Cannabidiol, popularly known as CBD, is one of the chemical compounds that can be extracted from the leaves of the cannabis or hemp plant. It has been a hot and controversial topic for many decades, especially in the medical and pharmaceutical industries.
Now, more and more countries are legalizing CBD in different parts of the world as a medical and recreational drug. Despite the publicity amidst the controversies it faces, a lot of people are still skeptical about what CBD is, its legal status, and how it can be helpful.
CBD is a popular alternative to over-the-counter medications, such as ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin. It offers pain-relieving effects without causing an internal impact on one’s body, especially if substance abuse is concerned.
If you plan to try CBD but don’t know where to start, this comprehensive guide may help. In this article, you’ll learn everything about CBD, from its basic definition to a wide range of CBD products available in the market, such as tinctures, oils, and chewable gummies with CBD.
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What Is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the active chemical compounds extracted from the cannabis plant. Aside from CBD, there’s another compound known for its psychoactive properties—it causes people to feel euphoric and high. This is called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
Unlike THC, CBD isn’t psychoactive, meaning it doesn’t get you high. However, it offers a wide range of medical benefits like THC. This enables you to receive therapeutic benefits without feeling euphoric and ‘stoned.’
Some CBD products may contain small traces of THC (marijuana-derived), making them more effective than hemp-derived CBD. However, some states haven’t legalized the use of medical marijuana yet. If you live in one of these states, your only option is hemp-derived CBD.
That said, it’d be in your best interest to check the laws of your state when it comes to the use of CBD.
What Are The Different Ways To Use CBD?
There are many ways to use CBD. You can apply it on your skin as a cream, ingest it as a pill, chew it as gum, or smoke it. Each of these products has different modes of application and concentration levels. For example, smoking CBD offers a higher dosage of CBD than gummies.
The amount of CBD depends on your needs and wants. If you’re using CBD for medical purposes, not recreational, it’s best to consult your doctor for the optimum dosage, especially when taking other medications that may react with CBD.
Here are CBD products you can purchase:
- CBD Edibles
CBD edibles are an umbrella term for any food or drink containing CBD. These are one of the most popular ways to take CBD because they’re affordable, easy to use, fast-acting, easy to distribute, and, of course, delicious.
Hemp-derived CBD exacts a bitter and unappealing taste. So, fusing it with gummies, chocolates, and other candied products is a great way to mask the bitterness, making it more palatable and easier for people to consume.
Although there are other brands of flavored oils and tinctures, edibles are more chewable compared to the tincture held underneath your tongue for a minute. This means that CBD edibles, particularly gummies, are easy to consume and measure your consumption.
Here are the different types of CBD edibles you might like to try:
- Gummies: CBD gummies have a wide range of fruity flavors and provide a simple way to measure the amount of CBD you take. They come in different strength levels, helping you choose the right one that fits your needs and taste.
- Sweets: CBD sweets aren’t as common as CBD gummies. The most popular CBD sweets you can purchase are in the form of jelly domes.
- Cookies: Much like CBD sweets, CBD-infused cookies aren’t as popular as CBD gummies. Only limited stocks are available in the market, but sometimes, you can find them in local coffee shops and some online specialty stores.
- Chocolates: CBD chocolates are one of the best ways to take CBD, especially if you’re a certified chocolate lover. Aside from the benefits of CBD, you can also get the benefits of cocoa powder. Also, you can use CBD chocolates for recipes that require chocolates.
When buying CBD edibles, you want to ensure that they’re supported by third-party labs and that the amount of CBD is indicated clearly, so there’s no need for a guessing game. Also, like other CBD products, edibles can help treat chronic conditions, reduce anxiety, and elevate mood.
- CBD Vapes
CBD vapes are another popular method to take CBD. They convert vape juice containing CBD into vapor using vaporizers like e-cigarettes. Inhaling CBD may be the most efficient way to experience its effects quickly, but it can also be the most dangerous to your health.
The first step to vaping CBD is to determine the right dosage you need based on different factors, such as body weight and medical conditions (if there are any). Here’s a simple guide to follow based on body weight, but keep in mind that this doesn’t include other factors to consider:
- For people weighing 80-150 lbs., you can choose between 12 mg (low), 15 mg (medium), and 18 mg (high) CBD.
- For people weighing 151-240 lbs., you can choose between 18 mg (low), 22.5 mg (medium), and 27 mg (high) CBD.
- For people weighing 241 lbs. and above, you can choose between 22.5 mg (low), 30 mg (medium), and 45 mg (high) CBD.
If there’s a health risk, ask your doctor first whether CBD is good for you. Then, confirm the right dosage that’s considered safe for your condition. Don’t decide without the doctor’s guidance because the reaction between CBD and your medications may cause adverse side effects.
Once you’ve determined the right dosage, it’s time to choose the type of device you can use to vape CBD. Here are some options to choose from:
- Disposable Vape Pens: This is the cheapest and easiest way to vape CBD. Vape pens are similar to cigarette pens. These are pre-filled with vape juice containing CBD and powered by a small coil and battery.
- Oil Cartridges: Like CBD vape pens, oil cartridges are pre-filled with CBD distillate or vape juice. Also, these are the second-easiest way to smoke CBD, next to disposable vape pens.
