What is CBD? We put together a guide to help you easily understand everything you need to know about CBD.

What Is CBD? Your Guide To Everything CBD Related

What is CBD? What is CBD for? What’s CBD oil? Is it food? A vitamin? Is it like weed?

You probably have a lot of questions about CBD since it has become a very popular alternative to prescription painkillers and the like.

The truth is that the medicinal properties of the cannabis plant date back thousands of years. But today in 2019, we have merely brushed the surface of all its benefits.

There is so much to learn about CBD and all of its benefits. If you’re looking for the right information to get you started, then you’ve come to the right place.

Everything You Need to Know About CBD

Despite the fact that CBD has become a household name, there is still a lot of confusion and stigma surrounding it. Here is a comprehensive guide with everything  you need to know about CBD:

What is CBD?

CBD is short for cannabidiol. It is a naturally occurring chemical compound found in the Cannabis Sativa plant. Cannabidiol specifically is one of a hundred different phytocannabinoids. Phytocannabinoids are the molecules that are synthesized by the plant. They are also what gives the plant its therapeutic properties.

You’re probably much more familiar with Tetrahydrocannabinol —THC. THC is also a phytocannabinoid with therapeutic properties. This is the phytocannabinoid that has a psychoactive property, which is what gets its users high.

There is one very important distinction between CBD and THC: CBD will not get you high. 

There are actually two different primary species of the cannabis plant which enable this distinction. There are the Hemp species (male) and there are the Marijuana species (female). A higher concentration of CBD is found in the Hemp species while the Marijuana species contains a higher concentration of THC.

Another important distinction to make is the difference between CBD oil and Hemp oil—it’s all in the location of the extractions.

CBD is extracted from the stalk, leaves, and flowers of the plant. Hemp is extracted from the seeds, where there are no cannabinoids. There are however healthy fats which make regular Hemp oil great for beauty products. Hemp oil is also typically used as a carrier oil for the extracted CBD in CBD tinctures.

Is CBD Safe?

In short, yes, CBD is safe.

However, there are things to consider if you are thinking about taking CBD products. One of those things would be any other medications you may be currently taking.

We have what is called a Cytochrome P450 (CYP450) enzyme system in our livers. This system contains over 50 enzymes which are responsible for metabolizing and eliminating toxic compounds. Those toxic compounds include more than half the medications you are taking.

Doctors use this enzyme system to determine appropriate dosages of prescribed medications. They base their calculations on the amount of time it takes for different drugs to be processed through this system. Certain drugs or substances, or an overall unhealthy CYP450 system can affect how your medications metabolize.

Cannabidiol can potentially inhibit the CYP450 system leading to slower processing times. This means that your medications will remain in your system longer. Not only is it unhealthy to have lingering toxins from medications in your body because they can damage your liver, but depending on how many medications you are taking, this could lead to an overdose.

If you are considering taking CBD you should consult with your doctor first. —Especially if you are currently taking other medications.

Is CBD Legal?

CBD is legal in all 50 states. However, there are still some gray areas.

The CBD that is legal everywhere MUST be extracted from the Hemp Plant, which only contains 0.3 percent of THC or less. CBD that is extracted from the Marijuana plant is only sold where medicinal and recreational Marijuana is legal because it contains more than the 0.3 percent.

Another gray area lies in FDA regulations of CBD. CBD products can only be marketed as food supplements rather than actual medicine. This is mainly due to CBD being a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance in accordance with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

While it is legal, the FDA  maintains that companies who create and distribute Hemp CBD products are prohibited from making any medical or health claims. Each state has its own laws and regulations pertaining to CBD as well.

This may make it difficult for doctors in certain states to prescribe CBD to patients. Of course, as medical research continues, these laws remain in flux. But that doesn’t mean that CBD products aren’t available at certain stores or online.

How Does CBD Work?

We have in our bodies what is called an Endocannabinoid System (ECS). The ECS plays a crucial role in our physiology in that it actively regulates homeostasis throughout our bodies. In other words, it keeps all of our other systems balanced.

Our bodies contain cannabinoid receptors named CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors are found in the brain and central nervous system while CB2 receptors are found in the peripheral organs. These receptors transmit information about changing conditions within the cells to signal for an appropriate cellular response.

Endocannabinoids are molecules produced naturally within our bodies and are synthesized on demand. The two main endocannabinoids are known as Anandamide and A-2G. These endocannabinoids bind with and activate the CB1 and CB2 receptors.

To complete this process, our bodies also have metabolic enzymes FAAH and MAGL. These enzymes are responsible for breaking down what is left of the endocannabinoids in order to maintain the established balance.

So what about CBD? —CBD comes into play when your body has an endocannabinoid deficiency. An endocannabinoid deficiency is when your body fails to produce the necessary endocannabinoids on its own, resulting in anxiety, depression, mood swings, arthritis and much more.

Because CBD is a phytocannabinoid, it is able to fulfill the job of the endocannabinoids by binding with and activating the receptors and synthesizing within our bodies. Thus, maintaining homeostasis.

This is exactly why CBD has become known as a miracle supplement for a wide variety of ailments.

What is CBD Used For?

CBD is used for a wide variety of conditions:

  • Acne
  • Anxiety
  • Chronic pain and inflammation
  • Depression
  • Epilepsy and seizures
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Huntington’s Disease
  • Insomnia
  • Irritable Bowe Syndrome (IBS)
  • Migraines
  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • PTSD
  • Alzheimer’s

The list is almost endless. CBD is even used to help with the effects of cancer and cancer treatment like chemotherapy. It is also beneficial in treating opioid and opiate addiction as well as other addictions.

