CBD or cannabidiol, is the non-psychoactive cannabinoid that is found within cannabis, including hemp. Not to be confused with THC (the compound that gives weed it’s stimulating ‘high’ effects), CBD is increasingly becoming well known for its medically beneficial properties. Whether you experience PTSD, insomnia, anxiety, and even epilepsy, cannabidiol can aid in relief without the high.
In the last few years the widespread usage of cannabidiol has grown exponentially- and it doesn’t show signs of slowing down anytime soon. In 2017, the CBD industry grew by 40%. It’s $367 million in sales allowed hemp derived CBD to surpass marijuana-derived CBD. It’s anticipated that by 2022, the CBD industry will be worth 2 billion dollars.
“The U.S. CBD market is primed for expansive growth across its three primary sectors, hemp-derived CBD, marijuana-derived CBD and pharmaceutical CBD…We project that by 2022, each of these three sectors will account for approximately one-third of the $1.9 billion total market,” said Giadha Aguirre de Carcer, CEO of New Frontier Data.
But despite its growing popularity, there are still many who do not understand what CBD is, its effects, and how beneficial the substance is. A recent survey showed 61% of people don’t even know what CBD oil is.
Whether you are new to the world of CBD or simply want to know more, we’ve got you covered with everything you need to know.
What Is CBD?
CBD, otherwise known as Cannabidiol, is a Phyto cannabinoid (meaning found in plants). Unlike THC, CBD is a natural substance that boasts medicinal properties without the intoxicating component. Accounting for up to 40% of a cannabis plant’s extract, cannabidiol is one of 113 identified cannabinoids found in cannabis plants.
History of CBD
The first discovery of CBD was in 1940 by Dr. Roger Adams and his team at the University of Illinois. Roger, a Harvard University graduate, successfully extracted the cannabidiol from the cannabis sativa plant. At the time, it hadn’t occurred to him how pivotal his discovery could or would be, and research on the findings were not continued.
In the late 40’s Dr. Raphael Mechoulam identified the three-dimensional structure of CBD. That is why although Roger Adams may have been the first to discover CBD, he was not the one crowned on its invention. Within that time, the first ever cannabidiol tests were conducted on lab animals. The research determined that CBD did not produce an altered mental state.
It wasn’t until 1963 however that the first CBD oil was released by the British Pharmacopoeia. It’s intended purpose was to be used as a therapeutic property.
In 1980 Dr. Mechoulam’s research found groundbreaking information making CBD history. His findings supported the idea that cannabidiol could play a key role when treating epilepsy.
In 2018, research on CBD included studies on anxiety, pain, and movement disorders.
Today, cannabidiol has begun to reign supreme as it breaks down the stigma it’s long carried. There’s now a new generation comprised of a range of individuals. Thanks to science slashing the false accusations many once crowned CBD with, people are becoming educated, curious, and open to learn more.
As more and more research surfaces, the awareness of the immense benefits cannabis provides continues to rise. Many within the new generation were once anti cannabis advocates and naysayers of the natural compound. is quickly becoming a large reason many are trying cannabis for the first time. That includes even those who once were naysayers or haters of the substance.
What Are Cannabinoids?
Cannabinoids are the naturally occurring chemical compounds found within a cannabis plant. They interact with human physiology through the endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system is a set of receptors that function to regulate health while promoting homeostasis in the body.
The two receptors, CB1 and CB2 are the two primary receptors of the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The CB1 receptor relates essentially to the brain and nervous system. The CB2 receptor is responsible for interacting with the immune system. Cannabis plants rely on cannabinoids to work together with the receptors to produce and obtain their flurry of benefits and effects.
Commonly Known Cannabinoids
Cannabis plants contain more than 500 natural compounds. The most commonly known cannabinoids are:
- THC- Tetrahydrocannabinol
- THCA- Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid
- CBD- Cannabidiol
- CBDA-Cannabidiolic acid
- CBC- Cannabichromene
- CBCA- Cannabichromenic acid
- CBN- Cannabinol
- CBL- Cannabicyclol
Depending on where in the plant the cannabinoids are found determines the class they are divided into. The three main classes of cannabinoids are:
- Phyto cannabinoids- Found in plants
- Endocannabinoids– Found naturally in the body
- Synthetic cannabinoids- Lab produced
What IS CBDA?
CBDA is known as Cannabidiolic acid. It serves as the acidic precursor to CBD and is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid. CBDA is a chemical compound that’s found in the resin, or trichomes of the raw cannabis plant. Primarily found in the hemp plant, its strains are bred when cultivating higher CBD levels.
It may surprise you to learn that hemp plants contain more CBDA than CBD. Both hemp and cannabis plants, in their natural state, contain very little of what they are best known for. Therefore, both CBD and THC require continuous heat in order to transform to their higher state.
