You may have heard of this super substance buzzing around the internet and being promoted as something that is helping many people with seizures, pain management and various diseases and ailments.
It is one of the many cannabinoids found in the plant, Cannabis Sativa. Cannabis Sativa encompasses an infinite number of strains including the psychoactive cannabis that gets you high and the non-psychoactive and extremely versatile hemp. Hemp is high in CBD and defined as having less than 0.3% THC while most strains of cannabis have been selectively bred to only express high THC content due to its psychoactive effects. It is the same genus and species, it is the same plant just expressing different compounds in varying amounts. Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid.
What are the benefits?
The healing benefits of CBD (cannabidiol)
- will balance out a "bad trip" * see Does it Get you High section below
Some research findings with proven effects of CBD
- Helps reduce the effects of Alcohol induced Fatty Liver
- Acts as an anti-inflammatory for irritable bowel syndrome
- May delay the onset of ALS
- There are many studies coming to light every day
How does it work?
"HJ: Cannabidiol (CBD) is a "smart" molecule, an adaptogen, a regulator, and a modulator. CBD acts in a comprehensive and dynamic fashion, depending on the situation and location in the brain or body. There is a plethora of physiological benefits. CBD will generally act to promote homeostasis (i.e., balance), situationally reducing inflammation, decreasing blood pressure (if it is too high), "killing" cancer cells through various apoptotic and anti-angiogenic mechanisms, just to name a few examples. Colloquially, some researchers have even referred to CBD as the "boy scout molecule," meaning it always does the right thing in any given situation. Research has revealed upward of 50 mechanisms of action; CBD is a "multi-target" therapy that can do many things, as opposed to an analgesic pain medication, which reduces pain and nothing else. CBD can do many things in many different situations.”
What are the dangers?
No known dangers. Some side effects of high doses of CBD include dry mouth, low blood pressure, light headedness and drowsiness.
Is it legal?
CBD is technically federally illegal, but is still widely available. There is a lot of grey area when it comes to regulations on CBD. Cannabis strains higher than 0.3% THC are only legal in certain states.
What to look for when buying?
You have to be careful where your CBD comes from. Although hemp cultivation in the US dates back to our founding fathers it was made illegal for many years and is just now being revitalized across the nation. The CBD products that you buy online could be derived from unregulated Chinese hemp or even synthetic.
This Chinese hemp would be OK, but presents a higher risk for pollutants being extracted and concentrated as well. The cannabis plant removes toxins from the soil that it is planted in making it an excellent crop for farmers to rotate and clear, or bioremediate, the soil. If the plant cannabinoids are then extracted and concentrated the pollutants from the soil in heavily industrialized Chinese factory zones are likely to be concentrated as well thus ending up in your CBD tincture. Most of the hemp in the US is imported from Canada which offers a safer alternative. When shopping for CBD extracts make sure it is grown and manufactured in North America.
Also make sure that it doesn’t have lots of other ingredients. It usually has extracted CBD concentrate plus a carrier oil. You don't want things like PG, VG, PEG, or other petroleum waste cutting agents in your CBD products. A great resource when checking for quality of CBD oil is this Real of Caring Guide.
Keep it simple with high quality carrier oils like extra virgin olive oil or hemp seed oil and make sure the oil is 3rd party lab tested.
Everyone has individual dosing guidelines and should consult with a physician on the proper dosing of CBD for their ailments.
Generally the expert opinion that I've gotten is to start with 2.5-5mg of CBD 1-2 times per day. Take your first dose of 2.5mg in the AM and again in the evening. Work your way up to 5mg if necessary. You have to find the right number for yourself and since the dangers are very limited it's ok to experiment and find what works best for you. Always consult with a physician first.
Does it get you high?
Studies are continuing to find benefits of the consumption of CBD. The great thing is that it doesn’t contain THC so it doesn’t get you high. It relaxes the body and can actually counteract the psychoactive effects of THC. So if your friend is freaking out from eating too many edibles dose them with CBD and their psychosis will dwindle down.
Ways to Consume CBD
I prefer to consume in a tincture or capsule for CBD supplementation. A lot of topical products are also amazing. Vaping CBD is also great however you do have to look out for more of the ingredients you don't want in your vape that you would be inhaling. Another post to come breaking down the different ways to consume CBD.
My favorite source for CBD and my good friends Katie and Brook make excellent, organic CBD products.
Please let me know your thoughts on CBD and any questions you might have. I hope this started to cover the basis for those still learning about CBD.