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What Is CBD?
CBD (Cannabidiol) is a chemical compound that comes from the hemp plant. It is one of over 85 unique compounds found in hemp, known as cannabinoids. Thousands of people take CBD for relief of a variety of symptoms or to promote overall wellbeing.
Your body naturally produces its own cannabinoids, called endocannabinoids. These beneficial chemicals help your body maintain balance in many ways by tapping into receptors found throughout your brain and body. Phytocannabinoids are plant-based compounds that mimic these natural chemicals, connecting with the same receptors and supplementing your system to restore balance.
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How Does CBD Work?
Where Does It Come From
CBD is extracted and separated from specific varieties of cannabis. It is the second most abundant compound in cannabis, typically representing up to 40% of its extracts.
CBD is a compound that can be found in both psychoactive cannabis (marijuana) and non-psychoactive cannabis (hemp). However, most legal CBD products that you find on the market will be extracts from hemp, as federal law allows for the cultivation, processing and marketing of hemp and hemp products
How It Affects The Body
The body does create its own cannabinoids, called endocannabinoids, to help support our regulatory system. This central system helps to keep our bodies balanced day to day, including anxiety, appetite, pain sensation, mood, memory, immune system functions, and inflammation control.
Similar to how we use vitamin C to kick start our immune system, CBD acts as a kick starter for these cannabinoids to to keep the receptors working at optimal capacity and to help the functions of the body’s central regulatory system.
Does CBD Get You High?
CBD often gets mixed up with THC, which is another cannabinoid found in cannabis. Yet, it’s important to distinguish them as they have fundamentally different properties and benefits.
THC is the phytocannabinoid responsible for causing the “high” that people who smoke or consume marijuana experience. CBD isn’t mind-altering in the same way. If anything, people who try CBD report feeling more relaxed and, often, more focused. There’s even some evidence that CBD can counteract the “paranoia” some THC users report. This may be related to why CBD seems to reduce symptoms of anxiety for so many people.
Scientific research and consumer reports that have been published in recent years suggest CBD supplements helps in many ways including:
- Anxiety & Stress Relief
- Better Focus
- Biological Stability
- Inflammation & Pain Relief
- Relief of Post-Workout Pain & Soreness
- Sleep & Insomnia
‘Cannabinoids as Antioxidants and Neuroprotectants’
(Patent # 6,630,507) held by the United States Department of Health and Human Services
“Cannabinoids have been found to have antioxidant properties, unrelated to NMDA receptor antagonism. This new found property makes cannabinoids useful in the treatment and prophylaxis of wide variety of oxidation associated diseases, such as ischemic, age-related, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. The cannabinoids are found to have particular application as neuroprotectants, for example in limiting neurological damage following ischemic insults, such as stroke and trauma, or in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and HIV dementia.
Nonpsychoactive cannabinoids, such as cannabidiol, are particularly advantageous to use because they avoid toxicity that is encountered with psychoactive cannabinoids at high doses useful in the method of the present invention.”
What Are The Actual Benefits of CBD?
Although the effects of CBD aren’t conclusive, we can discuss what preliminary research shows. To be clear, there has been tremendous progress in the research behind CBD. We now know how CBD actually interacts with our body and brain. What is still to be determined is what those interactions actually translates to.
So, research and clinical trials continue as researchers seek to define the concrete benefits of this chemical. It is important to note that much of this progress continues to be slowed down by the fact that our government does not budge on its stance against cannabis.
Yet, progress is progress. The list that we have complied below shows the findings that our science community has found when it comes to the benefits of CBD. This list was organized by going through medical journals and research publications.
CBD first came to the national spotlight when CNN’s documentary highlighted how the hemp extract improved Charlotte’s conditions, a child suffering from dravet syndrome. Complementing this story, several anecdotal evidence and initial research show that CBD has strong implications to help patients with epilepsy.
Here are the snippets and corresponding links behind the conclusion reached from research and clinical trials done behind epilepsy and CBD:
- Evidence strongly supports CBD as a therapeutic candidate for a diverse range of human epilepsies
- CBD was an effective and relatively potent anticonvulsant in both maximal electroshock and audiogenic seizure tests
2. Chronic Pain
Early results imply that CBD can help reduce chronic pain, especially those related to nerve pain.
