Interest in CBD has been increasing over the past decade. With research suggesting its medical benefits, more and more people are considering CBD than ever. But its proximity to marijuana can make learning about CBD a daunting task for many people. Here are five of the most common questions about CBD.
1. What is CBD?
CBD stands for cannabidiol. It is the most prominent cannabinoid in the hemp plant. Hemp is a kind of cannabis plant, and while it is a cousin of marijuana, they are not the same. Hemp contains primarily CBD, while marijuana contains primarily the psychoactive cannabinoid, THC.
2. Is CBD legal?
Unlike THC, CBD is legal federally in the United States, under the condition that it is extracted only from hemp. It is possible to extract CBD from CBD-rich marijuana and doing so is only legal in states with legalized recreational or medicinal marijuana. If you consume CBD extracted from marijuana, you may end up also consuming small amounts of THC. It is possible to fail a drug test after taking CBD extracted from marijuana.
3. What are the potential benefits of CBD?
CBD interacts with a person’s endocannabinoid system, which is the system responsible for maintaining the body’s overall balance. There are a lot of cannabinoids produced by the human body naturally and receptors for these cannabinoids are common in the immune system. Since CBD appears to prompt the body to produce more of its own cannabinoids which then attach to these receptors, CBD has been shown to have potential medical benefits. Research is ongoing in the following areas of CBD use.
- Chronic pain relief
CBD is thought to reduce inflammation and help ease chronic pain from problems like arthritis.
There is substantial evidence to suggest that CBD can help prevent certain kinds of seizures. In fact, the FDA has already approved an anti-seizure medication containing CBD.
- Stress and anxiety
CBD oil may help lower anxiety and ease the effects of chronic stress.
Many people use CBD as a way to get to sleep at night, especially if their insomnia is a result of anxiety.
4. How can I take CBD?
CBD is available in many forms. CBD oil can be purchased in a variety of strengths. The four basic consumption methods for CBD are sublingual, ingestion, topical, and inhalation.
Holding CBD capsules under the tongue can give immediate results. Oftentimes the capsule is held under the tongue for several minutes to get some CBD straight into a person’s system, and then the remainder is ingested to take effect later.
Ingesting CBD is the most versatile option. Gummies, foods, drinks, and many other snacking options can be found in stores and online. They are also quite a discreet method of consumption.
Topical applications of CBD do not enter the bloodstream, so the effects are somewhat different. CBD creams and other topical applications are for conditions that affect external parts of the body, such as acne or other forms of inflammation.
Inhaling CBD from a vaping device is the most direct method of consuming CBD and has the most immediate results, but it is perhaps the least discreet option. People who vape CBD run the risk of being mistaken for nicotine or THC users.
5. Are there any risks associated with CBD?
Nothing on this earth comes without risk, and CBD is no exception. At these early stages of research, a lot about CBD is simply not known. There have been several concerns raised about CBD, most notably potential interactions with prescription drugs. One of the largest concerns about CBD is its unregulated nature. It can be difficult to know that CBD products from different companies are being made to the same regulations.
Potential risks are accentuated when consumers self-medicate using CBD and without consulting a doctor because they don’t consider CBD to truly be medicine. If you are considering treating any condition with CBD, it is imperative to first bring the issue to the attention of your doctor, so they can determine if another treatment route is necessary. If you are consistently taking CBD, make sure your doctor knows so they can factor your CBD consumption into any other prescriptions they may give you.