Beginner’s Guide to What is CBD and If It’s Legal
By now, you’ve probably heard of CBD, especially if you live with a chronic condition like pain or anxiety.
As the west begin to legalise both medical and recreational cannabis, the market has enjoyed an influx of readily available CBD. Despite all the publicity, though, many people aren’t sure of what CBD is, how it can help them, and if it’s even legal.
If you’re looking to try CBD but aren’t sure where to start, HerbSumo put together this beginner’s guide to answer your questions and help clear up some of the most common misconceptions about CBD.
Table of Content
- What is CBD?
- Oils and tinctures
- Creams and lotions
- Capsules and pills
- How much should I take?
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol CBD is one of many active compounds found in the Cannabis plant. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is another active compound and the most well-known, thanks to its psychoactive properties — it’s the one that gets you “high.”
CBD is non-psychoactive but has a number of the same medical benefits as THC. This allows you to take advantage of the therapeutic benefits without leaving you with the stoned feeling that often goes hand in hand with THC.
That said, marijuana-derived CBD products, or CBD products that contain THC, may be more effective than fiber hemp. But if you live in a country that hasn’t yet legalised medical marijuana or these strains are unavailable, you can still benefit from products containing industrial hemp-derived CBD.
We suggest checking your state’s laws regarding CBD oil.
There’s not a lot of research on CBD, but the results of what has been studied are promising. Some studies have found CBD may be effective in providing relief from various mental health conditions, including:
- Anxiety disorders
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
It may be effective for physical conditions as well. One study trusted Sources on rats found that CBD oil may treat pain associated with arthritis, while another study trusted sources on human cells found that CBD cream was an effective anti-inflammatory.
CBD is available in several different forms. This allows people to tailor their method of use to their specific needs. Here are the most common forms of CBD:
CBD Oils and Tinctures
These liquids, usual oils, are infused with CBD and placed under the tongue with a dropper. The oral mucosa is full of tiny capillaries that absorb the compounds quickly.
Oils and tinctures are a good choice for anyone who can’t take pills or capsules.
CBD Creams and Lotions
CBD-infused topicals are used to treat muscle and joint pain. They can also treat some skin conditions, like eczema and psoriasis.
CBD Capsules and Pills
CBD capsules and pills are used for systemic treatment of seizure disorders and digestive issues. The Food and Drug AdministrationTrusted Source recently approved Epidiolex, the first high-potency CBD drug to treat seizure disorders.
There’s one drawback with capsule forms, though. The time from ingestion to the onset of effect can take a while.
Gummies are one of the most popular ways to take CBD. They’re affordable, portable, discrete, and tasty. There’s also no guesswork involved: You know exactly what dose you’re taking.
Inhaling vaporized CBD oil, like e-cigs for CBD, is the fastest way to experience effects. Compounds are inhaled and absorbed directly from the lungs into the bloodstream.
The jury is still out, though, on whether vaping does damage to delicate lung tissue. Proceed with caution if you choose to vape CBD.
How much CBD should I take?
You should generally start with a low dosage and go slow with increasing your dose. There may also be variations in actual CBD content between products. Use caution when starting a new package or switching dose forms.
According to Lindsay Slowiczek, PharmD, “It’s important to start with a low dose until you know how your body will react to CBD. A wide range of CBD dosages has been tested in clinical studies, but more evidence is needed before safe and effective dose recommendations can be made for specific uses.”
“For now, use the product’s recommended dose unless your doctor gives you the go-ahead to take larger doses,” she continued. “People with certain health conditions, such as liver disease, may need lower doses to avoid serious side effects.”
When considering dosage, here are a few things to keep in mind:
If you’re using CBD for seizure treatment, talk with your doctor about the best product and dose.
Many oils come in 1 milligram per drop concentration, so increasing dosage is straightforward. But be sure to read product labels closely to ensure you know what amount each drop provides.
Gummies can also come in standard doses, often 5 milligrams per gummy. But be sure to clarify this before changing your dose.
Vape oil dosing can also be tricky. It depends on exactly how much you inhale and the concentration of the vaping liquid.
Use creams and lotions sparingly at first.
Click here for more product reviews, recipes, and research-based articles about CBD.
Is CBD Legal?
Hemp-derived CBD products (with less than 0.3 percent THC) are legal on the federal level but are still illegal under some state laws. Marijuana-derived CBD products are illegal on the federal level but are legal under some state laws. Check your state’s laws and those of anywhere you travel. Keep in mind that nonprescription CBD products are not FDA-approved, and maybe inaccurately labeled.
Kristi is a freelance writer and mother who spends most of her time caring for people other than herself. She’s frequently exhausted and compensates with an intense caffeine addiction. Find her on Twitter.