CBD Frequently Asked Questions
CBD is short for cannabidiol, which is one of the many phytocannabinoids found in cannabis plants. THC and CBD are the two most prevalent phytocannabinoids in cannabis but unlike THC, CBD has no psychoactive effects. CBD affects your endocannabinoid system (ECS) which regulates many physiological systems throughout your body. CBD has been effective for use in treating anxiety, pain management, sleep disorders, nausea, inflammation, depression, epilepsy, as well as a vast range of other issues.
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CBD Oil is made from CBD-rich cannabis plants. CBD Oil can be made from both hemp plants and marijuana plants. Hemp extract CBD oil will have negligible amounts of THC while other cannabis oils may have varying ratios of CBD to THC. CBD can be extracted from the plant material by a variety of methods, including CO2 extraction, olive oil extraction, or solvent extraction.
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The different extraction methods of CBD include CO2 extraction, olive oil extraction, dry ice extraction, or solvent extraction. CO2 extraction is the safest and most expensive method which forces pressurized carbon dioxide (CO2) through the plant to extract CBD and other phytochemicals from the plant material.
The olive oil extraction is inexpensive and produces a safe product but the results have a low CBD yield and it must be used somewhat quickly as it is perishable. Various solvents, such as ethanol, butane, alcohol, or isopropyl, can be used to extract CBD and while these methods are cheap and easy they can also be highly dangerous so perform and can produce a contaminated or degraded product.
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CBD is a safe, non-toxic, non-psychoactive substance. Assuming the plant material is high quality and the cleanest extraction methods are used then CBD is absolutely safe and healthy to ingest regularly. There are no known overdose levels with CBD and it has virtually no potential for substance abuse.
CBD has been tested for addictiveness and the results have shown there is very little potential for abuse. In fact, CBD is very beneficial for use with treating addiction, alcoholism, and smoking cessation. This scientific abstract details a randomized, double-blind, controlled trial within a highly sensitive population of drug users and the results showed significantly low abuse potential.
Unlike THC, CBD does not bind with the CB1 receptors in your central nervous system to produce the intoxicating feelings of being high. CBD can relieve anxiety, help depression, and can provide an overall calming effect so while it does not get you high, it can help to elevate your mood and stabilize your emotions.
Hemp and marijuana are both plants within the cannabis genus. Industrial hemp must contain less than 0.3% THC by federal regulation. Marijuana plants have traditionally been bred to contain high levels of THC for recreational use but with uses for medical marijuana on the rise it is also being cultivated for higher levels of CBD and lower levels on THC, depending on its intended purpose.
Marijuana and hemp are both plants in the Cannabis genus. Both plants contain a variety of phytocannabinoids. CBD can be found in both plants, while THC is found in higher levels in marijuana and in much lower levels, under 0.3%, in industrial hemp plants.
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Read: What Is CBD
CBD and THC are both phytocannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. They have identical chemical formulas, C21H30O2, and incredibly similar structures, but their effects are quite different. THC binds with CB1 receptors in your central nervous system and produces feelings of euphoria. CBD, on the other hand, can actually block THC from binding with these receptors and can minimize the effect of THC when both cannabinoids are present in the bloodstream. CBD indirectly affects the endocannabinoid system to produce a vast array of therapeutic effects.
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Full spectrum CBD oil is made from the whole cannabis plant, be it hemp or marijuana. It contains the full range of cannabinoids and terpenes that are found in the plant. CBD and THC are found in greater amounts in cannabis and both come with their own range of effects, but the other phytocannabinoids found in cannabis also come with their own therapeutic benefits.
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Terpenes are a class of organic compounds produced by plants that often produce a strong smell. They are what give different strains of cannabis their different scents and flavors. Different terpenes produce different aromas and they can also offer their own set of therapeutic effects.
The entourage effect is an idea that when all of the terpenes and cannabinoids are present together they will act synergistically and can maximize the therapeutic benefits of cannabis. The combination of terpenes and cannabinoids found in a full spectrum CBD oil are thought to have more medicinal properties combined than if you were to use pure, isolated CBD. This notion applies both to full spectrum CBD hemp extract oil as well as cannabis oil that contains both CBD and THC.
