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In cannabis, the second most abundant of all active ingredients is CBD, or cannabidiol. This ingredient, while essential in the composition of the marijuana plant, is derived directly from it’s cousin the hemp plant. This means that while CBD is a cousin of the marijuana plant, it does not create the “high” that you would normally receive from marijuana.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has stated that “In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential… to date there is no evidence of public health related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.”
CBD can be found in many forms, most notably; CBD isolate, full spectrum CBD, and broad spectrum CBD. Understanding what each of these does and how they are different from one another is important for anyone thinking about using CBD products. For starters, the cannabinoid spectrum range contained within a CBD product is what determines whether it’s full spectrum, broad spectrum, or CBD isolate.
To create a CBD product, the cannabinoid content must be extracted from the cannabis plant itself. Other compounds found within the plant (terpenes, flavonoids, etc) are also extracted during this process, this is what determines the composition and cannabinoid profile. Once extracted the product can then be refined to only contain specific cannabinoids; determining if the extract is full spectrum, broad spectrum, or cbd isolate.
CBD works by activating, not attaching, it’s endocannabinoids to your CB2 receptors. Activating these receptors is what allows CBD to give its many health benefits. Another interesting process of CBD is that it can influence your non-cannabinoid receptors. This means that CBD can modulate serotonin receptors in your body to treat psychotic disorders.
CBD can also affect the TRPV1 receptor, which allows it to help with pain and inflammation of muscles and joints. CBD will not give you a psychoactive effect, or a “high”, like it's cousin THC does. In fact, CBD has been shown to reduce the psychoactive effects of THC.
One of most commonly misunderstood parts of CBD is whether or not it gives you the “high” that THC delivers. Even though CBD is extracted from a cannabis plant and a cousin to THC, it does not create the same psychoactive effects or a “high” that THC does. In fact studies show that CBD can counteract the psychoactive effects of THC.
To understand the reason CBD has no “high” one must understand the endocannabinoid system. This is a complex network of cell receptors and neurotransmitters that are responsible for maintaining homeostasis in the body. The reason CBD doesn't give you the “high” effect is because, unlike THC, CBD does not directly interact or activate your CB1 and CB2 receptors.
Though some people report a psychological effect after taking CBD, the reasoning may be more to do with those peoples tolerance level for cannabis products.
Of course like all good things, CBD has some reported side effects. Not everyone experiences side effects but some people report fatigue, drowsiness, reduced appetite, dry mouth, and diarrhea. However, the most common concern with CBD products is the legitimacy of the product. For the best possible results, patients should look for companies that provide pure, organic, and lab-tested CBD products.
For those concerned about potential side effects while consuming CBD products, know that there are a wide variety of different forms of CBD. These range from oil, extract, vapable liquid, and even capsules. Some people may react to different forms of CBD than others but most often there is always a product that exists for you.
The past few years have been great towards the legality of CBD products across the country. In the United States of America, CBD products derived from hemp that contain less than .3% THC is legal in almost all 50 states. The biggest push for CBD legality in the USA came in 2018 when the Farm Bill was passed. This allowed farmers across the nation to begin cultivating and harvesting hemp. However, some states are still withholding its legality for some reason or another. For example CBD is only legal in Texas if it contains zero THC, unlike Colorado where it is legal to use all compounds of the hemp plant.
The legality of CBD and CBD products does vary from state to state, but in 2020 nearly 47 states have made CBD federally legal on some level or another. Unfortunately states such as Indiana, South Dakota, and Nebraska are holding out and still consider CBD to be fully illegal and even categorize it on the same level as heroin. As you can see from the map below, most states are cool with CBD.
Over the last few years, traveling with CBD products has been made much easier. For domestic travel within the USA, all CBD products that were made legal under the 2018 Farm Bill (i.e those derived from hemp plants containing less than .3% THC) are completely legal to travel across state borders as well as take on a place as a carry on and/or checked luggage. However, other CBD oils that are derived from marijuana plants still remain federally illegal to fly with or take across state borders.
The TSA’s official statement on this is “Marijuana and certain cannabis-infused products, including some cannabidiol oil, remain illegal under federal law except for products that contain no more than .3% THC on a dry weight basis or that are approved by the FDA..” Because of these strict laws, it is very important to know what kind of CBD product you have and where it comes from when trying to travel with it whether domestically or internationally.
