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What is CBD | A Comprehensive Guide for Beginners & Beyond

People are talking about CBD even more than you can imagine. This is your time to find out what is CBD. In order to help you understand CBD better, we have put together a detailed guide on the topic.

One of the greatest theories of this world is “The Theory of Evolution” by Charles Darwin. This theory testifies that there is a lot that we do not understand about the human existence. Everything that breathes or resides on this Earth has a reason to exist, the need is to identify its importance and how we can use it for our benefit. A similar plant which was not long ago considered as life-threatening has today upended the pharmaceutical industry. Cannabidiol or popularly known as CBD is a compound found in the Cannabis plant.

The scientific community is yet to give a concrete stance on this compound and a humongous amount of research is being conducted on it presently. CBD has been found to provide relief from inflammation, depression, stress, anxiety, pain, psychosis and seizures among others. It is being believed that CBD will one day become the most beneficial and most used compound into medicines not so in the distant future.

Why Are We Writing This Guide

We are on a mission. Let’s be transparent right from the beginning.

There are two reasons as to why we are writing this guide on what is CBD. One is that when something becomes so popular as CBD there erupts an ocean of inquiries about that thing. CBD has become so popular in a few years that everyone including you and me wants to know about it. The time we are in is the transition period for the relationship between CBD and humans. Now more than ever people are longing to know the truth around CBD and whether is it safe to use it or not. Secondly, for reasons unknown and despite a plethora of researches the world community thinks that Marijuana and Hemp are one and the same thing. This the reason why there is so much dubious thinking around CBD. We are writing this guide to dismiss the clouded judgment and present a vivid picture of Cannabidiol.

Menu – All Sections

CBD Guide for Beginners - Section Wise Menu
  • What is CBD
  • Hemp & Marijuana
  • Benefits of CBD
    • CBD for Pain Relief
    • For Anxiety Control
    • For Cancer
    • Alzheimer
    • Epilepsy
    • CBD for Depression
    • Blood Pressure
    • CBD for Diabetes
    • Weight Loss
  • Forms in which CBD is available
  • All about Hemp – The plant for CBD
  • How is CBD Made
  • How CBD works

What is CBD?

To answer the million dollar question we need to divulge into some specificity of Hemp and also have an in detail discussion on the subject. Without further ado, let’s begin:

Cannabidiol or CBD is a compound derived from the Cannabis Sativa plant, contrary to popular belief, CBD is a non-psychotic compound. Non-psychotic means that it does not have any mind-altering effects after consumption if anything CBD is that compound which negates the effect of mind-altering compounds present in the plant. CBD is not one single magic compound, rather the Cannabinoids is given to more than 113 molecules which are present in the Cannabis plant.

When we talk about what is CBD then it is essential to know that there are two kinds of cannabis plants giving two popular substances: Cannabis Sativa and Sativa Indica. From Cannabis Sativa comes hemp and from hemp, we derive CBD. A common element between both of them is THC or (tetrahydrocannabinol), now this THC is the major culprit which has severe mind-altering and psychotic effects on the consumer. Now this THC is present in heavy amounts in marijuana, ranging from 5-30% depending upon the cultivation method and other factors. On the other hand, Hemp only has 0.3% of THC present in it, this minimal amount of THC is further redundant by cannabidiol, which is only present in Hemp. Hence, CBD is that compound which not only has been said to help people in a number of conditions. But it is also revered in the industry to reduce the pain caused by a number of diseases.

There is a thin line difference between CBD and medicinal marijuana, where with the help of genetic engineering scientists can extract the beneficial tracts of cannabis indica. This will lead to the cultivation of THC-less marijuana or which has negligible amounts of THC.

The name Hemp and Marijuana

Even though there is little difference between the markers of both the cannabis plants, 95% of cannabis grown in this world is Cannabis Sativa. It is said that cannabis is grown for the fiber and to use it for non-drug use purposes is called hemp and which is grown for substance use is called marijuana. So one thing is clear that hemp cannot be used for drug use, as the THC content is negligible. Secondly, marijuana is called a medicinal drug and it will only receive the benefit of a doubt as there is no concrete research or evidence to prove its worth.

CBD is gaining so much ground because it provides the same relief from a number of conditions as marijuana without the mind-altering effects. This is the reason why this compound has the power to alter the genes of medicine and expand the horizon around each and every aspect of the human body.

At the end of this point, when it comes to understanding what is CBD, it is safe to say that hemp is beneficial, non-psychotic, has medicinal value and can be doctored to be used in plenty of substances. Marijuana, on the other hand, is not safe, it is addictive, has higher mind-altering effects and is also illegal in most of the countries in the entire world.

