CBD is becoming more and more popular among many people, from dog lovers to natural health enthusiasts, from people with chronic illnesses to medical practitioners, and beyond.
However, there’s a lot of misinformation about what CBD is and how it can help you. Here’s what you need to know about CBD, the health benefits behind CBD, and using CBD products safely.
Cannabis and hemp plants contain dozens of different chemical compounds, known as cannabinoids. CBD, also known as cannabidiol, is one of those many cannabinoids. Yup, it’s quite a tongue twister!
Cannabinoids work by interacting with our endocannabinoid system. Found in all mammals, the endocannabinoid system helps maintain homeostasis - a state of perfect balance within our bodies.
The endocannabinoid system works because our body produces its own cannabinoids (known as endocannabinoids). However, we can also get cannabinoids from plants to treat certain illnesses and conditions.
The endocannabinoid system affects many bodily processes and organs, including:
Out of the many known cannabinoids, CBD is one of the most well-studied. It can’t make us high, and research suggests that it’s safe for humans and certain animals. It also seems to have multiple health benefits.
Hemp and cannabis (also referred to as marijuana or weed) are considered by most to be two different plants - but it’s a little more complicated than that.
What we call “hemp” and what we call “cannabis” are both a part of the Cannabis family. Cannabis is a genus of plants that fall under the Cannabaceae family.
Hemp is generally classified as Cannabis plants that contain less than 0.3 percent or less of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the cannabinoid that intoxicates people and makes them feel high. Marijuana, on the other hand, refers to Cannabis plants that contain more than 0.3 percent THC. However, this is a legal classification, not a scientific one. Science-wise, the difference between hemp and marijuana is totally arbitrary.
Because hemp has less THC than marijuana, it can’t really get you high. This is part of the reason why hemp is legal in more places than marijuana. However, both hemp and marijuana contain CBD.
As this CBD Origin article points out, dividing Cannabis plants into “hemp” and “marijuana” is like dividing citrus fruits into “sweet” and “sour” categories. It might be a helpful way of describing the plants to the average person, but it’s not scientific.
If you’ve tried to purchase CBD oil, you’ve probably come across the terms “CBD isolate,” “broad-spectrum CBD,” and “full-spectrum CBD.” But what do these terms mean, and which kind of CBD is the best choice?
Full-spectrum CBD products contain the “full spectrum” of cannabinoids in the Cannabis plant. In other words, it contains multiple cannabinoids and no cannabinoids are removed when the CBD is processed. Full-spectrum CBD is popular because of the “entourage effect” - the idea that cannabinoids are the most effective when they’re used with other cannabinoids. In other words, some people believe full-spectrum CBD is more effective.
Broad-spectrum CBD is a kind of CBD that includes many cannabinoids - but some cannabinoids, usually THC, are removed. This is helpful for people who want to experience the entourage effect, but are sensitive to THC and want to avoid it.
CBD isolate is purest form of CBD. With CBD isolate, all other cannabinoids are removed. Isolate has zero THC. This is often used for dogs, as we don’t yet know whether other cannabinoids are safe for dogs. CBD isolate is also often used for children.
Other than CBD, there are dozens of other known cannabinoids. These cannabinoids are not as well-known as CBD, and there is very little research on these cannabinoids - but the research that is out there is very promising.
Some of the common cannabinoids and their alleged benefits include:
Please note, however, that none of these benefits have yet been proven, and further research is needed before we know exactly how these cannabinoids can be used.
The research into the benefits of CBD is still in its infancy - but there are a few benefits that are certain (or nearly certain).
CBD seems to treat the following conditions and symptoms:
While CBD still needs to be studied further, the current research suggests that CBD has a wide range of benefits.
Humans aren’t the only ones who can benefit from CBD, it seems. Animals - specifically dogs - seem to benefit from CBD. Many holistic veterinarians are now recommending CBD for dogs, and plenty of companies are now manufacturing CBD products for pets.
CBD seems to be able to treat the following conditions in dogs:
While more research is needed, CBD is also believed to treat anxiety, inflammation, dry skin, allergies, and more. A 2018 survey shows that many veterinarians are finding CBD to be a helpful treatment for dogs.
If you’re keen on using CBD for your dog, please speak to a vet first.
It’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor before taking any supplements, including CBD. CBD, while relatively safe, isn’t always the right fit for everyone. If you’re taking chronic medication, CBD might interact with it, especially if your medication comes with a grapefruit warning.
Your doctor might be able to recommend a brand of CBD. If not, ask for recommendations or Google a CBD brand. Ensure that you’re getting a high-quality brand of CBD - there should be a lab report on their website which shows you how much CBD is in the product. It should be third-party tested by an independent lab.
Generally, it’s a good idea to start with a small dosage (at least 5ml per day) and gradually increase it over week-long periods until you feel better. If you’re lost when it comes to finding a CBD dosage, chat to your doctor.
This is optional, but a great idea. Make a mental (or physical) note of the amount of CBD you’re using per day as well as the nature of your symptoms. As you increase your CBD dosage, note whether your symptoms are getting better. Once you’re happy with the results, keep your dosage at that same level.
CBD comes in a variety of different forms. No matter what product you choose, be sure to use high-quality CBD products only.
CBD oils and tinctures are liquids that often come in glass bottles with small pipettes attached to the caps. Figure out how much CBD is in each drop and calculate how many drops you need per day. Drop it under your tongue and hold it there for about 30 seconds. This gives it time to seep into the capillaries in your mouth, which helps it get into your bloodstream.
Capsules have the benefit of being pre-measured. As long as you know how much CBD is in each capsule, you won’t have to measure out individual drops in order to get your daily dosage.
Topicals come in the form of balms, roll-on gel, and salves. These topicals are massaged into sore muscles to reduce pain. If you’re using CBD for pain in a localized area, a CBD topical might be a good idea.
CBD serums, face creams, and hydration mists are gaining popularity. This is because CBD is said to reduce acne and other skin conditions. If you’re interested in adding CBD to your skincare routine, your options are endless: CBD comes in the form of cleansers, creams, toners, and more.
CBD-infused soaps, body washes, bath bombs, and lotions can be great for people who want to reduce all-over muscle aches. They might also improve certain skin conditions, such as acne and eczema.
Because CBD seems to benefit dogs, there are quite a few CBD pet products on the market. You can buy everything, from CBD dog treats to oils to CBD-infused topicals online or at certain veterinary stores. Be sure to chat with your vet before giving your dog any CBD products.
Our CBD products are pure, high-quality, and third-party tested by an independent lab to ensure quality. With our brand, you can rest assured that you’re getting excellent CBD products with lab-grade CBD.
No matter what CBD products you decide to buy, you should ensure that their quality is up-to-speed - and don’t forget to speak to your doctor about using CBD before you try it out.