Is CBD as safe and wonderful as the headlines claim? We did some investigating. Here’s everything you need to know. CBD has been touted to help with sleep, anxiety, pain, and more, and there are myriad ways to take it. But does CBD work? Is it safe? We’ve got answers. CBD Beginners Guide: How To Get Started With CBD Oil CBD Oil has become increasingly popular in recent times, and you can now find CBD products in various stores or even buy CBD online. It’s often used as a natural supplement for those who want to consume cannabinoids or want a legal, high-free …
A Beginner’s Guide To CBD Oil: What It Is, How To Use It, And 5 Brands We Trust
CBD products are touted as safe, natural, and affordable. They are marketed as remedies for physical ailments, stress, mental illnesses, and insomnia. CBD, like Cannabis, is also used as a health supplement for overall wellness.
What is CBD, though, and how do you use it? Is this plant-derived compound as wonderful as the headlines claim? We were curious, too, so we did some further investigating.
Whether you’re also curious about the hype or looking to begin your own journey with CBD, here’s everything you need to know about its origin, effects, and safe usage.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is found alongside more than 80 active cannabinoids (chemical compounds) in the Cannabis sativa plant. CBD is also in industrial hemp. With roots traced to 2700 B.C., CBD has been used for medicinal and natural remedy purposes for centuries. This is because of how the plant interacts with the endocannabinoid system—a modulatory system that balances the body during stress.
Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)—the other primary and most known cannabinoid in cannabis—CBD doesn’t alter your mind or cause a psychoactive reaction. In other words, using CBD won’t get you high.
The Benefits of CBD
While the research about the health benefits of CBD oil is still in its infancy, studies are finding CBD oil may help with the treatment and prevention of numerous illnesses. Further studies and evidence also suggest CBD may be an effective and natural treatment for mental health issues. The use of the cannabinoid increases anandamide and neurotransmitter serotonin, thus leading researchers to believe CBD oil can also help with stress and work as an antioxidant & anti-inflammatory compound.
Here are just a few of the benefits of CBD:
Treating Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, and epilepsy. The FDA has approved Epidiolex, a prescription medication made from purified CBD oil, as a treatment for two types of rare and severe epilepsy.
A natural treatment for schizophrenia, anxiety and depression.
Helps reduce stress and improves the quality of sleep.
Works as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound.
We love this firsthand account of a woman who tried CBD oil as a way to treat her anxiety; check it out.
What to Ask Before Buying CBD
Buying and using CBD oil in the USA is legal because it doesn’t contain THC. When sold outside states where medical and recreational marijuana is permitted, the purity of CBD is not regulated (check out this article from healthyish for further reading). That’s why it’s essential to do your research and ask questions of brands.
It’s also important to ask about the origin and purity of CBD. Where did this CBD oil come from? (Ideally, you want it to be local.) Is it organic? What third-party testing happens to ensure the CBD is pure, safe, and free from contaminants? As always, transparency is key. If a brand is not willing to share information, be cautious. There are plenty of safe CBD oil retailers wanting to educate and engage with customers. Check out a few of our favorite brands below to help get you started.
How to Use CBD
CBD is extracted in oil or powder form and then added to lotions, capsules, gummies, sprays, foods, and even bath bombs. You can add it to your coffee or morning smoothies. The natural oil can be applied topically or ingested. It can also be inhaled by way of vaping or taken sublingually (placed under the tongue). There are numerous products and brands to choose from on the market as CBD continues to gain popularity as a natural remedy. Trying it is simple, straightforward, and accessible in many different forms.
CBD: A User’s Guide
CBD is seemingly everywhere and in everything, from CBD-infused creams to CBD-infused oils, tinctures, gummies, juices, and lollipops. But does it work, and is it safe? We’ve got your questions covered.
I n case you haven’t heard, CBD is a cure for whatever ails you, from insomnia and inflammation to pandemic angst. Or at least that’s what retailers, supermarkets, mini-marts, beauty stores, and coffee and smoothie shops across America would have you believe. There are CBD-infused creams. CBD-infused oils. CBD-infused tinctures, gummies, juices, lollipops, lattes, nutritional supplements, and even a CBD oil–infused pillow! What’s next, CBD-infused tampons? (Actually, that already exists. Really.)