Benefits of CBD

It is an inherent human tendency to exploit each and everything to figure out its benefits. It is also important and necessary to know a few things about a thing which you are going to ingest. A heavy debate is going on today on the effects of CBD in treating life-threatening diseases and psychotic conditions. Researchers have also found that the side effects profile of CBD products is much better than the regular medicines used to treat these conditions. In other words, a patient suffering from epilepsy may experience less intense side effects from CBD medicines and substances than taking other pharmaceutical drugs.

What we are going to discuss below is purely based on researches and studies conducted by seasoned researchers. We are only presenting the information on this platform to help you understand the scope of this CBD.

CBD for Pain Relief 

Going beyond what is CBD, it is time to understand how CBD helps in pain relief.  Doctors and scientists have been researching to develop ways and methods to assist patients for pain relief since the year 1889. Dr. Edward A. Birch published an article report in The Lancet where he went on to explain the tremendous benefits of using CBD and opioids for pain relief. Originally, he used it to cure insomnia, but the after effects of this accidental ingestion were surprising. The opioids represent the class of pain-relieving drugs and medicines like morphine, oxycodone, codeine among others are given to free the patient of pain. Today there is a strong case in favor of CBD to substitute opioids as pain relievers for a plethora of conditions. The efficacy of CBD to relieve pain has made the opioids redundant in those states where the hemp produced CBD is legal and free to use as per the prescription and in the hospitals.

In the United States itself, the magic drug is gaining ground due to its ability to treat multiple types of pain after ingesting a limited amount of the drug. But the legal hassles are still inhibiting the scientists and researchers to unleash its full potential for the benefit of the patients. A report by the US Department for Health and Human Services has also testified that pain is the topmost reason for the Americans to go see a doctor every now and then. Probably this is the reason that why the people are readily growing up to the idea of Cannabis as a treatment drug rather than using it to get high. When compared to other medicines to treat pain, CBD is not addictive and is safe to use.

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Anxiety Control by CBD

We all dream of some utopian era which is bereft of any hard decision making and resonates a stress-free life. But the truth is afar from this dream world, in the US alone there was a 25% rise in the sales of books about anxiety in the year 2017. Moreover, every 1 in 5 US citizens is suffering from one or the other mental disorder. We talked about evolution in the introduction of this guide, following the same concept, today most of the medicines have lost their efficacy to treat anxiety-related disorders. The reason being that due to prolonged usage of medicines, the markers leading to a disease also evolve to develop resistance to such medicines. Common anxiety related medicines for anxiety include Xanax and Valium, but there have been some reports which testify their inability to produce results.

Anxiety is not limited to one disorder, it has become a stepping stone for a number of other disorders and conditions. Now, as for CBD and its capacity to reduce anxiety, there is a lot of background research conducted on this subject. If you have sone some research on what is CBD then you might be ware that all the researches and studies have indicated that CBD is, in fact, beneficial for the treatment of anxiety and its related disorders including obsessive-compulsive disorder, social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and PTSD. CBD inspired gummies, vapes and oils target the endocannabinoid system of the body, this is the system which controls the synaptic response and consists of neurotransmitters that act as receptors to specific cannabinoids. This system’s function of regulating diverse behavioral instances and psychological behavior is what makes it an important part of the whole Cannabinoid theory and study.

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Cancer and CBD

It is another thing to talk about non-life threatening diseases and CBD’s potency to treat and even diminish the after of these diseases. But when it comes life-threatening diseases like Cancer, things are bound to get serious. In this scenario, we cannot shoot arrows blindly. First of all, yes there are studies which suggest that CBD is, in fact, beneficial to treat or diminish the after-effects of cancer. But we cannot rely on a few studies to tackle a disease due to which more than 6 lakh people will lose their lives in the US alone.

For cancer, two terms are important to know, Apoptosis and Metastasis. Apoptosis is the activity by which our cells die a natural death after completing their cycle and metastasis is the activity of uncontrolled malignant growth in the number of cells building a tumor around the affected body part. In Cancer, there is decreased apoptosis and increased metastasis. Now, as for CBD, it targets the specific receptors that play a role in this process. Studies also suggest that an underexpression of CBD could further aggravate the situation instead of giving relief. CBD has anti-inflammatory properties which help in giving relief from cancer to the patient, but the concrete treatment of cancer with CBD is still debated by the medical and scientific community.

