If it feels like CBD is everywhere these days, it’s because it is.

Hemp-derived CBD is currently a $90 million market and is expected to grow to more than $3 billion by 2021. 

Everyone from your neighbor to your best friend and even your grandma may be using CBD. Maybe even you yourself have tried CBD or have been CBD curious. But, there’s a lot of misinformation and confusing information out there, which can make shopping for CBD – an unregulated product – pretty scary.

In this post, I break down quite literally everything you need to know about CBD so you can incorporate this miraculous plant into your wellness routine with confidence, ease and grace.

What is CBD?

CBD stands for Cannabidiol, a natural compound derived from hemp plants. CBD is the most prominent active component, or cannabinoid, in the hemp plant and the second most prevalent active component of the marijuana plant.

The most prevalent active compound in the marijuana plant is THC – which you’ve probably heard of.

CBD is not to be confused with cannabinoid, which is the term representing the 100+ active chemical compounds naturally found in cannabis plants. CBD (Cannabidiol) and THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) are just two types of cannabinoids.

Is CBD Cannabis?

Well – this is a bit confusing. So allow me to explain.

In order to understand the answer to this question you need to first understand some plant genealogy and how cannabis, hemp and marijuana plants all fit together.

Cannabis is the plant genus or family for both the hemp and marijuana plants. CBD oil is derived from the hemp plant and contains 0.3% or less THC content. The confusion arises because technically both plants are part of the cannabis family and in recent years, the term “marijuana” has also become interchangeable with the term “cannabis”.

Source: USA CBD Expo 

Will CBD Get You High?

Nope, hemp derived CBD will not get you high!

THC is the compound or cannabinoid that produces a high or psychoactive feeling, and since hemp plants have virtually zero percent THC you won’t get high.

The reason for this is because CBD and THC interact with different receptors in your body and brain. CBD mainly reacts with receptors located throughout your body, so you never feel a psychoactive affect from consuming CBD. THC on the other hand interacts with receptors both in your brain and your body, thus resulting in a “high”.

Is CBD Legal?

CBD is 100% federally legal – pretty dope, right? (no pun, intended).

The 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp from the Controlled Substances Act. This act made hemp federally legal in all 50 states. As a result, all hemp derived CBD products, containing less than the legal 0.3% THC are legal as well.

It’s important to note, however, that the Farm Bill did not bar states from regulating the production of hemp or limit them from enforcing laws stricter than the farm bill. So, while hemp CBD is legal, make sure to check up on how your state is approaching CBD!

Is CBD Oil The Same As Hemp Oil?

NO – CBD oil and hemp oil are different. CBD oil is made by extracting plant material from hemp or cannabis plants. Often times, CBD oil is also combined with a carrier oil such as olive, coconut or MCT oil. CBD oil also contains cannabidoil. On the other hand, hemp oil is derived from the seeds of the hemp plant and does not contain any CBD or other cannabinoids.

When buying products, make sure to read labels so you’re actually purchasing the oil you intend to have!

How Does CBD Work?

CBD works by interacting with your body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS).

Scientists discovered the ECS in the early 1990s and only stumbled upon it while researching the ways cannabis (remember this means hemp and marijuana plants) interacts with the body.

It’s quite complex, but in essence, it’s a system that regulated body processes and functions. Endocannabinoids and cannabinoids interact with receptor sites in the body to help your body achieve homeostasis, or balance. When your body is in balance, all of your body’s other systems and functions and perform a bit more optimally.

When the ECS performs in harmony, it regulates all the basic functions and patterns of our body including:

  • appetite
  • immune function
  • inflammation
  • memory
  • metabolism
  • mood
  • pain
  • sleep
  • reproduction
  • digestion

It also manages neuroprotection and development.

Source: Aeroflow Naturals

There are two types of receptors that cannabis plants interact with: CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors are found mainly in the central nervous system and CB2 receptors are found mostly on cells within the immune system. These receptors aren’t necessarily found only in one area of the body, but have primary locales. Some cells within the body contain both receptors, where each performs different functions. The below diagram does a great job of depicted where receptors are located and what they do.

Source: Vitalbis

What Are The Benefits of CBD?

You may have seen memes that joke about how CBD is the new coconut oil – basically the millennial cure all for any physical or emotional symptom. But, honestly, understanding CBD, having used it personally and having heard stories of other people’s successes with CBD from working with my marketing clients – I feel that there’s truth to the joke! Here are some of my favs:

 

Okay, anyways, when thinking about the benefits of CBD, it’s useful to remember that it’s “anti”

  • Antibacterial
    • Assists in clearing acne
    • Acts as an antiseptic
  • Antioxidant
    • Fights free radicals
  • Anti-inflammatory
    • Reduces inflammation
    • Relieves plain
    • Aids in several issues related to multiple-sclerosis (MS)
    • Soothes skin irritations
  • Antipsychotic
    • Can reduce psychosis
  • Anticonvulsant
    • Reduces seizures and epileptic episodes
  • Anti-addication
    • Reduces nicotine or opioid addiction
  • Antianxiety and Antidepressant
    • Can reduce and relieve anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
    • Regulates mood
  • Anti-cancer and Anti-Tumor
    • Inhibits the proliferation of tumor cells
  • Anti-aging
    • Protects your brain cells and helps to create new ones
    • Can reverse cognitive decline from Alzheimer’s Disease (neuroprotective)
  • Antiemetic
    • Assists with reducing nausea and vomiting

CBD is also heart healthy and reduced the risk of artery blockage

How Do I Use CBD?