When cannabis is exposed to heat or sunlight, the process known as decarboxylation converts CBDA, breaking down from its acid form into CBD. Once CBDA is created, the product can be consumed in a variety of ways. Popular methods of consuming CBDA include juicing with raw cannabis, tinctures, topicals, and capsules.
As CBDA isn’t known for binding directly with the CB1 and CB2 receptors, it is known for interacting with the ECS (endocannabinoid system). It acts as the inhibitor to the COX-2 enzyme which gives CBDA the power to reduce inflammation that can occur throughout the body. It’s also believed that CBDA can assist in enhancing the 5-HT (serotonin producing) receptor.
Like CBD, CBDA boasts properties aiding in ailments such as anti-nausea and vomiting, anticonvulsant, analgesic, and anti-inflammatory.
Research continues to develop on the beneficial qualities of CBD and CBDA. Some studies have suggested that combining the two components together could prove even more beneficial than when used alone. When combined, CBD and CBDA were shown highly effective when studying treatments involving epilepsy and anxiety. The combination requires smaller doses, but with an increase in effectiveness while minimizing the amount of time it takes to feel the effects.
The Difference Between CBD and THC
We’ve already learned what cannabidiol is. But what makes CBD different from THC? THC, known as tetrahydrocannabinol is the psychoactive component in a cannabis plant. This is cannabis users describe as the getting ‘high’. Common side effects of THC include relaxation, altered sense of sight, smell, and hearing, fatigue, hunger, reduced aggression.
CBD and THC differ in their properties, but the duo work best when utilized together. When working together, the quality potential of both CBD and THC only gets greater. Working in conjunction with each other allows for CBD to enhance the painkilling and anti-cancer properties of THC while also reducing the psychoactive effects of THC.
CBD also doubles in reversing effects such as anxiety and rapid heartbeat that can be caused by over consumption of THC.
Hemp Derived CBD vs. Marijuana Derived- What’s the difference?
While marijuana and hemp share similarities, the two are not entirely the same. Both marijuana and industrial hemp come from the same genus of flowering plant- cannabis.
So, what set the two apart?
Industrial hemp is exclusively made from strains of Cannabis sativa which is bred to produce the lowest possible trace of THC. Marijuana is bred purposefully to maximize the concentration of THC. This explains why ingesting products that are hemp derived will not induce the intoxicating ‘high’ properties experienced from marijuana derived products.
Full Spectrum vs. Isolate
Full Spectrum CBD contains small amounts of THC and is chock full of all the terpenes, cannabinoids, flavonoids, and fatty acids found in hemp. This is known as the entourage effect as each one holds their own therapeutic value.
CBD Isolate contains only cannabidiol and is considered to be CBD in its purest form. The oils, waxes, chlorophyll, and more plant matter within the hemp plant are removed leaving the final product as pure CBD.
A full spectrum CBD contains more cannabinoids and other natural compounds, which gives it an advantage of a broader health reach. Many feel as though full spectrum cannabidiol is overall to be most beneficial.
CBD isolate is preferred for those who are looking for a strong dose of straight cannabidiol. Also, for those who prefer THC to be removed from the products they’re using, CBD isolate products are recommended.
Benefits of isolate versus full spectrum includes:
- Trace amounts of THC potentially removed
- Control of CBD levels
- Potential for higher levels of CBD per dose
- Lower cost per milligram.
CBD: Will it get you high?
The simple answer on if CBD will get you high is, NO! CBD will NOT get you high. As mentioned above, taking cannabidiol in conjunction with THC will actually reduce how high you’ll get.
CBD is 100% non-psychoactive. This means it will not have any negative impact over your mind or mental capabilities. Thus, it is quickly gaining the respect and love it’s owed. CBD is becoming well known for aiding in relief without the psychoactive high.
Is CBD Legal?
In recent years, the pressure and push for legal medical marijuana to be universally accepted has more states discussing options of legalizing cannabis, including CBD.
While CBD supplements and products are legal in all 50 states, there are still instances which make it illegal. There are several factors that go into consideration when determining legalities regarding each specific state. Knowing where the CBD is derived from, either marijuana or hemp, is the most important consideration for all states.
Marijuana in any form is entirely illegal in Idaho, Nebraska, and South Dakota.
According to the State Marijuana Laws in 2018 published by governing.com, currently 10 states have made the usage of marijuana legalized for recreational use.
If you are not from any of the above states, it’s in your favor to get clear on what state specific legalities are in place when looking to acquire legal CBD. Laws vary widely from state to state, but many states have strict rules pertaining to who can and cannot get approved for cannabidiol. This is largely dependent on if there is a medical condition, and how severe it is.
