Cannabidiol (CBD) is a naturally occurring compound found in the cannabis plant. It is one of over 100 known cannabinoids found in cannabis and is a safe, non-addictive compound. Doctors, scientists, and universities around the globe are testing its therapeutic properties for anxiety, pain, inflammation and more.
Another well-known cannabinoid similar to CBD is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is the compound more famous for the intoxicating or “high” effects. Unlike THC, CBD is not psychoactive and will not cause intoxicating or “high” feelings, therefore, safe for general use.
Not only does cannabidiol not create an intoxicating feeling, but it can also help to counteract the psychoactive effects of THC. This is especially helpful for people looking for the benefits of cannabis without the “high.”
CBD can be taken in many different forms such as edibles, vapes, concentrates, and more. The most common way CBD is taken is in the form of CBD oil, where CBD is mixed with carrier oils to help create a more enjoyable taste and make it easier to measure how much you are taking.
What is CBD Oil?
The vast majority of CBD oil on the market is from industrial hemp. When the oil is removed from the plant, it’s mixed with a carrier oil to dilute the mixture and make it ready for consumer use.
Due to its many medicinal benefits, CBD oil has become popular with consumers around the world. The most common uses are for conditions such as arthritis, pain, multiple sclerosis, inflammation, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Is CBD Legal?
As the demand for cannabidiol increases, many states have begun to shift their stance on how they view hemp derived products. Some states are creating laws around how it can be sold.
For example in our home state of Michigan, CBD oil can be sold on the shelves of most businesses. Let’s say a coffee shop decided to sell tinctures, perfectly legal. However, if that same coffee shop is selling a tincture as an added ingredient in their coffee, it’s not legal. We expect laws like this to change and come around, but it should not be surprising to see similar laws for the foreseeable future.
For CBD products to be legal in the United States it must have a THC-content of 0.3% or below. Since industrial hemp naturally contains low levels of THC, hemp-derived cannabidiol is legal in most of the world.
Cannabidiol derived from marijuana, however, can contain up to 30% THC. Which would lead to a state of “highness” or intoxication. As a result, it is illegal, unless you possess a medical marijuana card, or live in a state which has legalized marijuana.
Despite the legal nature of hemp-derived cannabidiol, it still carries a stigma amongst a sizeable segment of the population due to the United States war against cannabis. However, this view is slowly changing as scientific research continues to support the medical applications of CBD.
CBD vs. THC Molecules
CBD and THC are the two highest naturally occurring cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. While they share many similarities, they affect the body in vastly different ways.
The major differentiating factor between the two molecules is how they interact with the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). The ECS is a network of receptors in the body that maintains vital functions by interacting with cannabinoids.
There are two receptors to be aware of – CB1 and CB2. The CB1 receptor is primarily found in the region of the brain controlling physiological and mental processes such as motor coordination, memory, and emotion. CB2 receptors are found mainly in the immune and central nervous systems.
[CB1-2 BODY GRAPH]
When CB1 and CB2 receptors interact with cannabinoids, the body experiences a range of health benefits such as a sense of calm and relief. However, because these two compounds differ at the molecular level, their interaction with the CB1 and CB2 receptors differs and as a result the effects on the body also differ.
This is why THC induces a state of “highness” whereas hemp-derived CBD does not.
CBD derived from Hemp vs. Marijuana
Hemp and marijuana both originate from the family of plants known as Cannabis Sativa. Depending on the intention of the grower, the focus of the plant will either be on the development of the flower, the seeds, stalks, or leaves.
This is important to note because cannabis crops cultivated for their stalks and fibers are commonly referred to as hemp whereas crops grown for their flowers are known as marijuana. While both plants offer many of the same medical benefits, they differ in one crucial way – the amount of THC they produce.
Because Marijuana is rich in THC, CBD derived from the marijuana plant is not considered legal in all fifty states. On the other hand, hemp derived CBD is legal in all 50 states because it contains low enough levels of THC for it to be deemed safe for public use.
Will CBD Make Me Fail a Drug Test?
As we now know, THC levels in hemp-derived CBD are too low to cause a psychoactive reaction. However, this begs the question – can CBD cause you to fail a drug test?
It’s common for businesses in a wide variety of industries to test employees for marijuana and other drugs. Drug tests are usually looking for high levels of THC, therefore, the likelihood they’ll pick up hemp cannabidiol in your bloodstream is very low. The same can’t be said for CBD derived from the marijuana plant.
To avoid possible complications, stick to hemp derived cannabidiol products, even if marijuana products are legal in your state. Be aware that additional factors such as body composition, the amount of CBD consumed, and the frequency you take CBD may all have a direct impact on the results of a drug test.
Some occupations such as the military, manufacturing, and others are especially strict when it comes to drug tests. People working in these types of jobs or industries need to be extra mindful when taking CBD oil. THC free cannabidiol products are created from CBD isolate for people in these situations. This way you can be extra careful when passing a drug test.
