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What is CBD? A Guide for Beginners

What is CBD? A Beginner’s Guide

CBD is quickly becoming the leading craze in holistic health care.

CBD is a cannabinoid found most predominantly in cannabis, providing a non-addictive all-natural way to help relieve pain, anxiety, insomnia, and many other ailments.

You might not believe all the forms you can buy it in.

In this article, we'll cover everything you need to know about CBD please keep reading to learn more...

You can purchase CBD in the form of edibles such as gummies, tea, lollipops, etc. CBD also can be applied topically using lotions, creams, bath salts. Much like the less favorable THC, you can even inhale CBD oil via vape or take a few drops orally. It's understandable to seek information about CBD before incorporating it into your lifestyle.

So, let's answer the most common need-to-know before you buy questions regarding CBD. 


What is CBD?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is an active chemical compound produced by the cannabis plant. It works inside the human body by impacting a biological system that is already hard at work, called the endocannabinoid system (ECS).

CBD can help support this system by impacting the receptors in that system responsible for chronic pain, anxiety, appetite, insomnia, and much more. 

When CBD works with these receptors, it alleviates painful chronic conditions. CBD offers a better alternative to addictive painkillers or mind-altering anxiety medicine.


What is CBD oil?

CBD oil is a botanical concentrate extracted from hemp. Generally, CBD-rich plants are hemp and not marijuana, which contain higher concentrations of THC. Highly concentrated CBD oil contains other nutritious substances like omega-3 fatty acids, terpenes, vitamins, chlorophyll, amino acids, and other phytocannabinoids. 

It is also usually mixed with a carrier oil such as coconut oil, olive oil, etc. This oil can be taken internally or absorbed through the skin externally for you to experience all its benefits. 

Does CBD Make You High?

No. CBD will not get you high because it does not bind to the receptors in our brains in the same way marijuana with a high THC content does. CBD is not THC, although they both from the same cannabis plant species. CBD does not bind with our endocannabinoid system in the same way THC does. 

NOTE: Similar to how you can use grapes to make jelly, you can use those same grapes to make wine. You can use cannabis to make CBD products or keep it for its THC content. 

This sounds confusing because you would think that if CBD comes from cannabis like THC, then surely it has to have the same stuff in it that makes you feel high, right? But this is wrong. 


CBD vs. THC

CBD vs. THC molecular structure

THC is a chemical found in marijuana that hijacks our endocannabinoid system. The way THC binds with the receptors in our mind is what produces a mind-altering state. There is, however, CBD in marijuana among lots of other properties including the THC that gives users a euphoric high.

This is why medicinal marijuana gives a lot of the same benefits as CBD, but CBD derived products do not have any mind-altering effects like medicinal cannabis. 

CBD can even inhibit the psychoactive effects of THC. To find out more about the differences between THC and CBD, read the article we published recently about it.


Does CBD Work?

Yes. CBD does work for different physical and mental ailments, but it is not a cure-all. CBD should be regarded as an herbal medicine with positive health benefits just like how turmeric reduces inflammation in the body, and green tea suppresses appetite. 

Much more research needs to be done to prove the efficacy of CBD longterm, but it's benefits are evident within current research and in testimonials.

One of the most important things to consider is the bioavailability of the CBD you do take. CBD Bioavailability simply refers to how much of the substance you take actually ends up in your bloodstream versus being metabolized by some other system.

What kind of CBD products should you buy?

CBD products come in many different forms. To find the right product for you, you will want to identify which benefits make the most sense for your health. 

  1. CBD is mixed with topical creams, lotions, and bath salts to help with skin and muscle-related ailments. 
  2. CBD oil is good for anxiety, pain, and insomnia. It can be taken orally and inhaled through a vape. 
  3. If you don't like the earthy flavor or oily consistency of CBD oil, then you can try CBD edibles. 
  4. There are lollipops, desserts, candies, honey sticks, etc. These edibles mask the flavor of CBD but still offer the same effect as the oil.

It is important to do your due diligence before purchasing any CBD product because regulations are very lax right now. Check out this article to learn more about what you should know before you buy CBD online or anywhere.


Is CBD legal?

CBD is legal in all fifty states. You can buy CBD online without worrying about any legal issues regarding shipping. To see a compilation of laws pertaining to CBD and marijuana for your state, check out our CBD laws article where you can see the specific laws for your area.

Is CBD an FDA-approved substance?

No. The FDA has approved a few products containing CBD that help with seizures and eating disorders, but CBD is not an FDA-approved drug or dietary supplement.

Since CBD is an up and coming industry that has not gone through FDA-approved rigorous research and clinical trials, there is insufficient data on the effects of CBD. As CBD gains popularity, this is sure to change in time. 


Is CBD safe?

When taking any substance as a supplement or part of a treatment plan, it is important to discuss its safety measures. Fortunately, CBD has been around for decades. The WHO claims that CBD is a safe substance, and studies back up this claim.

CBD is generally well tolerated with a good safety profile.”            - World Health Organization

As long as the products you use are tested by a third-party lab, and those lab results show no evidence of contaminants, then it is safe to use those products. Reputable CBD brands will provide access to their third party testing information in an easily accessible location for their customers to find. 

If you find it challenging to locate this information, then you should seek out a different brand that makes this clear.


What are CBD's side effects?

One should not operate heavy machinery when using CBD products because it may increase grogginess. This is one major side effect of CBD.

CBD needs to be researched more to verify that there are not more harmful potential side effects. It is improbable that CBD has side effects like other non-organic medicines, pain killers, or anxiety medication, however. 

Take a look at this comparison chart between CBD and THC to see all of the known side effects for both.


Side Effects of CBD 

Side Effects of THC

Dry mouth

Dryness of the eyes and mouth

Grogginess

An unusual feeling of euphoria

Headache

Dizziness

Diarrhea

Momentary loss of memory

Changes in Mood

Uncoordinated movements

Changes in Appetite

Drowsiness

Side Effects of CBD

  • Dry  Mouth
  • Grogginess
  • Headache
  • Diarrhea
  • Changes in Mood
  • Changes in Appetite

Side Effects of THC

  • Dryness of the eyes and mouth
  • An unusual feeling of euphoria
  • Dizziness
  • Momentary loss of memory
  • Uncoordinated movements
  • Drowsiness

Side Effects of CBD 

Dry mouth

Grogginess

Headache

Diarrhea

Changes in Mood

Changes in Appetite

Side Effects of THC

Dryness of the eyes and mouth

An unusual feeling of euphoria

Dizziness

Momentary loss of memory

Uncoordinated movements

Drowsiness


Is CBD more expensive online or In-store?

CBD is usually offered at a better value online since online companies don't have to cover the costs of having an actual store and employees.

Although in-store you can try some products in-person, you end up saving more money and time buying different products online.


FINAL THOUGHTS

CBD sounds like the solution to a lot of common problems for most people and even the world. CBD could positively impact the opioid crisis and pain management for cancer. For some, it may be a cheaper and better alternative to their anxiety.

About the Author Jessica Jones

Jesse has spent most of her adult life struggling with anxiety. After studying neuroscience at University, she has since dedicated her life into researching the effects of CBD on the human body. The content on this website reflects her research.

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