- The results indicate a potential for the therapeutic use of cannabidiol in chronic painful states.
- We report that systemic and intrathecal administration of cannabidiol (CBD) significantly suppress chronic inflammatory and neuropathic pain without causing apparent analgesic tolerance
- Cannabis sativa extracts, containing known doses of tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol, have granted approval in Canada for the relief of neuropathic pain in multiple sclerosis.
One of CBD’s most promising implications has been its anti-anxiety properties. Some pet owners have even reported that using CBD oil on their dogs has helped treat them for anxiety issues. Early clinical trials have shown that this seems to be the case for both humans and animals:
- Studies using animal models of anxiety and involving healthy volunteers clearly suggest an anxiolytic-like effect of CBD. Moreover, CBD was shown to reduce anxiety in patients with social anxiety disorder.
- Pretreatment with CBD significantly reduced anxiety, cognitive impairment, and discomfort in their speech performance, and significantly decreased alert in their anticipatory speech.
- Results suggest that CBD reduces anxiety in social anxiety disorder and that this is related to its effects on activity in limbic and paralimbic brain areas.
CBD dosing experiments have shown that small dosages of CBD has an “Active” effect, which means that it actually helps you stay active and focused. Interestingly, large dosages have the opposite effect: a sedative effect. More research has to show what is the optimal dosage to take for the anti-anxiety and antidepressant effects to be optimal, but it’s something one can also experiment with to find the dosage that suits them best.
- CBD exhibited anti-anxiety and antidepressant effects in animal models discussed
- Our results demonstrate that CBD exerts fast and maintained antidepressant-like effects as evidenced by the reversal of the OBX-induced hyperactivity and anhedonia. In conclusion, our findings indicate that CBD could represent a novel fast antidepressant drug, via enhancing both serotonergic and glutamate cortical signaling through a 5-HT1A receptor-dependent mechanism.
CBD’s benefits of alleviating joint pains has been the main reason behind brands developing topicals infused with CBD. You can find many brands who are starting to offer lotions or muscle freeze applications that include CBD.
- CBD was administered after the onset of clinical symptoms, and in both models of arthritis, the treatment effectively blocked the progression of arthritis. CBD was equally effective when administered i.p. or orally.
The results of testing for CBD’s effects on diabetes are in a very primitive stage. However, early findings have shown that cannabinoids (both THC and CBD) can have positive effects in slowing down cell damages that are related to diabetes.
- We now report that CBD treatment significantly reduces the incidence of diabetes in NOD mice from an incidence of 86% in non-treated control mice to an incidence of 30% in CBD-treated mice.
- In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 62 subjects with noninsulin-treated type 2 diabetes were randomized to five treatment arms: CBD (100 mg twice daily). CBD decreased resistin (-898 pg/ml; P < 0.05) and increased glucose-dependent insulinotropic peptide (21.9 pg/ml; P < 0.05)
- Evidence is emerging that some non-psychotropic plant cannabinoids, such as cannabidiol, can be employed to retard β-cell damage in type 1 diabetes.
7. Drug Addiction, Alcoholism & Smoking
This would be quite an ironic benefit and application of CBD. Using a compound of a Schedule 1 Drug (marijuana) to stop the addiction of other narcotics. One of the most promising applications is using CBD to curb the habits of cigarette smokers.
Early clinical trials have shown that CBD can reduce nicotine addiction and have actually reduced the number of cigarettes smoked by 40%!
- Cannabidiol (CBD), the second most abundant component of cannabis, is thought to modulate various neuronal circuits involved in drug addiction. A limited number of preclinical studies suggest that CBD may have therapeutic properties on opioid, cocaine, and psychostimulant addiction, and some preliminary data suggest that it may be beneficial in cannabis and tobacco addiction in humans.
- CBD can be effective for the treatment of cannabis withdrawal syndrome.
- These results demonstrate the feasibility of using CBD transdermal delivery systems for the treatment of alcohol-induced neurodegeneration.
- The role of the endocannabinoid system in nicotine addiction is being increasingly acknowledged. Those treated with CBD significantly reduced the number of cigarettes smoked by ~40% during treatment.
