WHAT IS CBD OIL?
CBD is one of many compounds, known as cannabinoids, that are found in the cannabis plant. Researchers have been looking at the potential therapeutic uses of CBD. Oils that contain concentrations of CBD are known as CBD oils. The concentration and uses of different oils vary.
IS CBD MARIJUANA?
Until recently, the most well-known compound in cannabis was delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This is the most active ingredient in marijuana. Marijuana contains both THC and CBD, but the compounds have different effects. THC is well-known for the mind-altering "high" it produces when broken down by heat and introduced into the body, such as when smoking the plant or cooking it into foods. Unlike THC, CBD is not psychoactive.
This means that it does not change the state of mind of the person who uses it. However, it does appear to produce significant changes in the body and has been found to have medical benefits. Most of the CBD used medicinally is found in the least processed form of the cannabis plant, known as hemp. Hemp and marijuana come from the same plant, cannabis sativa, but they are very different.
HOW EXACTLY DOES CBD WORK?
All cannabinoids, including CBD, attach themselves to certain receptors in the body to produce their effects. The human body produces certain cannabinoids on its own. It has two receptors for cannabinoids, called CB1 receptors and CB2 receptors.
CB1 receptors are found all around the body, but many of them are in the brain. The CB1 receptors in the brain deal with coordination and movement, pain, emotions and mood, thinking, appetite, and memories, among others. THC attaches to these receptors. CB2 receptors are more common in the immune system. They affect inflammation and pain. It used to be thought that CBD acts on these CB2 receptors, but it appears now that CBD does not act on either receptor directly. Instead, it seems to influence the body to use more of its own cannabinoids.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF USING CBD?
Because of the way that CBD acts in the body, it has many potential benefits. CBD has been found to to be beneficial for:
- Natural Pain relief or anti-inflammatory properties. [View Study]
- Assist in quitting smoking and drug withdrawals. [View Study]
- Helps Epilepsy and other mental health disorders. [Study 1, Study 2]
- Helps fight cancer. [View Study]
- Anxiety disorders (PTSD, OCD, Social, Panic Disorder, & General Anxiety). [View Study]
- Inflammation in Pancreas caused by Type 1 Diabetes. [View Research]
- Aids in treating Acne. [View Study]
- Help with Alzheimer's disease. [View Research]
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.
WILL CBD GET ME HIGH?
No, CBD will not get you high. It's non-intoxicating. Like we just said 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; some research expresses its potential to prevent 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).
HOW DO I TAKE CBD?
Most CBD products 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 CBD-rich marijuana strains like ACDC or Charlotte’s Web.
IS CBD NATURAL?
Yes, CBD is a 100% naturally-occurring chemical compound that comes directly from the cannabis plant. It is not synthetically made.
DO ALL MARIJUANA STRAINS HAVE CBD?
Not all marijuana strains have CBD in their flower buds. But yes, every cannabis plant (whether it’s marijuana or hemp) will have CBD in the stem and seeds.
IS CBD LEGAL?
In states where MMJ is legal, any CBD product (whether it comes from hemp or marijuana) is of course perfectly legal. Outside of these legalized states (including shipping from legal to non-legal states), things tend to be a little less clear. According to ProjectCBD.org, “Federal law prohibits U.S. farmers from cultivating hemp as a commercial crop, but the sale of imported, low-THC, industrial hemp products is permitted in the United States.” Technically, this means that 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 this option is only getting more popular and widespread with each passing day.
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.
ARE THERE SIDE EFFECTS OF USING CBD? IS IT SAFE?
The only significant danger/side effect of the drug 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 purer 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, lightheadedness, low blood pressure, and dry mouth.
CAN I COOK WITH CBD?
Absolutely! CBD infused oils are a fantastic ingredient to cook with.
ARE THERE STUDIES ON CBD?
Thousands of scientific 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 drug.
WHAT ABOUT CBD TOPICALS… DO THEY WORK?
CBD topicals have proven effective for a number of circumstances. Many individuals swear by them.
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, in which case it is possible for a screening to pick up on the drug. (Research has shown that people who consume 6 mg of THC per day have a 25% chance of failing a drug test. This translates to about 2,000 mg per day of CBD oil with a THC content of 0.3% or less).
HOW DO I KNOW WHAT SERVING OF CBD TO TAKE?
This one is tricky because it, of course, depends on what you’re using the compound for, and also on how strong the product is. Most people consume 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 a proper serving.
HOW DO I KNOW IT’S SAFE TO PURCHASE CBD ONLINE?
To ensure the legality of buying CBD products online, you need to make sure the company you’re buying from is reputable and that the product was made from industrial hemp with less than 0.3% THC content. While transporting marijuana across state lines (from legal to non-legal states) is against the law, transporting hemp and hemp-based products is safe.
Remember, millions of people all over the US (and the globe) are using CBD products every day.