Frequently Asked Questions about CBD — CBD FAQs
CBD is having a moment — popping up everywhere, from your favorite skincare products to cocktails, pet products and more. – CBD FAQs
A major part of the cannabinoid’s sudden popularity stems from claims that you’ll get all the health benefits of cannabis without the high.
And with any health and wellness trend, there’s a lot of questions and misinformation out there regarding CBD.
What is true and what isn’t?
We’ll be answering some of the more common questions about CBD, what it can do for your health, and how you can make a more informed decision about whether or not you should be incorporating it into your daily regimen.
What is CBD? – CBD FAQs #1
CBD – or cannabidiol – is one of over 120 cannabinoids in the cannabis plant and has been shown to have medicinal properties without getting the user high, unlike THC.
Hemp and marijuana plants each have different levels of cannabinoids, and how the plants are bred has an impact on the amount of CBD that it has.
The majority of CBD oil comes from industrial hemp, which is typically higher in CBD and lower in THC than marijuana. Manufacturers use a variety of extraction methods to separate the cannabinoid from the hemp (or cannabis) plant and add it to your favorite product.
How do you use CBD? – CBD FAQs #2
There are a few ways to use CBD, and the one you choose will depend on your needs, the reason why you’re taking CBD, and how you prefer to dose.
- Smoking – CBD-only strains are available as flower, so they can be smoked in a joint or a pipe that may or may not contain marijuana-derived THC.
- Vaping – Using a vaporizer, CBD oil can also be vaped as an alternative to smoking. The difference is that the material is not burned, which can therefore be less irritating to the lungs and airways. Instead, the concentrate is heated just enough to turn the compound into a vapor, which is then inhaled.
- Topicals – Those who are suffering from pain and are looking for localized treatment may find CBD oil topicals effective. For instance, anyone suffering from sore muscles, joint pain, or even skin conditions may deal with their ailments effectively with a CBD topical that isapplied directly to the skin. Topicals can come in the form of an ointment, cream, or balm and can be applied virtually anywhere on the body where discomfort is felt.
- Tinctures – CBD oil can be applied directly under the tongue to help take effect quickly in the body. These products come in a dropper for easy application. You can also add drops to any food or drink, though the effect takes longer. Tinctures are easy to use and can help you dose more precisely based on the number of drops applied.
- Capsules – A user-friendly way to take CBD is through capsules. These are already precisely dosed and are easy to take, much like any other type of vitamin or pill.
- Edibles – CBD oil can be added to just about any food or beverages to be consumed orally. CBD edibles come in a wide array of products, including gummies, candies, chewing gum, baked goods, and beverages, such as water and beer. You can find CBD edibles already made and dosed, or you can create your own edibles by adding a few drops of CBD oil to your recipes.
How is CBD Different From THC? – CBD FAQs #3
The major difference between CBD and THC is their mental effect. While THC is known to have psychoactive effects, which is why recreational users use marijuana to get high, CBD does not have the same effect on the mind.
In fact, CBD may counter the mind-altering effects of THC.
The difference between THC and CBD and how each affects the mind and body have to do with how each compound interacts with the receptors of the endocannabinoid system.
Made up of its own set of naturally-occurring cannabinoids, this system is directly involved in regulating hormone secretion to affect things such as mood, appetite, and energy, inflammation, and pain.
Even though CBD and THC have the same atoms, the arrangement of these atoms is much different. CBD tends to interact more with the receptors that are more involved with inflammation and pain, while THC tends to interact more with the receptors involved in affecting the mind.
More specifically, THC interacts more with the CB1 receptors of the endocannabinoid system, which are found more in the central nervous system. Compounds that impact CB1 receptors are more likely to affect the mind because they impact the brain and spinal cord.
Instead, CBD interacts more with the CB2 receptors of the system, which are more prevalent in the peripheral nervous system. And anything that impacts CB2 receptors will affect the rest of the body, such as reducing pain and inflammation. Further, while THC binds directly with the receptors of the endocannabinoid system, CBD does not and is more indirectly involved with the receptors.
The bottom line is that THC is what gets users high, while CBD does not, even though both cannabinoids offer several medical benefits.
