There's no question that CBD is the buzzy-wellness product of the moment. Coffee shops sell CBD lattes, spas offer CBD facials, beauty companies are rushing to release lotions with CBD or hemp oils in their formulas. And everyone from your anxious coworker to your arthritis-suffering dad wants to get their hands on some CBD gummies.
But even though it's infiltrating pretty much every corner of the wellness world many people still find CBD a little confusing—especially when it comes to figuring out the right way to use it and how to make sure the stuff you're buying is, you know, actually legit.
What is CBD?
CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a chemical compound from the cannabis plant. It's a naturally occurring substance that's used in products like oils and edibles to impart a feeling of relaxation and calm. Unlike its cousin tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), it's not psychoactive.
Questions We Get About CBD:
Nope. The cannabis plant is made up of two main players: CBD and THC. CBD is the non-psychoactive portion of the plant, so what that means is you won't have any effects like euphoria. You won't feel sedated or altered in any way.
It should not, as long as you're buying third-party tested CBD with no added THC, But athletes, who often are required to take drug tests that are more sensitive, could potentially test positive for trace amounts of THC if they've been using CBD products.
First, a little background. Industrial hemp was legal in the United States until Congress passed the Marihuana Tax Act in 1937. Some of our early presidents grew hemp. Nearly 80 years later, the 2014 Farm Bill took the position that states can regulate the production of hemp and, as a result, CBD. Then last year, President Trump signed a new Farm Bill that made it federally legal to grow hemp.
This means that consumers everywhere, if they're compliant with their state, can grow hemp and use hemp products, and among those will be CBD.
In other words, the latest bill removed hemp from the Drug Enforcement Administration, or DEA's, purview. Hemp can now be grown freely under federal law, which, of course, is huge. But while it's legal under federal law, it's up to each state to set their own policy.
These policies vary widely. Marijuana and CBD are currently fully legal for both medicinal and recreational purposes in Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, and Washington D.C. In 23 states, it's legal in some form, such as for medicinal purposes. Another 14 states permit just CBD oil. But both are illegal in Idaho, Nebraska, and South Dakota. For more information, the organization Americans for Safe Access has a helpful guide to the specific laws in each state.
That same 2018 Farm Bill means you can now travel between states with legit CBD products. Flying with CBD should pose no issues now. However, if you're traveling with a tincture, be mindful of TSA limits on how much liquid you can carry on an airplane. You can also mail CBD products, just like companies that comply with the Bill can ship their hemp-derived CBD products anywhere in the U.S.
This is a confusing one for many people. When thinking about dosing, consider whether your CBD is full-spectrum or isolate: Full-spectrum could include other cannabinoids like cannabidivarin or cannabigerol (this is important, since there's something called the 'entourage effect' when all together, they're more effective than any one of them alone, while isolate is 100% CBD. Some people might only need 10 milligrams of full-spectrum CBD, but with isolate, even taking 80 or 100 milligrams might not have the same effect,
Your CBD products should be tested by a third party to confirm the label's accuracy. This is a real concern in the industry—take the 2017 Journal of the American Medical Association study, for example, which tested 84 CBD products and found that 26% contained lower doses than stated on the bottle. Look for a quality assurance stamp or certificate of analysis from a third party or check the retailer's website if you don't see it on the product's label.
You know how you check your raw chicken or bagged lettuce every time there's a recall to make sure the one you bought isn't going to make you sick? You should be able to do that with CBD products too. This is a huge indicator as to whether they are following good manufacturing practices. There should be a way to identify this product in case it was improperly made so the company can carry out a recall.
There are two main types of pain musculoskeletal and nerve. There could be benefit for both conditions depending on what type of pain you have, you might be able to do just CBD, but sometimes you need CBD and THC. This makes accessing a product that will actually help you more difficult due to different regulations in each state. Figuring out how much you should take is challenging as well; the dosage that alleviates one patient's pain might do very little for someone else.
CBD tells your body to calm down and reminds you that you're safe so you're not in a heightened 'fight or flight' response; therefore, people with anxiety may find it helps them feel more relaxed.