Ultimately, you’ll need to use your best judgment regarding how you should approach a drug test when taking CBD.
As people become more educated on the medical benefits of cannabidiol, CBD products have become increasingly popular. As a result, products have flooded the market to meet the sudden rise in demand.
When learning what CBD is, understanding product types is important as the product type can affect the type of experience you are looking for. Some products work more quickly, while others can take longer. Let’s look at some of the most popular CBD oil products you can purchase today:
CBD capsules are taken the same way you would take a capsule given to you by your doctor – simply wash it down with water. Capsules provide a convenient delivery method and they generally contain 10 – 25 milligrams of cannabidiol.
Edibles provide a fun and enjoyable way to ingest hemp oil. CBD oil-infused edibles come in the form of baked goods, chocolates, coffees, candies, and much more. Always be mindful of the serving sizes within an edible before consumption.
CBD tinctures are a dietary supplement in liquid form. Tinctures start as CBD-rich hemp extract which is then mixed with carrier oils such as grapeseed oil, hemp seed oil, sunflower oil, MCT oil, and more. Tinctures work by applying a few drops of CBD oil under the tongue with a dropper.
CBD concentrates are like tinctures in a sense they’re taken by placing the product underneath your tongue. As the name implies, concentrates tend to have heavy concentrations of cannabidiol and no other added ingredients. Therefore, much less of it is needed to see benefits.
Those newer and still asking, “what is CBD?” should stick with recommended serving sizes at first to see how their body reacts before moving on to higher servings.
Topical – CBD Lotions, Balms, and Creams
Topical CBD often comes in the form of lotions, balms, and creams infused with cannabidiol-rich hemp extract. In terms of size, topical CBD can be purchased anywhere from 50mg to 800mg.
Topical products are often rich in essential oils, vitamins, and ingredients. These can include:
- Vitamin E
- Mango Butter
Topical CBD can provide soothing fast-acting relief when rubbed onto the skin. CBD Lotion, balm, and cream is applied directly to the skin; therefore, cannabinoids can interact with the endocannabinoid system in the skin much faster than other products (such as edibles, for example, which require digesting).
Typically, it only takes 10 minutes or less to experience the effects of topical CBD.
Benefits of CBD
Cannabidiol is gaining momentum in the health and wellness world. Several scientific studies supporting its benefits for reducing stress and anxiety as well as relief from joint aches and pains top the list.
Let’s look at a few of the most common benefits of using CBD.
CBD for Inflammation and Pain
As previously mentioned, the benefits of cannabidiol happen because of the interaction with the CB1 and CB2 receptors. The CB2 cannabinoid receptor helps manage pain and inflammation when activated by introducing it to cannabinoids. CBD has also proven to be effective when looking to soothe sore muscles and joints.
Inflammation affects millions of people around the world. While it’s often viewed negatively, inflammation is a natural and vital aspect of the body’s innate immune response. With that being said, too much inflammation can lead to a host of health problems.
While eating well and making the right lifestyle choices can help reduce inflammation, studies show CBD can also play a vital role in inflammation reduction.
Other benefits of CBD range from neuroprotective effects, skin conditions, and is its anti-cancer properties are being studied at many various academic research institutions not only in the United States but in many places around the world.
This list is by no means all-inclusive. Research into the benefits of cannabidiol is still ongoing. While CBD doesn’t directly serve as a cure for any of the above ailments, it still provides immense all-natural relief.
CBD for Stress
The interaction with the endocannabinoid system is known to reduce anxiousness. A study performed in 2010 found that CBD effectively reduced social anxiety symptoms in individuals with social anxiety disorder (SAD).
The results of the study were promising. Participants not only felt better after taking the compound, but their brain’s response to anxiety is leading to further research.
CBD for Dogs
The question… what is CBD? does not only pertain to humans but dogs and other animals as well. It may come as a surprise, but even dogs have an endocannabinoid system meaning they too can enjoy the benefits of cannabidiol. In fact, it will generally have the same effect on dogs as it does on people.
It can help your dog in ways ranging from excessive barking, lack of appetite, inflammation, gut issues, and an overall sense of calm… even during fireworks!
Always contact your veterinarian before giving your dog CBD oil or any new supplement. You may have to undergo a process of trial and error to get the serving size just right. It’s recommended to begin with a small dose of 1 milligram per 10 pounds of body weight. This can be increased up to 5 milligrams per 10 pounds if needed (some ailments require higher servings).
Again, always speak with your vet first to ensure any new supplement is right for your dog.
Love it or hate it CBD is here to stay. With the cannabis industry booming and new products being bought daily, the world is warming up to cannabidiol as a viable all-natural alternative. With ongoing research still in progress, we can only wait and see what the future will hold.
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