CBD and Alzheimer

Alzheimer’s neurodegenerative disease which increases in intensity with age. Again here the endocannabinoid system plays a significant role, it has two major receptors named CB1 and CB2. The CB1 receptor is present all over the body and CBD inspired medicines and other condiments target this receptor. For Alzheimer, which mainly affects the hippocampus, the patient slowly loses their memory, the cognitive functioning is made redundant and the person may exude erratic behavior.

The Alzheimer’s disease is not just the dysfunctioning of a single body part, rather there a few more body systems and parts which may contribute to the aggravation of disease. CBD is a pleiotropic compound, which has the tendency to affect various body parts in one time. This property of Cannabinoids is what makes it an effective weapon at the hands of doctors and practitioners in reducing the after-effects of the disease and also in influencing its aggravation.  

Epilepsy

Apart from understanding what is CBD, you should know that a 2015 study reveals that in the US 1.2% of the population is suffering from active epilepsy. Epilepsy as a disease does not discriminate between adults and children, in fact out of the 3 million people suffering from it, 470,000 are children. Epilepsy is known to disrupt various systems of the body including brain and making the patient vulnerable to catch various infections. Prior to the 20th Century holds some evidence of cannabis being used to treat soldier and children with epilepsy, with the first such coming from Calcutta in 1843. But after that due to uncertainties around its extensive usage the growth, sale, and production were banned.

Slowly the tide turned and instead of using THC as a medicine to cure epilepsy the non-psychoactive compound CBD gained ground. Above all Epilepsy has now developed resistance to antiepileptic drugs leading the scientific community to further dig around CBD and its effectiveness to treat epilepsy. Although there is some evidence that CBD is helpful in treating epilepsy, a there is still a lot to know about its efficacy and safety to use in higher doses.

Tackling Depression with CBD

According to a metric, more than 350 million worldwide are suffering from depression and there are certain medications that treat depression. The problem is that these medications create dependency and have shown the markers of resistance. Cannabidiol is known to perform similarly to depression drugs prescribed to patients who have reached the stage of clinical depression. Moreover, depression is at the core of a number of other conditions and symptoms like an emotionless being, lethargic attitude, nausea, insomnia and what not.

From what we could gather after researching on this topic it is evident that CBD cannot cure depression. Rather CBD helps in reducing the effects of depression and helps an individual in maintaining the circadian rhythm, dietary wellness, mood enhancement. CBD does all this by targeting the BDNF, a marker which is responsible for mood and behavior regulation.

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Blood Pressure Control

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The high blood pressure problem has become ubiquitous, the majority of the people around you may be or is vulnerable to high blood pressure. The major reason for this condition is the increasing amount of stress and tension. Higher blood pressure further leads to cardiovascular diseases. According to a study, CBD has a lot of potential in lowering down the blood pressure after the ingestion of a single dose. The efficacy of CBD can be well judged by this study and it still remains a mystery as to why CBD has such a strong effect on blood pressure.

Weight Loss Through CBD

If you have ever wondered to lose weight, CBD can help you. This again brings us to the question what is CBD? The prevalence of obesity in the world has alarmed all the health agencies, the food adulteration, and abnormal eating habits further add to the woes of rapid weight gain. In this scenario, medication and other drugs have not proved beneficial to reduce its intensity and reduce the incidence. There is only one approved treatment for obesity available for children and adolescents named Orlistat. Moreover, inducing the usage of CBD for children is a subject which needs further study and research. Preliminary research has found that Cannabinoid has shown some results in maintaining body weight and targeting the CB1 and CB2 receptors.

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Diabetes

If we are to name one disease that will engulf half of the world population not so in the distant future, it is diabetes. In the US alone more than 100 million people are suffering from type 1 or type 2 diabetes. There was a study conducted on many obese mice and it was done to check the efficacy of CBD treat diabetes. Cannabidiol in true sense stabilizes the blood sugar level and also helps to improve the metabolic system of the body and improves digestion. Along with this CBD has also shown some signs of reducing obesity which further makes it easy to control the incidence of diabetes in the gen pop.

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Forms in which CBD is available

  • CBD Oil

If you ever want to take the purest form of Cannabis, then the CBD oil should be the one to choose. CBD oil which sometimes is also called as CBD tincture is the mixture of oil with the Cannabidiol. Mostly the manufacturers use coconut oil because for one the absorption rate of coconut oil is much higher than other oils. Also, it is said that medication wise, the usage if coconut oil to consume CBD is most beneficial for the health and it helps in digestion plus improves the immune system. Moreover, the coconut oil has caprylic acid along with capric and lauric acid, these acids are known to have antifungal, antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. Coconut oil also has 80% saturated fat which is higher than butter and olive oil. Saturated fats are also called as healthy fats because of their beneficial properties that support the cardiovascular system and helps improve immunity plus brain functioning.

