabis plant. More specifically, the hemp plant.
Hemp and marijuana are both cannabis and, in many regards, the same plant. The major difference between the two is hemp produces a higher concentration of CBD whereas marijuana has a higher concentration of THC.
While CBD can be derived from both hemp and marijuana, the majority of CBD products out there are made using hemp.
Is CBD Legal?
Yes! Under the 2018 Farm Bill, CBD and hemp were federally legalized. This removed both hemp and cannabidiol as Schedule I substances.
Will CBD Get Me High?
The phytocannabinoid found in the cannabis plant that causes psychoactivity is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). CBD, on the other hand, is a phytocannabinoid that causes no psychoactivity and, therefore, doesn’t get you high. All federally legal CBD products must contain less than 0.3% THC. At this amount, the chances of you getting high are extremely slim. Only in rare cases with sensitive people is mild psychoactivity felt.
If you believe you’re in this category, you can avoid THC altogether by only purchasing broad-spectrum or CBD isolate products. Not to mention, these products are beneficial for those who are required to take drug tests and don’t want cannabis to appear. It’s also worth noting that in some states of the country - where recreational cannabis is legalized - you may run into products that contain higher amounts of THC. If you want to avoid these products altogether, we suggest you shop for CBD online rather than at a cannabis dispensary.
How Does CBD Work in the Body?
Scientists still don’t fully understand how CBD works within the body. However, they have some general ideas. We know that CBD has an influence over our endocannabinoid system (ECS). This system is responsible for various aspects of our day-to-day life, including our appetite, mood, memory, sleep, immune functioning, and metabolism.
Since phytocannabinoids found in the cannabis plant have a similar structure to our endocannabinoids, they have an effect on us when consumed. Researchers believe that CBD may help to balance out our ECS. While this isn’t entirely understood, it’s theorized that the numerous medicinal benefits people feel are through this balancing.
What Are the Benefits?
Currently, CBD isn’t approved by the Federal Food & Drug Administration (FDA) for any medical use - with the exception of Epidiolex. With that said, most of what we know about CBD’s health benefits are through preliminary studies and self-reports.
Here are a few ways in which CBD may help you:
Navigating Everyday Stress- We all have had periods of time throughout our lives where we feel overwhelmed or stressed out. One of the most popular reasons people choose to try CBD is to help feel relaxed.
CBD For Pets- One of the top uses for CBD is for pets, specifically dogs and cats. CBD has been shown to support healthy hips and joints for animals, a drop of CBD oil will have them moving easier.
Workout Recovery- Research has discovered that CBD can work as a natural anti-inflammatory. By reducing endocannabinoid receptor activity, CBD fights against workout-induced inflammation
Sleep - If you face insomnia or other sleep conditions, CBD may be able to help you relax and, in turn, get to bed at night.
Again, these are just a few of the ways CBD may be able to help. In order to get a true picture of the numerous health benefits attached to CBD, we highly suggest doing further research.
What Are the Different CBD Consumption Methods?
There is a wide range of different ways to take CBD. With that, companies are starting to get creative with their products - offering a variety of consumption methods. The following are the most common CBD consumption methods currently on the market:
- CBD oils (sometimes referred to as tinctures)
- CBD capsules/pills
- CBD edibles (i.e. CBD gummies)
- CBD topical creams and salves
- CBD vapes
While CBD has similar effects no matter the consumption method, it’s been discovered that certain consumption methods are better for specific ailments. For example, CBD topicals are your best choice for muscle and joint relief as they allow you to target specific areas of the body.
What to Look for When Purchasing CBD Online?
Since the CBD industry remains unregulated, there are a few things to keep an eye out for when purchasing products online. These include:
- Certificate of Analysis - Every reputable CBD brand will run their products (by the batch) through a third-party lab test. These tests are designed to measure out various aspects of the CBD, including its cannabinoid/terpene count and whether or not it contains contaminants, such as heavy metals and pesticides.
- Extract Type - CBD is extracted from the hemp plant through three different means. These are:
- Full-Spectrum - Includes all the cannabinoids found within the hemp plant.
- Broad-Spectrum - Includes all the cannabinoids found within the hemp plant with the exception of THC.
- CBD Isolate - Solely CBD and no other cannabinoid.
- Hemp Source - Since most CBD products are derived from the hemp plant, it’s worth knowing the source of that hemp. Generally, you’ll want to make sure these plants are grown organically.
- Ingredients - While CBD extract is the main ingredient of all CBD products, most products are made using a host of other ingredients. We suggest taking a look at this to make sure the company uses all-natural ingredients.
These are just a few things to keep in mind when purchasing CBD online. It can also help to check out the potency of a product along with pricing.
CBD Dosage Recommendations
Since CBD isn’t currently regulated, there are no standards when it comes to dosage amount. This has left newcomers in a position where they must experiment in order to figure out the right dosage for them.
The majority of CBD products will have a “suggested use” somewhere on the label. We highly recommend you take your first few doses of CBD based on this recommendation. However, you may find this suggestion isn’t working for you.
That’s okay! CBD affects us all differently and there are a number of reasons for this. To get a sense of what’s a good dosage for you, ask yourself the following questions:
- Why am I taking CBD? We all have different reasons for taking CBD. Some of us are just looking to relax a little during stressful times. Others may be trying to help recover from workout induced inflammation. Consider the reason you’re taking CBD for and how much you’ll need to combat it.
- How much do I weigh? Our bodyweights play a fundamental role in how CBD will affect us. Generally speaking, the more you weigh, the more CBD you’ll need in order to feel the effects.
- How strong is my CBD product? All CBD products have their potency measured out in milligrams (mg). The larger the mg-count, the less of a dosage you’ll need in order to feel the effects.
- Have I built a tolerance to CBD? If you’ve been taking CBD for some time now, your body has most likely built up a tolerance to it. With that, you may need to take more CBD in order to feel initial effects.
If you are currently on prescription medication, you may want to speak to your doctor before taking CBD. While it’s very rare, CBD has been known to negatively interact with some pharmaceuticals.
So, is CBD right for you? The thing about CBD is it’s not the solution. Rather, many have found it’s therapeutic properties to be beneficial alongside other medications or activities.