Aside from the states that have legalized some or all forms of marijuana, the DEA (U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration) still chooses to class the entire cannabis plant as a Schedule 1 drug. According to the DEA, a schedule 1 drug a “drug with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.” However there is now legal CBD derived from licensed hemp farms since the passing of the Farm Bill of 2018. So you will notice more and more regular stores like CVS and Walgreens carrying CBD products.
The exceptions to this come from the FDA (U.S Food and Drug Administration). A treatment intended for a rare form of pediatric epilepsy, Epidiolex, contains CBD. Because of the rare nature of this condition, the DEA chose to then classify CBD das a Schedule 5 drug. This means there is the lowest possible chance to become addicted or abuse the substance.
How to Consume CBD
There are a variety of ways to consume CBD. As it begins to gain popularity, the methods for consumption are increasing as well.
- Smoking- One of the fastest ways to experience the benefits of CBD is through smoking a CBD strain through blunt, joint, or bong. For those who prefer to not inhale smoke in their lungs, this method may not prove to be ideal.
- Vaping– A healthier alternative to smoking, vape pens offer a convenient method of consuming CBD. As the CBD oil is already free of most impurities, the addition of extra chemicals into your system don’t pose a threat.
- Edibles– One of the most popular ways to consume CBD is through edibles. This is a delicious, discreet alternative when looking to consume cannabidiol without smoking or vaping. CBD edibles can be consumed in a variety of options from gummies, honey, butter, beverages, cookies and brownies.
- Pills- Another discreet method to consume CBD is through pill form. CBD users love how convenient capsules of CBD can be. They come in a range of milligram soft gel capsules.
- Oil- CBD oil is extremely versatile and can be added to most any food or drink. Consumed like any other oil such as olive or coconut oils, CBD oil can even be used in your own at home cooking.
- Tincture- Tinctures are liquid extractions that are made through mixing herbs with alcohol, glycerin, or coconut oil solution that in turn extract the healing properties of a plant material. The oil mixture is held under your tongue after being administered through a tiny dropper. The application under your tongue allows the oil to enter your bloodstream. It’s important to note that tinctures are highly concentrated and therefore are only needed in very small doses to be effective.
- Lotions / Patches- Another growing in popularity way to receive the medical benefits of CBD is through lotions and patches. The effects of these methods may take longer to feel as lotions and patches are slowly absorbed through your skin once applied.
Feeling the Effects of CBD: How Long till It Works?
How you choose to take CBD will determine how long it takes for the effects to kick in. The fastest way to consume CBD and feel the effects are through vaping or CBD drops as they become absorbed by the mucus membranes under your tongue. These effects can take anywhere from 10-15 minutes to be felt.
When consuming CBD via a pill or gummy, effects will not be felt until they begin to work their way through your digestive system.
Topical applications of CBD take the longest to feel the effects, but this also means there’s a potential for it to last longer in your system. This is because it is slowly absorbed through your skin over time.
Treating Medical Conditions With CBD
Aside from the general public, the popularity of CBD is growing rapidly amongst scientists, health professionals, and medical marijuana patients. CBD rich products have now become increasingly popular when treating several health conditions.
CBD has proven successful in treating conditions such as (but not limited to):
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Chronic Pain
- Cardiovascular disease
- Antibiotic resistant infections
- Multiple sclerosis
- Loss of appetite
In terms of healing, products like CBD oil and CBD lotions are used to treat pain, inflammation, and depression. Athletes will often use CBD products to aid in their body’s post workout and recovery. For those who suffer with mental illnesses, cannabidiol is used to calm their symptoms. Many people have even begun swapping out their frequented pain killers and prescribed medications. Instead they’ve replaced them with CBD products.
Many users of cannabidiol are crowning the swap, victorious. Some say, because their new CBD products are all natural, consumers of the product claim to have an overall better effect. Reviews claim that symptoms are treated faster while practically eliminating side effects.
Research on CBD has shown that it offers abundant antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticonvulsant, anti-depressant, antipsychotic, anti-tumoral, and neuroprotective properties.
Cannabidiol has even been shown to change gene expressions and removing the beta amyloid plaque from brain cells that is responsible for causing Alzheimer’s.
CBD For Sleep
In the U.S, about 40 million people in the U.S suffer from chronic long-term sleep disorders each year. Another 20 million have reportedly experienced occurring sleep problems. If you’ve ever suffered from insomnia, or just looking to improve upon your sleep, CBD can naturally aid with sleep.
Licensed naturopathic doctor at Santa Cruz Integrative Medicine, Aimee Gould Shunney explains how CBD is a helpful sleep aid, “What CBD does is help balance our endocannabinoid system, the main job of which is to keep our body in homeostasis.”
