Table of Contents
The goal of this text is to clear up common misconceptions about CBD while clarifying the legal status, medical benefits, and various ways to consume the chemical compound.
What is CBD? An Overview
Also known as cannabidiol, CBD is a chemical compound that is derived from marijuana and hemp. It is sold in many forms and revered for its medicinal properties.
In recent years, cannabidiol products have swelled in popularity.
The wide variety of edible and topical CBD products are often marketed as health aids and cure-alls. Despite the widespread popularity of this drug, many people find it to be elusive and confusing.
Unlike pure marijuana, CBD does not contain a large percentage of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). As a result, it offers several of the same health benefits as marijuana. However, it has no psychoactive effects.
Current Legal Status
While you can purchase CBD products in most U.S. states, the legal status of the chemical compound tends to occupy a gray area. The federal government has loosened its regulations on CBD products that are derived from plants that contain one or more cannabinoid.
In other words, they permit the sale of CBD that is derived from hemp but not marijuana. Despite this, most hemp-derived CBD products still contain trace amounts of THC.
The Farm Bill, which was passed in 2018, specifies that commercially available CBD products can contain no more than 0.3% THC.
US States Where CBD is Legal
Since the USDA has yet to draft regulations that relate to the federal government’s new law, there are still states that do not allow the public to access cannabis. However, the vast majority of U.S. states allow the sale of low-THC CBD products. Currently, Idaho, Nebraska and South Dakota are the only states that completely restrict CBD consumption.
Around the World
The legal status of CBD also varies between countries. Research individual countries’ CBD- and marijuana-related legislation before attempting to buy or trade products within foreign borders.
Many studies offer evidence of CBD’s effectiveness in treating several ailments and diseases. In the section below, we discuss CBD’s role in treating a variety of health issues. With the recent passing of the Farm Bill (2018), we can expect researchers to ramp up their future CBD research efforts.
There have not been many sufficient scientific findings on the effectiveness of CBD as a treatment for depression. However, CBD is making gains as a potentially FDA-recognized treatment for depression and anxiety.
Up until now, the vast majority of CBD clinical trials have been carried out on animals. However, a 2014 study showed that CBD had the potential to increase animals’ serotonin levels. More importantly, it did this without activating any endocannabinoid receptors.
A study published in the Journal of Neurotherapeutics looks at CBD’s potential as a treatment for anxiety disorders. CBD interacts with the neural receptors that regulate fear and anxiety. CBD’s anxiety-treating potential tends to vary between individuals.
There have even been positive findings related to CBD as a treatment for childhood PTSD and sleep disorders.
There have been numerous studies on the effects of CBD on skin diseases. A recent study explored the therapeutic effect of CBD ointment on inflammatory skin diseases and cutaneous scars. The results show that the CBD improved atopic dermatitis and the appearance of related scars.
Anti-inflammatory properties associated with CBD are beneficial in treating such dermatologic conditions as acne, psoriasis and eczema due to reduction of dryness, irritation and rednessLisette Hilton citing Dr. Tina Alster – Hemp for skin health? – Dermatology Times
Topical CBD oils are often used to treat joint pain and inflammation related to rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. A study published in a 2016 edition of the European Journal of Pain found that cannabis reduces inflammation and pain related to arthritis.
These data indicate that topical CBD application has therapeutic potential for relief of arthritis pain-related behaviours and inflammation without evident side-effects.Conclusion from Transdermal cannabidiol reduces inflammation and pain-related behaviours in a rat model of arthritis
The effects of CBD treatments on back pain are also understudied. However, the study mentioned above also suggests that topical applications of CBD oil can reduce pain and inflammation.
There’s been some conclusive findings on the effectiveness of cannabinoids on tumors. In particular, some researches have found evidence that oral doses of CBD may interrupt the growth of cancer cells. CBD is also used to help alleviate the systems of cancer and cancer treatments.
The FDA has approved two marijuana-derived drugs for the treatment of cancer-related nausea and vomiting.
What has been proven is that, in a lab setting, CBD may be able to slow down or kill certain cancer cells, according to The American Cancer Society. More research will need to be done before cannabis can be shown to be a promising treatment method for cancer.Mary Sauer – Here’s what CBD can’t do for you – The Growth OP
While CBD is not commonly used to treat heart issues, its anti-inflammatory effects have the potential to reduce high blood pressure. CBD use is also proven to increase the survival rate of people who have had heart attacks.
Researchers have studied the impact of CBD on individuals with opioid and marijuana addictions. The substance has the potential to treat a range of symptoms relating to opioid abuse, including anxiety, mood disorders, insomnia, and pain. It may even be used to counter the effects of harsh drug substitution treatments.
