7 Questions Everyone Is Asking About CBD
Whether you’re new to CBD or you’d like to know more about it, here are some basic facts you need to know about its components, effects, use, and legality.
What is CBD?
CBD is short for cannabidiol, one of the many cannabinoids present in cannabis plants. There are at least 108 different types of cannabinoids in cannabis, CBD and THC being two of the most popular ones due to their effects. While THC is the main psychoactive component in cannabis, CBD is not psychoactive. This means that it doesn’t cause a cognitive impairment and it cannot get someone high, unlike cannabis which contains THC.
How is it different from cannabis?
The main difference between CBD products and cannabis is, as mentioned above, the active compound that is being consumed. While cannabis contains THC, CBD does not. Because of this, the effects on the human body are very different.
Is CBD safe?
The World Health Organization released an official report and investigation in 2018 that explained in detail how “In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential…. To date, there is no evidence of public health related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.” It added that it’s not associated with any negative public health effects, it doesn’t induce physical dependence, and is "not associated with abuse potential." The WHO also wrote that, unlike THC, people aren't getting high from CBD.
CBD does have some potential side effects, just as most products and supplements taken for the same purposes. However, they seem less intense and less frequent. Some of these include nausea, fatigue, and irritability.
Consumers also need to be aware of the purity of the CBD that they purchase. Since the quality and safety of most dietary supplements are not as strictly regulated as medicine, obtaining good quality CBD products might not be as easy as expected. That is why finding a reliable source is very important.
What are the effects of CBD?
One of the first, and most scientifically documented, uses of CBD is its effectiveness for childhood epilepsy syndromes such as Dravet syndrome that usually don’t respond to traditional medications. Medicine containing CBD for this purpose was approved by the FDA recently.
Other well known uses of CBD include helping to alleviate symptoms of anxiety and aiding with insomnia. Although more research on these and other commonly reported uses is needed, the WHO does indicate that there is evidence of CBD being useful and beneficial in treating them.
Additionally, CBD has been reported to help with chronic pain and assist in reducing opioid use. According to Harvard Health, “A study from the European Journal of Pain showed, using an animal model, CBD applied on the skin could help lower pain and inflammation due to arthritis. Another study demonstrated the mechanism by which CBD inhibits inflammatory and neuropathic pain, two of the most difficult types of chronic pain to treat. More study in humans is needed in this area to substantiate the claims of CBD proponents about pain control”.
Is CBD legal?
While there have been great strides towards the legalization of cannabis in the US, this still remains a bit of a grey area. CBD is technically considered to be in the same category as cannabis by the US government, however, enforcement against CBD nationwide is rarely seen. In the US, the rule since 2018 is that CBD products are legal only if they contain less than 0.3% THC.
In Europe, it is not fully legal anywhere, but it is decriminalized in most countries and most countries in western Europe don’t enforce regulations against it. It is officially illegal in most countries of eastern Europe.
How is CBD used?
There are many ways CBD can be consumed and will impact how long the effects may take to show. The fastest and most common form of CBD is as an oil or tincture. Many people using it as an oil will simply place the suggested dosage in their mouth directly under the tongue. In this form, it may also be added into food or drinks, or may be available already baked into your favorite treat.
Lotions and creams are also a popular form of CBD and are mostly used for its anti-inflammatory properties. These lotions interact with the endocannabinoid receptors of the skin to treat pain and sore muscles. There are also CBD skin patches, which allow for the CBD to enter the bloodstream and show slow effects within 8 to 12 hours.
Vaping is generally the preferred method for those looking for the fastest and easiest way to take CBD.
Where can I buy CBD?
Depending on your location, CBD can be bought at specialized stores, herbal supplements stores or online. Regardless of where you physically buy CBD, it is very important you purchase from a trusted vendor. The purity of your CBD is the most important factor in making sure you enjoy the full benefits with minimal health risks.