Types Of CBD Products
Tinctures are known interchangeably as CBD oil or drops. They are taken by placing a couple of drops under your tongue from the dropper included with the bottle. Tinctures typically offer a wider range of concentrations (doses) of CBD than most other CBD products. Common drops can range from 250mg to 2000mg per bottle.
CBD oils are also very bioavailable, meaning your body is able to use them quickly and efficiently. Less can be more: beginning users may want to start with a lower dose supplement until they learn their personal tolerance for CBD.
Usage Advice: Tinctures are most effective if you don’t swallow the liquid right away. You want to ingest as much as you can sublingually. Place the drops under your tongue and hold them there as long as you can, at least 30 – 60 seconds. You can also use your tongue to swish it along your cheeks before swallowing.
CBD capsules are a great way to add CBD to your diet as a daily supplement, especially if you take vitamins or other pills daily. This can also be a great way for beginners to experiment with CBD. It’s easy to take an exact dose of CBD every day, and you don’t have to taste the tincture, which can bother some people. Because they work through your digestive system, capsules can be slower to take effect. Capsules typically offer between 10mg and 25mg of CBD per capsule.
Usage Advice: Capsules are the easiest form of CBD to add to your daily regimen. Start by taking one daily (or as needed) with water. After a week or two, see how you feel and adjust your dose accordingly.
Along with capsules and oils, topicals are another of the most common forms of CBD available on the marketplace. Most major CBD brands offer products such as lotions, salves, and balms, which can be applied to sore muscles, inflamed joints and could even benefit certain skin conditions. CBD is often mixed with other common soothing ingredients like arnica or cooling menthol.
Usage Advice: You can use CBD cream whenever you feel necessary to ease sore muscles, aching joints, or certain other conditions. If you have frequent aches & pains, you should experiment with different topicals to discover whether certain ingredients work best. You might prefer CBD alone, or topicals that create warming or cooling sensations alongside the benefits of CBD.
CBD Skin Care Products
Many skincare products also now feature CBD. Because CBD can reduce inflammation, it may reduce redness. It could promote healthier skin in general, due to the presence of many cannabinoid receptors in human skin. Skincare products ranging from facial masks to night creams, lotions, toners, and oils, now include CBD.
Usage Advice: CBD-infused skincare products can be added to your normal skincare routine. Simply apply to the product as you would the normal version. CBD skincare is recommended when you want to reduce redness, help heal cracked or inflamed skin, or improve the overall wellness of your skin.
Vape Cartridges & Juices
Some people experience extremely fast effects from vaping CBD. Consumer reports suggest people suffering from symptoms of anxiety may find vaping offers quick relief, although there isn’t much scientific research yet to back up this use. On the flip side, vaping may offer effects that are less long-lasting than other forms of CBD. Because of the health risks of impurities in vaping products, it’s especially important to avoid illegal or “street” vape products and only buy from legal, reputable brands.
Usage Advice: Vape products come in many forms, from disposable vapes to vape cartridges, to “tank-style” vapes which you fill with your choice of CBD-infused vape juice. For complete instructions, visit our Vaping 101 Guide.
Gummies & Edibles
Like CBD capsules, gummies make it easy to take a reliable dose of CBD every day. They are also undeniably one of the most fun ways to take CBD. Just like CBD capsules, because they have to work through the digestive system, CBD gummies could be slower to take effect. Common dosages range from 5 to 25mg per gummy. Many brands also offer sleep gummies, usually with added melatonin.
Usage Advice: Enjoy these sweet treats daily after a meal or whenever you want relief through CBD. CBD gummies can be great for beginners but, long-term, they make work best as a supplement to other forms of CBD such as tinctures.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS) About CBD
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I’ve Found Products Called “Hemp Extract Oil”, “Phytocannabinoid Oil”, “Hemp Oil” – Are They All The Same?
Yes, these are just different terminologies that brands in the CBD industry use. If you’re unsure whether it’s a CBD oil or not, you should always check product labelling. A good CBD product will always clearly list how much CBD it contains.
Do not confuse CBD oil with hemp seed oil, which is a fundamentally different.
What Is The Difference Between CBD Hemp Oil And Hemp Seed Oil?
