The CBD market is exploding. Even so, a new study shows the majority of Americans still don't know what CBD is.
While more than six in ten (62%) Americans have heard about CBD and most of these consumers are uncertain or mistaken about what CBD actually is, what it does, and whether all products made with CBD are safe to consume.
Together with sixty-eight percent who have not tried CBD said that they don't know the difference between CBD and THC-containing products such as marijuana.
It took me forever to really get to grips as to what CBD is. Because 101 guides to cannabis and CBD were frustratingly complex.
So here we are going to do our best to explain everything better so that you won't get frustrated and understand what CBD is, what it does, the difference between CBD and THC-containing products such as marijuana, and whether all products made with CBD are safe to consume.
What is CBD?
CBD is an abbreviation for cannabidiol. Cannabidiol is one of the many natural chemical compounds found in the Cannabis sativa plant, also known as cannabis or hemp. These chemical compounds are called cannabinoids.
However, CBD is obtained from hemp, a form of the Cannabis sativa plant that only contains very small amounts of THC.
But, unlike THC, CBD doesn’t get you “high”. It does, however, come with a whole load of therapeutic qualities, which we’ll cover for you later on.
CBD effects are different from THC and do not seem to produce intoxicating effects where performance or cognition is impaired. You may feel mellow, experience less pain, be more comfortable, and sleep better.
We found after a ton a research that among individuals with a variety of health problems such as epilepsy, chronic pain, autism, anxiety, and other serious health conditions.
Those who were using CBD products—reported a better quality of life and satisfaction with health, pain, sleep, and mood compared with those who were not using cannabidiol products.
What Does CBD Do?
Many people still don’t really know what CBD is. Is it marijuana? Is it legal? Does it actually work? Is it safe?
CBD is thought to be a safe and effective option for certain conditions. Below, we sort through the confusion by answering some of the most common questions about CBD.
Again, CBD does not get you high, but the idea that it’s not psychoactive is something of a misconception in some peoples opinion.
It does change your consciousness. You may feel relaxed, experience less anxiety and pain, and be more comfortable. In addition, some CBD products do contain small amounts of THC.
Does CBD Work?
Yes, there is evidence that CBD works for some conditions, but certainly not all the conditions it is being promoted for these days.
There’s no evidence, for example, that CBD cures cancer or prevents Covid. However, there is moderate evidence that CBD can improve sleep disorders, fibromyalgia pain, muscle spasticity related to multiple sclerosis, and anxiety.
What Are The Health Benefits Of CBD?
CBD has many different effects on the human body, and the effects of CBD vary by individual. While there are a lot of research studies and papers surrounding CBD on the internet, more research needs to be done to fully understand the benefits and safety of CBD.
But so far, scientists have noted these effects from CBD:
- Pain relief
- Treatment for arthritis and joint pain
- Anxiety relief
- Management of some common sleep disorders
- Limit certain types of seizures
Is CBD Marijuana?
No, CBD is not marijuana. CBD can be derived from hemp plants. Hemp is defined as any part of the cannabis Sativa plant with no more than 0.3% of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the mind-altering substance in marijuana.
THC and CBD are in both marijuana and hemp. Marijuana contains much more THC than hemp, while hemp has a lot of CBD.
Is CBD Legal?
In 2018, the U.S. Congress passed and signed into law the Agriculture Improvement Act. This law removed hemp from the federal Controlled Substances Act, effectively legalizing CBD if it comes from hemp.
Is CBD Safe?
Though it's often well-tolerated, CBD can cause side effects, such as dry mouth, diarrhea, reduced appetite, drowsiness, and fatigue. CBD can also interact with other medications you're taking, such as blood thinners.
Do not use if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, have a medical condition, or are taking any medications.
CBD “Terminology”: Understanding The Different CBD Products
Full Spectrum products contain all terpenes and cannabinoids of the cannabis plant, including up to 0.3% THC. Many users prefer full spectrum products, as they are often associated with the “entourage effect”—multiple cannabinoids working synergistically together.
