Chances are that you have heard the term ‘CBD’ especially in terms of its effect in alleviating the symptoms of certain medical problems like anxiety and pain.
CBD has grown in popularity in the US thanks to state governments slowly making it legal to acquire and consume medical or, in some cases, recreational cannabis. However, notwithstanding the spurt in publicity, some people have questions on what CBD is and how it can help them.
We’ve put together this short one-sheeter as a handy guide to answer any questions you may have on CBD and clear any doubts or misconceptions on its use and benefits, especially as an alternative health remedy.
CBD – What is it?
CBD, or Cannabidiol, is a naturally occurring chemical in the Cannabis plant. THC, or Tetrahydrocannabinol, is another organic chemical in Cannabis that is more well-documented because of its intoxicating abilities.
Contrary to THC, CBD is non-intoxicating but retains the same medical benefits that come with THC. Therefore, users are able to enjoy the therapeutic advantages without the side-effect of feeling ‘high’.
The two popular strains of CBD are derived from marijuana and hemp fiber. While CBD products that contain a higher amount of THC may be more effective, it is not available in a number of states where medical marijuana is still illegal.
Industrial hemp-derived CBD on the other hand is perfectly legal and users can benefit from these products medically. That said, confirming your state’s laws concerning CBD products is always advisable.
While research and medical studies on the medical properties and benefits of CBD consumption are still ongoing, the results so far have been pretty promising. Several studies have shown CBD to assist with anxiety, addiction, PTSD, and schizophrenia.
There are also indications that CBD may help improve certain physical conditions. An animal-based study showed that CBD may be able to treat pain caused by arthritis. Another study conducted on human stem cells throws light on CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties.
CBD Can be Consumed in Different Forms
There are different forms of CBD available in the market today. Users have the freedom to pick the one they prefer based on their lifestyle or need.
Lotions & Creams
CBD-infused topicals like creams and lotions can be used to treat pain and discomfort in the muscles and joints. They can also be effective against certain skin problems like psoriasis & eczema.
Softgels & Pills
CBD soft gels and pills can be used for the planned treatment of digestive problems or seizures. Epidiolex was the first drug containing CBD to be approved by the FDA and is used to treat seizure and related disorders.
The one disadvantage with soft gels and capsules is the time it takes from ingestion to onset of effects.
Tinctures & Oils
Base oils are infused with CBD and can be applied under the tongue through a dropper. Glands in the mouth absorb the CBD with the effects being felt relatively fast. Oils and tinctures are a good option for users who are uncomfortable with pills and soft gels.
Gummies are by far the most popular way to consume CBD. CBD gummies are cheaper, portable, flavored, and discreet. Another advantage of gummies is that users can be sure of the amount of CBD they consume.
Smoking vaporized CBD-infused oils either through e-cigarettes is perhaps the quickest way to feel its effects. CBD compounds are inhaled into the lungs and directly absorbed into the bloodstream of the user.
That said, there is still an ongoing debate in the medical community as to the effects that vaping may have on lung tissue. If you choose to smoke CBD, do so with caution.
CBD – How Much is Too Much?
When taking CBD, it is advisable to start with a low dose and generally work your way up. It is also important to consider that the actual content of CBD will vary in different products. Proceed with a degree of caution is when starting a new brand or a different product.
Starting with a lower dose gives you time to consider your body’s reaction to CBD. While CBD and a number of CBD-derived products undergo extensive testing, more evidence is in the works when it comes to identifying a recommended dose for a specific use-case.
A piece of general advice is not to stray above a product’s recommended dose unless a medical professional has advised otherwise. Additionally, users with pre-existing medical conditions may need lower doses to avoid any chances of unwanted side-effects. No matter how remote.
CBD products that are derived from Hemp and contain less than the prescribed .3 percent of THC are legal per federal law. However, certain state laws may still deem it illegal.
CBD products that are derived from Marijuana are illegal per federal law but remain legal under laws of certain states.
It is advisable to check the appropriate state laws in case of travel. It is important to note that over-the-counter CBD products are not approved by the FDA.