Does CBD Get You High?– CBD FAQs #4
As already mentioned, no, CBD oil does not get you high. There are no psychoactive properties in CBD oil, and as such, no mind-altering effects are felt after consuming it.
Does CBD Give you the “Munchies” and Other Side Effects of Marijuana? – CBD FAQs #5
It’s a commonly-known fact that smoking marijuana somehow stimulates the appetite in users and triggers them to snack. Known as the “munchies,” this situation is brought about by the THC in the marijuana plant. CBD doesn’t have the same effect as THC, instead there is research out there that suggests that CBD may have the opposite effect on the appetite.
Not only can CBD counteract the effects of THC – including THC’s appetite-stimulating effect – there is anecdotal evidence to suggest that it may actually help to suppress the appetite, though more research on humans is needed to solidify this notion.
How Will CBD Make Me Feel? – CBD FAQs #6
If THC makes you feel high, how does CBD make you feel? While CBD may be able to reduce pain and inflammation and alleviate feelings of nausea, what type of mental experience does it create? Your reaction to CBD will depend a lot on what you consume and how much you take. CBD has been known to stimulate mental clarity and even offer a bit of energy by activating serotonin receptors in the brain.
Other common effects of CBD include:
- Reduced anxiety
- More restful sleep
- Relief from pain and inflammation
- Increased relaxation
How Long Does CBD Last? – CBD FAQs #7
The answer to this question depends on the product used and the mode of consumption. Some CBD products may take action quickly and wear off sooner while others take longer to kick in and may last for hours. Generally speaking, the effects of CBD are usually felt for anywhere between two to six hours, depending on the dose and form.
Consuming CBD orally through capsules or edibles will take longer to take effect, but will last longer compared to other modes of consumption. When CBD is ingested, it will have to go through the digestive system first and processed by the liver before it will reach different parts of the body through the bloodstream. But when administered by vaping, smoking, or by using a sublingual tincture, the CBD is absorbed directly into the bloodstream faster because it does not have to be digested, therefore the effects are felt much quicker.
Can Taking CBD Products Cause Me to Fail a Drug Test? – CBD FAQs #8
Most drug tests are zero-tolerance, so proceed with caution if you’re subject to drug tests. If a product contains any THC, they will show up on a drug test. Pure hemp-based CBD made from reputable manufacturers typically contain no more than 0.3% THC.
While you won’t feel high from using these products, the tiny presence of THC means it’s still possible to fail a drug test. There are high-CBD strains of medical marijuana that also contain high amounts of THC, which will result in a failed drug screening.
Unfortunately, some manufacturers are not completely honest about the THC levels that are in their products which is why it’s very important that you understand exactly what’s in the product you’re taking.
While it may be fine to use a high-CBD and high-THC product – if that’s exactly what you want to use – you need to be aware of the precise contents in the product. If you believe you’re taking pure CBD, then there should be only trace amounts of THC – or none at all. Pure CBD oil will not cause a failed drug test, unless the test is specifically seeking CBD. While most employers are more concerned with THC, others like the US military, do test for CBD as well.
What is the Difference Between Cannabis-Based CBD and Hemp-Based CBD? – CBD FAQs #9
More and more people are finding out about CBD every day and are learning about all the health and medicinal properties that it possesses. But what many may not realize is that there are actually two different versions of CBD that are sold on the market. More specifically, some CBD products are derived from the hemp plant, while others are extracted from cannabis.
Cannabis plants are harvested for their flowers and buds, which house the plant’s THC that induces psychoactive effects. On the other hand, hemp plants are harvested for their seeds and stalks and don’t have enough THC to stimulate any mind-altering effects. In order to be classified as hemp, the plants cannot have any levels of THC that are higher than 0.3%.
Hemp-based CBD products don’t have enough THC to be considered illegal and are sold all around the country as a health supplement. Hemp-derived CBD oils are also usually lower in CBD levels than marijuana-based CBD oil. The former usually contains concentrations of around 3.5% CBD, while the latter typically has a CBD concentration of about 20%.
What is the Difference Between Hemp Seed oil and CBD? – CBD FAQs #10
Many CBD products are derived from hemp, so what would be the difference between what’s known as “CBD oil” and “hemp seed oil”? They are actually two different products and are unique in their own way. Both come from different parts of the cannabis plant, and while they both have healthy properties, they’re not the same. More specifically, hemp seed oil has little to no CBD or other cannabinoids, while CBD oil obviously contains CBD, hence the name.