There are three main ways you can consume CBD:

Oral

CBD may be ingested orally in the from of tinctures (meant to be taken sublingually, which means under the tongue), capsules or food/beverages items. Sublingual products will take anywhere from 30-45 minutes to take effect, and provide relief for many hours. Sublingual products are ideal for long lasting relief throughout the day or night.

Onset time: 30-40 minutes
Duration: long lasting relief
Scenarios for use: seizures, chronic pain, sleep aids, anxiety

Vapor

Vapor products are inhaled by heating up CBD oil until it produces a vapor. These products have a nearly immediate onset, but a shorter duration of benefits. They are perfect for providing quick spurts of relief throughout the day or just before bed, helping with sleep disorders, anxiety, nausea and stress.

Onset time: nearly immediate
Duration: short duration of relief
Scenarios for use: sleep, anxiety, nausea, stress

Topical

When you use CBD topically, it means you’re putting it on the skin. CBD applied topically provides localized relief and benefits to the specific area it is applied – making it incredible for skincare and pain relief. Your skin is your body’s largest organ, protecting you from the outside world – so what you put on it can really affect your health. CBD’s properties have made it an attractive ingredient healthy skin. CBD helps reduce inflammation, alleviate pain, hydrate, improve skin rejuvenation, combat aging and even fight against free radicals.

Onset time: 45+ minutes
Duration: moderate to long lasting relief
Scenarios for use: skincare, sore muscles, skin irritation

Are There Different Kinds of CBD?

CBD oil can have three different compositions. When shopping for CBD, make sure you inquire as to what kind of CBD is in the product to make sure you are getting the type you are looking for.

Full Spectrum or Multi-Cannabinoid or Whole Plant

When CBD is extracted from the hemp plant the extraction process also pulls many other cannabinoids, essential vitamins, minerals and fatty acids from the plant that all work together and increase the medicinal benefits offered through whole plant consumption in what’s called the entourage effect. The entourage effect is a process in which there is greater medicinal value offered through whole plant consumption, which all of the plant’s compounds remain together. Most people, myself included, prefer full spectrum CBD products for this reason.

Full spectrum products still have zero THC, making them legal, non-intoxicating and safe for those who are concerned about drug testing.

Broad Spectrum

Broad spectrum is similar to full spectrum CBD oil, except it is refined to have the THC removed from the plant.

Isolate

Lastly, isolate CBD undergoes even further processing so that at the end, all you are left with is CBD.

Where Can I Buy CBD?

It seems like CBD is everywhere these days – because honestly, it is… especially now that it’s legal. You can find CBD everywhere from your grocery store and local health food store to spas, gyms and yoga studios.

Here are some popular places to shop for CBD:

Whole Foods
CVS
Miss Grass
Offbeat Apothecary
Shop/Good

And my personal favorite:
Svn Space

Any Shopping Tips?

To be frank, there are a lot of bad CBD products out there. Products that either don’t work, are poorly made or even worse, have the potential to make you ill. Even though hemp is now federally legal, CBD and CBD products remain largely unregulated. So it’s really important that you understand what you’re buying and how to buy quality products. You’re reading this post, so you’ve already taken a huge step forward in becoming an empowered consumer.

Here are few quick tips to help you shop confidently:

  • Read Labels – it seems pretty basic, but turn products over and read the labels! Check out what kind of CBD oil is being used and what else is in the product. To be effective, CBD oil must have a carrier oil with it, such as olive, coconut or MCT oil
  • Ask For Third Party Lab Results – any quality brand will have their lab results available to you on their website or will have no problem sharing them with you. When looking at the lab results, make sure that CBD is the most potent cannabinoid present. Also make sure that there is less than 0.3% THC. Then, you’ll also want to check out the other markers that test for pesticides and such – these should all be negative.
  • ONLY Use CBD Made From Organic Hemp – hemp is a bioaccumulator, which means that it sucks up all the toxins in the soil and brings them into the plant. This is incredible for regenerative farming. But, you wouldn’t want to consumer CBD extracted from plants that have been sucking up toxins.
  • Shop From Trusted Vendors – if you’re unsure about your own abilities to safely shop for CBD, then shop products from trusted vendors. Shops like those from the list I provided in the previous section have gone ahead and done the vetting for you, so you can confidently buy quality products.

Are There Any Brands You Recommend?

For all the shoddy CBD brands that are out there, there are equally as many incredible brands that are high-quality, effective, beautiful, compassionate – you name it! Brands you want to be your best friend. Below is a list of brands I would recommend. A few I’ve personally used and others I know are quality from my years spent working within the cannabis industry.

W!NK – for women, by women, this cute, girly CBD brand not only makes vapor and sublingual products, but has an entire collection of spa and skincare products as well!

Artemis – a mystical CBD brand focused on raising the collective consciousness. They make mindful medication for holistic healing. All Artemis products use isolate CBD.

Luna Volta – one of the most beautiful, thoughtful and sustainable CBD brands I’ve ever come across. Their commitment to the plant extends is so deep that their entire supply-chain is also committed to sustainability.

Dosist – a more clinically focused brand offering products with precise and accurate dosing. Their flagship product is the dose pen.

Neurogan – a clean CBD brands whose products extend to food items and products for pets (yes, CBD works for your pet too)!

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