What is Cannabidiol (CBD)?
Within the past five or so years, CBD has garnered a lot of attention. Since federal legalization of hemp and CBD products, under the Agricultural Act of 2018, the term is often thrown around as an all-natural alternative to traditional medications.
But what even is CBD? What are its benefits and why are so many CBD companies appearing?
CBD, which is short for cannabidiol, is a phytocannabinoid (a chemical compound found in the cannabis plant). When consumed, whether through an oil or edible, it indirectly effects our endocannabinoid system (ECS) and, in turn, produces therapeutic feelings.
The best part about CBD is, compared to it’s phytocannabinoid cousin THC, it doesn’t produce psychoactivity. This means consuming CBD products will not get you “high.”
Where Does CBD Come From?
Like THC, CBD is a product of the cannabis plant. More particularly, the hemp plant. Marijuana and hemp are both cannabis plants, but hemp has a much higher consistency of CBD and lower consistency of THC – in fact, under legal guidelines, all hemp plants grown must have less than 0.3% THC.
Hemp is a plant whose natural origins started in Eastern Asia and, eventually, spread through various parts of the world. Historically, it’s been used in a number of different ways – most notably, as medicine, food, and material.
When marijuana was banned in the 1930’s, governments also banned hemp as it comes from the same plant species. However, when it comes to the effects these plants have on the body, they’re extraordinarily different.
And this knowledge is slowly surfacing in the modern era.
At the start of the 2010’s, there was an influx of research projects that took place in various areas of the country which looked into hemp’s properties. Through these, CBD began to develop a reputation for itself.
It had become so popular and so in-demand, President Trump approved of its legalization under the 2018 Farm Bill.
So, Hemp and CBD Are Legal?
Yes! Under the 2018 farm bill, any CBD or hemp product that contains less than 0.3% THC is completely legal.
Still, there are some things to consider before you purchase CBD products.
The first is that each state has separate regulations when it comes to hemp and CBD. For example, even though hemp is federally legal, the state of Idaho continues to ban its cultivation along with sales of CBD products.
In order to get a true sense of the laws surrounding CBD and hemp, we encourage you to do a bit of research on the area you live in. Chances are you have nothing to worry about, but it never hurts to be careful.
Secondly, hemp is sometimes confused as marijuana and has gotten people in trouble. For example, there have been numerous reports of truck drivers transporting hemp across state lines. When their vehicles are observed by police, the product has been confused for marijuana, placing the truck drivers under arrest.
In other instances, some people have tried to domestically travel with CBD products. But since many CBD products contain a minor amount of THC (less than 0.3%), some people have been detained.
Under the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp and CBD are legal across the country. But due to nearly a century of prohibition, it’s going to take time for both local laws to adjust and for people to understand its differences from marijuana.
How Can CBD Help Me?
Under the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA), no CBD product has been approved as suitable medication – with the exception of Epidiolex, a medication for certain types of epilepsy.
However, those who have taken CBD swear that it can help with a number of health conditions, including chronic pain, inflammation, osteoarthritis, and anxiety. Furthermore, many of these claims are backed up by scientific research.
If you’re struggling with a particular ailment and have considered using CBD to help alleviate that ailment, we highly suggest you do a bit of research. Though data can be limited for certain conditions (such as cancer), there’s a lot of information out there and more being produced.
If you think CBD might just work, it doesn’t hurt to try. Not only does CBD not produce any psychoactive effects but it has little to no side effects in most individuals.
However, if you are currently on a prescription, we do suggest you consult your doctor before taking CBD. Though it’s rare, there are some cases of CBD negatively interacting with certain medications.
How Should I Consume CBD?
Ultimately, this is based on your preference. There are so many different kinds of products hitting the market that it’s hard for us to say what is right for you.
To give you an idea of the most common CBD consumption methods:
- CBD Oils (Tinctures) – Are the route most people take. These will include a fluid with CBD mixed in that you place under your tongue and let sit for about 45 seconds. There are a ton of options when it comes to strength and flavoring and tinctures can be used for a variety of ailments.
- Edibles – One of the easiest ways to consume CBD is through an edible. These can include gummies, capsules, baked goods, or other candies – just to name a few.
- Topicals – If you’re experiencing muscle or joint pain, a CBD topical is ideal because it allows you to target specific areas of the body.
- Vaping – Inhaling CBD is the quickest way to get it into your bloodstream and feel the effects. Vaping is the most popular form of inhalation, though, you can also purchase hemp cigarettes or joints.
CBD Dosage Recommendation
It’s hard to recommend the right CBD dosage for two reasons: 1.) it’s highly determined by the product you purchase and 2.) there are currently no regulations when it comes to dosage.
Not to mention, CBD affects us all differently and, therefore, some may need more of it than others.
We suggest you start small and work your way up. This will give you an idea of how the CBD effects you and how much you’ll need in order to meet your desires.
Furthermore, when experimenting with your CBD dosing, it’s important to keep the following in mind:
- Ailment – Why are you taking CBD? The answer to this question is very important when it comes to your dosage. For example, someone who is experiencing chronic pain is naturally going to need more CBD than someone experiencing mild pain.
- Body Weight – Just like other medications and supplements, your CBD dosage is highly determined by your body weight. The more you weigh, the more CBD you’ll need. A general rule of thumb is to take 1 to 6 mg of CBD (depending on your ailment) for every 10 pounds you weigh.
- Strength – How strong is the CBD you’re taking? You can figure this out by looking at the milligram (mg) count of your CBD product. The stronger the product, the less you’ll need to feel its effects.
- Tolerance – Our bodies naturally develop a tolerance to CBD over time. So, if you take it frequently, you may need more of it in the future in order to feel the initial effects.
Though it may seem intimidating to experiment with CBD, the good news is it has no psychoactive properties and very few side effects.
Making Sure Your Purchase Quality CBD
Unfortunately, the CBD industry is currently heavily unregulated. This means, companies have had to take it under their own wing in order to make assure customers that their products are safe.
They do so by running all their CBD through a third-party lab test. The results of these will show various aspects of the CBD, including its potency, it’s cannabinoid and terpene count, and whether or not it contains any contaminants, such as heavy metals or pesticides.
Before you purchase CBD from any company, you should make sure they’re transparent about their third-party lab results (certificate of analysis).
CBD is still a very new alternative therapeutic medicine and, at this time, we can’t make any claims about it’s potential health benefits. In fact, that’s all they currently remain is a potential.
But the potential is huge. And that’s what makes this journey so exciting.
If you’ve been struggling with a particular ailment and think CBD may help, we highly suggest you give it a try. Who know? It may just be the answer you were looking for.