If you suffer from anxiety, chances are someone has recommended CBD to you. The most popular and trendy wellness buzzword, CBD has shown up in a multitude of products such as coffee, lotions, baked goods, you name it. As popular as CBD has become, there is still a lot of confusion concerning its origin and properties. Keep reading to get a full breakdown on this popular wellness product – in simple & succinct terms.
What Exactly Is CBD?
CBD stands for cannabidiol and comes from the plant Cannabid sativa. It’s a naturally occurring substance, which means none of it is chemically made. Yes, it literally grows from the Earth.
There are multiple compounds found inside the cannabis plant (cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids) that contribute different types of benefits in their own way:
- Cannabinoids – Besides the two cannabinoids we are discussing here (CBD and THC), there are hundreds of others found inside the cannabis plant that are not known to produce intoxicating effects but have been found to have antibiotic or insecticidal properties.
- Terpenes – There are about 150 terpenes in the cannabis plant, which affects how the plant smells and the therapeutic benefits produced by said smell. Think…how lavender calms you down and makes you sleepy.
- Flavonoids – Found in all different types of plants, the twenty-ish flavonoids found in the cannabis plant produce their own therapeutic benefits. Studies have found that the flavonoids in cannabis have anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and neuroprotective properties.
Will CBD get me high?
No. Imagine the Cannabid sativa plant has two stems, one is CBD and one is THC. They are derived from the same plant, but have different properties. CBD is the non-psychoactive stem, while THC is the psychoactive stem. To put it plainly, a psychoactive substance can have an affect on your physical and mental capabilities. When you see a person smoking weed in movies or TV shows…that’s THC.
Now, there are about 5% of people who will actually feel altered after taking CBD. There’s no known reason for it, but it’s best to be prepared when trying it for the first time just in case you happen to be in that 5%!
What Should I Know Before Buying CBD?
CBD comes in different forms and can be ingested through different vehicles, so there are a few basics you need to know before trying for the first time. First and foremost, know the difference between Full-Spectrum vs Broad-Spectrum vs Isolate, which are basically different recipes based on the compounds found in the cannabis plant:
- Full-Spectrum includes small amounts of all of the above compounds (cannabinoid, terpenes, and flavonoids), which does mean it includes THC.
- Broad-Spectrum includes small amounts of the above compounds while removing the THC.
- Isolate contains none of the above compounds and no THC.
What Happens When CBD Is Combined With THC?
Some research suggests that CBD is more effective when combined with the other compounds than if isolated; a theory known as the entourage effect. As I’ve heard it before, a little THC can help activate the CBD. You can try different dosages until you find what is right for you. For example, when I want to relieve my anxiety with CBD…I prefer to have a very light dosage of THC with it. While more research is needed when it comes to cannabis in general, this might be something you could try if you have felt unsatisfied with CBD alone.
How Should I Ingest It?
☞ You can try a CBD topical ointment if…You are feeling pain or soreness in a muscle or ligament and want to get a localized release. Say you pull a muscle or an old injury is acting up; CBD ointments and lotions can help ease the pain or inflammation.
☞ You can use a CBD vape pen if…You want to feel the effects immediately. CBD via vape pens will deliver relief in as little as 10 minutes, but wears off quicker than other methods (about two hours). This is my preferred vehicle for CBD when I have anxiety because it works the fastest!
☞ You can try CBD edibles if…You would like some extra ingredients with your CBD. The dosage of CBD in edibles is so small that you likely won’t feel much of the effects, therefore many edible products include other ingredients like melatonin, vitamin C, or THC. Many of the popular CBD gummies on the market are made with ingredients to help improve sleep or reduce stress.
☞ You can use a CBD tincture if…You would prefer a lower potency and longer shelf life. The main difference between CBD oil (used in vape pens) and CBD tinctures is the base ingredient. The base of CBD oil is a blend of oils, whereas the base of CBD tinctures is alcohol. According to Medical Cannabis Network, the alcohol is used as a preservative – which makes it effective for a longer period of time at a lower dose.
Please remember that I’m not a doctor nor a scientist; I’ve just learned a lot as I experimented with CBD to help relieve my anxiety. Ask your doctor what would be best for you, especially if you are taking other medications that may interfere with CBD products. I just remember wishing there was a more simple explanation of CBD (because again, not a scientist) that told me what I needed to know in the simplest terms possible. Hopefully, this article has done that for you.