CBD use has become increasingly popular over the last couple of years as a natural alternative to pharmaceuticals, steroid creams, and OTC medications. If you’re new to the CBD, then you’ve landed in the right place. Here, we’ll answer some of the most pressing questions related to CBD for explain the difference between CBD and THC.
1) WHAT IS CBD?
CBD (cannabidiol) is one of over 60 active chemical compounds (or ‘cannabinoids’) in the cannabis plants. It’s the second-most abundant cannabinoid, next to THC.
2) DOES CBD COME FROM MARIJUANA OR HEMP? AND WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO?
Marijuana and hemp are two different varieties of cannabis that come from the same species of plant (Cannabis sativa L). In general, CBD is found abundantly in both; However it’s important to note that CBD is typically found in the seeds and stem of marijuana – not in the flowering buds (which is the part that you smoke). The hemp plant is an entirely different strain of cannabis that contains high quantities of CBD throughout (stem, buds, etc), and practically zero traces of THC. If a hemp plant contains more than 0.3% THC, it is then technically a “marijuana” plant. Most all CBD-based products come from the industrial hemp plant.
3) WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CBD AND THC?
THC affects the brain by binding to naturally-occurring CB-1 receptors in the central nervous system. CBD is a differently-shaped molecule that binds to CB-2 receptors in cell and body tissues outside the central nervous system.
4) WILL CBD GET ME HIGH?
No, CBD will not get you high. THC is the molecule that binds to receptors in our brain and is the one responsible for the psychoactive effects of marijuana. In fact, CBD is antagonistic to the marijuana high; it actually prevents THC molecules from binding to the brain’s receptors (hence the reason why it’s often used to subdue the ‘paranoia’ effects of super-potent THC strains).
5) HOW DO I TAKE CBD?
Most CBD medications are taken orally via oil drops that are placed under the tongue and held for 60 seconds before swallowing. Topical creams and ointments are also effective, as is smoking or vaporizing, there are lots of ways to take CBD, it just comes down to preference.
6) WHAT CAN CBD BE USED FOR?
CBD oil has been used for thousands of years, many people swear by it and use it for relief and treating pain, inflammation, anxiety, acne, OCD, sleep/insomnia, depression, parkinson's, ADD/ADHD, stress, mood disorders, arthritis, nausea, motion sickness, PTSD, autism, epilepsy, fibromyalgia, and so much more.
7) WHAT IS CBD OIL?
CBD oil is a liquid cannabis extract that contains virtually pure CBD. It’s commonly made from seeds of the hemp plant (CBD hemp oil) and the stem of industrial hemp.
8) HOW DOES CBD WORK?
CBD functions by binding to cannabinoid receptors in the body’s endocannabinoid system. These receptors have been found in virtually every cell and tissue type in the human body (hence the seemingly endless array of CBD uses).
9) IS CBD LEGAL?
Yes! As long as the CBD product (oil, vape, topical, etc) is produced from the seeds and stalk of the industrial hemp plant (with less than 0.3% THC), it is permissible to buy, sell, and ship across state lines. (However, in articles like 2014’s Farm Bill, the exact rule seems to be a little less clear). All in all, the fact remains that millions of people buy and use CBD products every day of their lives, and the medication is only getting more popular and widespread with each passing day.
10) IS CBD NATURAL?
Yes, CBD is a 100% naturally-occurring chemical compound that comes directly from the cannabis plant. It is not synthetically made.
11) DO ALL HEMP STRAINS HAVE CBD?
Yes, every cannabis plant (whether it’s marijuana or hemp) will have CBD in the stem and seeds but Hemp is where ours comes from. Every part of the hemp plant is loaded with CBD.
12) HOW IS CBD ISOLATED FROM THE CANNABIS PLANT?
CO2 extraction is the best method to extract pure CBD isolate, in which state it exists as a clear/white crystal. This method is preferred over other methods because it leaves practically zero traces of chemical contaminants in the end product. Alcohol extraction is another method, wherein a liquid such as ethanol, butane, or hexane is run through raw plant material to extract the CBD and then evaporated to leave only the active cannabinoid. This can be a dangerous method because it’s prone to leaving excess traces of the butane or hexane chemicals in the extract.
Also, infusing vegetable oil (i.e. olive oil) is another effective way of extracting CBD. All you do is grind up the raw plant material, decarboxylate (heat) it, and let it sit in boiling (100-deg Celsius) oil for about 2 hours.
13) ARE THERE SIDE EFFECTS OF USING CBD? IS IT SAFE?
The only significant danger/side effect of the plant is in vaping CBD oils that were produced using a thinning agent, such as propylene glycol. When burned/vaped, propylene glycol produces formaldehyde, which is a known carcinogen. CBD oils produced by CO2 extraction are much safer and more pure than oils that were produced with liquid alcohol/thinning agents. Other than that, most research has concluded that CBD is perfectly safe with no known side effects, though some users have reported drowsiness, low blood pressure, and dry mouth.
14) CAN I COOK WITH CBD?
Absolutely! CBD infused oils are a fantastic ingredient to cook with.
15) ARE THERE MEDICAL STUDIES ON CBD?
Thousands of scientific/medical peer-reviewed studies have been carried out specifically on CBD. Project CBD is a non-profit organization strictly dedicated to documenting the research progress on this incredible molecule.
16) WHAT ABOUT CBD TOPICALS… DO THEY WORK?
CBD topicals have proven effective for skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema, as well as for localized muscle soreness and joint pain resulting from arthritis-induced inflammation.
17) WILL CBD SHOW UP ON A DRUG TEST?
A high-quality CBD product with minimal THC is incredibly unlikely to show up on a drug test. However, low quality CBD products may contain more traces of THC than they claim, which is why American CBD Dispensaries focuses on honest, organic products. (Research has shown that you would have to consume about 2,000 mg per day of CBD oil with a THC content of 0.3% or less to have a 25% chance of it being detected, unlikely).
18) HOW DO I KNOW WHAT DOSE OF CBD TO TAKE?
This one is tricky because it of course depends on what you’re using the medication for, and also on how potent the product is. For effective treatment of the majority of conditions, most people use between 10-50 mg of CBD per day total. (For reference, 1 mL of a potent oil might contain 50 mg of CBD. Make sure you read the label on your product to ensure proper dosing.
19) CAN I MIX IT WITH MY CURRENT MEDICATION?
Yes, but CBD inhibits the cytochrome P450 enzyme, which is involved in metabolizing many drugs. Compounds in grapefruit inhibit the same enzyme group, which is why physicians advice patients not to eat grapefruit shortly before or after taking a medication. By inhibiting cytochrome P450, CBD can either reduce or increase the effects of other drugs. In a nutshell, depending on the method you choose to take your CBD, you should wait a bit to prevent any enhancement of your medication.
20) CAN I MY PET USE IT?
Absolutely, many pet owners love the way CBD works for their little loved one. Anxiety, stress, and pain are the most common uses in pets.