What is CBD?
There’s no question that CBD, cannabidiol, is one of the hottest trends in health and wellness today. As a result, you can find CBD products around every corner. The products range anywhere from coffee shop lattes and moisturizing skin creams to pet treats and vaping pens. It’s no longer confined to dispensary purchases. CBD is popping up in major drugstore chains, gas stations, department stores and all over internet marketplaces (depending on the state).
Although it seems to be everywhere you turn, it is still a very confusing topic for many people. We want to help you wade through the hype and answer some of the most common CBD questions.
What is it?
CBD, short for cannabidol, is a naturally occurring chemical compound found in the cannabis plant. It’s use can be found in a myriad of products to promote a feeling of relaxation among other health benefits.
CBD is one of over a hundred other cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. Other popular cannabinoids include THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), CBG (cannabigerol), CBN (cannabinol), and CBC (cannabichromene).
Is CBD legal?
The answer to this question can get a little murky and is completely dependent on where you live. Even though CBD is legal at the federal level, states have their own rules and regulations regarding the sales of CBD products. For a state by state quick guide provided by the CBD Awareness Project
“The rapid legalization of hemp and CBD has put the FDA in a tough position. Under its mandate, the agency must validate the safety of foods, drugs and dietary supplements. But CBD products are already flooding American stores.” -PBS.org
While the FDA sorts through hemp and CBD sales as a whole, one thing remains steadfast from an FDA perspective; it is still and always will remain illegal for companies to market ‘egregious and unfounded claims’ to ‘vulnerable populations.’
As of current, there is only one prescription medication that has been FDA-approved. Epidiolex is to treat two sever seizure disorders in children.
For more information, consult your state’s Criminal Code or Agriculture Department for the most up-to-date information on regulation of CBD in your state.
What benefits does CBD have?
Although CBD is not FDA-approved, it continues to gain momentum in the health and wellness world from the endless consumer claims of therapeutic properties. While research continues to be ongoing, some studies suggest that CBD can relieve or help treat a variety of conditions, including but not limited to:
- Chronic pain and arthritis
- Anxiety and Stress
- Nicotine and opioid addiction
- Muscle spasticity
- Low appetite from cancer treatment
- Epilepsy and seizures
The statements made regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficacy of these products has not been confirmed by FDA-approved research. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. All information presented here is not meant as a substitute for or alternative to information from healthcare practitioners. Please consult your healthcare professional about potential interactions or other possible complication before using any product. The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act requires this notice.
Is CBD safe to use?
As popularity grows and the legalization of cannabis gets ironed out, scientists are more inclined and have easier access to research this and other cannabinoids.
While research and evidence continues to develop, CBD is generally considered safe.
Although rare, there are reports of side effects including nausea, fatigue and irritability. Most, however, are typically from the interaction of other medications the person is taking.
Always consult your physician before taking CBD in conjunction with other medications.
As CBD is not yet regulated by the FDA, always do your research before purchasing and using any unregulated products.
How does CBD fit into hemp or marijuana?
Certainly you hear the terms cannabis, marijuana and hemp all used in relation to CBD. Many people use these terms interchangeably, not really understanding the difference. This should help!
Rather than boring you with a biology lesson detailing how Marijuana (Species Cannabis Sativa L.) and Hemp (Genus Cannabis L.) come from the same family of flowering plants (Cannabaceae), we’ll make this quick.
Cannabis refers to the species of plant. Hemp and Marijuana are both members of the species (Cannabis sativa L.). Although they are both of the same genus and species, they have very different characteristics. If you take anything away from this, let it be that Hemp and Marijuana are NOT the same thing.
CBD can be extracted from both plants. CBD distillate (golden colored oil) can be Full Spectrum ( include THC or be completely with out can
- Legal on a state and federal level (thanks to the Farm Bill passed in 2018)
- Trace amounts of THC < 0.3%
- Unlike the marijuana plant, the hemp plant does not need much attention to thrive. As a result, they can be grown outdoors in most climates. They do well bunched closely together and with other plants.
- They can grow up to 20 feet with the leaves near the top of the plant.
- Hemp is grown primarily for industrial use. All parts of the plant can be used. Not only is the plant used for an astonishing number of products it is environmentally friendly! (biodegradable plastics, paper, cloth and woven fabrics, carpeting, netting, canvas, building materials, mulch, bio fuel, foods, animal feed, shampoos, cosmetics, various skin care products, health supplements, oils such as CBD, etc.)
- Illegal federally but legal in some states
- Higher amounts of THC (5-30%)
- Because they need lots of space and attention, marijuana plants are typically grown indoors allowing their growers to control and heavily monitor their warm and humid environment.
- They are shorter and bush like with leaves and flowering buds surrounding the plant.
- Marijuana is grown specifically for medicinal and recreational purposes. While it can be used in many products the overall use is dependent on the benefits of THC.