Broad-Spectrum products include a blend of the plant's naturally occurring cannabinoids but contain 0% THC. Broad spectrum tends to be a popular favorite among users, as these products contain a variety of other cannabinoids without THC.
Isolate refers to a singular cannabinoid profile contained in a product. Isolate is strictly one cannabinoid such as CBD, CBG, or CBN. Isolate is completely THC-free and does not include any other cannabinoids or additional hemp compounds.
Cannabinoids are naturally occurring chemical compounds that are found in cannabis as well as hemp plants. Common cannabinoids besides CBD include THC, CBC, CBG, CBN, and offer much more promising results when taken together.
Terpenes are aromatic compounds found in plants, including cannabis that help create the right environment for the synergistic effects of cannabis to occur, otherwise known as the entourage effect. However, While most scientists believe in the entourage effect, it is still only a hypothesis.
Meaning that when terpenes work with cannabinoids like CBD and THC, they form a synergy that creates stronger and better effects than both would achieve on their own. Terpenoids are the unsung heroes of cannabinoid wellness.
Flavonoids are known for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory health benefits providing painkilling properties that aren’t available from just terpenes and cannabinoids alone.
Certificates of Analysis (COA): A COA from a third-party lab is a detailed document that displays the lab test results. The COA provides independent evidence showing the exact cannabinoid profile, potency, and THC content in a given product plus other test results, which show that the product is free from pesticides, heavy metals, and other impurities.
What To Look For When Choosing A Safe CBD Brand?
I know it can be difficult to know if you are choosing a quality, safe brand. There are literally hundreds of them and they’re not all selling the same quality product.
There are fundamental differences between a really shitty brand and a really good one. To help you out, these are the things I look for myself before I even consider purchasing a product:
- Does the brand have Certificates of Analysis (COAs) from accredited third-party laboratories.
- Does the third-party lab test for harmful impurities.
- Does the COA reflect the right amount of CBD and THC shown on the product label.
- Does the brand source its hemp from USA organic farms.
- Read the customer reviews to see if the brand is reputable and if the product works.
If the brand isn’t forthcoming with this information, avoid them, they aren't safe.
The above things to look for are CBD brand basics and the best ones don’t cut corners on any of this and make it easy for you to find this information on its website.
Recommended CBD Brands I Have Tried
I’ve tried several CBD products over the years and some of them were not so good. But, I’ve also tried some really good ones.
With this experienced knowledge, here are a few CBD brand recommendations for you to consider:
Each of these companies boasts up to date at the time of writing this article third-party COAs from accredited laboratories.
They’re also very forthcoming with their safety and company practices to ensure trust, transparency, quality, and safety.
What CBD Strength Should I Try?
If you’re totally new to CBD, I suggest you start at a lower strength to introduce your body to CBD. Its always recommended to go low and slow when just starting out.
I’m Not Feeling Anything – What Should You Do?
If you’re not seeing or feeling the benefits of CBD — don’t panic! There are several reasons why your CBD product isn’t working as well as you’d hoped.
If you’ve only just started using CBD, we recommend being patient and giving it time. It’s sometimes common for people not to experience the benefits of CBD until after a few weeks or more.
Does CBD Interact With Alcohol
Not many people realize that CBD can react with alcohol. Unfortunately, there is very little research on the health effects of taking CBD with alcohol.
But, some believe both CBD and alcohol can amplify each other’s effects, potentially causing symptoms like increased sleepiness and sedation.
Final Thoughts On What is CBD?
What is CBD? CBD, or cannabidiol, is a compound found primarily in the flowers and leaves of the hemp plant.
It’s one of many powerful cannabinoids found in hemp and is known for supporting the body and mind in various ways.
The most common results of taking CBD are calm and focus, relief from exercise-induced inflammation, and arthritis pain, support for healthy sleep cycles, and relief from anxiety and everyday stresses, anyone looking for balance in these areas might benefit from a CBD extract.
Hemp and marijuana are close relatives, but not the same. By definition, hemp contains no more than .3% THC - the psychoactive compound that is found in higher concentrations of marijuana.
By contrast, hemp naturally has higher levels of CBD than marijuana, a non-psychoactive compound. So CBD will not get you high.