The major concern with CBD oil is its usage pattern and dosing, unlike other forms of CBD the oil ingestion is in your hands. You need to decide the intake amount and this leaves room for some error.

  • CBD Vape

Before CBD the vaping industry was stagnant and exhibited a laggard growth rate. But things changed when we realized that CBD could be consumed through vapes, and today the vaping industry is worth billions of dollars. This skyrocketing trend of vapes is credited to the benefits of smoking CBD instead of marijuana, meth, among other substances. Vaping is done when you need fast relief from pain and inflammation, the vapes are revered to provide the highest amount of CBD without the deploring after effects of smoking. The reason why the vape usage has spiked so rapidly is due to its quick relief and direct attack capacity on the flailing systems. Ingesting CBD through vapes directly dissolves in the bloodstream through the respiratory system. Above all, vapes have the highest bioavailability content of CBD when compared to other forms. This is because you are directly smoking CBD without an added catalyst like oil or wax.

On the other hand, the problem with Vape smoking is there is no consensus about the negative health effects it may pose and we are still searching for a fount source to testify the facts. Yes, some believe that vape CBD smoke is not harmful, but it has not been proven and neither there is a study to prove that it does harm the lungs. so, as of yet the authenticity of vapes still resonates a gaping hole.

  • CBD Gummies

A heavy debate has always engulfed the scientific and pharmaceutical community that whether CBD is safe for children. Because of its curing abilities, a certain skewness is observed in CBD usage for treating autism, seizures, obesity, anxiety and other conditions in children. Moreover, a study has also found that endocannabinoids are also present in breast milk which and is important for newborn child development.

If we talk in legal terms the FDA given the green signal to only one type of CBD medication to treat epilepsy in children two years of age or above. Epidiolex is an oral solution given to children for the treatment of 2 forms of epilepsy, namely Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome. Most importantly, CBD inspired gummies are easy to administer and children won’t say no to colorful gummies.

  • CBD Lotion for Skin Care

Still wondering what is CBD? You would be surprised to know the forms in which you can apply CBD lotions and creams. These are simple lotions, topicals, ointments, sleeping masks, skin lotions, mascara, lip balms among others. CBD lotions have made the adage “be young at heart” redundant because of its ability to help the aging population and assist sportspersons to get quick relief during the play. Its adaptogenic abilities have piqued the interest of spas and rehab institutions to use CBD in their practice. Its anti-inflammatory property helps in decreasing swelling and also assists in maintaining homeostasis. When applied to help with pain CBD numbs the pain receptors and decreasing the inflammation.

  • CBD Tablets/Capsules

First and foremost CBD pills contain the same CBD oil as extracted from the plant and then it is converted into a gel form before inserting into a capsule. Hence, one thing is sure that the tablet CBD is not as effective as other forms. CBD capsules are indeed easy to carry, use and swallow but the issue is with its effectiveness. Plus like other forms of taking CBD, you can take the capsules on a regular basis or even when you need it. Most importantly, with capsules, there is no over usage of CBD as the capsules have a fixed amount of the compound it is safer to use than other forms in terms of dosage. The only concern is its low bioavailability and the time taken to feel the impact of a CBD capsule as it has to go through digestion and filtration before infiltrating into the body system.

All About Hemp – The Plant for CBD

Hemp refers to the plant which is specifically grown to obtain fiber strains and other products that contain the compound Cannabidiol among other compounds. The main advantage of hemp is that it provides all the benefits of marijuana without the psychoactive stimulus. Hemp is bereft of the larger amount of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a compound makes you high and stoned. Hemp, on the other hand, has a higher concentration of cannabidiol which is known to negate the fractional amount of THC present in hemp.

Archeological evidence states that hemp is being used since 8000 BC. Its uses span from manufacturing paper, textiles, clothing, biofuel, food, insulation, biodegradable plastics, and animal feed. At present, the world is yet to decide on the efficacy of hemp as a beneficial and versatile plant. But one thing is assured that hemp in all its forms can provide a number of advantages if used properly.

Need an answer to what is CBD? First, you’ll have to know that the hemp plant is different from the marijuana although they both belong to the same family, Cannabis Sativa. The hemp leaf is more concentrated on the top side with leaves protruding out from the bottom. Only a few branches are there below the top and its leaves are also thinner and they are taller than the marijuana leaves.