As for bringing CBD products on international flights, every country has different laws regarding this. International rules and regulations are much more vague, therefore erring on the side of caution is recommended.
A big part of using CBD products is understanding the vast difference between CBD and it’s psychoactive counterpart THC. Though they are both cannabinoids derived from the cannabis plant, they differ in various ways. For starters, CBD won’t give you the “high” that THC is known for. This is because CBD reacts differently with your CB1 receptors. When you consume THC your CB1 receptors are bound to it, which is what gives you the feeling of being high.
CBD on the other hand, binds very weakly with your CB1 receptors. In fact, CBD can even inhibit some of the psychoactive effects you get from THC. This information is important because it helps us understand how CBD works and find the most effective ways to use it’s derivatives.
Understanding the differences between hemp and marijuana is a crucial part of understanding how they interact with and affect your body. There are three main species of cannabis plant: cannabis sativa, cannabis indica, and cannabis ruderalis. Each of these species have different qualities and are used in a variety of different ways.
The major difference between hemp and marijuana is that hemp does not get you “high.” In fact, hemp is a term used to classify varieties of cannabis that contain less than .3% THC. On the other hand, the term “marijuana” is used to classify varieties of cannabis that CAN get you high and contain well over .3% THC.
Evidence shows that hemp has been a tool used for over 10,000 years, and many believe it to be the first crop ever cultivated by humans. Even today, hemp has a wide variety of uses such as; food, rope, textiles, paper, and even housing materials.
Both hemp and marijuana plants are used to make all sorts of CBD products. Unfortunately, the legality of hemp-derived CBD and marijuana-derived CBD still vary. For instance, as long as a CBD product contains less than .3% THC and is derived from a hemp plant, it will fall under the 2018 Farm Bill and will be fully legal. However, if the CBD product is derived from marijuana, even if it contains less than .3% THC, it is considered a controlled substance and illegal on a federal level.
Understanding these differences is crucial for knowing what CBD products you should be using and where you are allowed to use/bring them.
Another very common concern among people who use CBD and work whether or not it will interfere with a drug test. Drug tests identify any traces of THC or its metabolites. Although the tests do not screen for CBD, since most CBD products contain small amounts of THC (less than .3%), it is possible for those small amounts to make you fail a drug test. There are some factors that can alter this including the dose taken, the method of consumption, how long you’ve been taking it for, and even your metabolism can affect the results of your drug test.
Every year or so it seems that a new use of CBD is discovered. Because the interest in CBD is so common for medical groups and colleges to conduct studies on, there are a plethora of health benefits that CBD offers. CBD can be used to treat physical ailments by being used as a pain reliever or an anti-inflammatory to treat muscle pain and many different types of arthritis.
CBD is also commonly used to treat stress, anxiety, depression, and other non-physical problems that you might be experiencing. CBD can also be used to treat those affected by substance abuse by modifying circuits in the brain to be less morphine dependent.
Finding the correct dosage of CBD for your can be a little tricky, but with this information we believe we can make that process much friendlier and easier to understand. For starters, your body weight and body chemistry are two of the largest factors for determining how much CBD your body can tolerate.
Some other factors include; method of consumption, what you're using it for, as well as it’s possible interactions with other medications you may be taking. Normally, CBD is well tolerated, though certain risks become possible when taking it alongside other medications (i.e blood thinners, antidepressants, and immune-suppressant drugs).
After taking CBD it is important to know how long you should expect to wait for it’s effects to begin. The onset time for CBD may vary depending on how you consume it. Generally vape products have the quickest onset time (roughly 15-20 minutes), where edibles have proven to take the longest to kick in (up to 2 hours). However, other products such as tinctures and sprays fall somewhere in the middle with an average onset time of about 25-30 minutes.
Another important part to understand is what to do if you don’t feel the effects of the CBD after waiting a reasonable amount of time. If by chance you don’t feel it’s effects then wait a little longer and definitely don’t continue taking more, re-dosing is the most common way people end up taking too much and this can ruin your experience with CBD. This effect can last anywhere from 2-6 hours depending on your method of consumption and the amount you took.