What is CBD

What is CBD? Definition of Cannabidiol

You see hundreds of CBD products available in local stores and online. So, you may be wondering: what is CBD, and why is it so mainstream? From CBD tinctures, pills, and gummies, there seems to be CBD infused in every product out there.

We’ll tell you everything you need to know about CBD. Some major topics we’ll discuss are how CBD works, its benefits, and what research says about CBD.

Also, there are debates about the legality of CBD, especially since it comes from hemp plants. This guide will help you navigate the world of CBD as it concerns CBD’s legal status, the possible health risks, and many more.

What Is CBD?

Cannabidiol, commonly known as CBD, is a compound from marijuana or hemp plants. The primary difference between these plants is their tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content. Marijuana has more THC than hemp.

Researchers are studying CBD’s potential use in treating different medical conditions. Unlike the other popular compound, CBD does not get its user high. CBD is gaining ground for its possible therapeutic benefits.

How Does CBD Work?

Our bodies have a regulatory system called the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The discovery of this system has helped our understanding of cannabinoids and health.

CBD, and even THC, work by interacting with the ECS. This system plays a key role in different physiological processes. Its role is to regulate a wide range of functions, including sleep, mood, appetite, pain sensation, and immune activities.

The ECS consists of cannabinoid receptors, endocannabinoids, and enzymes. Endocannabinoids are cannabinoid-like substances that the body produces.

External cannabinoids like CBD and THC interact with the cannabinoid receptors: CB1 and CB2. Researchers believe that THC interacts with these receptors directly, but CBD doesn’t. Its thought that CBD encourages the ECS to produce more endocannabinoids.

CBD may help with pain, inflammation, and others by encouraging endocannabinoid production.

Research on CBD

There’s, undoubtedly, a great amount of interest in the use of CBD for many health conditions. While CBD may have possible therapeutic benefits, research is only in its early stages. So most claims on the health benefits of CBD have only limited research to prove them.

Per Clinical Trials, there are around 150 trials ongoing currently studying the possible use of CBD. These trials examine CBD as a treatment option for conditions like autism and schizophrenia.

There’s some evidence that CBD could help schizophrenia patients due to its antipsychotic effects. Others show no significant results over placebo. Therefore, further research is needed.

Moreover, some studies suggest that CBD can help people with different anxiety disorders. In vitro research also shows that CBD reduces inflammation in people with rheumatoid arthritis.

Scientific research and observations take a long time. And the research into the effects of CBD and other cannabinoids just started. Notwithstanding, scientists believe that CBD is a promising treatment option.

What Are the Benefits of CBD?

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a CBD-based drug called Epidiolex in 2018. It’s used for treating Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. These syndromes are two rare forms of epilepsy. Fast forward to 2020, the FDA also approved Epidiolex for treating seizures in people with tuberous sclerosis complex.

The use of Epidiolex in these conditions shows there’s a potential to use CBD and improve health. There’s a growing number of studies that suggest CBD has beneficial properties. For instance, CBD is an anti-inflammatory substance. This could help people with arthritis and pain conditions.

Studies also show promising effects of CBD in schizophrenia, anxiety, and other mood disorders.

Further, studies suggest CBD could help with opioid addiction. In human research and animal studies, CBD was effective in helping treat substance abuse. According to Consumer Reports, some states where medical marijuana is a legal compound reported a reduction in opioid deaths. These states infer that it could be because people turn to other products like CBD as alternatives.CBD

How Is CBD Used?

CBD is available in multiple forms. And how you decide to use it depends on your personal preference and needs. Each consumption method affects the body differently.

Below are the common ways to use CBD:

Oils and Tinctures: CBD oil tinctures are available in different strengths and sizes. These products typically come in dropper bottles for easy use. You place the oil directly under the tongue and hold it for some time before you swallow. CBD oils have a distinct hemp taste. So brands provide flavored options to mask this taste.

Edibles: CBD edibles are in different forms, like gummies, candies, and chocolate. An edible is a general term for products you can eat or drink. These products go through the digestive tract and liver to break them down. Because of this process, it may take anywhere from minutes to hours before you start to feel the effects of the CBD.

Capsules and Pills: You also take these orally, as you would your supplements and vitamins. They are easy to use. Also, each pill or capsule has a premeasured dose. So, this type of CBD provides an option for more consistent dosing.

Vaping: CBD vape products are like e-cigarettes that you inhale. Amongst all the other ways of taking CBD, vaping provides the quickest onset of effects. Keep in mind that you’re not vaping CBD oil but an e-liquid. This liquid typically contains CBD, propylene glycol, and vegetable glycerin.

Topicals: CBD topicals are usually the best products for localized pain relief. We also have CBD topicals for hair and skin care. Some products you may have probably come across are oils, balms, lotions, and creams. You massage them directly to the affected part of your body.

Dosing of CBD

There is so little information on CBD, and this makes it hard to give dosing recommendations. Most studies use high CBD doses that are sometimes higher than what you get from regular products. On the other hand, there are studies where researchers used low doses and had significant results.

A general recommendation is to start from the lowest possible dose first. The amount of CBD needed to achieve desired effects will vary from one person to another. So, you want to start from a low CBD dose, then increase it as you go.

Make small increments until you get the results you want. It may help to stay consistent and also keep a journal.

What Are the Risks of Taking CBD?

The WHO reports that CBD is a safe and well-tolerated compound among its users. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), people have safely taken up to 1500 mg CBD daily for four weeks.

Although CBD is safe, there are common side effects. These include changes in appetite, diarrhea, fatigue, dry mouth, and weight changes.

With limited research on the effects of CBD on breastfeeding and pregnant mothers, it’s best to avoid it. It’s unclear how CBD affects this category of women.

In addition, CBD can interact with prescription medications. This interaction can lead to severe effects such as liver injury. So, if you’re taking medications, you should speak with your doctor first. Also, always consult your doctor if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding before using CBD products.

Most importantly, the FDA doesn’t regulate CBD products. And as you know, there are many CBD brands on today’s market. Since there are no standard measures, quality control is not possible.

Many CBD products contain more or less CBD/THC than what is advertised. You want to make sure the company you want to buy from presents a third-party lab report. This report will help you verify the content of the product.

Is CBD Legal?

The passing of the 2018 Farm Bill permits farmers to grow hemp in the United States. This Bill also allows people to use, sell, and buy CBD products as long as it comes from the hemp plant.

By law, hemp plants contain 0.3 percent THC or less. So, CBD products are only legal if they are hemp-derived and have no more than 0.3 percent THC. Marijuana-derived CBD products are still illegal federally.

Although CBD is legal federally, the state laws are less straightforward. Some states have laws different from federal. In these states, you can use CBD only for medical purposes.

Because of the differences in CBD regulations, it’s advised to stay updated with your state laws. Also, you need to be 21 or above before you buy these products in some states.

Final Thoughts

The 2018 Farm Bill legalized the use of CBD on a federal level. Since then, we’ve seen tons of CBD products and brands emerge.

There’s an increasing interest in CBD as a potential treatment for many medical conditions. However, only one CBD product is FDA-approved. As research increases, we’ll start to see more specific prescriptions and ideal doses for treatment.

Although CBD is a relatively safe substance, research suggests it can interact with some drugs. Discuss with your doctor or a healthcare provider before adding CBD to your wellness regimen.

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