According to the Brightfield Group, a market research firm, CBD sales were estimated to exceed $4 billion at the end of 2021, and by 2025, the industry’s total market value could reach a whopping $16 billion.
Put that in your pipe and smoke it.
But does CBD work?
That’s a question worthy of a Talmudic scholar, because the CBD world is complicated.
Some believe that it may have an important role to play in certain health outcomes.
Raphael Mechoulam, PhD, a professor of medicinal chemistry at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel, has been studying the health benefits of cannabis and CBD since the early 1960s. Long considered the grandfather of cannabis research, Dr. Mechoulam and his team developed a process for synthesizing certain acids found in the cannabis plant. These acids — otherwise known as cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), and a methylated version of CBDA (CBDA-ME) — have been since studied for a variety of purposes, and might ultimately be used to develop new drugs for everything from arthritis and anxiety to inflammatory bowel disease and psoriasis.
Others believe CBD is unproven and risky.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) continues to investigate its potential harms, noting that while it recognizes the potential opportunity that cannabis-derived compounds (like CBD) can offer, it remains concerned about CBD products being marketed as supplements. (According to the FDA, THC and CBD products do not fit the definition of a dietary supplement.)
“FDA is aware that some companies are marketing products containing cannabis and cannabis-derived compounds in ways that violate the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act), and that may put the health and safety of consumers at risk,” the Agency wrote in its 2021 update, noting that it’s illegal to market CBD by adding it to a food or labeling it as a dietary supplement.
Among a number of problems with CBD, the FDA says, is that it can cause liver damage and diarrhea, it may impact the metabolism of other drugs, and it may cause male reproductive toxicity in humans, as has been found in animal studies.
Still, many consumers continue to believe CBD’s potential benefits. A report (PDF), also from the Brightfield Group, that analyzed 2,400 members of an online community of medical cannabis users found that 59 percent of CBD users say they use it for insomnia and 66 percent for anxiety, while 44 percent have taken it for depression and 49 percent for joint pain and inflammation.
With so much CBD noise out there, we’re feeling a little overwhelmed and confused about CBD. We want to know the real deal. For starters, is CBD the same as cannabis? Should we spend our hard-earned money on the stuff, or is it a scam? Is there any science to back up the claims that CBD is helping people sleep better, feel better, look better, or be an all-around better human? If so, is that in the form of CBD oil, tinctures, lotions, or should we vape it? But wait — isn’t vaping bad for you?
Relax. We’ve got you covered. Herewith, the real scoop on CBD. (Buyer beware: Abbreviations ensue.)
Common Questions & Answers
Endocannabinoids are molecules produced by the body to maintain homeostasis — stability — in response to changes in the environment. The endocannabinoid system interacts with all of the major systems and organs in the body to enable and restore optimal functioning.
The word “cannabinoid” usually refers to a chemical found in the cannabis (marijuana or hemp) plant. “Endo,” in this context, refers to substances produced inside the body. Endocannabinoids are, in effect, the body’s own source of cannabis-like substances.
CBD and THC are plant cannabinoids, which operate much as endocannabinoids do, by attaching to certain receptors on the outsides of cells and altering the behavior of those cells or the bodily systems they are a part of.
Cannabinoids and endocannabinoids can affect pain perception, memory, mood, appetite, and many other bodily systems. The endocannabinoid system regulates the release of other neurotransmitters — that’s how it maintains homeostasis — and helps the body heal from any damage it sustains. Plant cannabinoids can similarly enhance feelings of well-being, but they can have undesirable side effects as well, particularly in young people.
Research suggests that endocannabinoids can be boosted by certain foods, such as those containing essential fatty acids, chocolate, herbs, spices, and teas, as well as by stress-reducing activities.
CBD: The Good, the Bad, and the Confusing
Before we get too much into the, er, weeds, it’s important to understand what CBD is and where it comes from.
