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What is CBD?

As legalization of cannabis spreads across the world, may consumers have gravitated towards the by-products of cannabis. There are many cannabinoids found in cannabis. Two of the main cannabinoids is THC and CBD. Both cannabinoids have therapeutic benefits, but one is more psychoactive than the other. THC is the cannabinoid that is psychoactive, and it can cause you to get high. However, CBD is the opposite, and it does not have psychoactive effects.

CBD can be derived from either hemp or marijuana. Hemp and marijuana are made from the cannabis plant. Hemp-derived CBD usually contains no more than 0.3% THC.

What is CBD oil?

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You may be wondering, “what is CBD oil?” Well, CBD oils are oils that usually contain a high concentration of CBD. CBD oil is extracted from the hemp plant that has a high level of CBD. CBD oil can be consumed or use topically on the skin to treat different types of symptoms. The use of CBD oil is a matter of contention. The use of CBD oil varies like the concentrations. CBD oil is typically made by diluting an extraction of CBD in a carrier oil such as coconut oil. CBD oil can be made by other processes as well.

There are some health benefits of CBD oil supported by evidential research. However, most of these studies were performed on adults, and as a result, experts do not currently recommend CBD oil for children. Although there is a drug called Epidiolex that does have approval for use on children. This drug will be touched on a bit later in this guide. The consultation of a doctor is necessary when self-medicating with CBD oil.


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CBD can come from either hemp or marijuana. Hemp and marijuana are made from the cannabis plant. However, a high concentration of THC is found in marijuana and not hemp.  Hemp-derived CBD usually contains no more than 0.3% THC. CBD is available in the form of gummies, gels, and oils.

THC being psychoactive can be consumed by smoking the marijuana and it also available in the form of oils and tinctures.

CBD, as well as THC, interact with the cannabinoid receptors found in the endocannabinoid system. Although they have different effects on the human body, the molecular structure of CBD is the same as THC. However, the arrangement of the atoms is slightly different, and so this is the reason for the difference in the effects on your body. These two compounds resemble our own endocannabinoids.

A release of neurotransmitters in the brain is triggered by the interaction between the cannabinoids and the endocannabinoid receptors. These neurotransmitters also affect stress, sleep, and the immune system.

CBD is non-psychoactive. CBD will not get you high like THC. There are cannabinoid receptors in the brain that THC interacts with, which causes you to get high.

On the other hand, CBD barely binds with the cannabinoid 1 receptors. CBD can cause THC not to bind effectively, thereby reducing the psychoactive effects.

Both CBD and THC have similar medicinal benefits. A person may get the same relief from certain conditions when he or she uses CBD or THC. However, some people may choose to use CBD than THC because it does not cause them to get high (THC side effect).

Benefits of CBD

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CBD has many potential health benefits for people.

  • Natural pain relief and anti-inflammatory properties- Generally, people use prescribed drugs as well as over- the -counter drugs to get relief from pain and even chronic pain. CBD is a natural way to relieve pain.
    A study published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine that indicates CBD significantly reduced pain. This study was performed on rats, so there needs to be more research done on humans to see if this benefit is the same in people. Researchers feel as though CBD (non-psychoactive cannabinoid) is promising in pharmaceuticals.

  • Smoking less and drug withdrawals- There is evidence that CBD can help people to stop smoking. CBD use can be an alternative to smoking. A study indicated that cigarette smokers smoked less cigarettes after using CBD inhalers. The study also showed that smokers cravings for nicotine ceased.

  • Similarly, a review published in Neurotherapeutics showed promising signs that CBD could be used to treat opioid addiction disorders. Researchers recognized that CBD caused a reduction in the symptoms of substance uses condition. Some of the symptoms included the following: pain, insomnia, and anxiety.

In order to rely on these studies, there is a need for more comprehensive and conclusive research. However, we do know that CBD is beneficial when used as a treatment for:

  1. Fighting Cancer
    There are researchers who have found evidence that may help to fight cancer. CBD can help to prevent the spread of cancer. This was supported by evidence published by authors of a review in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. These researchers also stated that CBD has potential to destroy cancer cells and prevent the development of cancer. They also said that CBD does not have much toxicity.

