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CBD Basics

Cannabidiol, better known as CBD, is one of more than 100 chemical compounds called cannabinoids that are found in hemp and cannabis plants.

CBD interacts with the body’s own endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is a complex network of receptors that helps regulate many human functions such as appetite, sleep, mood, pain sensation, and the immune system.

CBD is a popular natural and evidence-based therapeutic treatment for many common issues, such as pain relief, inflammation, anxiety, and insomnia.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the main psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis, which means it causes the sensation of getting “high” that’s often associated with cannabis. However, unlike THC, CBD is not psychoactive.

Inhalation: Smoking or vaping hemp flower or hemp flower oil

Sublingual: Placing drops of oil under the tongue allowing it to absorb for 15 to 30 seconds

Oral or Ingestion: Capsules, gummies, or adding CBD oil to foods and beverages

Topical or Subdermal: Massage CBD infused creams or lotions into the skin

The most effective dose can vary per individual. Rule of thumb is to “start low, and go slow”. Be consistent in your dose and the time of day. Take notes on your dose and how you feel. 

Finding the right dose for YOU is important. CBD has “biphasic” properties which means that high and low doses of the same substance can produce opposite effects.

With CBD, generally lower doses tend to stimulate, and higher doses tend to sedate.

It’s better to take smaller doses throughout the day, than one large dose.

A higher dose does not always achieve a greater benefit.

Read more in our guide for beginners.

Like many health-related efforts, consistency is key to accurately asses results and achieve the greatest benefits. Take the same dose at the same time(s) each day.

Take the same dose consistently for 2 to 3 weeks to assess results, and adjust as needed.

  1. Make sure the product is made from hemp or cannabis flower oil, not seed oil. Most inexpensive products contain hemp Seed oil which contains no beneficial CBD.
  2. Ask where the hemp was sourced or grown. Avoid foriegn-grown hemp. Look for grown in the USA, or Virginia.
  3. Ask how the CBD was extracted. Natural extraction methods such as CO2, or food-grade ethanol will ensure purity and limit contamination
  4. Make sure the products are independent lab tested, and contain Certificates of Analysis (COA). COAs can typically be accessed via a QR code on reputable products.
  5. Is the labeling detailed and clear? Look for the amounts of CBD and THC “per serving”, not just just the total cannabinoids per package.
  6. Read the ingredients. Is it all natural? Look for products that are Organic, without artificial colors or flavors. Avoid high-fructose corn syrup.

Also read our CBD Buying Guide.

Full Spectrum: Includes all parts of the cannabis plant. Legal full-spectrum products contain less than <0.3% THC.

Broad-spectrum: This contains most of the cannabis plant compounds. Broad-spectrum products typically contain trace amounts of THC.

Isolates: Only contain pure CBD, with no other cannabinoids or THC.

Anyone subject to drug testing should use CBD at their own risk. 

Most drug tests are looking for the presence of THC, not CBD. Although most legal CBD products do not cause a psychoactive “high” effect, they can contain some THC. Full Spectrum CBD products can contain up to 0.3% THC (legally). And Broad Spectrum CBD products typically contain trace amounts of THC.

CBD Isolate products are virtually THC-free and have the lowest risk.

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