Cannabidiol, more commonly known as CBD, has been making the rounds in the news as of late. You may have heard about it from your friends or family as well. If cannabis is legal in your area, you may have even seen CBD products at the dispensaries.
Chances are, you have lots of questions surrounding CBD. That’s why we have put together this guide that encompasses what exactly CBD is, the effects of CBD, and why so many people are choosing to incorporate this powerful, natural supplement into their daily routine.
What Is CBD?
CBD is one of two main cannabinoids found in cannabis and hemp plants, the other being THC. It works with the body’s endocannabinoid system, which is a widespread regulatory system comprised of numerous receptors located throughout the body. CBD primarily works with two receptors, CB1 and CB2.
CB1 receptors primarily are located throughout the nervous system and in the brain, while CB2 receptors primarily are found in the immune system. Unlike THC, CBD does not directly bind to or activate these receptors. Instead, it stimulates the body’s naturally occurring endocannabinoids to activate the receptors. This encourages them to do more of what they normally do.
What Is CBD Oil?
Cannabidiol oil can be extracted from both cannabis and hemp plants, though the source affects their legality, which we will cover shortly. Because CBD oil is not psychoactive, it is not taken for recreational purposes. Instead, CBD typically is used in a medicinal way to aid in the treatment of a variety of health conditions, such as cancer, epilepsy, inflammation, and chronic pain.
Because CBD comes in many different forms, including vaporizer oils, tinctures, and balms, it can be administered several different ways. Some products are administered orally or sublingually (placed underneath the tongue), while others are vaporized or applied topically. Additionally, there are also products that can be dissolved in a glass of water, like SOL✿CBD’s Whole Body Liposomal formula.
What Are the Effects of CBD?
Because CBD does not directly bind to or activate the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the ECS, it is not psychoactive. This is where it differs from THC, though they are commonly associated with having the same effect. CBD provides many of the same health benefits as THC, plus additional medicinal properties, without the psychological effects.
So, what does it feel like when taken? Most people report feeling calm and relaxed. The effects of CBD largely depend on the health condition being treated. For example, some people report feeling relief from pain or nausea, while others no longer feel depressed or anxious.
Basically, though the effects of CBD are powerful, they are not impairing or overwhelming.
Will CBD Make Me Feel ‘Stoned’?
As mentioned previously, CBD is not psychoactive which means you will not feel “stoned” or “high” after consumption. The aforementioned cannabinoid responsible for the psychological effects commonly associated with cannabis consumption is THC. Though the two cannabinoids are related, they work differently within the body and produce different effects. In fact, studies have shown CBD is effective in reducing the effects of THC.
Why Do People Take CBD?
There are many reasons people choose to incorporate CBD into their treatment regimen. For many people, traditional pharmaceuticals are too strong, have too many side effects or no longer provide the amount of relief needed. CBD offers an all-natural, safe alternative therapy for many health conditions with little to no side effects.
Perhaps its most well-known medicinal benefit, is CBD’s power to reduce epileptic seizures. There is a famous story about a six-year-old girl who found great relief from her seizures by using CBD, named Charlotte Figi. In fact, at the age of six, she was already suffering from more than 200 seizures every week.
After years of doctors trying to determine the underlying cause of Charlotte’s condition, she was diagnosed with Dravet Syndrome. Dravet Syndrome is a form of treatment and drug-resistant epilepsy. Desperate to find relief for their daughter, Charlotte’s parents began researching into alternative therapies.
After watching a video of a young boy in Colorado who had successfully reduced his epileptic seizures by using CBD, Charlotte’s parents decided to give it a try. Charlotte’s results were astounding. First, Charlotte went seizure-free for an entire hour, something previously unseen. Then, that increased to two hours seizure-free. Eventually, Charlotte went a whole week without a single seizure.
Another powerful medicinal benefit of CBD is its anti-cancer and antioxidant properties. Countless studies have shown that CBD seems to actually target the growth of cancer cells. In addition, CBD has also been shown to be of great benefit to patients who are going through chemotherapy because of its ability to increase appetite, reduce nausea, and relieve pain.
