What is CBD? You have probably heard all the buzz about CBD, but you may be asking yourself what is all of the hype about? If you’ve been asking yourself which CBD-infused product is right for you, you’ve come to the right place to find education and resources on CBD. This article will tell you everything you need to know about CBD, starting with the CBD definition
What is CBD?
Let’s start with the basics of CBD:
What does CBD stand for?
CBD is short for cannabidiol, which is a naturally-occurring substance derived from the hemp plant. CBD is used in oils, tinctures, topicals, and edibles. It imparts a feeling of peacefulness and calmness but is not psychoactive like the other component of the hemp plant–tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). CBD uses recent rise in popularity is largely due to its use for certain medical conditions, and as more research becomes available, it seems to be also capable of some remarkable healing properties which were unknown until very recently.
In recent years, there has been tremendous interest in CBD’s health benefits, but most of the available evidence is anecdotal, rather than scientifically based. There’s a good reason for this. Much of the research that would have been conducted on CBD and its potential benefits, has been hampered by the fact that it lacked legal status, and therefore research has not been consistently funded.
Since the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, more clinical research is finally underway. According to ClinicTrials.gov, which is a federal database of worldwide accredited clinical trials, there are now about 150 research projects underway that are testing CBD uses and their effects on treating a wide variety of health issues. Everything from alcoholism to autism to schizophrenia is now being examined, with a view towards determining whether CBD can have a positive impact on treating them.
What is CBD used for?
Since CBD is not psychoactive like THC, it is a great choice for those who are looking for an option that will not get you high like marijuana or other pharmaceutical drugs.
Medical studies on CBD uses are limited and many are still underway, so the jury is still out on medical backed research to support the benefits of CBD.
The scientific studies that have been completed to date have shown promising results in confirming that CBD can be used to help improve problems including chronic pain and anxiety.
Here are some common CBD uses:
- CBD for pain relief
- CBD for reducing Anxiety and Depression
- CBD for skincare
- CBD for neurological disorders
- CBD for heart health
- CBD for other potential benefits
Does CBD work?
As noted above, many CBD products claim to relieve anxiety, depression, chronic pain, and more. CBD can be found in everything from energy drinks and gummies to skincare creams and even pet treats. But does CBD work?
At present, the FDA has only approved CBD as a treatment for reducing epileptic seizures. The FDA approved an oral CBD solution called Epidiolex to reduce the number of seizures associated with Dravet Syndrome.
Clinical trials documented in the New England Journal of Medicine< have shown that CBD is extremely effective in reducing both the number and severity of epileptic seizures. CBD is also used for other types of seizures and spasms since it appears to have the ability to relax the muscles associated with those activities.
While CBD is used in a number of other medical applications, the evidence is limited to anecdotal information supplied by patients who claim to have been helped. There is a body of research that indicates that CBD might be very useful in reducing anxiety and tension in individuals, as well as depression and schizophrenia. CBD appears to have antipsychotic effects that could help to manage these conditions.
Another very promising area of research shows that CBD appears to be very effective in managing inflammation of the knees, hands, and other joints around the body. Arthritis in particular is one of the afflictions that CBD has been effective in treating because it seems to have the capability of reducing and managing inflammation.
When you are ready to buy, you can depend on Leafz for the best online selection of CBD products, brands, and categories.
What are the benefits of CBD?
CBD is still relatively new to the medical world, so there are not many long-term studies on the effects and benefits of what is CBD used for. However, CBD is gaining notoriety in its ability to relieve pain and anxiety, among other benefits for those who use it.
CBD for Acne
One example is CBD being used to treat acne. Because acne largely involves an inflammation of the sebaceous glands in the skin, CBD oil appears to be effective because of its anti-inflammatory properties. One study showed that CBD oil prevented the secretion of excess sebum from the sebaceous glands. At the same time, it exerted anti-inflammatory activities and discouraged the activation of acne-causing agents like inflammatory cytokines.
CBD for Neurological Disorders
One of the more exciting properties exhibited by CBD, is its ability to interact with the endocannabinoid system, as well as other brain-signaling systems, to help people experiencing neurological disorders. As mentioned above, CBD has been researched extensively in the treatment of seizures and neurological disorders like epilepsy and multiple sclerosis.
Even though this research is fairly new, multiple studies have already been conducted and show extremely promising results for what is CBD used for. A recent study showed the impact of CBD on people with multiple sclerosis including its ability to reduce muscle spasms.
CBD for High Blood Pressure
Another area of CBD research focuses on how CBD could reduce high blood pressure. The study found that “CBD reduces resting BP and the BP increase to stress in humans, associated with increased HR” This is noteworthy since high blood pressure is commonly associated with an increased risk of heart conditions such as stroke, metabolic syndrome, and heart attack.
