Cannabidiol 101: Your Intro to CBD

What you need to know about the popular natural remedy

By Marc Lewis
CBD Infos, Unsplash

CBD, or cannabidiol, is a compound found in cannabis plants that has become a popular wellness trend for its therapeutic potential.

However, there’s a lot of confusion around this cannabinoid and how it works, so let’s clear a few things up:

  • CBD won’t produce a psychoactive high like marijuana
  • Many people use CBD to alleviate a wide range of symptoms
  • Widely legal CBD products originate from hemp plants with less than 0.3% THC

CBD is currently awaiting evaluation by the FDA, but the compound is generally considered safe according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Why do people use hemp extracts?

Consumers use CBD for a lot of different reasons, some more serious than others. Some people might take CBD to relax, while others use it simply to feel better.

We get a lot of questions about the purpose of using CBD, especially when it comes to everyday ailments like sleep, pain, and anxiety.

  • For those that have difficulty falling asleep or staying sleep, CBD is sometimes used as a sleep aid for its relaxing effects on the mind and body.
  • As a natural alternative to NSAIDS and opioids, CBD has anti-inflammatory properties that may help alleviate difficult to treat pain.
  • More recent research supports the findings that CBD may help reduce anxiety and other mental health disorders.

While there is some scientific research to support the wellness effects of cannabinoids, the vast majority of information about CBD stems from anecdotal evidence and personal experiences.

Because of this, it’s unclear how CBD may affect an individual given that each person is different and may have varying experiences with CBD.

Does hemp get you high?

CBD can be found in both hemp and marijuana plants, but hemp derivatives contain little to no THC (the psychoactive element in cannabis). CBD has more of a calming effect, and it won’t get you high. Because of this, CBD products also produce no psychoactive effects since they contain only trace amounts of THC, or none at all.

For many people, the lack of mind-altering effects from CBD is preferred considering THC can have negative side effects like impaired memory, paranoia, and difficulty with critical thinking.

What if I get drug tested?

The majority of drug screenings only test for the presence of THC, and since CBD products contain little to no THC, it’s highly unlikely that CBD would affect a drug test. You also always have the option of using THC-free CBD products just to stay on the safe side.

How do I take it?

There are plenty of ways that you can use CBD, including various applications styles that require different time frames to take effect. Perhaps the most popular way to get a dose of CBD is through oil tinctures, which may seem odd at first, but they’re pretty simple to use.

All you have to do is place a few drops of CBD oil below your tongue and hold them there for 30 to 90 seconds.

Side Effects of Cannabidiol

There are few CBD oil side effects that users report. Here are a few potential side effects that you should always be on the lookout for if you’re using CBD:

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Tiredness/Fatigue
  • Changes in appetite
  • Changes in weight
  • Dry mouth
  • Low blood pressure

Negative CBD side effects tend to be rare, and CBD doesn’t seem to have side effects of serious magnitude. Most of these adverse effects can be avoided by administering the right amount of CBD.

Additionally, you should take into account any prescription medications. Learn more about the side effects of CBD here.

Is CBD the same as medical cannabis?

The Food and Drug Administration has not evaluated CBD oil for the treatment of any medical condition. There is only one FDA-approved CBD drug, Epidiolex, which is prescribed for the treatment of dravet syndrome and lennox-gastaut syndrome. These are two rare forms of pediatric epilepsy that are difficult to treat as patients with these conditions may not respond well to traditional seizure treatments.

Another prescription drug derived from cannabis is Sativex (nabiximols), which is a mouth spray that includes two chemical compounds that are found in cannabis plants: delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).

Sativex was approved in 2010 as a botanical drug in the U.K. to help reduce spasticity. With that being said, Sativex is not currently approved for use in the United States.

CBD products that are derived from industrial hemp strains of cannabis plants contain little to no trace of THC and they are widely available.

Related: High-CBD Strains

How does CBD work?

The human body is equipped with an endocannabinoid system that helps maintain homeostasis by providing support for many bodily functions such as mood, pain sensation, stress, appetite, and sleep.

Phytocannabinoids within CBD flower from hemp plants interact with cannabinoid receptors in our endocannabinoid system, which can positively impact your health.

Related: Will CBD show up on a drug test?

The benefit of introducing CBD oil into your body is that it can help your body better regulate itself—or achieve more balance.

These benefits are indirect, meaning the health advantages are not a result of the cannabinoid but rather what your body is empowered to do when its regulatory system is fully activated.

In addition to the CBD, hemp oil extracts may also contain terpenes, flavonoids, and other cannabinoids like CBG or CBN. All of these additional cannabis plant compounds work together to enhance the effects of CBD, which is known as the entourage effect.

However, not all CBD products are made from whole plant extracts. To reap the most wellness advantages, most people find that full-spectrum CBD oils are the most effective since they contain a wide range of beneficial plant parts.

Read More about how CBD oil and hemp oil are different

Frequently Asked Questions About Cannabidiol

How long does CBD stay in your system?

The amount of time that CBD stays in your blood stream can vary from person to person. These variations tend to arise out of factors that can be different for every person, like their metabolism, genetics, and the amount of CBD they are taking.

How does CBD make you feel?

As previously mentioned, CBD won’t make you feel high, but it may be able to help clear your mind or make you feel more at ease. A lot of people talk about the effects of CBD, but more often than not we hear feedback from consumers that these products don’t create a specific “feeling,” but rather they reduce aggravating symptoms related to pain, anxiety, sleep, etc.

Why is CBD so expensive?

There are a lot of factors that go into the cost of a CBD oil. Starting from the ground up, the cost of cultivating healthy hemp crops plays a large roll in the price of CBD oil.

Hemp is a unique plant that flourishes in specific agricultural conditions, and it must be farmed carefully since hemp soaks up everything that’s in the soil.

Next up is the CBD extraction process. This can be a taxing operation, and can increase in cost depending on what level of distillation and purification the CBD oil undergoes.

Additionally, the  lab testing necessary to ensure high quality products is expensive. This testing checks the purity, concentration, and cannabinoid composition of a CBD product.

More recently, CBD oil prices have become increasingly competitive as companies try to differentiate themselves in an oversaturated market.

While everyone wants a good deal, it’s important to avoid cheaply made CBD products. Always look for up-to-date third party lab test results before you buy a CBD oil so you know exactly what you are getting.

In Conclusion

The CBD industry can be a confusing space. People are concerned about brands white labeling CBD with little transparency and they are even trying to make their own CBD at home.

That’s why we created Remedy Review. We wanted to help consumers navigate the CBD market and find a natural remedy that really works for them.

If you want to keep reading more about how CBD works in our bodies, check out some of our favorite CBD books.

Or jump to our brand reviews and find a company that’s right for you.

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