Many people also use CBD to provide relief from inflammation and chronic pain, due to its powerful anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. Studies have shown that CBD is effective in reducing the pain and inflammation associated with health conditions such as arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis, and fibromyalgia.
In fact, not only is CBD safe for humans of all ages, it’s safe for pets as well. Many people have found great success in using CBD for assisting various health conditions in their pets, including arthritis, cancer, and intervertebral disc disease (IVDD). On the other hand, THC can be very detrimental to pets due to the numerous side effects, including the psychological impairment.
→ To learn more about CBD for pets, click here.
Researchers are actively pursuing more information about CBD’s medicinal benefits, due to the already compelling evidence. Initial studies have shown CBD has the following health benefits, in addition to the ones aforementioned:
- Anxiolytic (combats anxiety)
Does CBD Have Any Side Effects?
Perhaps one of the reasons CBD is becoming so popular as an alternative therapy is because it has very few reported side effects. If any side effects are present, they typically are very mild. Some users have reported dry mouth and mild digestive upset, but severe side effects have not occurred.
There is moderate concern with how CBD interacts with certain other drugs. In very high doses of CBD oil, though safe for the majority of people, it can cause the inhibition of hepatic drug metabolism. This means the CBD oil may prevent the metabolization of certain drugs that are processed by the liver. In essence, it is the same counteraction that occurs for some people when they eat pink grapefruit in conjunction with their medications.
Another small study researching CBD’s treatment of Parkinson’s disease, found that in extremely high doses, tremors increased slightly in some patients. However, the dosage given was higher than is recommended unless under direct medical supervision. At the normal CBD dosage this side effect did not occur and, instead, tremors were actually reduced.
How Long Does CBD Take to Work?
You may be wondering how long it will take for your CBD to work. The answer is somewhat complicated, as results vary individually. It depends both on how your body metabolizes the CBD as well as how you are administering product. For some people, results were felt immediately or within a few hours. For others, it can take up to 30 days for it to truly kick in.
In addition, different administration routes and products have different bioavailability, which is the rate at which the CBD is absorbed. Vaping CBD oil is the quickest way to feel the benefits. Administering the product sublingually is the second quickest way. CBD products that are applied topically, typically will take the longest to kick in and are more used for a extended-release relief.
If you consume the product either sublingually or dissolved in water, how long the CBD will take to work will depend on your digestive system and how much you have eaten prior to consumption. Generally speaking, it is best to take CBD on an empty stomach if you are going to directly consume it, rather than vape it or apply it topically.
Is CBD Legal?
The legality of your CBD product largely depends on its source. Cannabis-derived CBD is considered illegal at the federal level. This is because cannabis-derived CBD typically will still contain large amounts of THC, making it potentially psychoactive. Generally speaking, in areas where medical and/or recreational marijuana is legal, cannabis-derived CBD will be too.
On the other hand, hemp-derived CBD is legal in all 50 states, provided it is sourced from industrial hemp, grown and harvested overseas. It is completely legal for importation, sale and consumption.
How Do I Choose a High-Quality CBD Oil?
It’s very important to choose a high quality CBD product, in order for you to feel the maximum benefits. The CBD should be a whole-plant extract, sourced from organically grown hemp and extracted by carbon dioxide. Whole-plants are ideal over isolates, due to the synergistic nature of CBD and its ability to work with the other cannabinoids and terpenes found in hemp plants.
Organically grown hemp is essential to a high quality final product because hemp is an incredibly efficient bioaccumulator. This means it absorbs nutrients and chemicals from the surrounding soil, whether they are good or bad. If pesticides and herbicides are used in the grow process, they will likely end up in the final product.
This is also the case with CBD products extracted by unsafe methods like heat and solvents. Like chemicals, solvents will end up in the final CBD product. Using heat kills many of the nutrients found in CBD and will also compromise the medicinal benefits.
→ For more information on sourcing a quality CBD product, click here.