  2. Arthritis
    Researchers conducted a study on rats to find out whether CBD can help to treat arthritis. A topical CBD gel was applied to rats with the condition of arthritis for four days. After the four days, researchers realized that there was a significant reduction in inflammation and pain caused by arthritis. CBD may be able to help people suffering with arthritis, but more research on humans need to be done to confirm the benefits.

Side effects of CBD

Some inconclusive research shows that adults can withstand different doses of CBD. Studies have not shown any crucial side effects on the central nervous system. The main side effects reported were tiredness as well as diarrhea and appetite changes.

CBD could adversely interact with other drugs. Studies on epileptic patients indicated that when patients were taking CBD along with epileptic drugs, their blood levels increased. Therefore, patients taking CBD with epileptic drugs may have to reduce their dosage of CBD to prevent any unwanted side effects.

Also, some studies conducted showed that CBD could potentially harm the liver. Studies show that ten percent of people who use CBD had an increase in their liver enzymes. This is an indication of the potential of damaged liver. It is advisable that before purchasing CBD products, you should consult with a medical practitioner to assist you in making the best choice possible.

Furthermore, there is a reported side effect of the drug, Epidiolex. During clinical trials, researchers recognized that there were adverse effects such as liver problems, lethargy, infections, among others. There is a leaflet provided with the medication that explains that the drug can worsen depression or increase the frequency of suicidal thoughts. However, persons who use the drug are unlikely to become addicted to it.

CBD may also cause lung problems. A study published in the Frontiers in Pharmacology found out that CBD due to its anti-inflammatory properties may cause a significant reduction in inflammation. This reduction may lower the lungs’ defense system, thereby causing the lungs to be susceptible to infection.


Types of CBD products

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There are so many CBD products on the market since the legalization of cannabis. All CBD products are created with extracts from CBD or an isolate. These two products can be sold individually. Other products are usually by-products of CBD extracts or isolate. They have a specific purpose and are designed to tackle a specific need.

CBD extracts are high in CBD and derived from hemp, and CBD isolate has little to no THC and so use of an isolate will not equate to a possible drug test. It is inexpensive and can be added to almost anything.

Beauty Products- Cannabidiol has now become well-known in the beauty industry. It has created a place for itself in this industry, and its share in the market is estimated to reach $25 billion in ten years. These beauty products offer therapeutic benefits that other beauty products cannot offer. Some of these products can help to reduce pain and swelling. CBD product line includes the following:

  • masks
  • serums
  • cleansers
  • bath bombs

Oil Capsules- CBD capsules come in a pill shape. It can be taken by swallowing it like any other pill. These capsules are available for purchase either as soft-gels or as a two-part capsule. The ingredients in different types of capsules depends on the company that makes the capsules.

  • CBD extract or CBD isolate- The quality of the pill depends on the type of CBD concentrate inside the pill. The extract should be from a quality hemp plant if the pill is going to be considered high-quality. Maximum benefit can be derived from a full spectrum that provides synergistic benefits from the entourage effect. On the other hand, CBD isolate capsules usually only contain CBD, and so it is not as effective as the CBD extract in providing full benefits.

  • Oil Carrier- An oil carrier is used to enable the body to absorb the cannabinoids in the capsules. The reason for this is that CBD is a fat-soluble compound and cannot be dissolved in water. CBD can be stored in fat, and so it is easily absorbed in the body as such.

  • Other Ingredients- These additional ingredients may provide their own benefits to the capsule, but the ingredients do not enhance the CBD benefits.

Benefits of CBD capsules

There are several benefits that can be derived from using CBD capsules. Some of these benefits include: easy to use, dosage quantity accurate, no taste of the marijuana and long-lasting effects. When CBD capsules are consumed orally, it is transferred to the liver that breaks down the concentration. A small percentage of the concentrated capsule will pass to the bloodstream. This is the bioavailability of the substance. The oral consumption of capsules is a less effective method to intake it.  A small amount of the cannabinoid reaches the blood. Therefore, the dosage must be higher than the dosage of other effective means.

Concentrates- Concentrates have a high potency of CBD. There are different types of concentrates based on their source and the method of extraction. These concentrates can be used to enhance your smoke. The concentrates can be consumed by dabbing as well. The inhalation of CBD has a high bioavailability. The effects of inhaling CBD takes approximately 3 to 5 minutes to become operative, and they can last for at least three (3) hours. The quick-acting effect of CBD concentrates makes the product an attractive one for smokers.

