What are the benefits of CBD? Is it a narcotic? Will it get you high? Will it show up on a drug test? What is it used for? Here are your questions answered!
What is CBD?
CBD, the acronym for cannabidiol, is a chemical compound from the cannabis (hemp) plant. It’s a natural substance used in products like oils and edibles resulting in a feeling of calm and relaxation. Unlike its cousin tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), it is non-psychoactive, best known for its perceived medical benefits. By using it, you won’t have feelings of euphoria or feel an altered consciousness or feel sedated.
“CBD is one of 113 plus molecules found in cannabis,” Joe Scearce, cannabis grower recently explained. “It’s the most abundant and the one that has been studied the most. It has hundreds of uses and benefits.”
Where can you buy it?
As one of the biggest wellness products advertised today, it seems you can buy it almost anywhere in states where it is legal. One reason is because CBD sales are estimated to be $22 billion by 2022 and businesses want in on the action because CBD is a considerably higher-margin product than the traditional dried cannabis flower. Plus, smoking any product (tobacco or cannabis), is at a five-decade low and a new generation of cannabis users prefer alternative consumption options, including vapes, edibles, topicals, concentrates, and oils. There is little fear of oversupply or pricing pressure.
Retailers selling CBD-based products such as oils, topicals, and capsules include CVS Pharmacy, Walgreens, Rite Aid, Ulta Beauty, GNC, Designer Brands (sells creams and balms) and Neiman Marcus.
Even though you can now buy CBD lattes at coffee shops, have a CBD facial at a spa, and buy CBD water in grocery stores, many people find CBD confusing, especially when learning how to use it and making sure it is legit. This is important because the FDA doesn’t regulate CBD, making it possible to buy a product more or less potent than advertised or even containing small amounts of THC.
What is hemp?
To understand CBD, you need to understand the female hemp plant.
“We’ve all heard the words hemp, marijuana and cannabis and the Cannabis Sativa plant has two main species; hemp and marijuana, both of which contain CBD,” Scearce explained.
The percentage of THC in hemp is very low (less than 0.3%) compared to marijuana. There is no CBD or THC in hemp oil which is oil taken from seeds of the hemp plant. You can often find this ingredient in beauty products because it is packed with healthy fats and used as moisturizers.
Where is CBD grown?
With the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, it is now legal to grow hemp in the United States. Because hemp grown for CBD could be worth up to $30,000 per acre, it is a lucrative crop to farm. Because regulations that govern hemp have yet to be established, it is up to each state to address their own policy regarding hemp cultivation.
Hemp loves full sun (12-plus hours a day), loamy soil rich in organic matter full of specific rich minerals. It also adores water (20-30 inches of rainfall during its growth cycle).
“Because it is grown in high quantities, most of it is grown outside but it can also be grown in greenhouses,” Scearce said.
What are the health benefits of CBD?
With only one CBD medication FDA approved (for certain types of epilepsy (Epidiolex), people are now swearing it helps other ailments such as back pain, osteoarthritis and even cancer. But the research is not there yet to prove such statements.
Pre-clinical trials over the last four decades have found cannabinoid shows promise as an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, neuroprotectant, anxiolytic, anti-depressant, analgesic, sleep aide, anti-tumoral agent and anti-psychotic. It also acts as an antioxidant, absorbing free radicals. Cleaning the cells and helping them operate more efficiently is what leads to reduced inflammation. Reducing inflammation is very powerful in fighting diseases and ailments. It’s one of CBD’s strongest abilities.
What is the best way to take CBD?
There are many ways to take CBD and depending on how quickly you want the product to begin working and how long you need it to work are questions to ask when deciding the best method to take it.
Vaping creates fast results (usually within 10 minutes) but wears off faster – usually between one to four hours. Tinctures (liquid placed under your tongue) and edibles (capsules, gummys or baked goods) begin working within 30 minutes but last four or five hours. Topical creams and ointments (apply to muscles, joints and ligaments for a localized release) last various time periods for various people and depend on how well your skin absorbs it and how much you use.
How is CBD extracted?
It is important to understand various CBD extraction methods as they have a major impact on the quality of the end product; not to mention your health. The solvent method is not recommended because it is dangerous to make and also more likely to cause health problems.
What is the difference between full spectrum and isolated?
This is actually a question of dosing. Full spectrum can include other cannabinoids such as cannabidivarin or cannabigerol. This is important because the “entourage effect” can happen which is when the ingredients are more effective together than any one of them alone.
“Isolate is 100% CBD,” Scearce said. “Some people may need just 10 milligrams of full spectrum CBD while taking 80-100 milligrams of Isolate may not have the same effect.”
Does CBD cure diseases?
No. Any company making this claim should be avoided.
Is CBD a narcotic?
As long as CBD oil does not contain elements of THC, it is not considered a narcotic.
Will CBD show up on a drug test?
CBD should not show up on a drug test as long as you are buying it from a third-party tested CBD with no additional THC. But, if a drug test is more sensitive (such as the ones required for athletes), a positive test could result for trace amounts of THC if using CBD products.
Is CBD safe?
Because CBD is being produced without any regulation, products result in a wide variety of quality. It’s still uncharted territory because people who want to start a CBD company can say whatever they want and also put whatever they want on the label.
There have been very few studies done on humans and in those studies did not include a control group that did not use the oil. Because of this, there is no way to know if the results are the true effect of the drug or just simply a placebo effect because someone thinks they have been given a drug that will be beneficial.
A 2017 study led by Bonn-Miller found that nearly seven of 10 CBD products did not contain the amount of marijuana extract as indicated on the label and nearly 43 percent of the products contained too little CBD while 26 percent contained too much. One in five CBD products contained the intoxicating pot chemical.
“If I were a consumer purchasing it for myself or my kid, I would want to test it so I knew what it actually had in it because I would not trust what was on the label,” Bonn-Miller concluded.
People really need to be under the care of a health care provider who understands CBD. They need to be monitored and not just go out and buy CBD thinking it is going to be the answer.
“Hemp and Cannabis have been around for a long time,” Scearce said. “A Chinese grave at least 2,000 years old was dug up in June in the Pamir Mountains (of what is now western China) and incense burners were unearthed. An analysis of the residue proved not only that it came from cannabis but also that it contained high levels of THC.”
Marijuana can stay in the human system for several months but cannabis sticks to other surfaces for millennia.