CBD is one of the naturally occurring compounds found in the Cannabis plant. It accounts for up to 40% of the plants’ extract. Alongside Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the two compounds are among the most studied compounds found in the cannabis plant. Yes, THC is the psychoactive substance, meaning it causes the high associated with cannabis.
Many products contain Cannabidiol (CBD), including skincare, food, and medications. Consumers use CBD in the treatment of epilepsy, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and other health conditions. The beauty industry embraces CBD and shows the potential to become the next big thing.
With more research studies funded, there is an increased likelihood that the FDA will approve more uses of CBD. However, even without FDA approval, candies, gummies, cosmetics, cocktails, ointments, tinctures, and food include CBD.
As people start to see CBD around them, in their day-to-day, it’s common to have some questions or concerns about the product. We’re going to break down the most important CBD facts you need to know. As always, do not start using CBD without checking in with your health care provider first, but it’s also a good idea to educate yourself about CBD as well.
1. CBD is just one component of the cannabis plant
You might see the terms cannabis, marijuana, and hemp used interchangeably, but they all refer to different things. To understand how CBD works, it is essential to know where the differences lay. Hemp and marijuana are both species of the plant Cannabis Sativa, with hemp containing more CBD than THC. The dried, unfertilized female cannabis flowers are the raw source for CBD. Heating, smoking, vaporization, or baking extracts the CBD.
2. CBD is legal
…but only if it is derived from hemp.
As of 2018 and the passing of the Farm Bill, CBD that is derived from industrial hemp and contains less than 0.3% THC is now federally legal in all 50 of the United States. If the CBD contains more than 0.3%, then it’s classified as marijuana, which is still a Schedule 1 controlled substance in the eyes of the law.
3. CBD will not make you high
Psychoactive drugs, like those that contain THC, alter brain functions and can lead to chemical dependency, substance abuse, and withdrawal syndrome. CBD effects are not the same. CBD and THC do not have the same impact on brain functions, even though related and derived from the same plant.
THC will cause a high, CBD, on the other hand, will not. What is the difference? Credit the difference in effects to the variance in the placement of their atoms. The structure of THC makes it bind more strongly with the cannabinoid receptors in the brain. On the other hand, the structure of CBD leads to weaker bonds.
4. The human body produces cannabinoids
CBD contains phytocannabinoids, which are derived from plants. The human body contains an endocannabinoid system that produces cannabinoids naturally in the human body. Your brain has CB1 and CB2 receptors that activate the CBD you consume so that you get the maximum health benefits. The CBD works with your body’s endocannabinoid system to help you maintain homeostasis.
5. CBD may be an effective treatment for PTSD
PTSD is one of the main reasons why people seek cannabis for medicinal purposes. Studies done in both rodents and humans determine that CBD can alter aspects of adverse traumatic memories. Unlike the currently approved medications for PTSD, CBD has the potential to target memory processes. What makes interventions such as CBD more compelling is their ability to act on both the emotional and cognitive aspects of the disorder.
Is CBD a definite solution to PTSD? Though proponents argue that CBD effectively treats PTSD, available literature shows that the evidence in support of the theory is still under analysis. The Health Services Research & Development Service within the Department of Veterans Affairs did not find sufficient proof after conducting a review concerning the subject. There is a need for more controlled trials targeted at examining specific PTSD symptoms.
6. CBD is difficult to produce
The cost of CBD is generally higher due to the processes involved in its production. Illegal in most countries in the world, Cannabis importation occurs from countries where it is legally grown. The government’s approval and transportation of cannabis come at a high cost.
In addition to importation costs, supplementary expensed are manufacturing and purification. CBD is a scarce commodity, which further escalates its price. In some cases, estimates of the cost of CBD treatment are around $36,000 per patient annually.
There are, however, cheaper brands of CBD oil available on the market. Are these cheap brands safe? Maybe not in that, inexpensive CBD does not usually go through proper purifying and safety procedures, to trim manufacturing costs. It is also possible that some dubious businesses can claim that a product contains CBD when, in fact, it does not.
7. CBD products are not federally regulated
Reputable CBD companies know to put specific lab testing information on their website to transparently show their customers that their product is safe. Since CBD is not regulated by the FDA or any other regulatory organization, it’s up to each company to safely produce CBD oil that meets quality standards. FOr this reason, you should always double deck that your CBD has been tested by a third party lab and that the company you are buying it form is transparent about their testing process as well as where they source their CBD and the extraction process they use.
8. CBD Oil and Hemp Oil Are Not the Same
CBD oil and hemp oil, while come from the same plant, are different products. Hemp seed oil is made from the seeds of hemp plants and does not contain any cannabinoids. CBD oil is made by putting the flowers and buds through an extraction process that extracts CBD along with some cannabinoids and terpenes from the plant.