Cannabis refers to a group of three varieties of marijuana plants with psychoactive properties: Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis.
Cannabis contains more than 400 compounds, known as cannabinoids (pronounced keh-NAB-eh-noyd). The most well-known and researched are cannabidiol (CBD), and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabidiol (THC). Other lesser known components — THCA, CBN, CBC, and CBG — play different roles and have different effects in the body. (See our CBD glossary for details.)
The component in cannabis that is linked to its intoxicating effects (in other words, the “high,”) is THC. Conversely, CBD won’t get you high. Depending on your goals, this is either a good or a bad thing.
“Hemp” (which incidentally, is considered part of the CBD family) refers to non-intoxicating varieties that are high fiber or high seed-yielding and often used for rope, clothing, or sails. (Cocktail party fact: “The word ‘canvas’ comes from ‘cannabis,’ as it was made from cannabis fiber varietals,” says Will Kleidon, the CEO of Ojai Energetics in Ojai, California..)
In the United States, the legal definition of hemp is any cannabis plant whose delta-9 THC is below 0.3 percent.
What’s the Endocannabinoid System and How Does It Work?
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a biological system first described in the 1990s, and it plays a big role in brain, endocrine, and immune function. Its main role, however, is to maintain homeostasis, the internal biological balancing mechanism of the brain and body.
Two main elements of the system are endocannabinoid receptors, classified as CB1 and CB2. The body makes its own cannabinoids, known as endocannabinoids, that can act upon these receptors. But other varieties of cannabinoids, such as CBD, can interact with them, too.
What Are Cannabinoid Receptors?
Cannabinoid receptors are laced throughout the body, brain, and nerves.
- Cannabinoid 1 (CB1) Receptors Most of these are in the central nervous system, especially neurons (nerve cells) in the brain.
- Cannabinoid 2 (CB2) Receptors These are located mainly on immune cells but are also found in the central nervous system.
Both receptor types are activated by cannabinoids, which can be generated naturally inside the body (known as endocannabinoids) or can be introduced through a form of cannabis.
What’s the ‘Entourage Effect’?
The entourage effect refers to a theory that the whole is more effective than each part — or that the various compounds of the cannabis plant work best synergistically.
“It’s the theory that the cannabinoids, flavonoids, terpenes, and fatty acids all work together like an orchestra, in which all the instruments complement each other so you get the maximum effect of the plant,” says the cannabis researcher Monica Taing, PharmD. “CBD by itself can be a pain reliever, and THC can be a pain reliever by itself, but when combined, they work better for pain relief. That’s the entourage or ensemble effect.”
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get into the nitty-gritty.
What Are the Legal Implications of Using CBD?
The legality of CBD is confusing.
In 2018, the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (aka that year’s Farm Bill), legalized CBD derived from hemp — with the important caveat that it could only contain 0.3 percent of THC by dry weight, to be grown legally. This type of CBD is legal in 47 U.S. states with some restrictions, but totally illegal in Idaho, South Dakota, and Mississippi. Plants with more than 0.3 percent of THC are considered marijuana, which is legal for recreational use in 19 states, Washington, DC, and Guam.
Despite state laws legalizing the sale of cannabis for recreational or medicinal use, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) (PDF) still classifies it as a Schedule 1 drug: “substances or chemicals [that] are defined as drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.” So, while marijuana is illegal on a federal level, states have different laws regarding marijuana and CBD.
Only one cannabis-derived drug product has been FDA approved: cannabidiol sold under the brand name Epidiolex, which contains a purified form of high-dose CBD to treat a rare, hard-to-treat form of epilepsy in children ages 1 and up.
How Do I Find Safe CBD Products? How Do I Know What I’m Getting?
Short answer: You often don’t.
The situation is not unlike that of dietary supplements, except for in the case of supplements, the FDA has defined a very clear set of restrictions — and the Federal Trade Commission, strict reinforcement of health claims. While the FDA has sent warning letters to certain companies selling CBD products, many products slip under the radar. In addition, state and Federal CBD regulations are at odds, so oversight can be difficult. What’s more, every state where medical or recreational marijuana is legal has its own testing rules and regulations, so something that passes muster in Massachusetts might not in California.
