Cannabidiol (CBD), the second-most prominent-cannabinoid in the cannabis plant behind Tetrahydrocannabinol, the compound that is known to get users “high,” has seen a dramatic increase within the wellness industry. That comes thanks to its long list of purported medicinal benefits without causing intoxication or coming with severe side effects.
In a 2019 Gallup survey, 14 percent of Americans said they use some form of CBD, primarily for medicinal purposes. While its use is continuing to grow, there is still quite a bit of misinformation that surrounds this non-intoxicating compound and many people aren’t sure if it’s legal, how it works, and whether or not it’s truly effective.
To help you make the most informed choice possible, here are five things you should know about CBD.
You Don’t Have to Smoke It
A lot of people don’t want to inhale smoke into their lungs but smoking isn’t the only way to use CBD, in fact, most users don’t smoke it, they utilize it in the form of CBD oil, tinctures, capsules, edibles, or even as a cream applied to the body. There are many CBD beauty products that come in the form of lotions and creams, including options for relieving minor aches and pains. Salves, sprays, and pastes are some of the other options.
How it Works
CBD and all cannabinoids fit into a network of neuron receptors that are referred to as the endocannabinoid system. One of the most important systems in the body, it helps to regulate immune functioning, the sensation of pain, mood, sleep, appetite and cognition. It does this through the release of neurotransmitters that send messages throughout the body, to organs, tissues, and cells, which tell them what to do. CBD is believed to influence these signals which is what may produce the effects, including a positive impact in the nervous system which is known to help reduce inflammation, produce a sense of calm, and relieve pain.
There are Differences Between CBD Oils
If you’ve never had experience shopping for CBD oil, it’s important to understand the various types . Both industrial hemp and marijuana are common sources for CBD oil and there are a number of types on the market which generally fall into one of the following categories:
Isolate. This is pure CBD, meaning that it only contains CBD with all other compounds removed.
Broad Spectrum. This refers to a product that contains a full spectrum of extracted terpenes and cannabinoids, but all THC has been removed.
Full Spectrum. Full Spectrum means that it contains the full spectrum of cannabis-derived terpenes, minor cannabinoids, and CBD, along with a minute amount of THC.
There are some products that are labeled hemp seed oil or hemp oil, be aware that they don’t usually contain CBD.
There Isn’t a Standard Recommended Dose
It can take some experimentation to find the most effective dose of CBD as it varies by individual body chemistry, body weight, the particular condition it’s being used for, and other factors. This is partly due to genetic mutations in cannabinoid receptors that cause variances in how the body reacts. That means that while 10 milligrams (mg) of CBD may be effective for your friend, it might not work for you. It’s best to start off small and gradually increase from there until effectiveness is achieved.
It’s Generally Safe
While there have been some reports of adverse side effects, such as sleepiness, reduced appetite, and diarrhea, research has found that CBD is well-tolerated by most in doses of up to 1,500 mg per day. A study conducted in 2011 and an update in 2017, revealed that CBD has what’s referred to as a “‘favorable safety profile,” as it doesn’t change major factors like blood pressure, body temperature and heart rate, or affect psychological functions.