Significant research efforts are still necessary to evaluate fully the development of CBD as a potential therapy for addiction disorders. To date, the evidence appears to at least support a potential beneficial treatment for opioid abuse.Early Phase in the Development of Cannabidiol as a Treatment for Addiction: Opioid Relapse Takes Initial Center Stage
There has been a limited number of studies executed on the effects of CBD as a cure for diabetes. A study published by the American Diabetes Association concluded that (CBD + THC) aide glycemic control in subjects with type 2 diabetes. Many studies suggest that CBD products relieve some of the common side effects of diabetes, including pain and inflammation. People with diabetes should avoid sugar-rich diabetes edibles.
Although CBD did not produce any effects on the primary and secondary efficacy outcomes compared with placebo, it reduced circulating resistin concentrations from baseline, while increasing the concentration of circulating GIP. […] Despite having positive effects on resistin and GIP, CBD did not produce any improvement in glycemic control.Efficacy and Safety of Cannabidiol and Tetrahydrocannabivarin on Glycemic and Lipid Parameters in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes
The first marijuana-derived medicine approved by the FDA is Epidiolex, an oral solution that is designed to treat rare and severe forms of epilepsy. Scientists and medical professionals have been studying the effects of CBD on seizure disorders. Still, some of the most convincing evidence comes in the form of home videos showing the effects of CBD on epileptic children.
Even before these approvals, children with rare forms of epilepsy were using CBD to help with seizures when existing drug treatments failed.CNBC – Nothing stopped her seizures until she found cannabis
Methods of Consumption
There are several different ways to consume CBD:
CBD oil is an effective treatment for physical and mental ailments. It has minimal side effects.
CBD oils may be consumed orally or topically to reduce the side effects of anxiety and inflammation.
Topical CBD oils may be applied directly to the skin or adhered via a cannabinoid patch. The oils are absorbed by the skin and muscles.
How to Use/Dosage
Studies have verified that dosages between 20 and 1,500 milligrams per day are suitable for people. However, you should talk to a doctor or specialist before deciding what dosage is right for you. Dosages should be reduced for CBD that is taken over a lengthy time.
What to look for in CBD Oil
It’s important to check the label of any CBD product before buying it. According to the federal government, CBD oils should contain no more than 0.3% THC. However, some states have approved the sale of broad and full-spectrum CBD products.
You must learn how to read and interpret CBD oil labels. You should be checking to see the amount of CBD and THC in each serving. Make sure these numbers are confirmed by a certified lab. As you would with any other product, check for other additives. Sugars, dyes, and artificial ingredients offer no health benefits. Research the manufacturer and the source of their CBD. Avoid expired and poorly packaged products.
Hemp Oil vs CBD Oil
CBD oil may be derived from hemp or marijuana plants. All parts of the plant, including the leaves, flowers, and stems, are used to make this type of product. On the other hand, hemp oil is only made from hemp seeds. As such, it does not contain noticeable amounts of THC.
Smoking High CBD marijuana
Some people prefer to consume CBD-rich, or low-THC, marijuana.
CBD-high flower is a popular alternative to THC-rich strains of marijuana. It helps ease the psychoactive effects of THC. One study even showed that CBD-flower helped cigarette smokers overcome uncomfortable withdrawal issues.
When high-CBD flower smoke is inhaled, it causes relaxation, pain relief, anxiety relief, and mood improvements.
When smoke is inhaled, the chemical concentrates in it are automatically introduced into a person’s bloodstream. Studies show that smoke offers one of the highest permeation rates.
CBD-rich flower is used to treat chronic pain, anxiety disorders, insomnia, inflation, and more. While there are plenty of other healthier ways to consume CBD, smoke is still an all-time favorite. When CBD is introduced directly into the lungs, it enters the bloodstream. The effects are nearly immediate. Smoked CBD circulates far and wide.
Acceptable dosages are vary between consumers. Depending on your ailment and body size, you may be able to take anywhere from 5 to 600 milligrams per day. See this chart for more detailed dosage recommendations.
Some people choose to consume CBD oil as an e-liquid. Concentrated liquids are consumed through a vape pen. Consumption varies depending on the user. If you are concerned about an upcoming drug test, be sure to choose a CBD e-liquid that is THC-free.
Smoking other herbs with CBD
Some people prefer to smoke a mixture of high-CBD hemp flowers and other plants.
CBD hemp flowers may be mixed with mullein, catnip, sage, passionflower, mugwort, and other cured plants.
Some plants provide CBD with a more pleasant taste or aromas, while others might offer additional health benefits. You can expect a wholly different smoking experience when you choose to add other plants into the mix.
Plant pairing offer a variety of unique benefits. For example, mugwort is said to be relaxing and it has a pleasant sage-like aroma. Smokable Herbs offers a good look at popular CBD spliff additives.