Hemp seed oil is extracted from hemp seeds when they’re compressed, similar to how olive oil is made. This type of oil is considered to be extremely healthy, as it is rich in antioxidants and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Hemp seeds are also loaded with protein and are actually considered one of the best sources of plant-based protein.
CBD oil is extracted from the cannabis plant and contains CBD, as well as other cannabinoids, depending on the exact type of plant that it is extracted from.
What are the Risks of Using CBD? – CBD FAQs #11
As of late, there are no known dangerous health implications of taking CBD. However, there may be some side effects to using CBD, including:
- Changes in appetite
- Dry mouth
Is CBD Legal in the US? – CBD FAQs #12
The legal status of CBD in the United States is complicated. Because cannabis is still illegal at the federal level, cannabis-derived CBD remains illegal at the federal level.
But what about hemp-derived CBD? Under the 2018 Farm Bill, industrial hemp is no longer considered a controlled substance. Many states have also passed legislation to make CBD products legal. That means as long as the CBD product you buy contains no more than 0.3% THC, it should be legal, right? Not exactly. According to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act), it’s not legal to market or distribute food with added CBD into interstate commerce, even if it’s hemp-derived. California’s Department of Public Health also released a hemp CBD FAQ in 2018, which basically says even hemp-derived CBD is illegal in food, beverages and other products — further complicating whether cannabidiol is legal.
Your best bet is to check your state’s laws to determine if CBD is legal where you are.
Is CBD Safe to use During Pregnancy? – CBD FAQs #13
There are tons of symptoms that come with pregnancy. From nausea, vomiting, insomnia, aches and pains, and anxiety, the list is rather long. And sometimes the symptoms can be so bad that some pregnant women seek out medication to help them deal with their pregnancy-related issues. But many of these issues can be treated with CBD, which research has already shown. Many people take CBD to calm their anxiety, alleviate their nausea, reduce their pain, and help them get better rest.
We all know that taking illicit drugs during pregnancy is not safe for the unborn baby. There are plenty of studies that have shown a link between taking drugs during pregnancy and complications at birth. There may even be some argument to suggest that using a non-synthetic substance like THC-laden marijuana may be unsafe to use during pregnancy. For the most part, marijuana isn’t widely accepted as safe for use throughout pregnancy or while nursing. Some research suggests that THC can transfer from the mother to the fetus through breast milk and could potentially impact infant development. Marijuana could also negatively impact uterine blood flow.
But what about CBD? Even though it may come from the cannabis plant – which is still considered an illicit substance under federal law – CBD cannot be classified under the same category as what most would assume an illicit drug to be. Because hemp-derived CBD has such a low percentage of THC, it’s a safer alternative. While there is still limited research when it comes to CBD and pregnancy, expecting mothers who are looking to use CBD would likely be safer by choosing hemp-based products. CBD that is sourced from industrial hemp contains little, if any, THC. Marijuana-derived CBD, on the other hand, may be something that pregnant women may want to steer clear of, even though CBD that’s extracted from hemp or marijuana is identical on a molecular level. But to stay safe, pregnant women would be better off with hemp-based CBD.
How Much CBD Should I Take? – CBD FAQs #14
There really isn’t any one particular universal dosage of CBD; instead, the amount recommended will be based on an individual basis. The amount of CBD you should take depends on a few variables, such as your weight and body composition, the product you’re taking, and your goal for using the product.
Studies on dosages suggest anywhere between 20mg to 1,500mg per day — which is an incredibly wide range for a beginner. If you’re new to taking CBD oil, then it’s recommended that you start with small doses and gradually work your way up to find your “sweet spot.” Look for products that contain precise doses of CBD (5-10 mg), and start by ingesting one dose. Wait an hour or two to see how CBD affects you. Finding the perfect dose is trial-and-error, so it’s always best to take it low and slow.
While the use of cannabis has been around for what seems like forever, the emergence and use of CBD is relatively new. And thanks to ongoing research, we’re finding out more and more about the miraculous benefits that CBD can have on our health and how effective it may be as an alternative or complement to traditional medicine.