Research has only brushed the surface of what CBD is capable of.

Are There Any Side Effects?

There are no harmful side effects to taking CBD. You can’t overdose from it or become addicted to it.

However, there may be some slight side effects when adjusting to it:

  • Anxiety
  • Change/loss of appetite
  • Diahrrea
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea

These effects aren’t common. They could be triggered by taking too little of the product which can act as a stimulant. Or, if you are someone who is sensitive to Tylenol you may feel these effects.

How Much CBD Should I Use?

Because of FDA and DEA regulations, companies that make CBD products can only put a suggested serving size on the label. There is also no clinical data on the proper dosage of CBD yet, so your doctor can only make suggestions as well.

If you’re new to CBD, figuring out the right dose can be a bit overwhelming. Typically you’ll want to start small and gradually increase your dosage, especially if you’re a first time CBD user. But there are a few important factors that come into play:

  • Your weight
  • Your age
  • Your condition
  • Your diet
  • Are you vaping, smoking, using a tincture, etc.?
  • The concentration of the CBD
  • Are you a previous cannabis user?
  • Do you have a tolerance built up?

The general rule of thumb is to take 5mg of CBD per 10 pounds of body weight. From your first initial dosage, you’ll want to pay close attention to how you feel. No two people are the same, so it is up to you to gauge how your body reacts to the CBD. You’ll want to make gradual adjustments to your dosage until you find your “sweet” spot”.

It is recommended that you adjust the dosage every 1-2 weeks, to give your body time to acclimate to the CBD in your system.

Of course, the severity of your condition weighs greatly in this matter. If you suffer from chronic pain, your dosage will be more than if you have anxiety. You also have to consider the strength of the CBD product because this varies as well.

Here’s an example of a simple dosing guide to get you started:

  • Chronic pain: 2.5-20mg per day
  • Epilepsy: 200-300mg per day
  • Insomnia: 40-160 mg per day
  • Anxiety: 10-50mg per day

The dosing can be broken up throughout the day, taken twice a day, or divided up per hour (micro-dosing). If you have a doctor who is knowledgable about CBD, then consulting with them first is ideal.

You will also have to consider how you will be taking your CBD. The two most popular forms of taking CBD is through CBD oil and CBD vaping.

The sublingual method is arguably the most popular method. This is when you take CBD oil orally by holding it under your tongue for a certain amount of time (usually 60-90 seconds). Underneath the tongue, there are a number of tiny capillaries that will absorb the CBD right into your bloodstream. You then swallow the remaining oil to be absorbed through your digestive tract.

Measuring the dosage of CBD oil will depend on the strength of the product and the size of the bottle. A typical dropper holds about 1 milliliter (ML) of liquid. If you know how many milliliters are in your bottle, you can divide the total number of milligrams (MG) of CBD by the number of milliliters to determine the amount of CBD in one dropper.

CBD vaping comes in a close second to the sublingual method. When you vape CBD, it enters your lungs first and diffuses directly into your bloodstream. By avoiding digestion all together, your body can absorb up to four times more CBD. It also tends to work faster.

Figuring out the dosage for vaping is fairly easy. All you have to do is estimate how much CBD is is a cartridge or tank, and take note of how many times you have to refill your tank or replace your cartridge throughout the day/week.

Just remember to listen to your body and how it reacts to the dosage of CBD that you give it.

What CBD Products Are Out There?

There are many different types of CBD products on the market:

  • CBD oil or tinctures
  • CBD cartridges or e-liquid for vape pens
  • CBD edibles (like gummies)
  • CBD capsules
  • CBD balms and ointments
  • CBD joints

As mentioned before, the two most popular ways to take CBD are CBD oil and vaping CBD. Many people will take a combination of different CBD products depending on their needs.

Where THC is legal, many people will opt for a CBD-THC combination, as THC is also a phytocannabinoid that has therapeutic properties. Of course, this is in addition to its famous psychoactive property that enables you to get high.

You will also have to decide between CBD isolate, full spectrum CBD, and broad spectrum CBD.

Simply put, CBD isolate is 99% pure CBD. Full spectrum CBD is pure CBD plus any other cannabinoids that were extracted from the hemp plant, including THC. Broad spectrum CBD includes everything except for the THC.

What Should I Look For in a CBD Product?

Not all CBD is created equally. Think of it as buying vegetables at the grocery store —not everything is safe, clean and organic.

One of the first things you want to look for when choosing your CBD product is third-party testing. If the product has been tested by a third party lab, the report should be readily available on the company’s website. Without a legitimate lab report, you won’t know if the CBD product is actually safe.

Ingredients are the next thing you want to look at. If the ingredient list is long and full of things you can’t pronounce, that’s a red flag. You want your CBD to be pure with no additives or harmful chemicals. In fact, the only ingredients that should ever be added to CBD are organic or all-natural enhancers like melatonin (for sleep) or vitamins.

Sourcing and cultivation practices are equally important. You want your CBD to come from hemp that is grown organically and GMO-free, here in the United States. It’s best to purchase from a company that owns their own farms and oversees the entire manufacturing process from seed to shelf.

Now You Know Everything About CBD

Now you’re ready to get out there and try some CBD if you haven’t already. Even if you don’t suffer from any conditions, it can be a beneficial addition to your overall health and well being.

If you have any questions about CBD products or CBD in general, get in touch with us.