How to Use/Dosage
Plants may be added in varying increments. Usually, CBD-high hemp flowers is the predominant ingredient in a spliff. Additional herbs and plants are added in a complimentary fashion. You could also spray your favorite herbs with an organic CBD spray.
CBD edibles, like gummies and hard candies, are super popular cannabis consumables. Studies show that these edible alternatives help users avoid the potential side effects of smoke inhalation. However, it is worth noting that ingestion causes a delay in drug onset. Many people over-consume CBD edibles because of their tasty nature.
Edible cannabis products do not involve smoke or inhalation. They can be consumed discreetly at any time. Edible CBD isolates do not cause intoxication. Therefore, they can be consumed regularly to treat a variety of issues. There are also full- and broad-spectrum CBD products. These contain moderate to high amounts of THC and CBD.
CBD edibles are used to treat a range of ailments, including but not limited to:
- Sleep disorders
- Mood disorders
Scientific research is limited and ongoing.
How to Use/Dosage
Most experts recommend that users start with a low dosage and work their way up. Keep in mind that edibles tend to kick in slowly. The effects linger longer than other CBD products. Doses range between 2.5 and 25 milligrams daily.
Other relevant info
The quality of CBD plays a huge part in the effectiveness of edibles. Be sure to only source high-quality, lab-certified CBD products. Edibles come in a range of flavors and forms. CBD can even be added to traditional foods.
CBD tinctures are created when high-CBD cannabis or hemp flowers are soaked in an alcohol base. The potent liquid can be taken orally, sublingually, or topically. Many people believe that tinctures offer more benefits than CBD oils. However, some people find grain alcohol to be irritating.
CBD tinctures may cause mild side effects, including diarrhea, irritation, irritability, and nausea. They are used to treat everything from anxiety to chronic pain.
Like all CBD products, tinctures offer a extensive range of benefits. They are used to treat pain, inflammation, anxiety, stress, depression, and more. When CBD tinctures are applied directly under the tongue, they are rapidly absorbed by the body’s bloodstream.
How to Use/Dosage
Most CBD tinctures are highly potent. In most cases, a single dropper full of CBD tincture is a suitable dosage. You can always increase your dosage to improve your overall relief. Start with a small dose and work your way up. Many people mix tinctures into foods and beverages. However, they can also be taken under the tongue.
CBD tea usually consists of a steeped high-CBD flower. Sometimes the cannabis flower is mixed with other plants to produce a particular flavor or health benefits.
CBD teas are used to relieve pain, improve mental conditions, and manage stress. Effects vary depending on the breakdown of CBD and THC, the dosage you consume, and the ailments you’re treating.
CBD tea is mildly medicinal. If there is a significant amount of THC in the tea, it can also cause some psychoactive effects.
How to Use/Dosage
As with any edible, CBD tea is metabolized in the stomach. It may take anywhere from one to two hours for users to feel its effects. When first testing cannabis tea, limit your intake. You can slowly increase the dosage over time.
You need to decarb your cannabis flower if you want to get a full spectrum of benefits.
Research shows that CBD topicals, including creams, salves, serums, and lotions, can be used to relieve and heal several skin issues.
When applied topically, CBD has the potential to ease pain and discomfort caused by a variety of skin and muscle issues. When CBD is applied topically, it does not enter the bloodstream. As a result, it should be used to treat localized discomfort.
There is overwhelming evidence that CBD has the potential to ease pain and inflammation in those with arthritis. Topical CBD products may also have the potential to treat eczema and psoriasis. However, research on this subject is limited.
Topicals are absorbed by both the outside (dermal) and inside (subdermal) layers of the skin. It may also be absorbed by the muscles. A recent study claims that topically applied cannabinoids have the potential to fight inflammation and pain.
How to Use
CBD cream should be applied topically. It can be rubbed or massaged into the skin.
CBD suppositories are designed to be administered through the rectum. When CBD is inserted directly into the rectal cavity, it can be used to treat a range of localized ailments. While CBD suppositories aren’t as popular as gummies, their benefits are undeniable.
Cannabis suppositories are metabolized rapidly. The CBD is absorbed directly into the bloodstream. The effects are felt locally. They are designed to treat menstrual, pelvic, and rectal ailments and discomfort.
CBD suppositories are designed to provide localized therapeutic benefits in the rectum.
How to Use/Dosage
CBD suppositories must be inserted directly into the rectal cavity. One capsule serves as a single dose. You may use a lubricant to insert the suppository without causing excessive discomfort. It takes a few minutes for the suppository to dissolve.
Other relevant info
CBD suppositories help cannabinoids travel through the rectum and pelvis.
