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What’s CBD?

CBD oil is a natural and plant based concentrated extract from the hemp plant that contains naturally occurring compounds called cannabinoids. CBD oils can come with less than .3% THC or with no THC – the only psychoactive cannabinoid. Although it is derived from cannabis, CBD is not marijuana.

What you should know about CBD oils and how to choose CBD oils.

Cannabidiol or CBD is just one of the at least 113 naturally occurring cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. Each cannabinoid has a function, although science is still working on understanding the exact benefits of each. Human beings have an endocannabinoid system and our bodies make our own cannabinoids. The human body makes cannabinoids when we are relaxed and feeling happy, exercise, and when we sleep. Our body also has CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors that allow cannabinoids to bind to them, thus inciting more good feelings or responses. Cannabinoids that come from plants, and specifically the cannabis plant, are also able to bind with these receptors, giving rise to several new possibilities in therapeutic treatment approaches.

Cannabis has been used for thousands of years. The earliest evidence of cannabis consumption as a drug has been in a 2,500-year-old cemetery in Central Asia (ca. 500 BC). Chinese texts have also been found, describing its usefulness for pain and cramps. More recently, newer research suggests that the cannabinoids found in cannabis have the potential for helping relieve inflammation, pain, addiction, anxiety, seizures, nausea, and even tumors.

1. Is CBD oil used for recreational purposes?

Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC is the cannabinoid responsible for the psychoactive property of cannabis. In other words, THC is the chemical found in cannabis that gets people high. Marijuana has high levels of THC naturally, as well as CBD. Hemp has low levels of THC and high levels of CBD. After the signing of the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp and hemp products with less than .3 percent THC became legal at the federal level in all 50 states. Although some CBD oils do contain low amounts of THC, these low levels are not large enough to get somebody high. CBD oils are intended for medicinal or supplemental purposes, not for recreational purposes. They are used by those seeking relief from a condition, may be used as a supplement, and are often used as alternative or in complimentary medicine.

2. CBD vs. THC

Cannabidiol or CBD is non-psychoactive. CBD does not appear to bind to the CB1 receptor the way THC can and therefore, does not allow for psycho-activity. Not only is it not psychoactive, there is evidence to suggest that it can counteract with the impairments associated with marijuana and opioid addiction. CBD has the potential for many benefits, including help with inflammation, pain, and focus.

3. Cannabis vs. Hemp: What’s the difference?

Cannabis refers to a group of three plants: cannabis sativa, cannabis indica, and cannabis ruderalis. All three types of cannabis plants have cannabinoids, including THC and CBD, among others. One variety of the cannabis sativa plant is hemp. Hemp does not have high levels of THC, and therefore, is not used for recreational purposes. Instead, it is used for industrial, textile, and medicinal uses. In fact, there many everyday products that can be made from hemp. It is grown for its fiber, hurd, and seeds and can be used in cooking, construction, making paper, and medicine. Hemp is an excellent source of Omega-3 and Omega-6 Essential Fatty Acids (EFAS), vitamin E, minerals, and fiber. Hemp-derived CBD is federally legal in all 50 states.

4. CBD Oils and Tinctures

There is both anecdotal and research based evidence that CBD (with and with no THC) may be a preferred alternative for treatment of conditions, as well as for improvement of overall well-being in some. CBD is now currently being used in the treatment of seizures for children and adults. New research is indicating that CBD may help reduce cravings for highly addictive drugs, and, potentially help in the fight against opioid use disorder and possibly other drug addictions. There are some studies suggesting that CBD may also help some with acne and other skin conditions. Studies are still ongoing for the use of CBD to treat other health conditions. There is still a lot of work to be done when it comes to studies and research on CBD products, their use, and efficacy. CBD use is in its infancy, with mostly testimonial evidence and some data is showing it’s potential as a as a natural alternative or compliment to traditional medicine.

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CBD is a versatile plant-based medicinal product that can be used as part of an individual’s plan to overall well-being and for its potential health benefits. People can use CBD as complementary and alternative medicine, in many different ways, and for different needs. 

5. Is CBD Legal?

Yes. Hemp derived CBD is legal at the federal level in all 50 states as of December 2018 and the signing of the 2018 Farm Bill. This federal law allows hemp derived CBD with less than .3% THC in the product. This amount is not enough to get someone high. When the federal law suddenly went into effect, many states were unsure about how they wanted their own laws to read regarding CBD and hemp. In a short amount of time, state leaders have become more educated on hemp, its many uses, and its medicinal benefits. As they learn how this could positively benefit individuals, private and public industries, and their own communities, many states have also created bills and laws that make hemp derived products and CBD oils legal. Since state laws are changing quickly, it is best to check the laws of your own state. In June 2019, Nikki Fried, the Florida Commissioner of Agriculture, released a statement regarding the cannabis industry. It is anticipated that Florida will move to make CBD legal in Florida on July 1, 2019.

6. Which CBD products should I start with?

Knowing your needs and having a good understanding about your own body and health is very important when choosing a CBD product. As with any medicine or supplement, individuals should always consult with their own trusted health professional when considering different or new treatment. It is important to understand how some medicines you may already be taking may interact with another remedy. It is also important to consider your own age, weight, height, and background or health history when making choices on any form of new or combined treatment. The more informed you are about the outcomes of cannabis as a medicine in others and how it may work for you, the better a consumer you are likely to become. Some individuals will find that a CBD cream or balm is all that they need for calming joint pain, while another individual may discover that a non THC CBD oil or full spectrum CBD tincture is helpful, and yet another may want to discover the benefits of CBD long term as a daily supplement; as in a low dose CBD gummy or candy.

7. How much CBD should I take?

Deciding how much CBD to consume or use will depend on your own needs and health history, as well as age, height, and weight. Most individuals who want to try a CBD oil start with a low dose once a day. Typically, individuals take one dropper full sublingually (under the tongue) because it is quickly absorbed throughout the body. CBD oil users may want to adjust the amounts ingested if they find themselves feeling tired, dizzy, have changes in mood, or experience any other unanticipated reactions. CBD products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or disorder. It is always best to consult with a trusted healthcare practitioner before consuming any new products and to determine correct dosage.

8. Is CBD safe?

Although individuals have been using hemp for medicinal purposes for thousands of years, and studies on cannabis and CBD do exist, criminalization of marijuana in the United States in the early 1900’s has not allowed for the research on the benefits of cannabis and CBD to fully develop. Generally speaking, testimonials have been very favorable regarding the benefits of CBD. Although there is still information that we do not know about hemp and CBD, there is also a great amount of research that indicates promising outcomes from CBD use. CBD oils should always include a Certificate of Analysis (COA), and should be bought from a reputable source. In some people, CBD may cause them to experience fatigue or diarrhea. It is better to start with less and slowly adjust the dosage based on individual results. It is also important to remember that the amount that people take daily can vary greatly. It is always best to consult with a trusted healthcare practitioner before consuming any new products and to determine correct dosage, as well as to address any concerns.

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