Hemp Seed Oil is derived from the hemp seeds and is mainly used for dietary purposes (imagine something similar to coconut oil). Refined hemp seed oil can also be used in beauty care products, as it has amazing skin care properties. CBD Hemp oil is not the same thing as hemp seed oil. CBD is extracted from different parts of the hemp plant through a very different process which isolates and concentrates the cannabinoids.
Are All CBD Products The Same?
No. CBD is currently unregulated. That means anyone can advertise that their products contain CBD, and there is no one ensuring that every brand offers honest, pure, safe products. There are 1000s of CBD products on the market, and only some of them are genuine. For example, you can find many fake or fraudulent CBD products for sale on Amazon, in gas stations, and similar places.
You should only buy CBD from reputable brands with clear, easy-to-read labeling and websites which are easy to find and browse. A good brand should make it easy to get your questions answered by friendly customer service agents. Also, look for third party lab tests which verify CBD content. When in doubt, look for a review on our website.
Do I Need A Doctor’s’ Prescription Or Medical Marijuana Card (Red Card)?
No. The 2018 Farm Bill contained language which legalized hemp and hemp-derived CBD products in the U.S. Since hemp-derived CBD products are dietary supplements, there is no need to obtain a doctor’s recommendation or to live in a medical marijuana state to have these products delivered to your door.
Please note that there are some CBD products that are derived from medical marijuana. In that case, you will need to either have a doctor’s prescription or live in a medical or recreational marijuana state. However, all the products we review on this website are made from fully legal industrial hemp.
Before beginning any new supplement routine, it is suggested you consult your doctor.
Why Would I Give CBD Oil To My Pets?
Much like with humans, all mammals have the ability to benefit from CBD. Some reasons people give CBD to their pets include anxiety and stress relief, and relief from painful chronic pain conditions like arthritis or the painful effects of aging. Remember though, that cats and dogs are much smaller than humans, and can be very sensitive to cannabinoids. That’s why, if you decide to give CBD to your pets, it’s important to use a very low dose of a product designed specifically for them. And whenever possible, consult with a supportive veterinarian first!
How Much CBD Should I Take?
This is a difficult question to answer because CBD consumers report vast differences in their optimal serving size or dosage. For many people, lower doses work better! We always suggest you start low, and go slow. If you are using a CBD oil, you might start with a half dropper or less, and ease your way up to larger servings, over weeks or months, until you find the daily CBD levels that work best for you.
If you have questions about which CBD product may fit your needs, please contact us.
Can I Give CBD To My Kids?
Maybe you’ve heard some of the remarkable stories covered in the media, where young children with otherwise untreatable epilepsy find relief through CBD. These and other similar, moving stories show CBD can help people of all ages.
However, we don’t yet have enough research to know for sure that cannabinoids are safe to use on kids’ developing brains and nervous systems. As a result, you should never give CBD to children or adolescents without the advice of a doctor.
What’s The Difference Between CBD Hemp Oil And The Hemp Products I Buy At The Grocery Store?
Hemp products sold in grocery and health food stores are most often created using hemp seed oil, which can contain only trace amounts of CBD. While it has been noted that hemp seed oil can be a great source of nutrition, its marginal quantity of CBD per weight makes it unfeasible as a CBD supplement.
CBD hemp oil, however, is extracted from the stalk of specifically selected hemp cultivars, offering higher percentages of CBD by weight and additional nutritional benefits from the contents of our oil.
CBD Guides and Resources
How to identify high quality CBD
How Athletes use CBD for Recovery
5 Things to Look For In a Hemp Strain
What to look out for when buying CBD oil
CBD for Opiate Addiction Treatment
CBD Product and Brand Reviews
Incentive Gourmet CBD Chocolate Review
Just CBD Gummies Review (Brand)
Social CBD Drops Review (Brand)
CBD Luxe Inhaler Review (Brand)
cbdMD Bath Bombs Review (Brand)
NutraCanna CBD Tablets Review (Brand)
Zatural CBD Oil Drops Review (Brand)
Prima Brain Fuel Elixir Review (Brand)
Jasper Organics Review (Brand)
Joy Organics CBD Vape Pen Review (Brand)
Green Times CBD Beer Review (UK)
Sagely Naturals CBD Relief Cream Review (Brand)
* Ministry of Hemp does not endorse or advocate for any of these articles. They are listed here as a reference item for CBD related topics.
** These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.