CBD and Animals
There is also a growing market for CBD products for animals. Most of the CBD in animal-grade products are derived from hemp. According to the United Kingdom’s Veterinary Medicines Regulations, animal products containing cannabidiol are considered medicines
Limited research has been done on the effects of CBD on cats. However, researchers say there’s reason to believe that CBD can be used treat seizures, pain, inflammation, anxiety, and other ailments in cats.
While there is limited research on the effects of cannabis on animals, we have reason to believe that it is just as effective on cats as they are on humans.
How much & frequency
Dosages vary by recommendation. There are no clear guidelines set by the American Veterinary Association. However, many holistic vets suggest starting with a small dose and slowly work your way up to a more effective dose. When it comes to cats, we recommend ofering 1 to 2 milligrams of CBD for every 10 pounds of a cat’s body weight.
A study done at Cornell identified that CBD oil had the potential to quell discomfort in arthritic dogs. That’s only the beginning of veterinary research on cannabidiol.
CBD is said to quell inflammation, nausea, anxiety, and more. For many dog owners, CBD is a more affordable and holistic alternative to vet-prescribed pharmaceuticals.
How much & frequency
Start by offering your dog 1 to 2 milligrams of CBD for every ten pounds of their body weight. Increase the dosage slowly until you start to see the desired results. Choose a CBD product with a dosage chart on the bottle.
What are CBD side effects?
Clinical trials and studies show that most users experience little to no side effects when taking low doses of CBD. Commonly reported issues include dry mouth, lightheadedness, drowsiness, and low blood pressure. More adverse side effects have been experienced by those with liver disease and Parkinson’s disease. A 2017 study found that CBD caused diarrhea, stomach aches, and fatigue in animal test subjects.
Does CBD show up on a drug test?
CBD isolate does not contain any THC. As a result, it should not cause someone to fail a drug test that screens for marijuana. With that said, CBD products that contain THC do have the potential to show up on these tests. If you’re concerned about passing an upcoming drug test, only purchase CBD products that have been screened for purity.
What is CBD isolate?
CBD isolate does not contain any THC. Since there is no risk of psychoactive side effects, it is a popular stepping-off point for people trying CBD for the first time. A clinical study on the effects of CBD on mice revealed that CBD isolate may not be as effective as full-spectrum alternatives.
What is CBD full spectrum?
Full-spectrum CBD contains all of the naturally occurring cannabinoids in cannabis. A study published in the Journal of Pharmacology & Pharmacy showed that CBD products containing all cannabinoids are more effective than CBD isolates.
Does CBD oil have THC?
Federal laws dictate that CBD products must be derived from plants with only one cannabinoid and that the overall concentration of THC cannot be more than 0.3%. However, in some states, adults can purchase oils that contain both cannabinoids. Full-spectrum CBD contains a natural concentration of cannabinoids.
Can you take too much CBD?
Most medical experts agree that plant-derived medicines should be consumed in moderation. There’s very little research on the toxicity of CBD. The World Health Organization has published a summary of its findings on CBD toxicity here. The lengthy report references a recent study. In the study, CBD doses as high as 30 milligrams taken orally daily for 90 days did not harm monkeys.
It’s best to only buy CBD products with COAs (certificates of analysis). COAs confirm the precise break down of cannabinoids in a CBD product. These numbers must be reported by an independent lab.
Most medical experts agree that a 300-milligram dose of CBD is safe for up to 6 months. Doses higher than 300 milligrams should only be taken for short periods. The FDA has only approved specific dosing for Epidiolex. The daily recommendation for this drug is 10 to 20 milligrams.
Can you get high off CBD?
CBD does not cause a psychoactive effect like that of THC. Instead, people are more likely to experience euphoria and pleasure. Some users may experience subtle alternations in their consciousness. However, few people would consider the feeling to like that of a high.
Is it addictive?
Studies indicate that CBD is not very addictive, especially when compared to cannabinoids that contain THC. A 2017 study in the Journal of Drug Alcohol Dependence suggests users are not likely to abuse CBD. Alternatively, a recent study suggests that CBD may even be able to modulate brain activity related to drug addiction. A lengthy report by the World Health Organization concludes that CBD is not addictive.
What drugs should not be taken with CBD?
While CBD is generally safe and does not produce many adverse side effects, it does have the potential to interact with some medications. The details of drug interactions are quite technical and, therefore, complicated. Enzymes (mostly CYP3A4) may breakdown medications too fast or too slow if CBD is in the way and vice versa. While not all medications warn against specific interacts with CBD, a grapefruit warning on medication should serve as a common and clear indicator that it does not pair well with cannabinoids.
Nicolas ‘Axel’ Duval is the founder and content editor of this website. He launched Smokable Herbs in 2011. He later created the Smokably herb online store, which sells herbs and blends worldwide.
As an herbalist and marketing enthusiast, he used Smokable Herbs as a sandbox to test ideas and deploy content.
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