Some studies demonstrate that individuals treated with CBD experience an immediate reduction in blood pressure readings. Other studies have shown that when individuals were given stress tests that typically increase blood pressure, the increase experienced by the individuals was much less when they were given a dose of CBD.
CBD for Anxiety
Many researchers and scientists believe that stress and anxiety-reducing characteristics of CBD oil are primarily the agents responsible for its blood pressure-reducing abilities. A number of studies conducted on animals have also shown conclusively that inflammation and cell death commonly occurring as a result of heart disease, are significantly reduced when those animals were treated with CBD oil.
CBD for Drug Addiction
What is CBD used for when helping cope with drug addiction? Research has shown that CBD is capable of modifying brain circuitry which is associated with drug addiction. Studies which have been conducted on animals have shown conclusively that CBD is capable of reducing the dependence on morphine, and on modifying the behavior for seeking heroin by addicted laboratory animals.
CBD for Cancer
Other animal studies have shown that CBD appears to be capable of preventing the spread of tumors associated with breast cancer, prostate cancer, brain cancer, and lung cancer. The tantalizing and fascinating aspect of this animal research is that it’s highly conclusive, but that it has only been used on animal populations and not on humans. This of course, leads to the promise of tremendous potential for treatment of cancer in humans, but nothing can be stated conclusively.
CBD for Diabetes
Another very promising area of research conducted on laboratory animals is that CBD shows tremendous potential for reducing the incidence of diabetes in animals. If this study could be replicated on humans, it has incredible potential.
These studies also explain the recent explosion in CBD pet products.
In fact, the same perspective can be applied to CBD usage as a whole. We know that has shown tremendous promise in limited applications, but clinical research has yet to be thoroughly applied to people, where results can be more fully analyzed and documented.
Does CBD get you high?
One of the main reasons many people choose CBD over marijuana or other pharmaceutical drugs is that it does not have any psychoactive properties that make you feel ‘high’. This is because 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,” says Junella Chin, DO, an osteopathic physician and a medical cannabis expert for cannabisMD. “You won’t feel sedated or altered in any way.”
There are two possible exceptions to this. The first is that some people, for unknown reasons, just react differently to CBD. According to Dr. Chin, about 5% of people say they feel altered after taking CBD. “Usually, they’re the same people who have side effects from Advil or Tylenol,” she says. You never know how your body will react to any new supplement, so when taking CBD for the first time, it is best to start with a small dose to see how it affects you. Just like anything, CBD will affect each individual differently.
It’s also crucial to buy third-party-tested CBD for quality assurance (more on this later). Because the FDA doesn’t regulate CBD, it is possible to buy a product that is more or less potent than advertised or even contains small amounts of THC. That is why on Leafz, we require all sellers to provide a Certificate of Analysis, which verifies the product has been 3rd-party lab tested for purity and ensures it is made without toxins or other harmful ingredients.
Does CBD show up on a drug test?
Since CBD is derived from hemp and can be confused with THC, many people are concerned that CBD will show up on a drug test. The simple answer to that question is typical “no” — as long as the CBD is pure, legal, and legitimate.
Common drug tests do not screen for CBD, since CBD has not been found to impair judgment or motor skills. However, if the CBD product you are taking contains a certain amount of THC, you may not pass a drug test.
While CBD products may state that they do not include THC, this may not always be the case. If the product has not been third-party tested, has been contaminated by other THC products or is inappropriately labeled, you may fail a drug test having unknowingly taken THC. This is why it is very important to ensure that you are only buying CBD products from a trusted source that provides third-party lab testing results.
At Leafz, we only sell CBD products that include a Certificate of Analysis, which verifies the product has been 3rd party lab tested for purity and ensures it is made without toxins or other harmful ingredients.
Is CBD legal?
The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 — also known as the “Farm Bill” was signed into law and went into effect in 2019, legalizing the hemp plant on a federal level when it contained less than 0.3% THC.
The bill removed hemp from the Controlled Substances Act, expanded hemp’s commercial cultivation and reallocated the regulation of hemp to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) instead of the Drug Enforcement Administration. Since CBD is derived from hemp, which is now federally legal, most presume that CBD products that contain less than 0.3% THC derived from hemp are also legal — however, the regulations do not explicitly mention hemp extracts such as CBD.
Does that mean CBD is legal or not?
While regulations are still developing on the federal level, they are currently being managed and enforced at the state level. CBD products and supplements can be sold within their state they are legal there — however, CBD products explicitly labeled as a food or dietary supplement cannot be sold across state lines.
