So what’s all the buzz about CBD?
What You Need To Know About CBD – The Natural Health Remedy of the Decade
Intro: When the 2018 Hemp Farm Bill passed in the United States making Cannabidiol (CBD) products federally legal in all 50 states, history and lives were changed. CBD has taken the health and wellness industry by storm and years later, much like medical marijuana, the CBD industry continues to grow and thrive with a third of Americans having tried it. From pet products to medicinal edibles, CBD is making its way onto shelves around the globe. With CBD no longer on the list of controlled substances thousands of people young and old are reporting their lives changed by inviting this hemp derived natural remedy into their lives. So what’s all the buzz about CBD…and does this plant medicine give consumers a buzz like its familiar relative, tetrahydrocannabinol, (THC)? Let’s explore!
What Is CBD?
You see it in countless stores and on social media feeds. You hear about it on the news, and you can even smell it around the corner. The CBD market generated more than 4 billion dollars just in the U.S alone in 2020. Cannabidiol is an edible and medicinal plant, also known as Indian Hemp. It is one of over 100 cannabinoids in the cannabis sativa plant. What are cannabinoids, you ask? These are the natural chemical compounds in the plant that interact with our body’s endocannabinoid system producing their effects.
CBD comes in 3 different forms:
- Full Spectrum CBD: This is cannabidiol combined other cannabinoids, like THC
- CBD Isolate: This CBD is JUST cannabidiol, no others added!
- Broad Spectrum CBD: contains other compounds from the cannabis plant, but no THC
It is breaking the law in many places to have a CBD product containing more than 0.3% THC and it may be important to you to choose a THC-free product like CBD isolate or broad spectrum CBD. Full Spectrum CBD receives critical help for optimal effect from other cannabidiols like THC, CBG, CBN, CBC. The mixture of cannabidiols is needed to create the “entourage effect” which is basically suggesting that CBD is an ice cream sundae, while CBD plus the THC, CBG (and so on) is that ice cream sundae PLUS all the delicious toppings, enhancing its medicinal value and its impact on your body.
What Is CBD Used For?
CBD is still being studied and there is much more to learn about this medicinal plant, but so far the number of ways that CBD can be used continues to grow as more and more hemp CBD oil and other products hit the shelves. Its ability to be an affordable natural remedy has consumers checking often for the newest CBD product.
CBD has been suggested to:
- Fight inflammation, the cause of many conditions like arthritis and migraines
- Boost the immune system
- Relieve high blood pressure
- Lessen the effects of drug withdrawal and addiction
- Help regulate sleep and avoid insomnia
- Relieve stress and advocate for our mental health
- Help PTSD symptoms like anxiety and depression
- Give relief to chronic pain and neuropathy pain
- Help symptoms related to dystonia, Parkinson Disease, and Crohn’s disease
- Help promote appetite like in those with HIV/AIDS or cancer
- Relieve skin conditions, like acne, eczema, and minor wounds
The Big Pharma prescription form of CBD called Epidiolex was approved by the FDA for pediatric and adult use to treat forms of epilepsy that are considered rare and severe like Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastraut syndrome and was also approved for Tuberous Sclerosis (TSC) related seizures. Epidiolex has treated more than 15,000 people and was shown to reduce the frequency of seizures by 37-48% in those with these conditions. The holistic approach to these health conditions has clearly made a difference.
How is CBD used?
People are using CBD in a variety of ways and for many different reasons. Those who experience anxiety may use the hemp oil or tinctures which become effective within minutes, while those with chronic pain or neuropathy may opt for CBD oil capsules that release into their system throughout the day.
Here are some examples of CBD products:
- CBD Beverages like coffee, water, tea, kombucha
- CBD edibles like CBD gummies, honey, chocolate, baked goods
- CBD tinctures
- CBD oil capsules and drops like Charlotte’s Web and Isodiol
- CBD products for cats, dogs, horses, etc.
- CBD skin care lotions and makeup
- CBD oral sprays
- CBD bath Bombs
- CBD vape Oil – many advise caution- find a reputable brand- these can contain ____
- CBD Hemp Flower for smoking with names like Bubba Kush, Hawaiian Haze, Fruit Loops, Special Sauce, Gorilla Glue
How Is CBD Made?
According to the USDA the 2021 National Hemp Report Survey on Hemp Acreage and Production shows that over 33,000 acres of industrial hemp were harvested, most of it being in the states of Colorado and Montana. Hemp production totaled over $700 million in value.
CBD is extracted from the cannabis plant in a number of ways, and this can be derived from both the marijuana and hemp plant by using:
- C02 Extraction
- Butane Hash Oil Extraction
- Ethanol Extraction
- Dry Ice Extraction
- Hydrocarbon Extraction
- Vegetable Oil Extraction
Beware: In the manufacturing process if the extraction is done poorly it can result in leftover pesticides and solvents, so it’s important that you choose a reputable CBD company that uses an extraction method you agree with and that has third party testing done to ensure safety.
