CBD is the abbreviation for cannabidiol, which is the chemical compound found in products that are marketed as containing CBD. This compound is derived from hemp or in other terms, the cannabis Sativa plant, and is the other more famous chemical found in the plant next to tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC for short.
Unlike THC, cannabidiol does not give you that “high” many users are after. Its roots are recognized as being from central Asia, believed to have first been used medically or for rituals around 750 BC, though there have been instances of CBD use in other places throughout history.
THC and CBD are two out of the hundreds of cannabinoids found in the plant. Other differences between the two are that THC is known to induce or increase anxiety at times, whereas CBD is being studied for the opposite effect it has on those in recovery.
CBD is essentially a pain killer and a calming agent, mainly used by individuals with anxiety or chronic pain for when places such as Weiss Chiropractic practices don’t work due to the weight of the situation.
There is one question with taboo plants such as cannabis that always arises, which is whether it is legal to use. The answer is mostly yes, since it has varied amounts of restrictions in different US states, taking up a gray area regarding the law.
The rule with CBD being legal is that the THC level of the products should not exceed 0.3% in the US, titling them as “hemp”. As for Europe, CBD products are legal in almost all countries, but access to products is limited since it is still a fairly new product to the European market.
CBD products are said to help relieve anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, pain from chronic illnesses, and were also shown to help some with disorders like Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
Mainly used for anxiety, it is a natural product that is a good substitute for medications such as antihistamines, beta-blockers, and so on. Anxiety can be caused by a big event or a buildup of smaller life situations that induce stress, from dealing with difficult coworkers or work stress due to the death of a loved one.
In addition, CBD is also marketed as a sleeping aid and is purported as a non-psychoactive, thus easing anxiety.
AS for CBD products, there are tons to choose from ranging by the type of product.
The most popularized form of cannabidiol product is gummies, or gummy candy if you will.
These gummies are just like Haribo, coming in all different shapes and sizes, flavors, and uses. One of the benefits of gummies is that they are a discreet way of ingesting CBD whenever you need it.
There are three different types of CBD that can be added to gummies.
The first type is full-spectrum CBD. This type contains all the phytochemicals that are naturally present within the plant, for example, cannabinoids, typhenes, and other oils. Full-spectrum CBD also contains THC, so it is somewhat psychoactive.
The second type is broad-spectrum CBD, which contains all phytochemicals minus the THC.
The third and last type, CBD isolate, is the purest form of CBD, containing no other compounds, and is the usually recommended form of CBD intake.
As for the popular gummies, there are calming ones, ones containing melatonin, spices like ginger and turmeric, extra vitamins like vitamin E, higher dose ones, full-spectrum ones, gummies with spirulina, and the list goes on. That being said, there are alternatives to gummies that deserve some spotlight.
A trustworthy way to take CBD is through oils. Oils come in all three spectrum types, and full-spectrum products have been proven to treat multiple sclerosis and arthritis pains.
CBD oil is made by extracting the cannabidiol from the buds and flowers of hemp. They have different methods of extraction, namely using carbon dioxide (CO2), ethanol, liquid solvents, and oil infusion. Some of these methods result in impure oil, thus needing secondary processes to purify the extract.
Oils are the second fastest way to feel the effects of CBD, after vaping. The oil or tincture is dropped under the tongue using a dropper or sprayed into your cheek and takes around thirty minutes to absorb. If it is added to food or swallowed, it will take as long as your liver takes to process it.
The downside to oils and tinctures is the trickiness of the dosing, so make sure to measure it out properly and shake the bottle so the CBD gets unstuck from the walls of the bottle.
One of the most recommended oils is Organics Organic CBD Oil, in Tropical Sunrise. The oil contains full-spectrum CBD and contains natural coconut and pineapple flavoring. The hemp itself is US-grown and is certified organic. In addition, the brand itself is extremely transparent regarding its processes.
Another brand that is recommended often is R+R Medicinals. Their organic broad-spectrum THC-free hemp extract tincture is not only more affordable but also has a potency of 1000mg per 30mL bottle. The tincture is USDA certified and the company produces phytonutrient-rich hemp with terpenes, flavonoids, etc.
Topicals come in many different forms, for example, lotions, transdermal patches, and balms. They are meant to be rubbed or applied directly on the skin to gradually be absorbed through the bloodstream for a prolonged period of time.
Topicals can be just as effective as oral methods, the difference being lotions work locally, making them effective options against arthritis pain and menstrual cramps. Transdermal patches, on the other hand, affect the body on a larger scale, since they get absorbed through the bloodstream.
The downsides to topicals are that they need to contain higher amounts of active ingredients, meaning CBD, to be just as effective as ingestible or edibles, thus driving up the price of these products. Another risk could be skin irritation, but that is unlikely. Either way, consulting a physician before use is recommended.
The most recommended topicals are Cornbread Hemp CBD Lotion Skin Formula, which is a full-spectrum product with 500mg of CBD per 2 ounce jar. The product contains lemongrass, eucalyptus, and rosemary next to the CBD, which is solely made from hemp flowers.
This lotion absorbs quickly without leaving any residue on your skin.
The way CBD vaporizers work is they heat up dry cannabis flower or CBD, thus creating a vapor which the user then inhales. This is the fastest possible way of feeling the effects of CBD, taking about ten minutes to hit the bloodstream, with most feeling effects within a few minutes. The effects last three to five hours.
The issue with vaporizers is that their efficacy depends on the user, by how deep they inhale, how long they hold their breath, and so on. This leads to the effective absorption varying from 10% to 60%.
Dosing is also tricky with vaporizers, but prefilled pens make it easy for users.
Another downside would be vape cartridges that contain propylene glycol, which is liquid alcohol prominently used in e-cigarettes and can be broken down as formaldehyde. Opt for solvent-free oils that come with certificates of analysis when buying cartridges.
One cartridge brand that is said to be great is Cheef Botanicals, for their rich blend of flavors and their high-quality Cannabidiol mixed with a bunch of other natural ingredients that create the flavor for the cartridges. These cartridges do not contain any VG, PG, or MCT oil, making them quite good for the regular vaper.
In addition. Cheef Botanicals uses third-party testers to make sure their cartridges are as potent as they should be.
Yes, gummies are already a great option, especially for those who wish for controlled dosing and dislike inhaling things other than air. One mentionable brand is Holmes, a black-owned CBD company that also makes vegan gummies.
Edibles also come in the shape of drinks, candy, capsules, baked goods, and so on.
With the large variety found within the edible market, you may find it easier to find a product that suits your needs and preferences, like maybe CBD chocolate or granola bars, though these products do have an earthy flavor some might find unappealing.
The problem with all edibles is the unpredictability with the absorption, which can be slow and random, but it does last longer due to the liver’s absorption rate.
Overall, it is up to you which method you prefer, so make sure to consult with a healthcare professional before making any massive decisions.