Next is the chemical composition, you see hemp plant only has 0.3% of THC and marijuana has 20-25% of THC. This explains why hemp is more beneficial than marijuana for pain relief and other conditions. Moreover, the amount of cannabidiol present in the hemp plant further dismissed the THC volume making it purely a medicinal plant.

Hemp grows in a variety of climates and they are planted 4 inches apart from each other. The production cycle is 110 to 120 days and it is always preferred to cultivate hemp in multi-acre plots. In the northern hemisphere you can see it cultivated in the months of March and May, but in the Southern hemisphere, it is grown in the months of September and November.

World over hemp was grown in abundance until it was related to its drug-infusing sibling which comes from the same family. This decreased its importance in the last few decades, but today we are seeing it regain its importance and fighting to prove its efficacy for providing the advantageous results.

The misunderstanding around hemp’s true picture led the US government to enact the Controlled Substance Act, 1970. At that time president Nixon, and his obstinate efforts led to the demise of hemp inspired by his “War on Drugs” campaign. You can also relate this act with the establishment of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). The 1970 act, outlawed one of the world’s oldest domestic crop which was used by our ancestors to treat and prevent a plethora of diseases and sufferings.

How is CBD Made

Down to another important aspect of Cannabis, in this topic, we will find out how CBD is made from hemp. Most of the CBD products that we consume or apply have CBD oil in them, hence we are going to discuss the process of obtaining the liquid CBD oil from hemp.

Given below are four methods which are used to extract CBD from the plant:

CO2 Cannabis Extraction Method: for this method carbon dioxide is used in a liquid form to extract the main compound from the plant. There are three separate processes used under CO2 extraction, namely supercritical, mid critical and subcritical. Most people use the supercritical method for extraction. The process is simple but it is expensive, firstly CO2 is pressurized to turn it into a liquid state. This is because CO2 is a strong solvent when we bring it to a certain temperature which is -69° Fahrenheit and the pressure is kept at 75 psi. Next comes the supercritical stage where the liquified CO2 is ready to absorb chemicals and won’t cause any damage or degrade the extracted compound. The supercritical stage is obtained after heating the liquid CO2 so that it attains all the required properties.

Olive Oil Extraction Method: This is the simplest method to extract CBD from hemp and can be done at home. All you need to do is first heat the hemp leaves in a container for an hour at 248° Fahrenheit temperature, or you can also heat it at 284º Fahrenheit temperature for half an hour. This is done to activate the chemicals present in the plant, also called as decarboxylation. After this, you need to add the plant material into olive oil and again heat it at 212° for another 2 hours or so. This leads to the extraction of Cannabidiol extracts into the olive oil which can be used a lot of ways.

Dry Ice Extraction Method: this is another method which uses CO2 but in the solid state to extract CBD from hemp leaves. The process is simple and can be performed at home, but it involves a bit more sophistication and work than the olive oil extraction method. The process involves cutting the leaves into small parts and placing them into a bucket only to be buried under dry ice for a few minutes. Then there is the step where you have to cover the bucker with a micron bag and sake the plant and ice for 4 minutes. Shake the resin obtained from the bucket and you will have collected the first strain of CBD extract.

Solvent Extraction Method: a less used method due to the solvents’ impure configuration which may have some side effects after consumption. The solvents used in this method are ethanol and butane, while ethanol is known to extract chlorophyll from the leaves along with all other compounds. This chlorophyll has been known to excite some unpleasant feelings in the body, butane, on the other hand, has a lung irritation tendency after consumption. Filtering out chlorophyll from the extract will reduce the product’s potency. The process is simple, you only need to pour the liquid into the plant material and it will strip away all the extracts along with chlorophyll which turns the solution green. We guess these methods of extraction will give you a better understanding of what is CBD. 

How CBD Works

We have already discussed how THC and CBD are the parts of the same plant called cannabis. It is from this plant only that we acquire THC and CBD plus another 60 cannabinoids. Now as for the working mechanism of THC and CBD, first you need to know what makes them different. THC is a compound which has the same healing and treatment qualities as CBD, but the only difference is that CBD does not contain psychoactive properties. The psychoactive property of the cannabis plant makes the consumer high or stoned. That is the reason why along with the cannabis plant is seen with such suspicion and doubt.