Products that are not labeled as a food or dietary supplement and are instead labeled as an “active hemp extract” are exempt from these regulations and can be sold across state lines anywhere in the US.
Is hemp the same as CBD?
CBD and hemp products are flooding the market and can be found everywhere from grocery stores to pet stores. They are also popular ingredients in topical skin care products. Since cannabis and hemp are two varieties of the same plant species (Cannabis Sativa), they are often confused and intertwined. Read on to understand the differences in what is CBD used for vs what is hemp used for.
Hemp is derived from hemp seeds and is not new to the market — it has actually been around for decades. It is commonly found in cooking ingredients and skincare products. It is known for helping with inflammation and as a skin moisturizer. Hemp oil is rich in omega fatty acids, vitamin E, and protein.
CBD or cannabidiol is also extracted from the cannabis sativa (hemp) plant, but instead of using the seeds, CBD is extracted from the flowers, leaves, stems, and stalks of matured hemp plants. CBD can be extracted through several methods including carbon dioxide, ethanol, and even olive oil. The extraction method can play a part in the quality of CBD.
Since hemp and CBD are derived from the same plant and cannabis family, they are often incorrectly marketed as the same thing, but they are actually very different in terms of their properties and benefits.
So how can you tell the difference between hemp and CBD?
Many hemp oil products will look like CBD products, adorned with cannabis leaves and the like, but a quick look at the active ingredients will tell you what is actually in the product. Hempseed oil will be listed as cannabis sativa seed oil. CBD will usually be listed as cannabidiol, full-spectrum hemp, hemp oil, PCR (phytocannabinoid-rich) or PCR hemp extracts. Reputable CBD brands will come with a Certificate of Analysis (COA) that details exactly what’s in the product. Hemp oil typically does not come with a COA.
How to Use CBD
If you decided to give cannabidiol (CBD) a try, you may be wondering ‘How do I use CBD?’. With an abundance of different types of CBD products — from tinctures and oils to topicals, vaporizers, and edibles it can be hard to decide which is best for you, how much should you take, and how you should use it.
Each type of CBD product affects your body in a different way, which impacts what it can be used for and how often it should be taken. Just like any product, the effect of CBD varies from person to person, so the right dose for someone else may not be the right dose of CBD for you.
Regardless of your intake method, if you are new to CBD, it’s best to start with a low dose to understand how it is going to impact you.
Here are the possible ways to use CBD:
Orally – swallowed
CBD edibles, capsules, and pills. When CBD is ingested, it passes through the digestive tract and is absorbed into the bloodstream. This is typically the slowest method for CBD to have its desired effects, but also lasts the longest.
Orally – sublingual
CBD oils and tinctures. CBD can be also be taken orally by dropping it under your tongue (sublingual), which will allow it to be absorbed directly into your bloodstream right away. While this route gets CBD into your bloodstream faster than swallowing — thus making you feel the effects faster — they will also last for a much shorter timeframe (typically under an hour).
Vaporizing or smoking. CBD can also be inhaled, typically through CBD vaporizer products. This will direct the CBD into the lungs where it is rapidly passed into the bloodstream. This is one of the fastest ways to feel the effects of CBD, but they typically don’t last more than 10 minutes using this method.
Lotions, creams and oils applied to the skin. Lotions or creams, also known as topical CBD products, are applied to the skin and are typically used to treat muscle or joint pain. Using this method, very little, if any CBD reaches the blood stream.
Ready to start using CBD?
If you are still wondering about the different types of CBD and what CBD products may be right for you, we encourage you to visit our CBD buying guide.
Where can I get CBD?
If you have decided that CBD is worth a try, you are probably wondering ‘where can I buy CBD?’.
With an abundance of options, it can be tough to understand the best place to explore CBD products and find the best ones for you. You can find CBD anywhere from your local pharmacy or grocery store to CBD online stores.
Can you trust CBD products you buy online? The best part about buying online (aside from convenience) is your ability to thoroughly research CBD products and read reviews rather than just relying on the packaging in stores — which can be misleading.
Just like anything, there are various levels of quality when it comes to CBD products, whether you buy CBD online or in a retail store. Reputable CBD brands will provide a Certificate of Analysis (COA) that details exactly what’s in the product.
At Leafz, we require every seller to provide a COA before we approve products to be sold on our CBD marketplace — so you can rest assured that when you are shopping on Leafz you are only buying the top legitimate CBD products from reputable brands. We encourage you to browse our large selection of CBD products, read reviews and find the best CBD products for you — all right here on Leafz!
When you are ready to buy, you can depend on Leafz for the best online selection of CBD products, brands, and categories.