CBD Facts: 10 Things Everyone Needs to Know About Cannabidiol

By Josh Hall
Jeff W, Unsplash

There’s a lot of hype surrounding CBD, and we want you to know whats fact and what’s fiction. With so much misinformation and false claims about CBD floating around the internet, we aim to help set the record straight for this cannabis extract. Here you’ll find our list of the ten most important CBD facts that everyone needs to know.

1. CBD comes from the cannabis plant

It’s true that cannabidiol, or CBD, is derived from cannabis. CBD is what’s called a cannabinoid, and it’s one of more than a hundred cannabinoids that you’ll find in the cannabis plant. However, CBD oils are typically extracted from industrial hemp plants, which are a sub-strain of cannabis sativa. Hemp plants naturally contain high levels of CBD and low levels of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the chemical compound responsible for creating a euphoric “high” in marijuana users.

2. You won’t get high from taking CBD

This is perhaps one of the most commonly confused aspects of CBD use. Unlike its fellow-cannabinoid THC, CBD does not get you high. The reason for this is because CBD indirectly affects cannabinoid receptors throughout the body, as opposed to THC, which binds strongly with receptors in the brain. The reality is that when both CBD and THC are present, CBD has the ability to block THC from binding with the brain’s receptors. Learn more about the differences between CBD and THC here.

3. It is legal to consume CBD

Many people point to the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill as support of the belief that CBD is legal in all 50 states. While the bill did strip the Schedule I controlled substance tag from hemp and made it legal under federal law, individual states still have the power to enact cannabis laws that supersede federal precedent. The laws are murky, but we know that three states — Idaho, Nebraska, and South Dakota — have specific laws in place that reference hemp-derived CBD products as illegal or have legislation in place that is open to interpretation. Wondering how this all affects you? This state-by-state breakdown can help.

4. CBD is non-addictive

CBD is a non-habit forming substance, which means it’s not something that you can become addicted to. In a lengthy report on CBD, the World Health Organization said: “In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential.” The reason why we don’t become addicted to CBD is because of its lack of influence on those receptors in the brain. It simply doesn’t stimulate the brain’s dopamine-based reward system in the way that other compounds like THC do.

5. CBD works best with other hemp plant compounds

This is true, and it’s because of something called the “entourage effect,” which refers to a form of synergy that occurs when multiple cannabinoids work in tandem with each other. Think of it like adding ingredients together in a dish. One ingredient might be good on its own, but when mixed with another, it gets taken to an entirely new level. The entourage effect primarily occurs when using full-spectrum hemp extracts that supercharge the benefits of both CBD and the other compounds (like terpenes or cannabinoids, such as CBC, CBG, or CBN) it mixes with. We’ve written extensively about the entourage effect and why it matters for CBD users.

6. CBD has many health benefits

CBD interacts indirectly with your endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is a major biological system in our bodies. The goal of the ECS is to help the body reach homeostasis, which is a state of steadiness and consistency. The ECS has an impact on significant aspects of our health and behavior, including learning, memory, mood, sleep, stress, and pain. CBD directly impacts the ECS receptors and neurotransmitters to provide many advantages, like anxiety reduction, sleep improvements, and pain relief. It’s even been used in medication to treat the difficult to treat symptoms of some health conditions, like multiple sclerosis and epilepsy.

7. There are few side effects of CBD

While CBD seemingly has many potential benefits, it is also reported to be generally safe to consume and it has little to no side effects. If you do experience adverse effects, they will likely be mild in nature, such as drowsiness, dry mouth, or appetite changes. Additionally, most of these negative effects are often caused by taking too much CBD, and can be avoided by taking the proper dose of CBD.

8. CBD oil isn’t always the same as “hemp oil”

One of the most confusing things about the CBD market comes from the comparison of CBD oil vs hemp oil. In some instances, CBD oil tinctures may be referred to as “hemp oil” because it does in fact come from hemp plants. However, hemp oil may also refer to hemp seed oil, which is made by a very different extraction process. Hemp seed oil is created by cold pressing hemp seeds, which creates a thick oil that may have some benefits thanks to its many nutrients, but this product does not contain the same phytocannabinoids as CBD products, and thus will not have the same wellness advantages.

9. The FDA has not approved CBD

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has only approved one CBD product, which is a prescription medication known as Epidiolex, and it’s used to treat dravet syndrome in young children. Other CBD products have not been evaluated by the FDA, and these mainstream goods are not held to any government regulations or standards. This means that some unscrupulous companies enter the market trying to make a quick buck, but there are many ethical CBD distributors and retailers out there as well. You can ensure the product you’re using is truly high-quality by checking for an up-to-date Certificate of Analysis (COA) from a third-party lab, which will provide a comprehensive report on the contents of CBD-infused products, including the levels of CBD and THC in each batch.

10. There is no “right amount” of CBD

Despite what you may have heard, you aren’t guaranteed to get the type of results you’re looking for just by taking large doses of CBD. In fact, taking too much CBD in one dose can actually make you feel drowsy. The suitable dosage will vary for each person, and there are many factors to consider as you evaluate how much you should be taking. The weight of the person, severity of symptoms, delivery method, and serving strength of the product will all dictate how, what, and when you feel any effects. Our best advice is to start slow and with a low dose. If that amount doesn’t help you achieve the desired outcome, gradually increase your dose until you find that sweet spot.

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