The mechanism of CBD is simple, there is only bonding of the CBD molecules with the receptors. But where how this connection takes place is important to understand. Our body has an endogenous cannabinoid system or ECS, it is responsible for neuromodulation, or in simple words the nerve activity which records and delivers electrical stimulation. The ECS is also responsible for the development of the central nervous system and the peripheral system. There are enzymes, receptors, and some glands, out of them the major receptors are CB1R and CB2R. The cannabidiol molecules bind to these two receptors in order to influence or give relief to the internal body system. The CB1R receptor plays a role in the majority of the functions and is present in most of the body parts including cortex, cerebellum, hippocampus etc. On the other hand, the CB2R receptor is present in immune system tissues, microglia, and other vascular elements. Not only on larger body parts but these receptors are also present on cell nuclei, mitochondria, and Golgi apparatus.

The above information infers one important thing, that the cannabinoids can bind to almost each and part of our body, be it an organ, a gland, or even a cell.

When CBD enters the body, it goes under metabolism with the help a process called hydroxylation and turns into acidic metabolites. The hepatic P450 enzymes form a covalent bond with CBD, this bonding between the two restricts the formation of psychotropic drugs inside the body. This is the reason why we can induce CBD in higher doses without fearing the “getting high” sensation.

How CBD Affects Our Brain &  Body

Now that we have understood what is CBD and know about its working, here we will know how it affects the brain and body. In simple terms, we will try to relate the cannabinoid bonding with the ECS receptors and figure out its effects.

Brain: the human brain is one of the most complex machines to ever exist on this Earth. You must have seen images where the entire universe and its galaxies are compared to the neural network of the brain and the nervous system. These astounding facts although are not proven but they sure pique your thinking abilities and forces you to ask How and Why?

Similarly, when we talk about the impact of CBD on our brain, researchers and scientists are also perplexed with this question. What we were able to gather from understanding a few studies and perspectives, the brain is affected by CBD on two levels. These are:

Serotonin System: just scratching the surface one could relate this neurotransmitter as something which contributes to feelings of happiness and well being. When you see someone depressed or emotionless, it means that the serotonin levels are low and the person needs to cheer up to produce more serotonin or it can also be given externally. Going into some detail, we came to know that Serotonin is also responsible for modulation, cognition, learning capability, reward, memory levels, and many other psychological processes. Now, this serotonin has 1A receptor which has the ability to bind with CBD. Serotonin by its capacity to regulate mood releases cortisol enzyme responsible for increasing or decreasing stress. This is the reason that CBD has the power to assuage stress and depressive feelings because it can directly impact serotonin which further plays a role in mood regulation and anxiety levels.

Therapeutic Abilities: moving forward, the efficacy of cannabidiol to provide homegrown some patients should also be understood. A receptor named TRPV1 resides in our body and they are also called Vanilloid receptors. The function of vanilloid receptors is to regulate the temperature, inflammation and pain perception. Now CBD when binds to these receptors give a kind of therapy to all the system that is regulated by the vanilloid receptors, a person in extreme pain is made to believe that the pain does not exist.

These are the two levels which have been known to be practiced and are backed by some researches.

Is CBD Legal or Not?

Well, this is another factor which needs to be discussed under what is CBD. A heavy debate has engulfed the Federal and State government leading them into a flux of uncertainty and suspicion. In common parlance, if something is thoroughly researched upon and its impact is clearly visible to the government they make it legal within their territorial boundaries. For instance, drones were illegal to fly all over the country a few years back, but now even some of the developing countries like India have drafted some regulations and laws for their proper operation and flying.

But CBD is another subject and the governments have made it seem like something which has come from another world. We say this because until and unless a through research follows to judge the efficacy of CBD, it promiscuousness aspects will stay hidden from the common folklore and the government. Ironically there a humongous database of researches conducted on this subject and despite the contrary evidence, the Federal government considered cannabidiol as a genus of marijuana. Another aspect to this that there is no single consensus between the State and the Federal government when it comes to conducting research on CBD. Further, there is no common inter-state perspective regarding CBD, all the States have their own viewpoint on its benefits, side-effects and hence the policies adopted for its regulation, use and research are also varied.

Also the government also first wants to know that from where CBD has come, is it from the marijuana or hemp plant. Interestingly, there are studies which prove that the THC content in the hemp plant is only 0.3%, which is a negligible volume to entice any stoned or high sensation.

But all the efforts of hemp farmers and researchers bore fruit when the Federal government passed the 2018 Farm Bill or also called as Agricultural Act. As per this legislation, hemp was delisted from the controlled substances list and also it is now classified as an agricultural commodity. The 2018 Farm Bill was passed in December 2018 and it has made hemp legal in the country with the inclusion of the Hemp Farming Act. When talking about the States, there is still a disoriented perspective among all the States and they have formulated separate regulations for CBD.

