Newcomers to the hemp industry often have difficulty understanding all of the new information being thrown at them, especially when a word like cannabidiol is part of the conversation. Yes, it is definitely overwhelming at first, but don’t worry, this guide will help you understand cannabidiol, more commonly abbreviated to CBD, a lot better. Below we’ll go over what CBD is, what its effects are, the methods of taking CBD and a few other important bits of information.
What is Cannabidiol?
In the cannabis plant, there are over 100 known compounds (cannabinoids) and cannabidiol is just one of them. It’s an important compound that doesn’t produce any kind of psychoactive effects. CBD is present in both hemp and cannabis plants. It can be extracted from seeds, stalks and flowers of the plants.
Fun fact: The U.S. National Institute of Health currently holds a patent for CBD because of its antioxidant and neuroprotective properties.
Cannabidiol is extracted from hemp plants when harvested during the flowering stage. Hemp plants that are used for industrial purposes, such as textiles, are harvested prior to flowering.
Everyone has an endocannabinoid system, and we’ll go further into detail about the endocannabinoid system in another article to help you understand how your body is “prewired” to work positively with cannabidiol. This system is the biggest neurotransmitting system in the body. Within the endocannabinoid system, you have CB1 and CB2 receptors that react with CBD to alleviate certain symptoms of medical conditions.
How are CBD and THC Different?
CBD and THC are very different. While many high-CBD cannabis strains do contain a small amount of THC, if a high is experienced it is minimal. Hemp-derived CBD does not induce a high. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the most abundant compound in cannabis and produces psychoactive (intoxicating) effects.
THC and CBD essentially have the same chemical composition. However, the way that the atoms of each is composed is a bit different. CBD has an open atomic ring and THC has a close atomic ring.
You can use a higher dose of CBD without having to worry about getting “too high to function”.
What Effects does CBD Produce?
You aren’t likely to actually “feel” anything but reduced symptoms with CBD. You won’t feel intoxicated or unable to think/function. CBD allows you to go about your day without interfering with your ability to function, think or speak. You won’t have delayed reactions and are generally safe to drive if using a CBD-only product.
What you can expect from CBD is to just feel better and not notice the symptoms of your ailment as much or at all for a while.
Forms of CBD
CBD is available in a variety of forms from capsules to edibles. It is quite common to see CBD tinctures and oils as they are said to provide nearly immediate relief of symptoms. CBD can be made into oil for vape pens and vaporizers. It can be made into an oil to take directly from a syringe or added into food. Edibles are made in varying types from candies to gourmet options like ice cream and peanut butter.
Using CBD capsules is an ideal option for those that don’t care for the flavor of CBD oils and tinctures. Capsules do take a bit longer to take effect since your body does have to digest them (this is also the case with solid edibles like crispy rice cereal treats, cookies and brownies). So, roughly 45 minutes to an hour after ingesting the edible or capsule, the CBD starts to take effect.
CBD is also made into topical rubs that are ideal for pain and inflammation relief along with menstrual cramp relief/pelvic discomfort and muscle spasms.
You can, of course, use dry high-CBD, low-THC cannabis flower as well. If you need fast relief, smoking dry flower, vaping, using topicals and/or using oils/tinctures is the fastest way to achieve the relief that you need.
Benefits of CBD
CBD is said to aid with seizure reduction and/or stoppage in both children and adults with seizure disorders. It can also aid with reducing inflammation and reducing/alleviating nausea. Clinical studies do show that CBD can aid in relieving symptoms of anxiety, including PTSD, social anxiety disorder and general anxiety disorder.
Hundreds of studies looking at the benefits of CBD have been completed to determine that cannabidiol may have viable medical benefits, specifically when it comes to treating seizure disorders. The approval of Epidiolex by the FDA in early 2018 indicates that CBD may be an option for treating seizures. Epidiolex became the first cannabinoid-based pharmaceutical to be approved for wide distribution by the FDA.
A 10-year study supports theories that CBD can help shrink cancer cells. As additional CBD was introduced into cancer cells, the tumors present would shrink. Scientist Sean McAllister conducted this study.
Other symptoms CBD may support include:
- Arthritis – CBD may help reduce inflammation that causes joint pain
- Nausea – potentially aiding patients with wasting syndrome and chronic nausea (especially from cancer treatment) to keep food down
- Muscle spasms – both in the digestive system and muscle groups
- Antipsychotic disorders – in some psychotic disorders, CBD may help reduce manic episodes
Here’s an interesting factoid for you: For those that enjoy the psychoactive effects of THC but need more pain/spasm/nausea relief, it is safe to mix a CBD strain with a THC-containing strain.
How to Dose CBD for the Most Relief
It is a good idea to start low and go slow with increasing your dose. It may take some time to find your ideal dose and frequency of doses. For some, a 25 mg capsule once or twice a day does the trick. Others may need to take several doses of oral CBD (oil or tincture). Vaping may also be an option for temporary fluctuations of symptoms.
Everyone’s ideal dose is different. When you need to increase your dose, do so in small increments of 1 – 3 mg at a time.
A Few Closing Thoughts
As you can see, cannabidiol is rather complex, but don’t be afraid of it. It really is safe; it won’t make you high and can benefit your overall health while reducing more serious symptoms of frustrating medical conditions. You can use CBD products and go to work; it won’t affect your ability to perform your job duties and is a legal substance. Cannabidiol is gaining popularity among all age groups.