People often buy their products online or at the local drugstore or gas station, meaning that they often don’t know what they’re getting.
“Some CBD products don’t contain CBD, but they contain THC and heavy metals, so we need strong regulations,” says Dr. Taing. Indeed, as of May 21, 2022, poison control centers have managed 2,652 cases related to CBD, per the American Association of Poison Control Centers.
Some people have failed drug tests because they’ve unwittingly taken THC that was in a product that was supposed to contain only CBD. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in November 2017 found that 21 percent of CBD products derived from hemp and sold online contained THC, even though THC wasn’t listed on the packaging.
A more recent study in JAMA Psychiatry showed that even a high-quality, high-potency cannabidiol product labeled as carrying as much as tenfold less than the legal limits of THC permissible under law might still result in positive urine drug tests.
Findings from another study, published June 2022 in the Journal of Cannabis Research, showed that of the 80 products evaluated, 37 contained CBD concentrations that were at least 10 percent higher or lower than the concentration listed on the label: 12 products contained less than 90 of what was listed, while 25 products contained more than 110 percent.
Even more worrisome, a study published in January 2019 in Forensic Science International examined nine liquids that were advertised as 100 percent natural CBD extract and found they contained potentially problematic compounds. One contained dextromethorphan, which is used in over-the-counter cough medication and is considered addictive when abused. Four others had a synthetic cannabinoid that can cause, among other things, anxiety, psychosis, and even death.
“As with any other product you would ingest, you have to be smart,” says Jahan Marcu, PhD, the editor in chief of the American Journal of Endocannabinoid Medicine, and the cofounder and chief science officer at the International Research Center on Cannabis and Mental Health.
What’s more, he says, every product should have a certificate of analysis, or COA — a document generated by a laboratory certifying its legitimacy and also listing the ingredients.
The Mayo Clinic uses the following checklist to identify high-quality products, as described in a 2019 issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings:
- Does it meet the following quality standards? These include Current Good Manufacturing Practices (CGMP) certification from the FDA; European Union (EU), Australian (AUS), or Canadian (CFIA) organic certification; National Science Foundation (NSF) International certification.
- Does the company have an independent adverse event reporting program?
- Is the product certified organic or eco-farmed?
- Have their products been laboratory tested by batch to confirm tetrahydrocannabinol levels below 0.3 percent and no pesticides or heavy metals?
For more information, Project CBD, Certified Kind, Clean Green, and WeedMaps offer information on dispensaries, cannabis products, and brands.
Does It Matter if the CBD Is Organic?
In theory, yes, because without an organic label, there’s a potential for ingesting pesticides and chemical fertilizers. If you have a COA, then you’ll know what’s in the product.
But here’s the rub: Organic products are regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which is a federal agency. Since cannabis is considered a Schedule 1 drug, technically, medical cannabis couldn’t be designated as “organic,” unless it’s made from hemp.
In May 2018, Palmetto Grow became the first company to have USDA Organic certification for hemp flower and seed. Since then, other organic growers have joined the market. You can find a list of some of the best organic CBD products from EcoWatch and The Honest Consumer.
CBD Oil Guide
CBD Oil has become increasingly popular in recent times, and you can now find CBD products in various stores or even buy CBD online. It’s often used as a natural supplement for those who want to consume cannabinoids or want a legal, high-free alternative to cannabis. However, there are many people out there who are most likely wondering how to get started with CBD Oil.
Fortunately, CBD Oil is safe, natural, and easy to use. However, if you’ve never tried it before, you probably have questions about which product to choose, how much you should use, and what to expect when you use it. As such, our CBD Beginner’s Guide will walk you through everything you need to know about getting started with CBD Oil.
What Is CBD Oil?
