CBD (short for cannabidiol) is one of the most prevalent components of hemp plants. Although CBD is a constituent of cannabis, it does not have psychoactive properties and thus does not produce a “high”. Because of this, CBD is a prime candidate for therapeutic practices. CBD users enjoy relaxed laws (CBD is legal in 50 states) compared to products containing THC, the psychoactive compound that produces a high. With many reported benefits, CBD products such as CBD oils and CBD topicals are enjoyed by many individuals. Additionally, the World Health Organization states that “in humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential”. Overall, CBD is safely enjoyed by many individuals across the U.S. To understand how CBD works, it’s important to first understand the endocannabinoid system. A natural biological system within the human body, the endocannabinoid system is tied to a variety of important human functions, such as appetite, pain-sensation, mood, and memory. It facilitates CBD binding to receptors found in the human body. The human body contains a complex system that can be fueled by CBD and other cannabinoids. Whether you are using a CBD topical (like a roll-on or a body butter), a tincture, or even using raw CBD flower, your body will welcome the CBD and you can enjoy many of the benefits CBD offers.
How long does it take for CBD to work?
Although the benefits are mostly the same, the time it takes for therapeutic effects of CBD to affect a user varies depending on the use method. CBD, as you may know, can be used in a variety of formats including but not limited to: topicals, tinctures, capsules, and traditional smokable flower. Although the end result is largely the same, the onset times for benefits and effects vary. Generally speaking, the effects from smoking flower are the fastest, with some users experiencing effects almost immediately (typically within the first 5 mins). Topicals and tinctures have slightly longer onset times, however most users report feeling effects within about 15-30 mins. Capsules generally take the longest amount of time to activate—users can expect to feel effects within 1-2 hours of use. It is worth noting that some CBD products last longer than others. For instance, while capsules have a longer onset time, they tend to have longer lasting effects (anywhere from 16-24 hours). Tinctures, on the other hand, do not usually hold such long-lasting effects from a dose. Understanding the different timelines for various forms of CBD use can help individuals find what best suits them. While some people may prefer more immediate onset times, others might be able to afford longer onset times in order to maximize the length of effects.
The Entourage Effect: What is it?
The entourage effect refers to a theory that states the various cannabinoid elements and terpenes present in cannabis plants work together synergistically to maximize effects and benefit potential. In other words, the pharmacological effects of certain cannabinoids and terpenes are enhanced by other terpenes, working together. Interestingly enough, CBD has been found to counteract some of the effects of THC, especially reducing risks of psychosis-like effects.
What does the entourage effect mean for the consumer? Simply put, look for full spectrum CBD products. Full spectrum CBD products, a sign of a quality producer of CBD products, are CBD products that contain more than just CBD. Potentially, a full spectrum CBD product can contain over 100 different cannabinoids! When purchasing CBD products for the first time, it can be useful to purchase a variety of products that vary in terpene profiles in order to find a favorite combination. Full spectrum CBD is essentially the gold standard of CBD products—I recommend nothing but the best to fuel the endocannabinoid systems within the human body!
Hemp vs Marijuana
A very common question, “is hemp and marijuana the same thing”. Although both hemp and marijuana have taxonomical roots in the Cannabis sativa L. species, they serve two separate purposes. Hemp refers to products derived from Cannabis sativa L. that do not contain sufficient psychoactive elements to produce a high (<0.3% THC). Also, hemp has a variety of productive purposes such as refinement into paper, textiles, clothing, biodegradable compounds, biofuel, etc. As you can see, hemp has a plethora of uses, making it an extremely valuable natural resource! For our purposes, however, hemp is used therapeutically for its natural cannabidiol as well as hundreds of other non-intoxicating compounds.
Marijuana generally refers to products that are specifically cultivated to produce a high amount of THC which is known for its psychoactive “high” effect in consumers. In other words, marijuana is what individuals smoke or otherwise consume to get “high”. You should avoid Marijuana products if you are not interested in getting high from your cannabis. Below, we will cover an important distinction between hemp and marijuana: legality.
Is CBD Legal?
Fortunately, CBD products have much more relaxed laws compared to THC products. In 2018, the federal government passed the Farm Bill which legalizes CBD products derived from hemp and that contain less than 0.3% THC (a virtually imperceptible amount). The legalization of CBD products derived from hemp has facilitated further growth in the CBD industry as more people begin to try CBD products (with great results!). THC products are still illegal federally, but are legal in different states. You can check with your states regulations and laws regarding THC. Since CBD is legal federally and in all states, it is easy to find and use.
What to Look for when Shopping for High Quality CBD Products:
Now that you are up to speed on a wide variety of important CBD topics, it’s crucial to make smart consumer choices when shopping for CBD products. Like any other product you might shop for, there are many different buying options for CBD products. Here are some pointers that will arm you with the necessary knowledge to separate lower quality CBD products from higher quality CBD products.
Consider the agricultural practices and values of the company you are considering buying from. Look for companies that practice sustainable farming, use lab tests to ensure safety and validity of products, and are overall transparents about their growing and production process (starting from the soil on the ground to the final product).
When it comes to the individual products themselves, an immediate red flag is poorly labeled products, especially those that contain vague wording and lack of key information. As a health-conscious consumer, it’s important to understand what you are fueling your endocannabinoid system with. Look for products with full ingredient lists, clear documentation of recommended dosage and effect onset times. Additionally, look for full-spectrum CBD products for the absolute cream-of-the-crop tier of CBD products. Full-spectrum CBD products with high terpene profiles are necessary to maximize the benefits conferred by the entourage effect. Lastly, be sure to check reviews! This may seem like a no-brainer but at the end of the day, it’s a quick and easy way to filter the better CBD products from the rest.
FDA Disclaimer: The statements made regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficacy of these products has not been confirmed by FDA-approved research. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. All information presented here is not meant as a substitute for or alternative to information from healthcare practitioners. The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act requires this notice.
Warning: This product is tested by a verified third party lab to ensure it contains no more than 0.3% THC. If you are subject to testing for THC please see our disclaimer for more information prior to using this product.