Cannabidiol (CBD) is a naturally occurring phytocannabinoid abundant in some varieties of hemp and cannabis. As a result of decades of Cannabidiol related research, CBD is becoming a well documented therapeutic cannabinoid, especially in combination with whole hemp (or whole cannabis plant) extracts. As Cannabidiol has no psychoactive (mind-altering) side effects, it will not produce a “high”. Evidence suggests that CBD is safe even at high dosage levels, though different effects may be achieved using smaller versus larger dosages.
Scientific and clinical research has demonstrated the potential therapeutic benefits of CBD in a wide range of conditions and therefore offers an appealing option for those looking for a natural approach to conditions such as inflammation, pain, anxiety, and many more.
CBD has been studied for its possible medical benefits, including:
- Lowering stress and anxiety levels
- Helping with relaxation and sleep
- Controlling mood and concentration
- Reduction of nausea and vomiting
- Combating psychosis disorders
- combatting neurodegenerative disorders
- Combating anxiety and depression
- Controlling symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis, Glaucoma, Fibromyalgia, and insomnia
No. CBD, unlike THC, has no psychoactive (mind-altering) side effects; it will not produce a “high”. The extract contains no THC, making it a preferred choice for some.
There are hundreds of chemical compounds in the Cannabis plant, science is only now deciphering what cannabinoid does what. But we do know a decent amount about the two most well known cannabinoids: tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).
THC interacts with the brain creating a euphoric ‘high’. However, CBD is not psychoactive and does not produce a similar high. So how, exactly, does it work? It’s important to know that we all have a system within our bodies responsible for regulating the response of our immune systems, our sleep patterns, our moods, and how we experience pain and inflammation. It’s called the endocannabinoid system (ECS), and its function is to deal with the cannabinoids naturally produced by our bodies. It does this via two kinds of cannabinoid receptors found throughout the body: CB1 receptors (located in the brain and nervous system) and CB2 receptors (located in the immune system).
While THC affects your brain’s endocannabinoid receptors (resulting in the high), CBD does not attach directly to the receptors. Instead, it influences your body into using its own natural supply of cannabinoids more effectively. That is to say, it can inhibit or activate compounds in the ECS, which in turn can impact the amount of pain you feel or limit inflammation in the brain and nervous system.
CBD oil can come from the hemp plant or marijuana plant. For CBD oil to be legal, it must contain less than .03% THC, which usually means that it has to be extracted from the hemp plant. However, there are companies extracting CBD oil from marijuana and separating the THC through an extraction process. This method makes the CBD concentration much less therapeutically powerful then when extracting from the hemp plant. It also may leave residual solvents and damage the CBD molecules.
Hemp derived CBD is legal nationwide at the federal level however state laws on CBD vary widely. The most important factors determining CBD legality are whether it is derived from hemp or marijuana and if it is produced by a state-licensed grower. Even though hemp contains virtually no THC, the answer to the question, “Is hemp oil legal?” is not that simple. This includes all hemp-derived CBD products like oils, edibles, and ointments. However, some states have laws on CBD from hemp that are restrictive. In some states, CBD derived from marijuana is completely legal; but in most states, its legality depends on a number of different factors and conditions. The information on our website is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You must make your own judgment regarding whether you should purchase CBD in your jurisdiction. You should contact your attorney to obtain more specific guidance.*
The endocannabinoid system is your body’s natural system for creating and processing cannabinoids. The endocannabinoid system exists in the brain and the nervous system. It is involved in regulating a variety of biological functions such as appetite, stress and pain. Endocannabinoids are natural cannabinoids that are produced in your body. For more information, see our glossary.
See our GLOSSARY.
These are some of the most common cannabinoids found in cannabis. Studies have demonstrated that they can affect a variety of biological functions regulated by the body’s endocannabinoid system, such as appetite, stress and pain. To learn about the effects check out:
- Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid (THCA)
- Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)
- Cannabidiolic Acid (CBDA)
- Cannabidiol (CBD)
- Cannabinol (CBN)
- Cannabigerol (CBG)
- Cannabichromene (CBC)
- Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV)
CBD isolate is the pure form of cannabidiol. Products made using CBD isolate can be made potent by adding more of this active compound. There are a variety of methods that are used to extract CBD isolate from the hemp plant. Once it is extracted (along with the full cannabinoid profile of the hemp plant among other molecules), it is then isolated to create a more concentrated product.
Full-spectrum CBD (also called whole plant extract) contains all of the hemp plant’s naturally occurring cannabinoids. It also contains other compounds such as terpenes and flavonoids. Full-spectrum CBD allows the beneficial and synergistic effects of all compounds naturally occurring in the hemp plant to be experienced.
Always consult your doctor before taking hemp-derived CBD or cannabis infused products. Cannabis is not one single drug, but rather a myriad of compounds with a wide range of properties. For this reason, it is difficult to draw absolute conclusions on its interactions with other drugs. In general, cannabis carries less risk of harmful interactions than many commonly prescribed drugs. Many credible studies have shown that cannabis is relatively safe and well-tolerated.
This article does a great job of covering cannabis drug interactions for a variety of commonly used drugs: How Does Cannabis Interact With Other Drugs?
Your body can only absorb so much CBD at one time, whether taken orally, topically or inhaled. Sometimes less is more. We recommend you start with the dose suggested the label and repeat at regular intervals until you achieve the right effect for you. Keeping a titration journal can help you get a clear picture of how much you need. Over time, the body increases receptivity to cannabinoids and a lower dose over time may be effective in achieving the same outcome.
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