UPDATED ON DECEMBER 23, 2018
How Does CBD Work?
The way CBD or cannabidiol works is by acting on the cannabinoid receptors that are part of our endocannabinoid system. The cannabinoid receptors are cell membrane receptors that are part of the G protein-coupled receptor family. They detect molecules outside the cell and activate internal signal transduction pathways and, ultimately, cellular responses.
Cannabinoid receptors are located throughout the body and are part of the endocannabinoid system. This system is responsible for a variety of physiological processes which we know as appetite, pain-sensation, mood, and memory.
What Conditions can CBD Treat?
CBD research is only at the beginning stages, but there are a lot of conditions that show promise. The FDA approved CBD oil in the form of Epidiolex for treating 2 different types of conditions that cause epileptic seizures: Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS), and Dravet syndrome (DS).
Side Effects of CBD
According to the National Institutes of Health, CBD doesn’t usually cause issues for people. However, the side effects for those who have a negative reaction include diarrhea, changes in appetite, and fatigue.
Be aware that CBD can interact with other pharmaceuticals.
What Are the Different Forms of CBD?
CBD can be ingested in the following ways:
- Swallowed-CBD is commonly consumed via capsules, though it could also be in a tincture, as salad dressing, in baked goods, candy, butter, coffee, or in juice. This method takes a little longer to be absorbed as it has to pass through the stomach and be metabolized by the liver.
- Sublingual-oils, tinctures, and sprays can be used to get CBD under the tongue which is absorbed quickly. Often combined with hemp oil or high-grade alcohol, after you place it under your tongue you wait until it is absorbed without swallowing it. Another option is a concentrate, but it doesn’t have the carrier oil. Concentrates are up to 10 times more potent than the average dose.
- Inhalation-CBD is ingested via a vape pen, e-cigarette, or vaporizer.
- Topical application-creams, lotions, cosmetics, soaps, shampoos, and patches contact the skin and are often used for pain relief and healing.
Where is CBD Legal?
CBD derived from hemp is legal in all 50 states. CBD derived from marijuana is illegal in many states. The reason is though both hemp and marijuana are both members of the cannabis family, marijuana has up to 30% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is what gets people high, and hemp has no more than 3%, which can’t get anyone high. Because hemp has no psychoactive effects, it’s legal and can be used to make paper, concrete, car parts, soap, and many other things.
Can CBD Cause Me to Fail a Drug Test?
It’s possible that a person taking CBD could test positive for THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the psychoactive component in marijuana that makes people high. Many CBD products have a small percentage of THC in them, usually 3% or less. For THC to show up on a drug test, the person taking it would probably have to be taking at least 1,000 milligrams/day. Most users take 120-160 mg/day. However, the CBD industry is unregulated so it’s important that the product you take undergoes 3rd party testing, and we recommend that you take a CBD product with zero THC, or avoid CBD use altogether to avoid failing a drug test.
Is CBD Safe for Everyone?
Yes. That’s because unlike normal marijuana plants, CBD comes from the part of the cannabis family of plants that doesn’t contain the cannabinoid THC. This means it usually comes from the hemp plant, which growers work with to specially produce cannabis that contains no to very little THC.
CBD is safe because it will not get you high and does not contain a psychoactive component. That’s what makes CBD so popular for people around the globe. Even children can take CBD in some circumstances.
Is CBD Safe to Use During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding?
There’s not a lot of research about the effects of CBD on babies for expecting and new mothers. Many say that there is not enough research to make a full conclusion on whether CBD is safe to use while pregnant or breastfeeding. Others, however, argue that CBD products that are free from THC are the ideal organic solution to relive the physical and mental changes that occur with pregnancy and breastfeeding. Research has not shown an increased risk of birth defects or life-threatening conditions due to prenatal cannabis use. This does not mean that medical researchers and professionals don’t have concerns though.
The use of CBD and accessibility is growing rapidly, and many women are choosing to experience pregnancy with a little help from CBD. The appeal of CBD during pregnancy and breastfeeding is that it acts as a painkiller, reducing inflammation, fights nausea, and helps treat mood disorders. CBD does this in a more natural way compared to other medications you could either get over the counter or be prescribed.
We advise you to speak to your doctor to determine whether or not you should use CBD without THC while you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Does CBD Make You High?
No. And not only does CBD not make you high but it can reduce some of the effects of THC. According to Martin A. Lee, author of Smoke Signals, “CBD interacts with THC in complex ways, diminishing certain effects (the munchies, sleepiness, the high) while augmenting others. Cannabidiol balances the buzz and softens the euphoria – or, in some cases, the dysphoria – induced by THC, which, in concentrated form, can make people feel very loopy and weird. CBD is the yin of THC’s yang.” For this reason, some pot growers have developed strains of marijuana that have different levels of CBD in them to make them milder.
This is supported by researchers from the Netherlands. In research published in Frontiers in Psychology, the authors Raymond J. M. Niesink and Margriet W. van Laar concluded, “The few studies that exist on the effects of CBD show that this cannabinoid can counteract some of the negative effects of THC.” They continue, “Few or no adverse effects of CBD have been proffered, and where CBD has been found to have an effect, it is usually in a “positive” (i.e., salubrious) direction.”
Additional research published on Science Direct claims that CBD mitigates some of the undesirable effects of THC use including intoxication (being high), sedation (sleepiness), and tachycardia (abnormally rapid heartbeat) while contributing analgesic (pain-relieving), anti-emetic (prevents nausea and vomiting), and anti-carcinogenic (anti-cancer) properties. CBD does this by inhibiting THC from binding to cannabis receptors.
How to Begin with CBD
How much CBD you take — and how often — will all depend on factors like your lifestyle, what you use CBD for, your weight, age, sex, and more.
The best way to begin is to start with a very small or low dose of CBD. Take time to see how you feel. If you don’t notice any benefits, gradually add more to your dose. You can opt to take more CBD oil — for example, another capsule of CBD or an additional dropper from a tincture — or you can up the strength of the CBD you have.
CBD will come in varying strengths and types, so it’s best to have a few options on hand. You should shop around and see what works best until you decide what you want. Try a few different CBD forms and methods, try varying strengths, and gradually increase your dosage if needed.
This way, you can safely and effectively find your way to a happy medium and a nice balance with your CBD dosage. There is no one size fits all recommendation when it comes to CBD. You should talk to your doctor to see what he or she recommends, which will give you a good starting point.