There are 50 States in the USA and out of them, only 10 States have legalized CBD no matter where it comes from, hemp or marijuana. These are Alaska, Washington, Vermont, Michigan, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Oregon, and Nevada. CBD derived from hemp or marijuana is strictly prohibited for use and research in three States, namely Idaho, Nebraska, and South Dakota. In the remaining 37 States, hemp derived CBD is legal but its usage and other functions depend on the State jurisdiction and regulations.

So, it is clear that despite the Federal government bowing to the promising nature of CBD and making it legal in the nation the States are not ready to accept it as of yet. The coming times may prove it to be otherwise but today you need to take care of the State and the regulations that decide CBD usage and sale before buying it.

Are There Any Side Effects of Using CBD

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Here we are not going to discuss the side effects of CBD oil or a vape. But this point is added to give you a hint on what could be possible side effects on consuming CBD. An important aspect of figuring out the side effects is to correspond it with the dosage levels. Earlier too, we discussed that the dosage quantity matters in CBD and in some cases lower dosages instead of a high is more harmful, but the dosage is a story for another time. Let’s discuss the side effects:

Iffland and Grotenhermen, in 2017 conducted and updated an experiment observed on the patients suffering from epilepsy and psychotic disorders. The majority of the subject participating in the study reported signs of tiredness, diarrhea, and alteration in weight and appetite. When compared to side effects of other drugs and medication, these side effects are considered still better and something you can tolerate easily. This means that CBD is not a foolproof condiment that can be used recklessly and without proper care. There are side effects, no matter their degree and intensity.

Cotton Mouth or Dry Mouth is also associated with CBD consumption. The reason being that the endocannabinoid system obstructs the process of saliva secretion which leads to dehydration. Dehydration in itself is not a grave condition and be easily surmounted by drinking plenty of water when consuming CBD. All in all, this is another side effect that can be tackled with easily.

Blood Pressure Drop: lower dosage of CBD is often affiliated with a drop in blood pressure. This drop may not be alarming but it can lead to the feeling of restlessness and lightheadedness. A study conducted under controlled environment and giving a single dose of CBD to patients with sclerosis found that although it was beneficial for the patients diagnosed with increased heart rate. For those whose heart rate is normal, it reduced the resting BP by the margin of -5mmHG.

Drug Metabolism: Whenever you take medicine it has to be metabolized and this task is done by cytochrome P450 family and enzyme CYP3A4. The same group of enzymes is responsible for breaking down CBD molecules, and this becomes a cause of worry for some users. It has been found that a few drugs or medicines are known to inhibit these enzymes and this may further affect the breaking down of CBD. There may be enhanced and rapid metabolism or it may be laggard and slow, leading to unknown consequences. Hence, it is always advised that if you are currently taking any other drugs or medicines, consulting with your doctor is necessary.

One thing is clear that even though we have read a few studies that prove the above side effects, but there is still a lot of work to do. These researches represent only the tip of the iceberg and the real work is yet to be done. Now after passing the 2018 Farm Bill the gates of research and studies are wide open, this means we can learn about CBD lot in the coming few years.

CBD Oil or Gummies – What Should You Choose

Well, this is a never-ending fight, with a number of aspects to look after before we reach a verdict. Before that here we will enter the ring with two rounds and at the end f each round the winner will come forth backed by facts and research.

Bioavailability: first and foremost the most important aspect is the bioavailability of the method you choose to adopt for taking CBD. Bioavailability in simple terms refers to the percentage of the primary ingredient that you wish to ingest through various mediums. It can be gummies, oils, vapes, capsules, injections, lozenges and what not. Now, which medium has the higher content of the desired material further depends on the method of its preparation.

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When talking about gummy bears they are prepared just like normal gummies but the content of CBD is added externally. Gummies have 100% CBD presence in them, this means that there is no other compound in them. Interestingly there are more than 103 other Cannabinoids in the hemp plant from where legal CBD can be derived and used in gummies. This means that when you ingest one gummy you are taking only and only CBD without compromising your health by taking all the other compounds found in the same plant like THC.

As for the CBD oil, the story is a little different. You may know that CBD oil is so easy to get by that it can even be prepared at home. So, this means that in other professional preparation centers they may not go through a rigorous process of CBD extraction. CBD oil also contains many other compounds that are already present in the hemp plant and if you are making CBD oil from the marijuana plant then the risk is not worth taking. A marijuana plant has more than 20% of the THC content which is enough to cause grave discomfort and hallucinations creating a “high” effect. Now, we are not saying that CBD oil is not pure, it is as pure as the gummies, but the difference in the bioavailability still skews the graph towards the gummies.