Because cannabidiol can be used to ease for pain relief and to manage anxiety, evidence suggests cannabidiol can relieve insomnia too. Instead of potentially feeling the side effects of prescription sleep aids, consumption of CBD holds no side effects. Additionally, CBD may allow your body to achieve a deeper more restful NREM (non-rapid eye movement) sleep.
CBD oil as a sleep aid interacts with our brain’s network of receptors, its proteins, and other chemicals of the brain that are responsible for giving you a restful night’s sleep.
Sleep reports show a vastly improved quality of sleep when taking CBD. This is great news for people who suffer from insomnia and sleep apnea. The utilization of CBD for sleep apnea has also been proven helpful. Replacing treatments and sleep apnea masks for CBD oil has proven to be a more affordable natural relief.
CBD for Children
As expected, the first question raised is if CBD is safe to give to children. The answer, is yes, CBD is safe for kids! (Always consult your pediatrician before providing CBD to a child. We are not physicians or doctors and this should not be considered medical advice. Wheew, sorry had to get that out of the way.)
Some of the most surprising yet exciting findings for many, is the growing popularity of giving children CBD. Parents have begun giving their children CBD oil in hopes of calming them down. The oil is not physically addictive and can be administered under the tongue via a liquid, gel capsule, cream, or mixed in food.
In fact, CBD oil is highly effective when treating several children’s ailments. It has shown effective in treating seizures, autism, ADHD, and depression within children. In 2017 and 2018, two studies by the New England Journal of Medicine were conducted on children who had two different epilepsy disorders. The study showcased a significant decrease in seizures between patients treated with CBD oil.
Before giving your child CBD, check with a local pediatrician.
CBD For Pets
CBD for children and adults are not all the only ones it is suitable for. Usage of CBD for pets has begun to rise in popularity too.
Studies have shown that the many benefits that CBD have had on humans are similar or dogs, cats, and other pets.
CBD oil for your pet can aid in:
- Seizures, tremors, spasms
- Nausea and vomiting
- Joint pain
To determine if CBD is right for your pet or appropriate dosages, consult with a CBD knowledgeable veterinarian.
Is CBD Safe?
There have been no known or reported toxic level doses of CBD. There have also never been any deaths or severe injuries related to CBD.
CBD Side Effects
Aside from the countless number of benefits that CBD prides itself upon, another main bragging right is that CBD has no adverse side effects. Side effects of CBD are either mild or symptomless such as tiredness and a change in appetite or weight.
While scientifically it has not yet been stated to be 100 percent safe, studies are now showcasing no side effects as a popular opinion. For those who would beg to differ, they may say that side effects they’ve experienced include increase of appetite. While this is true, cannabidiol is not the one responsible for the appetite increase. The culprit of your gaining appetite is thanks to THC.
Some CBD users have reported potential side effect is an increase in dry mouth. CBD can affect the salivary gland which may be the reason for the dry mouth. But when it comes to negative side effects, dry mouth is typically not cause for concern.
Effective doses of CBD can vary depending upon the usage. Doses from a few milligrams of CBD to a gram or more, determining your dosage can take a few tries. It’s recommended to begin with a smaller dose of high CBD / low THC oil particularly if you have not had any prior experience with cannabis.
When it comes to therapy through cannabis, the saying “less is more” is often true. Small doses rather than one large dose will be helpful to observe the effects you experience with the opportunity to adjust your ratios as necessary.
Can You Travel With CBD?
In short, no, you cannot legally travel with CBD. While TSA admittedly does not check for illegal substances, it does not make traveling with CBD allowable. TSA’s website states, “Possession of marijuana and cannabis infused products, such as Cannabidiol (CBD) oil, is illegal under federal law.”
As the TSA operates under federal law and is exempt from state laws, this means that even if your CBD products are legal where you live, you still cannot bring them on an airplane. You can read more about cannabis on an airplane here.
If your belongings are subjected to being searched, TSA has noted they can and likely will act accordingly if substances are found.
The Future of CBD
There’s no telling where the future of CBD may go.
The industry continues to surge as the demand for CBD becomes larger and larger. It’s not only become socially acceptable, but a societal norm. Businesses have begun luring in consumers with mainstream products such as CBD coffee to pop-up cannabis infused gourmet dinner parties. More and more people are falling in love with CANNABIS!
Organizations around the world have begun advocating for the importance of total legalization of CBD.
And then there’s the future of CBD in the world of science. Science continues to research CBD to enhance the knowledge on its many usages. It’s amazing to think that it’s not yet certain just how many chronic illnesses that can be comforted, cured, and eliminated from using CBD.
What is certain, is that with the knowledge we already possess, CBD has proven exponential benefits far and wide.
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