We’ve put together the ultimate CBD guide for beginners who aren’t sure where to start. This easy guide answers key questions and clears up any misconceptions about CBD
CBD is something of a buzzword in wellness these days. You’ve probably heard of people using it to treat chronic conditions like joint pain and anxiety. In fact, CBD is so popular that it’s even infiltrating skincare. The substance is most popular in places like Canada, the EU, and parts of the US, where CBD is legal and readily available. If you’re curious about CBD and are thinking about trying it, here’s everything you should know before taking a hit.
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WHAT IS CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) and Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are just two active compounds in the Cannabis sativa plant. THC is known for its psychoactive properties – this is what gets you “high.” However, CBD is not psychotropic but offers the same medical benefits at THC. This means you can use CBD to achieve the same therapeutic effects as marijuana without that stoned feeling.
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HOW DOES CBD WORK?
Full disclosure: scientists still don’t know exactly how CBD works on the body. But they’ve taken a good stab at trying to figure it out. The theory is that both CBD and THC interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system, which is a regulatory system consisting of naturally occurring cannabis-like molecules that act like neurotransmitters to send messages through the body.
There are two types of these molecules – CB1 and CB2. CB1 molecules are usually found in the brain, where they are used for cognition, memory and the nervous system, while CB2 receptors are more commonly seen in the immune and gastrointestinal systems. Scientists still aren’t entirely sure how the process works, but they believe that CBD encourages the body to produce its own endocannabinoids, which in turn reduce anxiety, pain, and inflammation.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF CBD?
Again, research into the benefits of CBD is still in its infancy. But studies thus far have shown that CBD provides effective relief from many mental and physical conditions. CBD has been proven to dull arthritis pain, fight anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder, ease the symptoms of schizophrenia, and even lessen the severity of seizures. In fact, there is even evidence to suggest that CBD can help manage the side effects of cancer treatments, prevent the occurrence of diabetes, and reduce acne.
HOW DO I USE CBD?
CBD is available in a range of forms. If you’re ready to jump on the bandwagon, you should be aware of the benefits and drawbacks of each before choosing what’s most suitable for you.
Oil is the most common CBD product. To take it, you simply place a drop under the tongue; the tiny capillaries here ensure the body quickly absorbs the concentrated product.
To treat skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis with CBD, topical preparations – like CBD-infused creams and lotions – are a good choice. People suffering from muscle or joint issues will also find these useful for managing their pain.
CBD is also available as capsules and pills, although these are usually used for treating seizures and digestive disorders. The main drawback of CBD pills, though, is that it can take awhile for the drug to enter the bloodstream and take effect.
Another popular choice for CBD are edibles. These are available as drinks, gummies, and even chocolates, and you’ll always know exactly how much CBD you’re taking. Additionally, they’re also affordable, and easy to carry. With edibles, you’ll need anywhere from 20 minutes to four hours to feel the effects of CBD.
As e-cigarettes are taking over the world of smoking, so vaping is the coolest new way to take CBD. Essentially, you’re inhaling vaporized CBD oil. And since the drug will enter your bloodstream directly through your lungs, this is the quickest method of absorption. The downside? You may be putting your delicate lungs at risk for damage.
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IS CBD EVEN LEGAL?
There’s a lot of grey around the legality of CBD. Technically, it’s legal in a lot of places. But you’ll have to pay attention to the nuances to make sure you stay on the right side of the law. Canada and the EU countries (except Slovakia) have the most lenient CBD policies – it’s legal in all these places. In other countries – like the UK, and Australia – CBD is legal but only if it’s completely free of THC.
In the US, though, the use of CBD needs to have federal and state regulation to be legal. CBD is technically legal at the federal level thanks to The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, which states that products with no more than 0.3% THC are acceptable. A slew of states then quickly made CBD legal, including Alaska, California, Colorado, Massachusetts, Vermont, and Washington D.C. Other states, however, only allow the use of CBD in exceptional circumstances. For example, in North Carolina and Alabama, it’s available to treat severe epilepsy.
So if you’ve ever wanted to try CBD, you now have everything you need to know to make an informed decision. With CBD now legal in many places and available in myriad forms, it’s easier than ever to reap the benefits of this unique substance.