9. There are different types of CBD oil
Most CBD on the market tends to fall under one of three categories; full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or isolate. Full-spectrum CBD retains many of the cannabinoids and terpenes that exist in the marijuana plant, and might still contain traces of THC. Broad-spectrum CBD also includes a full range of terpenes and cannabinoids, but all THC content is removed. CBD isolate is the purest form of CBD. It’s the raw CBD oil that remains after all other compounds are removed from the cannabis, and only crystalline CBD remains.
10. CBD has a few side effects
Like grapefruit, CBD can raise the levels of other medications within the body. This can have adverse effects on an individual, depending on the kind of drugs they have taken. Therefore, caution is required when CBD is administered with other medications.
Recognized CBD side effects include nausea, fatigue, irritability, diarrhea, as well as changes in appetite and weight. One study, done in mice, revealed that massive doses of CBD have the potential to cause liver toxicity.
11. CBD can be added to food
It is now easy to find food and beverages that contain CBD on the market. Some restaurants, such as Inday in Manhattan, give their customers the option of having food that contains CBD as part of their order. CBD is included in some cocktails and types of gummies and caramel candies.
12. You can buy CBD cosmetics
Positioned to be the next big thing in the cosmetic industry, CBD takes center stage. It is expected to influence the industry in the same way as Shea Butter and Aloe Vera. “High Expectations,” a facial oil, and “High Five,” a facial moisturizer, by the French beauty label Sephora are among some of the CBD infused cosmetic products on the market.
Hora Skin Care, a California company, also manufactures skincare products containing CBD. According to the company’s founder Samantha Czubak, CBD contains more antioxidants than vitamin C, making it suitable for the skin.
CBD topicals are also a great way to target chronic pain and inflammation in a single place without taking any oral medications or pain relievers.
13. Flying with CBD is legal, but risky
CBD items with less than .03% of THC are permitted under federal law, but whether or not you can fly with it is a tricky subject. Some types of CBD may contain traces of THC beyond the legal limit, making it a crime to carry them with you from one state to another. In the end, you are at the mercy of TSA if you are questioned about a CBD product that you are traveling with. Make sure to travel with all of the labels and bottles to prove the exact contents within.
14. CBD is Popular With Pet Owners
Pet owners are adding CBD to their pets diets to help promote their joint health, ease anxiety, and promote brain health. There are plenty of CBD brands offering pet-specific CBD treats and oils. Most standard CBD oils that are intended for humans can also work for pets, but be sure to check with your veterinarian about dosing information.
15. CBD is being used to certain forms of epilepsy
More than 50 million people worldwide have epilepsy. Characterized by recurrent seizures, epilepsy is the most common neurological disorder. Since the 1970s, published studies tested CBD’s ability to work as an anti-seizure drug.
A three-month research investigation with four patients showed that two patients had no seizures the entire time, and one patient partially improved. The fourth patient, who was on placebo, showed no improvement.
In a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, CBD helped reduce the number of seizures significantly in both adults and children. This and more research done over the years supports CBD use in the treatment of epilepsy.
16. CBD can be used in substance abuse treatment
Some studies done on rats demonstrated that CBD has long-lasting therapeutic effects. They also show that it also has the potential to improve the vulnerability that causes a relapse. These studies show that CBD also has the potential to treat addiction across many often-abused drugs such as alcohol, cocaine, and heroin.
A study involving 42 people with heroin addiction, published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, concluded those participants given CBD experienced lower drug cravings. The effects of CBD lasted up to a week.
The more you learn about CBD, the more comfortable you’ll be incorporating new CBD products into your wellness routine. As CBD continues to grow in popularity, we’ll continue to learn more about how it can help you thrive.
17. CBD drops under the tongue are the fastest way to get relief from CBD—without vaping or smoking
Sublingual products like CBD drops are the best way to quickly let the CBD absorb into your bloodstream. From under the tongue, you’ll feel results faster, and preserve more of the CBD, since you won’t be forcing it through the digestive tract. If you’re not up for smoking or vaping, sublingual products like CBD drops are absolutely the way to go for quicker relief—much faster than edibles.
18. CBD isn’t intoxicating, but it is psychoactive—technically
All psychoactive means is that the substance in question affects the mind. People take CBD to improve mood, reduce feelings of anxiety, and otherwise affect their mental state.
Ed is a writer and marketer who has been involved with the cannabis industry since 2017. He is particularly passionate about helping small businesses succeed in the increasingly corporate-takeover environment of the cannabis industry, as well as helping people get started working with cannabis.