CBD FOR BEGINNERS: Frequently Asked Questions on America's Fastest Growing Health Trend
(CÜR is not making any medical or health claims in this blog: *These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.)
Within recent years and months, it seems as though CBD products have gone from a niche alternative health trend to a national wellness phenomenon. CBD products are now being seen everywhere from online e-commerce platforms, to shelves of national convenience store brands such as 7/11, Shell, and Mobil alike. Beauty companies are rushing to create effective CBD facemasks, skin creams and other products while CBD gummies and oils are being bought out in the masses by consumers of what seems to be every possible age group. The use and effects of CBD is receiving praise from almost everyone, spanning from the young energetic college student taking your order at a restaurant, to your grandparents who insist that these CBD gummies (whatever they are) that they have been taking have greatly eased their back and joint pain. With all this buzz about CBD coming from seemingly everywhere, it raises a lot of potential questions about the uses, effects, and legality of CBD products that leave the general consumer confused and unaware as to where to start in looking for information regarding CBD uses and products. Furthermore, the answers to the most commonly asked questions about CBD can be answered below.
First, A Little Bit of Background on Cannabis, Hemp, and Marijuana.
If you’re new to CBD, you may be hearing about it in relation to other terms that you’re probably far more familiar with; Cannabis and Marijuana. Cannabis Sativa is an annual herbaceous flowering plant that is native to Eastern Asia that is now grown almost worldwide due to its cultivation as for medicinal, ritualistic, spiritual, and recreational purposes. That being said however, what many people do not know is that the Cannabis Sativa has two primary species. One of which is Hemp and the other is Marijuana. Both species of Cannabis Sativa contain CBD however, Hemp contains far higher concentration of CBD and far less (often as low as 0.3%) levels of THC compared to marijuana. This means that the consumption of Hemp products will not produce the same psychoactive effects as the use of Marijuana as these effects come from THC and not CBD.
Makes Sense, So What is CBD Anyways?
CBD is an acronym for cannabidiol, which is a chemical compound found in the Cannabis Sativa Plant. It is a natural substance in the plant that is now finding itself being used in products such as edibles and oils for its significant therapeutic and relaxing characteristics when applied or consumed. However, unlike THC, another chemical found in the Sativa plant, CBD is non-psychoactive. CBD has differing effects on the brain’s neuroreceptors than THC meaning that the consumption and use of CBD will not cause its users to feel “high” or intoxicated. Because of this, CBD is a good alternative health option to those who are looking for the health benefits of the Cannabis Sativa plant but may not want the additional intoxicating effects that are associated with the consumption of THC. This combined with its ease of use make CBD a good option for those who are looking to try cannabis for a variety of different reasons.
So, CBD Won’t Get Me High, But What are its Effects and Why Should I use it?Many people who begin using CBD begin to do so as alternative to traditional medicines due to the abundance of side effects found in many pharmaceutical drugs. Many CBD patients and users report that CBD products have relaxing and soothing effects for both physical and mental symptoms. CBD has been shown to be a more natural remedy than traditional medication for conditions such as depression, anxiety, inflammation, muscle and joint pain and much more. Government sponsored as well as private research and firsthand accounts from patients and doctors have shown that CBD can be a potential remedy for:
- Skin Infections and Diseases such as Acne and Dermatitis
- Metabolic Diseases such as Diabetes and Obesity or overeating
- Neurological conditions including but not limited to; Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, dementia, epilepsy, brain injuries and Huntington’s Disease.
I’m Still a Little Bit Worried, is CBD Safe?
According to a study done by Health.com in which many doctors and medical experts were consulted on the uses, safety, and benefits of CBD use, the overwhelming consensus was that CBD is safe to try. One doctor in the same study claimed that only around 5% of CBD patients claim that they felt altered by any side effects in any way after the consumption of CBD. This is roughly the same amount of people who feel any sort of alteration or side effect when taking other more common over the counter medications such as Tylenol, Dayquil or Advil. This being said, it is generally recommended that whenever you begin to take any new medication, to do so safely and with some sort of supervision and consult with your physician before use.
That’s all Great! But is CBD Legal to Use?
The 2014 Farm Bill officially stated that individual states can regulate and control the growth, production and sales of Hemp plants and products. This allowed each individual state to choose whether or not Cannabis and therefore, CBD would be legal for growth and therefore legal to sell. This all changed recently when congress approved a new farm bill on December 11, 2018, which was then passed by the House on December 12 and subsequently signed by President Trump on December 20th. This new farm bill made it federally legal to grow Hemp. In some states, specifically:
- Washington DC
Cannabis is legal to be grown and used for not only medical but recreational purposes as well. Other states have taken other routes. There are currently 23 states that allow some form of legal use of the Cannabis plant and another 14 states that allow the legal use of CBD oil only. However, in states like Idaho, Nebraska and South Dakota, any and all use or growth of the cannabis plant is illegal. It is recommended to look at your individual state’s regulations regarding CBD before purchasing or using CBD products.
How Should I be taking my CBD?
If you’ve read this far, you’ve probably heard of tons of ways to consume CBD and have also seen tons of different CBD products, or you are just wondering which product or method of using CBD is right for your needs. Some people do not want to physically ingest anything, so for those people CBD ointments and creams can be applied to skin, joints or any area in which the patient would like to feel localized and targeted effects. Some patients prefer CBD vape pens or cartridges which will give the user more immediate relief; however, these effects do not last as long as CBD edibles. Edibles such as CBD gummies may take longer for the user to feel the effects of CBD however these effects will last for a longer duration of time, sometimes, for multiple hours. In the end, it really comes down to what you are using CBD for and what symptoms you are looking to treat. Someone who is experiencing back or muscle pain may choose a cream or ointment while someone else using CBD to help with their anxiety may want to feel the effects of CBD for a longer duration of time without focusing its effects on a certain spot on the body.
So, what is the Future for CBD?
Across the US and the world as a whole, there are many people who are able to benefit from not only CBD products, but from all different sorts of Cannabis use, not just CBD or low THC products. Research has been conducted that shows that CBD may in fact be the most successful in the treatment of certain conditions when combined with THC. This being said, the research and development of Hemp and Cannabis related health benefits is still a new field and there are many who still, for whatever reason, oppose its use. However, with the introduction of non-intoxicating Hemp and Cannabis products, the public perception of Cannabis is beginning to change. People are beginning to see the benefits, use and merit behind the Cannabis plant as a legitimate remedy for many health issues and conditions. Moving Forward it is up to us to place pressure on our state and national representatives in order to fund more research and to get national bills passed that allow for nationwide use and study of Cannabis and potentially save thousands of lives in the process.