CBD concentrates can be added to marijuana for the purpose of smoking. Also, it can be dabbed using a dab rig or a wax pen. The concentrate can be heated and inhaled like marijuana.

Some types of CBD concentrates are crumble, shatter and wax. Crumble is a form of concentrate that looks as if it is crumbling. It is made by purging oil from cannabis. However, shatter is formed from the addition of terpenes to isolates while wax is the name given to the state of a concentrate that is sticky, dark and usually resembles wax.

Drinks- We already know that CBD is not water-soluble and so it does not dissolve in water. So, the question then is, how can CBD be infused with drinks and other liquids? Due to new technological extraction processes, there are new water-soluble CBD available. These water-soluble products are making a positive impact on the industry. This has created opportunities for CBD to be combined with drinks. There are a variety of CBD infused drinks such as CBD water and energy drinks.

  • Water-soluble Capsules
    There are also water-soluble capsules. These water-soluble capsules are made from water-soluble version of CBD. The water-soluble CBD helps to enhance bioavailability of CBD capsules. The water-soluble capsules’ effectiveness increases five times more than the usual. There isn’t much wastage of the product when it reaches the liver.

  • Water-soluble Hemp powder
    Hemp powder is now water-soluble. It can be mixed with other products because it can dissolve in water as well. This product allows for versatility. Water-soluble Hemp powder can be added to other foods and liquids, which will bring about accessibility.

  • Water-soluble Tinctures
    There are also tinctures available on the market that are water-soluble. Like water-soluble hemp powder, water-soluble tinctures help to tackle the problems arising from traditional tinctures such as low bioavailability. These tinctures are more effective.

Edibles- Edibles are a creative way of consuming CBD. These edibles are made from the infusing of an extract or isolate into other food products are usually candies and goodies such as cookies and gummies. Edibles are easy to use, and these don’t taste like cannabis at all, but they have similar benefits like other cannabis products. This makes CBD edibles an attractive option. CBD edibles are usually effective, but some factors may cause a reduction in their effectiveness.

Like capsules, edibles CBD concentration are reduced due to the processing of the substance in the liver. If the edibles contain more oils and fats, then CBD will be able to absorb better. These products are mainly made from CBD isolate and so they cannot provide the entourage effect.

Pet Products

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Humans may benefit on a large scale from CBD, but they are not alone. Pets can benefit from the use of CBD. There are several CBD products for pets are available on the market. These pet products include treats and tinctures. These products are made specifically for animals such as dogs and cats.

Tinctures- Tinctures are consumed by the administration of sublingual. Tinctures contain oils that you can put under your tongue and wait approximately two (2) minutes before being swallowed. Absorption of the molecules through mucous membranes. The effects will be felt within twenty minutes to forty minutes. The effects last for at least six hours which is longer than the consumption of capsules.

Topicals- CBD does not have to be ingested or inhaled. It can be used topically. There are endocannabinoid receptors in the skin. Rubbing these topicals to an inflamed skin can provide relief from the pain. These CBD topicals are offered in balms, salves among other products. They are used for different purposes.

Transdermal Patches-These products like topicals are an effective means of applying CBD to the skin. Persons who experience chronic pains can use patches to provide relief for a long period of time. The CBD can be held to the skin for a long time than other topicals. These patches are usually placed around areas of the body with veins such as the wrist. The patches are designed to provide relief slowly, though.

Permeation carriers and enhancers in the patches allow for the absorption of CBD through the skin into the blood.

Medical Drugs- The FDA approved Epidiolex in 2018. Epidiolex is the first medicated drug made from CBD. It is used to help patients suffering from seizure and epilepsy.

A 2017 study showed that almost 7 out of 10 CBD products did not contain the amount of CBD or THC content as stated on the label. Forty-three percent (43%) of the products contain less CBD than the products should have while less than thirty percent (30 %) of the products had too much CBD.  Some products also contain high levels of THC. This is a matter of contention because a consumer cannot be too sure if what they buy is pure CBD. Therefore, consumers should be skeptical about the products they purchase.



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