2018 was a banner year for hemp farmers and producers across North America. A wide variety of CBD products started gaining popularity early in the year, and by year’s end, new laws look to support the explosive market for this non-psychoactive compound extracted from hemp. As popularity has increased of CBD, there are much more consumers asking questions. Dive in to learn everything you need to know about Cannabidiol (CBD).

Today, it seems, CBD is everywhere.

The New York Times, CNN, The Guardian–you name it–all wrote about it, and CBD products started appearing on the shelves of small businesses, in your coffee, and at local marketplaces.

This proliferation of products can seem overwhelming, especially if you’re not familiar with CBD. As an ethical cannabis company, it’s vital for us to make sure you understand precisely what CBD is and why it may be beneficial to you.

Important Fact

Before we dive into explaining CBD, it’s important to understand the basics of the cannabis sativa plant. Believe it or not, hemp and legal marijuana are the same plant species. The difference lies in how they are grown and the amount of THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, they produce.

  • Hemp is typically grown outdoors in large agricultural fields. By legal definition, this version of cannabis must produce less than .3 percent THC. The most abundant cannabinoid in hemp is CBD.
  • Legal marijuana is grown in very tightly controlled conditions in an elaborate indoor growing facility. These plants produce a wide range of THC, from none up to 30 percent or more.

So, what is CBD exactly?

CBD is short for cannabidiol, one of the most abundant cannabinoids found in hemp. Although first discovered in the 1940s, scientists have just started to uncover the mysteries of this natural compound.

Can CBD get you high?  

Not at all! THC is the cannabinoid associated with the cerebral effects of the cannabis plant–not cannabidiol. Although some CBD products do have a trace amount of THC in them (less than 0.3% THC by law), CBD works to block the effects of THC to reduce or even prevent the feeling of being high. It’s also important to note, while this small amount will not get you high it’s possible that you will fail a drug test.

So, if CBD doesn’t get you high, what does it do?

Research on CBD is growing at a rapid pace all over the world. Many of these studies show that CBD may have a variety of health and wellness benefits.

Epilepsy– CBD has been found to reduce the number of seizures for people suffering from epilepsy disorders such as Lennon-Gastaut Syndrome. 

Anxiety– People suffering from general anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and social anxiety disorder report CBD eases symptoms.

Sleeping disorders– CBD is commonly used to aid in insomnia.

Arthritis & inflammation– Studies have shown reduced inflammation and pain in rats when administered CBD.

Parkinson’s disease– In studies of CBD and people with Parkinson’s disease, quality of life improved and psychotic symptoms declined.

CBD may also be beneficial in treating Crohn’s disease, diabetes, cancer, MS and schizophrenia.

These studies are but a handful of thousands of studies being performed around the world. We can expect to see more research, as the passing of the Farm Bill also lifted the restrictions which made research on the various cannabinoids difficult for US-based research facilities and major universities.

Is CBD safe?

The evidence is overwhelmingly positive for CBD. As mentioned above, CBD does not create psychoactive effects, and there are few adverse effects associated with its consumption. Side effects include tiredness, irritability, and nausea.

According to Harvard Health Publishing, CBD “can raise levels of certain other medications in your blood.” If you take medication, it’s important to talk to your doctor or do research before taking CBD.

Is CBD legal?

Yes, it is! In December 2018, Congress passed the 2018 United States Farm Bill, removing hemp and CBD from the Schedule 1 controlled substance list at the federal level. Now Americans can legally buy CBD in all 50 states. Hemp is legal, as long as it has 0.3% THC or less and is grown and sold by a licensed business.

Which ways can you take CBD?

CBD comes in a plethora of forms including oil, capsules, topical salve, isolate, vape pen, food or drink. Each product may feature a different dosage of CBD, so it’s important to check the label and be aware of the differences in consumption methods.  

How much CBD should you take?

Everyone’s body chemistry is different, which means CBD may affect everyone differently. Start with a small dosage and work your way up. As mentioned above, there are no known severe side effects of CBD, so the worst that will happen is you get sleepy or a little irritable. However, if you’re concerned or taking medication, talk to your doctor before taking it since CBD can alter the exact dosing or process of your medication(s).

For people with any type of issue that isn’t serious such as anxiety, pain, stress, inflammation, etc. should ask themselves from a scale of 1 to 5 how bad it is. On a scale of 1-2 a person should consume 10-30mg of CBD 1-2 times per day, scale of 2-3 they should consume 20-50mg of CBD 1-2 times per day, and lastly 4-5 they should consume 50-100mg of CBD 1-2 times per day.

If you have a serious condition or would also like to read further about CBD dosing then read our other blog post on Mastering CBD Dosing.

Is there a difference between CBD from hemp and CBD from marijuana?

Technically, no. The cannabidiol compound is the same chemical formulation whether it is extracted from hemp or legal marijuana. However, because hemp contains a smaller amount of THC, CBD products made from hemp will contain less THC (<0.3%) than CBD products made by a licensed marijuana producer.