Taste and Price: if you are taking CBD on a regular basis then not caring about the taste is just like treating it like any other medicine which it is not. You cannot deny the fact that by mere hearing it the gummies seem a lot tastier than oil. Isn’t it? This is true and in fact, the gummy bears along with having 100% pure CBD content does not lose its sweetness that we all love. CBD oil, on the other hand, has its advantages that you can use it for preparing food or just use as an edible with some other ingredient.

Strangely, when it comes to price the gummy bears are cheaper than the oil. Plus they will give the same effect as the oil or even more than that depending on the percentage of CBD present in it.

After discussing a little about these mediums on three different platforms we can easily conclude that the gummy bears are somewhat better than oil. But there is a lot more to understand further to take a concrete stance on this subject. Being a beginner you only need to understand that the gummies have high bioavailability but cannot be prepared at home like CBD oil. Moreover, the gummies are tastier than oil but they are only available with certified sellers and their sale is subject to the State regulations.

Proper Dosage of CBD

We have kept the most important bit for the last because only after you have understood what it is that you are eating should you know how much to consume it. Now, as for CBD, the problem is that the Federal government has not decided upon a recommended daily intake or RDI. whilst they have given it for the majority of drugs no matter what the companies manufacturing say about the dosage, for CBD the government is still in the deciding stage.

The reason for this uncertainty regarding accurate dosage can be attributed to the lack of research-based consensus on this topic. The human body is a sensitive machine which has a rain of its own and can sometimes exhibit grave repercussion to a stimulus which was unwanted and unwarranted. To better understand the CBD dosage we need a concrete and definite set of study or studies which proves that taking a certain amount of CBD will improve this and taking this amount will improve that and so on. But the difficult part is that CBD, as you may know, is used for various conditions, be it cancer, depression, pain, anxiety, inflammation, tumor and what not. In this scenario, the researchers and doctors have obtained concrete results but they are specific to the patients only. For normal use, where the athletes or an average guy want to use it, you may have to shoot blind arrows.

For all the studies that we have read before writing this, the most important thing was to recognize the optimal dosage for a specific group of people. On these lines, a study which was conducted with 263 cancer patients went under the THC plus CBD therapy. In the results, it was found that the patients who were given high dosage saw a reduction in pain but the intensity of side effects was also higher. On the other hand, the patients who were given low and medium dosages also exhibited a reduction in pain but there were fewer side effects. This tells that lower the dosage lower will be its side effects, the result being the same.

Some other studies also hinted at this similar concept with a few tweaks here and there. But the important thing is that your endocannabinoid system is different from others and how it reacts to CBD may be different than how it reacts with your friend. So here is a common notion that revolves around CBD and explains how it can be taken:

Start Small: you need to take care of all the aspects before starting to take CBD and start with lower dosage initially. Limit it to once a day and if you are taking a tablet fix the number of tablet or tablets to be taken every day. On the other hand, if you are taking it through oil or gummies make sure to fix the dosage. Once your body is accustomed to this particular dosage then you can go on to increase it gradually.

Dosage according to your body weight: some researchers and sources have also instructed to take CBD as per your body weight and the intensity of pain. It is apparent that people with more weight and body mass require a higher dosage than others. A popular thumb rule is that you can take an additional 1 to 6 MG of CBD for an increase in body weight with multiples of 10 pounds.

Lastly, if you suffering from a condition and taking medicines for it, then you should not take CBD without consulting a physician. Although the companies manufacturing it do inform about the dosage on the labels, but that is only for those who are not suffering from any kind of condition or illness. The reason for consulting the physician is that when you ingest CBD with other medicines the endocannabinoid system being sensitive may react adversely. It may happen that in some circumstances the CBD receptors are taken aback by the system in which case CBD won’t be able to produce any results.

Conclusion

This guide is meant for the beginners for whom CBD is a word that they have heard for the first time in their life or who knows what it is but are still looking for some answers. In Toto, CBD which has been used since ages by the human civilization has a lot of benefits and potential to get rid of some grave conditions. But as of yet, there is nothing concrete that can prove its efficacy. Now that the US government has passed the Farm Bill 2018 and have differentiated it from other psychotic substances like marijuana we can know about the true potential of CBD. Let’s see what the future holds for CBD, the magical or the mysterious herb.

Pavneet Lubana

Pavneet is highly impressed by the CBD industry. She admires the change this industry wants to bring in the lives of people suffering from pain and various diseases. Pavneet's mission is to share true knowledge about CBD through her writings.

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