This article from the British Journal of Pharmacology discusses the complementary effects that the phytocannabinoids and terpenoids found in cannabis can have when acting together.
CBD has demonstrated anti-inflammatory, antiemetic, analgesic, anxiolytic, antidepressant, antipsychotic, neuroprotectant, anticonvulsant, antioxidant, antiarthritic, immunomodulatory, and antineoplastic properties. The list of ailments in can help to treat is quite vast and includes afflictions such as anxiety, depression, sleep disorders arthritis, pain management, epilepsy, nausea, and cancer treatment.
This scientific abstract discusses the broad range of medicinal properties that CBD has exhibited as well as its overall safety and lack of addictive qualities. It also mentions that CBD can often be a more appealing treatment option because the current alternative treatments for certain ailments often come with too many negative side effects.
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While not typical, possible side effects of CBD can include drowsiness, diarrhea, changes in appetite, changes in mood, dry mouth, nausea, and anxiety. It can potentially interact with other medications and the metabolization of both CBD and other drugs can be affected by these interactions. This may affect how quickly or slowly CBD or another drug is eliminated from your system.
This study explains some of the potential side effects of CBD and notes that in comparison with other drugs, CBD has a more attractive side effect profile. It testifies to the general safety of CBD but does state that more testing and research is needed with this increasingly popular treatment option.
CBD can directly and indirectly affect various receptors and ion channels throughout your body including the CB1 and CB2 receptors in your endocannabinoid system. While THC simply binds with CB1 receptors, CBD can have much more complicated interactions which include inhibiting fatty acid amide hydrolase, antagonizing GPR55 receptors, and activating PPAR-gamma, 5-ht1A, TRPV1 receptors.
CBD can indirectly increase the levels of anandamide, an endocannabinoid we produce naturally in our bodies, which can in turn affect the CB1 and CB2 receptors in our endocannabinoid systems. Healthy anandamide levels can provide additional health benefits and can positively affect your mood.
CBD is present in cannabis and some strains of it, including hemp, are cultivated for their especially high levels of CBD and lower levels of THC. If your CBD is coming from dried cannabis it can be smoked or vaporized but there are various other ways to take CBD that don’t involve inhalation.
Tinctures and oils are a popular way to take CBD and you simply put the oil under your tongue, allowing it to absorb into your bloodstream through the tiny blood vessels in your mouth. The oils can also be contained in a capsule and swallowed, however this method subjects the oil to your digestive system and some of the CBD can be metabolized before entering your bloodstream.
Topicals lotions can be applied to the skin which will provide localized effects of the CBD to the surrounding skin cells. This method can be helpful with skin care or can provide pain relief to one target area. Transdermal patches, edibles, and suppositories are a few of the other available methods to take CBD.
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Knowing how much CBD to take can be tricky. CBD is a biphasic substance that will have different effects when taken in lower or higher amounts. A small dose of CBD can be energizing while higher doses of CBD may be more calming. There is no one recommended daily dosage so the best course of action is to start small and work your way up until you find the right amount that provides the effects you’re looking for.
You could start with 2 mg per day and work your way up to 50 mg, 300 mg, or maybe even more depending on your body weight and the symptoms you’re treating. Some people see the best results when taking multiple doses per day so it’s important to track your progress and pay close attention to the improvement of your symptoms and to how you feel.
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Standard drug tests are looking for THC rather than CBD so if you’re taking a CBD isolate or an oil with zero THC in it, you’ll pass these tests. Hemp extract CBD oils may still contain trace amounts of THC so if you’re taking CBD oil in large doses it’s still possible, although unlikely, that there will be enough THC in your bloodstream to show up on a drug test.
When purchasing CBD oil from an unregulated source it’s possible that the levels of CBD and THC that has been advertised is not the amount you’ll actually be getting. Knowing exactly what is in your CBD oil will give you a good idea if there is a possibility of THC being in your bloodstream or not.
CBD can absolutely help your pets with any pain, separation anxiety, phobias, or other ailments they may be suffering from. They definitely should not be given marijuana or any cannabis product containing THC as it can be toxic to them.
Getting a CBD oil that is pet specific is a good idea to avoid giving your pets something that will make them sick. It’s also important to do your research about the brand you’ve chosen and perhaps even talk to your vet if you have any concerns.
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