CBD Oil is a natural, cannabinoid-based product made by extracting cannabidiol from hemp plants into a consumable liquid form. Cannabidiol is one of the many cannabinoids that can be found in cannabis and hemp plants, although extracting it from hemp helps to keep CBD products low in THC and free from psychoactive effects.
Many people now use CBD Oil as a safe and natural alternative to cannabis. CBD Oil won’t get you high, nor will it give you any intoxicating effects. However, many people still turn to CBD Oil as an alternative to cannabis, especially if they’re looking for a product that allows them to consume cannabinoids without any harsh side effects.
It’s often used as a daily supplement, much like you’d use a multivitamin or other supplements for general wellness. Although there are many other CBD products out there, many people choose CBD Oil as it allows you to absorb CBD into your system quickly and conveniently. There are also multiple ways to use it, making it a versatile product that can suit all kinds of users.
Where To Buy CBD Oil
Due to the rapidly-growing popularity of CBD Oil, it can now be found in many places. You might find CBD Oil in health stores or even in your local grocery store. However, many of the CBD products you’ll find in stores are low-quality and won’t give you the best results. Instead, it’s best to buy CBD Oil from a trusted seller.
Wonderbuds is an Ontario Authorized cannabis dispensary that offers a range of certified CBD products from top brands. You can either pick up your CBD products in our Niagara Falls store or even make an online order. Whichever way, you can rely on premium products that are tested to ensure the utmost quality.
There are many popular options to choose from when it comes to CBD Oil. For instance, you might want to try Symbl High CBD Oil, Edison Cannabis Co. CBD Oil, or Reef Tranquil CBD Oil. You can also find various other CBD Oil products or even buy other types of CBD and cannabis products.
How To Use CBD Oil
The most common way to use CBD Oil is to apply it under your tongue. This method is fast, effective, and allows CBD to reach your system within around 30 minutes. It also makes it easy to use CBD Oil pretty much anywhere, even if you’re in your car or on the go.
Start by measuring your desired dose of CBD Oil using the dropper provided. Then carefully apply the drops under your tongue and hold them there for around 30-90 seconds. The CBD will be absorbed into your system by the mucous membrane of your tongue. This method is also known as sublingual absorption.
CBD Oil can also be ingested orally. While you might not want to swallow CBD Oil by itself, you can add it to foods such as soup, salad, or even apply drops on top of a regular snack or meal before eating it. However, keep in mind that you shouldn’t cook with CBD Oil, and consuming it orally takes longer to work than sublingual absorption.
You can also add CBD Oil to drinks. This is an easy and refreshing way to get a daily dose of CBD Oil, especially as you can add it to your tea, coffee, or even smoothies and juices. Simply measure your desired dosage, add the drops to your beverage, and mix before drinking. Much like mixing CBD Oil with your food, this method isn’t as fast as sublingual absorption but still works well.
How Much CBD Oil Should You Use?
Currently, there is no official recommended dosage for CBD. Fortunately, research suggests that CBD is very safe to use, even when used frequently or in high doses, and you won’t need to worry about taking too much. With that said, there are some general guidelines on how much you should take.
If you’re using CBD Oil for general purposes, it’s best to use a daily dose of around 10 to 20 mg a day. With that said, you can feel free to increase the dosage by 10mg each time if you feel that you need more or find it more comforting.
Each CBD Oil product is different, so you’ll need to check how potent it is and how much CBD is in each serving. Usually, CBD Oil is measured in mg and each drop from the dropper provided will give you a certain amount. This makes it easy to measure your desired dosage with the dropper and either apply it under your tongue or add it to your food or drink to consume it orally.
Getting started with CBD Oil is easy. You can buy CBD Oil online and use it either by applying it under your tongue or adding it to your food or drink. Whichever way, it’s very safe to use and many people take a daily dose of CBD just as they would with other kinds of natural supplements.
If you’re looking for high-quality CBD Oil products, make sure you check out Wonderbuds. In addition to CBD Oil, you can also find other CBD products including CBD Isolate, CBD Topicals, and even CBD Tea. You can also find a wide range of cannabis products including strains, concentrates, vape products, and more.
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