What To Look Out For When Buying CBD:
There are thousands of CBD products on the market now, and it’s no wonder it can be confusing which brand to choose, and what type of product to order. Having informed consent when choosing our healthcare products is important, and not all brands are transparent about their product ingredients. And even when the descriptions are clear and concise it may be helpful to have some guidance on the label and product you’re looking at to make the best decision.
Here are some key points to consider when picking your CBD products:
- Look for brands who do independent or third-party lab testing. This is a must for believing accuracy so that you can choose a CBD that is free of pesticides, heavy metals, and other toxins that could likely cause inflammation, one of the main conditions people are trying to treat with CBD.
- CBD products can end up containing way more or less CBD than the product claims, and that can even happen with the THC level, too.
- When the Journal of the American Medical Association tested 84 samples of CBD from the black market they found almost 70% were mislabeled, with CBD vape pen oil being the worst offender with over 87% failing to have correct labels.
- The National Institute of Health conducted a study that again confirmed CBD product mislabeling to be an issue, as well as the THC content being so high in some of the products that it could intoxicate children.
- The FDA also conducted a study in 2020 that shows many of the black market CBD products mislabeled, some with up to 80% less CBD than it claimed and an astounding 45% of products only containing 20% of the CBD amount claimed on the label. 37% of tested products contained 120% MORE CBD the label claimed it had.
- The mislabeling of CBD products has led to lawsuits when heavy metals, mold and other toxic ingredients have been found in laboratory testing.
- One type of CBD company to beware of is one who claims to be able to cure a specific medical condition like COVID-19 or treat symptoms like those with autism experience, since making these claims to treat and cure has been banned by the Food and Drug Administration.
Is CBD Legal?
CBD is legal federally, but in some states you can still receive jail time and high fines for having CBD in your possession. Hemp products are allowed by many states for you to legally buy, use, and have possession of it. If you use this natural medicine you may want to regularly check for any changes where you live since the laws can change.
Some people tend to confuse hemp with its cousin plant marijuana as they are both species of Cannabis sativa, but they are entirely different plants. Let’s clear this up – in case you’re wondering. It’s hard to tell from the surface when they can look, smell and taste the same, including both plants that can contain CBD and THC! But in all clarity, hemp is grown to have low THC/high CBD levels while marijuana is the opposite, with a high THC/low CBD makeup.
Cannabidiol is legal on the federal level as long as the CBD product contains no more than 0.3% THC. THC is the compound in medical marijuana that makes a person feel “ high”.
The federal Department of Transportation has issued a warning that using CBD containing THC can show up as a positive THC result on a drug test, so purchasing the right kind of accurately labeled CBD can be crucial for some. The U.S. military has banned the use of hemp/CBD products for military personnel. In some states, there are certain laws protecting individuals who have certain medical conditions, like epilepsy, from consequences related to having been caught with more than 0.3% THC in their CBD product. Some state laws have made CBD illegal and having it can result in jail time. Each state in the US has their own set of laws regarding hemp. You can find a list of CBD legal states here.
When it comes to traveling, some of the harshest punishment for buying cannabis comes from the Middle East where hard time is given to those who violate the law. When traveling it is important to research the area you are going to and their cannabis laws or you could face fines or end up in jail.
CBD Is Here to Stay:
CBD has been the new kid on the block winning the attention-of-the-decade award. CBD is one of the newest holistic alternative approaches to medicine as it affects the entire body. CBD has been shown safe for most and there will be more research available in the years to come.
With only a few controlled studies on humans there is still much to learn about CBD but what information the studies have provided appear promising that CBD will be the great all natural alternative that many have been looking for.
To wrap up let’s recall a few main points that are important to remember about CBD:
- CBD is one of the chemical compounds found in the cannabis sativa plant and is low THC/high CBD, so there is said to be no buzz with this hemp product
- CBD is used for a wide range of conditions including epilepsy and anxiety
- Decide which type of CBD is best for you- Full Spectrum, Broad Spectrum, or CBD Isolate
- CBD is made from one of many extraction methods pulling the compound from the cannabis plant
- Pick the CBD companies that have safety testing done to be able to show its customers exactly what percentage of THC and CBD it has and if there are any residual solvents or other findings in the product
- Know your state’s CBD and THC laws and know how much your CBD product choice contains
- There are potential drug interactions so people are advised to consult with their healthcare provider before use.
Now that you’ve been informed on some of the most important ins and outs of CBD, will you be one of the many to try it? Have you tried CBD, but want to explore all the product avenues the industry offers? As CBD’s fan base grows so will the amount of companies and products that will come to life. Keep your eye out for ever growing changes as new CBD studies are released to increase your knowledge. In all things natural health, knowledge is power. Feel free to share with us below your experience, and why or why not you would use CBD.
This article should not be considered legal or medical advice. This is for informational purposes only. This article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.