What is CBD and How can it Help Me?
According to Forbes, sales from CBD hit $2 billion in 2018 and it is estimated that sales will reach $16 billion by 2025. Cannabidiol, more commonly referred to as CBD has quickly become a "cure all" remedy that the world is clamoring to get their hands on. But what exactly is CBD and how does it work?
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol, better known as CBD, is one of the over 100 compounds or cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. Unlike the well-known tetrahydrocannabinol (better known as THC), CBD is non-psychoactive, meaning users will not feel "stoned" or "high." In fact, CBD can actually counteract the physical effects of THC on the body.
Generally speaking, the cannabis plant is broken down into two different classifications - hemp and marijuana. While both classifications contain CBD, there is one major difference between the two. In order to be classified as a hemp plant, the plant must contain less than .3% THC (although hemp typically has a naturally occurring higher percentage of CBD than marijuana).
How Does CBD Work?
Researchers have discovered that when the human body is exposed to cannabinoids, like CBD, they interact with receptors in the endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system regulates how our bodies experience everyday occurrences, such as emotions, metabolism, hunger and immune defenses, just to name a few. When your endocannabinoid system is not regulated, it can lead to disease. The cannabinoid CBD interacts with your endocannabinoid system, which in turn can cause different therapeutic effects.
What is CBD Used For?
While research is still being conducted on the beneficial effects of CBD, many have already discovered the healing properties of this compound. One of the most common stories that are seen on the news, is CBD being used to help with the treatment of seizures. From children to animals, studies as well as first hand account success stories, people are praising CBD. But it's not just seizures that have people using CBD, rather CBD is also thought to help with a number of other conditions including:
- Digestive & Gastrointestinal Disorders (Crohn's, IBS, colitis)
- Pain Management
- Neurological Diseases (Epilepsy, Alzheimer's, Dementia, Parkinson's)
- Neurological Disorders (ADHD, PTSD)
- Skin Conditions (Psoriasis, Dermatitis)
- Sleep Disorders
The list of beneficial uses of CBD goes on and on. Researchers are studying the effects of CBD and continue to make new discoveries each year. While CBD has many healing effects, it is important to note that CBD is not a cure nor should it replace medicine prescribed by a doctor. You should be wary of products that make specific medical claims or advise you to stop other medications and only use that specific product.
How Do I Take CBD?
There are a number of different ways to consume CBD so it all depends on the user's personal preference. CBD comes in a variety of forms including:
- Tinctures (made with distilled alcohol)
- Topicals (lotion, gel)
- Edibles (candy, chocolate, honey)
- Transdermal Patches
When deciding how to consume, users should take into consideration what they are using it for, as well as how fast they want to start feeling the effects. Several factors come into play depending on your product of choice. For example, topicals are great for aches and pains but not necessarily if you wanted to relieve anxiety. Smoking flower and vaping concentrates are great but not always a viable option, especially if you're out in public. Tinctures work best when applied underneath your tongue. Transdermal patches are great for long term pain management, as well as being very discreet.
When taking CBD, dosing can be confusing for new users. Many companies do not clearly define how to dose appropriately. This is partly due to the fact that each user has different needs which in turn means the dosages will vary. Finding your perfect dose, also known as the "sweet spot," takes a little bit of experimenting. When learning your sweet spot, it is best to start slow and gradually work your way up to better gauge the results. It is important to take into consideration the time it takes to feel the effects - so be patient! The good news is that you can't overdose on CBD so there shouldn't be any fear that you are going to overdo it.
Just like any other item you purchase with the intent to consume, it's best to check to ensure the CBD product you are buying has a batch number. This number not only shows that the company who made it is following best practices for manufacturing but it also guarantees that if there were any issues with the product, the company could recall that specific batch. Also, always check ingredients listed by the manufacturer to ensure you are getting a quality product. Some companies will use melatonin in their product which is a common over the counter sleep aid and would obviously affect when you would want to take the product.
Does CBD Show Up on A Drug Test?
Hemp derived CBD will not show up on a drug test. However, if you are taking CBD not derived from the hemp plant, there could be trace amounts of THC present. It is always best to ensure you are obtaining your product from a reputable company. However, if you are using extremely high doses each day, it is possible that it would show up on a drug test (depending on the type of test delivered). It is also important to note that any CBD products purchased from a recreational dispensary will contain THC and will show up on a drug screen test.
Is CBD Legal?
This can be a tricky question but in short, the answer is yes. The legality will vary from state to state as well as federally. The biggest factor that comes into play to determine whether it is sourced from the hemp or marijuana plant. As we discussed earlier, hemp is classified as having .3% or less THC. The recent passing of the Farm Bill made growing hemp federally legal. This new bill also removes hemp from the Schedule 1 drug list, however, there are limitations attached. While it is federally legal, it is up to each state's discretion to create their own policies. It is still illegal for CBD products to make medical claims or be listed as a dietary supplement.
While there are certain restrictions as long as it is grown legally in accordance with the bill, hemp derived CBD can be purchased and consumed in all of the 50 states. CBD has come a long way as far as becoming legal over the last few years and the future looks even more promising. In June of 2018, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first ever prescription CBD. Epidiolex is used to treat seizures in children and contains purified CBD. Needless to say, this is a huge step forward for the industry and we're excited to see what happens next.
In some places, CBD is also legal internationally but each country comes with its own set of rules and regulations. Here's a list of countries that currently allow CBD:
Argentina - Austria - Belgium - Belize - Bulgaria - Canada - Chile - China - Colombia - Costa Rica - Croatia - Cyprus - Czech Republic - Denmark - Estonia - Finland - France - Georgia - Germany - Greece - Guam - Guatemala - Hong Kong - Hungary - Iceland - India - Ireland - Italy - Latvia - Lithuania - Luxembourg - Malta - Netherlands - Norway - Paraguay - Peru - Poland - Portugal - Puerto Rico - Romania - Russia - Slovakia - Republic of Slovenia - South Africa - Sweden - Switzerland - Virgin Islands - United Kingdom - Uruguay
Is it Safe to Travel with CBD?
Hemp derived CBD is technically legal to travel with. Companies that sell hemp derived CBD are also able to ship anywhere in the US. This means that if you don't have room in your bag and you are traveling within the 50 states, shipping is always an option! It's still legal if you are flying, just remember to be mindful of the TSA liquid limits.
Where Can I Get Marijuana Derived CBD?
CBD that contains more than .3% THC will follow normal THC laws. Currently, recreational CBD products with THC is legal in Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont and Washington. Amazingly enough, 47 states legally allow CBD with THC for medicinal use, some with certain restrictions. In each one of these states, other than the 8 listed above, patients must have a medical marijuana card. This card basically acts as a "prescription" from a doctor, allowing you to shop for CBD with THC. Currently marijuana derived CBD is completely illegal in Idaho, Nebraska and South Dakota. There are some businesses that will try to secretly sell this product, however, we strongly warn against this. Selling, possessing or using marijuana derived CBD in these states is illegal and could result in legal action from the state.
Have you tried CBD before or do you know someone that is taking it right now? Whether it's to help with stress, or pain management - we want to know how you are using it and if it's working. Tell us your story in the comments below!