What is CBD?
CBD stands for cannabidiol. It is a chemical compound found in the cannabis plant, also called a “phytocannabinoid.” When that compound is activated by a process in which the cannabis plant is heated up, it has the power to affect our bodies. Today, CBD is often used in oil form, as a topical cream or as a base for vaping liquids. It has a wide range of medicinal properties, including treating epilepsy, anxiety and depression, chronic pain and IBS.
Is CBD a cannabis product?
Yes, CBD oil is extracted from hemp, which is a type of cannabis sativa. However, CBD is not extracted from the marijuana plant — it’s extracted from a non-psychoactive form of cannabis. This means that while it remains a cannabis-based product, it doesn’t create a high. As a result, CBD is not considered a recreational drug.
What is CBD good for?
Over the years, researchers have found dozens of physical and mental health conditions that respond well to CBD. Some of the best-known uses of CBD are for treating epilepsy, anxiety and chronic pain. Today, we are also discovering that CBD may have benefits for conditions like ADHD, migraines, and even PTSD or psychosis. To learn more in-depth information on the effects of CBD for certain conditions, we invite you to check out our other articles.
How does CBD work?
CBD is a chemical compound that can bind to certain receptors in our bodies. These receptors, called CB1 and CB2, control the functioning of the endocannabinoid system. Every mammal, including humans, cats, dogs and mice, has a biological system that responds to cannabinoid compounds. We call it the endocannabinoid system (ECS). This system is responsible for regulating things like appetite, mood, pain and inflammation in the body.
When we consume CBD, its molecules bind to receptors and activate certain pathways, which gives a boost to our endocannabinoid system. In turn, we can expect to see things like a decrease in pain, inflammation and anxiety.
Can I use CBD on my skin?
Yes, putting CBD on your skin can actually have a wide range of health benefits. For example, topical CBD can help to relieve pain for people with arthritis and other joint conditions. It can also be helpful for some skin disorders, such as acne, eczema or psoriasis. Finally, CBD can be used as a cosmetic product: it regulates sebum production, hydrates, and calms down inflammation, which can make your skin look healthier and better.
How much CBD should I take to feel an effect?
When it comes to CBD, dosage is a very personal thing. It all depends on your needs, what your body tolerates and what works for you. For example, someone with a very painful form of arthritis will likely need to take much larger daily doses than someone who is taking CBD for minor anxiety issues.
When it comes to testing out how your body responds to CBD, a good dose to try may be somewhere around 5 to 10 mg of CBD. You can then increase the dose until you find the results that you want. For example, when taking CBD for pain, you could increase the dose progressively until you find that your pain has become manageable.
For other conditions, it may be best to consult a specialist about the dosage that will work for you. And no matter what, do not use CBD to replace any medication you are currently taking without consulting your doctor.
What’s the best way to take CBD?
You have a few choices available to you when it comes to consuming CBD. These include sublingual drops, edibles, topicals, vapes, transdermal patches, mouth sprays and even suppositories. Although all of these products contain the same active ingredient, their effect can be quite different.
That’s because some forms of taking CBD make it more bioavailable than others. The best ways to take CBD are the ones that make it easier for your body to absorb the compound. These are vaping, sublingual drops, transdermal patches, and suppositories. Some of the least efficient ways of taking CBD are edibles and sprays.
That being said, choosing a product is also up to personal preference. Eating gummy bears may not be the best way to absorb CBD, but if it helps you remember to take it daily, it might still be worth it.
Is CBD oil safe for pets?
Yes, CBD oil that contains zero THC is safe for pets. It can even help them with conditions like:
- Diarrhea or nausea
That being said, you need to be careful when giving CBD oil to pets. You’ll need to adjust the dosage depending on the size of your animal. And of course, you’ll also want to choose a product that’s explicitly made for them; no gummy bears!
Is CBD safe for children?
So far, there doesn’t seem to be any evidence against using CBD oil on children. In fact, a few studies conducted on children have shown that CBD oil can treat epileptic disorders and alleviate symptoms of autism.
However, children should never be given THC. For that reason, you need to be very careful when choosing the type of CBD oil that you want to give to a child. Moreover, you’ll need to adjust the dosage of CBD oil to reflect the size of the child.
Are CBD vapes healthy?
Vaping CBD oil can be very beneficial for your health, but it still remains a form of vaping. When you inhale CBD, it absorbs into your bloodstream quickly and effectively. This means you get more benefits out of the milligrams of CBD you are consuming. Vaping CBD can also provide very fast relief from things like pain, anxiety or inflammation.
On the other hand, there are a couple of problems intrinsic to vaping. For example, some vapes can leave traces of heavy metal in your lungs because of the materials used in their heating coils. Some studies also suggest that the chemicals used in vaping e-liquids can cause damage to your lungs.
So while vaping CBD has a lot of benefits, we can’t necessarily recommend it for people with respiratory issues, for children or for the elderly.
Is organic CBD really better?
When buying CBD, choosing organic is a worthwhile investment. Non-organic hemp risks containing things like pesticides or other harmful chemicals. In fact, the process of extraction of CBD oil from hemp can concentrate these unwanted substances. So while organic CBD may be more expensive, it makes sense to spend a bit more money on a product that’s actually good for you!
How can I choose a good CBD product?
There are a lot of CBD products out there, and it can be hard to know which ones work and which don’t. Here are our top tips for choosing a CBD oil product:
- Choose a product that is made from organic hemp.
- Look for something manufactured using CO2 extraction.
- Make sure the company is providing a third-party lab report.
- Choose a type of product with good bioavailability.
- Choose something in a dark glass container.
You can also check out our complete guide to choosing the best quality CBD products here.
Can I fail a drug test due to CBD?
Failing a drug test due to CBD is unlikely, but not impossible. Drug tests don’t look for CBD, but they do look for THC, which is the psychoactive compound in marijuana. Most types of CBD oil contain at least traces of THC (CBD isolates being an exception to that rule). Technically, it’s possible for that bit of THC to show up on a test, especially if you take large doses of CBD oil daily.
That being said, if you only consume CBD oil occasionally, or use products that have 0% THC, you won’t risk failing a drug test.
Is CBD oil legal?
CBD oil is legal in quite a few countries. Just a few decades ago, CBD was grouped in with cannabis and considered a “recreational drug” throughout the Western world. But with new research surfacing to point at its medicinal benefits, we are seeing new waves of legalization.
CBD products that contain trace amounts of THC (less than 0.3%) are now legal on a federal level in the United States. However, they are not FDA-approved, and may still be illegal in certain states. Check your local laws before making a purchase.
To find out whether CBD oil is legal in your country and for what uses, you can check out our article on the topic here.
Can CBD get you high?
No, CBD products that don’t contain THC won’t make you high. When cannabis makes you high, it’s because THC binds with receptors in the endocannabinoid system that affect your brain function. However, CBD binds with those same receptors in a different way, which can actually stop you from getting high.
So not only does CBD not get you high, but it can also decrease some of the high created by THC if you take the two together.
Is CBD oil safe? What are its side effects?
CBD oil is generally considered a very safe substance. However, some people have trouble tolerating it. In those people, it can cause things like:
- Changes in appetite
- Mood disturbances
However, these side effects are fairly rare, and none of them are life-threatening.
So, compared to many other drugs used to treat the same conditions, CBD oil tends to have a much better safety profile