- Pods: Pods are like oil cartridges but more modern. You can purchase them in pre-filled or refillable forms. The good thing about CBD pods is that they don’t require maintenance. Once charged, add the vape juice, and your good to go.
- Refillable Vape Pens: If you’re not a fan of disposables, this is the right vape device for you. These are rechargeable vape pens with a small tube-like battery connected to the vape tank attached to a coil, producing more vapor and intense flavor than disposables.
If you don’t know how to use one, make sure to ask your provider for a simple video instruction. Or, better yet, let them teach you how one is used.
- CBD Capsules
Freshly extracted CBD comes in the form of crude oil, which doesn’t taste good and can’t be easily absorbed by the body. Therefore, to make it more accessible and enjoyable, CBD extracts are combined with easy-to-consume products like capsules.
CBD capsules are encapsulated CBD oil for easy consumption and absorption. It offers the same benefits as CBD oils and tinctures but differs in how they’re taken.
Unlike oils and tinctures, CBD capsules are swallowed, allowing the body to digest and absorb them over time. For most CBD enthusiasts, CBD capsules are often preferred because they’re so convenient and their dosage can be adjusted easily.
Moreover, CBD capsules are often used to treat people with digestive conditions and seizure disorders. Their long-lasting effects make them ideal for treating such conditions, but you have to be aware of the amount of CBD a single capsule contains.
However, CBD capsules may require at least one to two hours to effect, even if the stomach is empty—up to three hours when taken with food. Therefore, it’s not advisable to take another one three hours after ingestion.
To take CBD capsules, you’ll need to place one pill on your tongue and swallow it with water. That’s it! How simple is that?
What’s The Best Dosage Should You Take?
The right dosage of CBD depends on the following factors: metabolism, receptivity to cannabinoids, and body weight. You’ll need to do a little bit of experimentation to identify the best dosage suitable for your needs.
Fortunately, CBD capsules come in three common dosages, so you won’t have a hard time finding the right one for you. These are:
- 10 mg capsules
- 25 mg capsules
- 50 mg capsules
For first-timers, it’s best to start with a lower dose (10 mg) to see how your body reacts to CBD. If there are no side effects, consider increasing the dosage (25 mg) or taking another 10 mg CBD capsule.
- CBD Oils And Tinctures
CBD oils are liquids produced by mixing inert carrier oils, like medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) and CBD extracts.
On the other hand, CBD tinctures are alcohol-based liquids. High-proof alcohol is used to extract CBD and other natural compounds. The alcohol acts as a solvent for extraction and a base liquid for the final product.
Alcohol extraction helps preserve the cannabinoid by protecting it against oxidation. However, it requires additional processes, such as filtration and refinement. Also, it can produce a bitter and unpleasant flavor.
CBD tinctures are often combined with compounds, such as sweeteners, vegetable glycerin, and flavorings, to mask or reduce the bitter flavor. Other companies also add herbal extracts, melatonin, or vitamins to achieve the overall goal of their product.
How Are CBD Oils And Tinctures Used?
CBD oils and tinctures can be purchased in a small bottle with a dropper to deliver a small amount of liquid underneath the tongue. This particular area is filled with small capillaries capable of absorbing compounds quickly and efficiently. If possible, do not swallow the liquid for a minute to maximize its effect.
Is One Better Than The Other?
Both CBD oils and tinctures are effective. The only thing that separates one from the other is the method of extraction and the base ingredient. To choose the best for your needs, you’ll need to consider your goals.
For example, if you’re allergic to a particular type of oil (e.g., coconut oil), your best option would be an alcohol-based CBD tincture. But if you want to avoid products with alcohol, you may choose oil-based CBD instead.
Moreover, CBD oils often contain fewer ingredients compared to CBD tinctures. If you’re sensitive to alcohol and other related ingredients, it’d be best to choose oil-based CBD.
On top of that, it’s a good idea to choose CBD oils over tinctures because it’s more accessible in the market. Furthermore, even if a product is labeled as tinctures, you’ll need to verify first if its base liquid is alcohol and not oil.
Topical CBD Products
Topical CBD products, such as creams, balms, lotions, and massage oils, are an excellent way to relieve joint pain and muscle soreness. Also, they can help treat skin conditions, such as psoriasis, eczema, dermatitis, menstrual cramps, arthritis, and migraines.
To use topical CBD products, it’s best to apply them in a circular motion for more gentle relief. The warmth they provide helps relax the mind, soothes the body, and cools stiff muscles. They can also reduce skin redness and inflammation, improving skin texture and tone.
Is It Legal To Use CBD?
Yes, CBD products are sold legally in many parts of the world. If you’re not sure, check the laws of your country before purchasing one. Also, make sure that the product is certified by third-party laboratories and that the origin of the hemp plant used is guaranteed. Transparency is highly important when it comes to CBD.
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is an active compound extracted from the cannabis or hemp plant. It’s used to treat various conditions, from joint and muscle pain to digestive issues and skin conditions. If you’re planning to use it for medical purposes, consult your doctor first. They can help determine the right dosage for your condition.