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Cannabidiol, or CBD, is one of many organic compounds found in cannabis plants, including marijuana and hemp. Over the past several years, CBD has gained popularity for its medicinal effects. While researchers are still investigating the medicinal properties of CBD and other cannabinoids found in hemp and marijuana, preliminary studies have found that CBD can be beneficial for relieving pain and inflammation, anxiety, insomnia, and psychosis. CBD has also been found to be an effective treatment for seizures in patients with severe forms of epilepsy.
But you don’t need a prescription for Epidiolex in order to benefit from the medicinal effects of CBD. There are plenty of over-the-counter products containing CBD. But which one should you choose? What dosage is right for you? How can you be sure that the product you choose really contains the amount of CBD the manufacturer claims? Read on for the answers to these, and other, questions about CBD.
The market is positively swamped with CBD products, so it can be hard to choose the right one. The three terms you should know when shopping for CBD products are full spectrum, broad spectrum, and CBD isolate.
Full-spectrum CBD products contain all of the cannabinoid compounds found in cannabis. That includes trace amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the compound in marijuana that causes mind-altering effects. Under the 2018 Farm Bill, products containing less than 0.3 percent THC derived from hemp are federally legal. While most full-spectrum CBD products don’t contain enough THC to get you high, they may contain enough to make you fail a drug test, especially if you use the CBD product regularly.
If you don’t want to consume any THC, you should choose products that contain broad-spectrum CBD or CBD isolate. Broad-spectrum CBD contains all the cannabinoids and terpenes found in hemp, except for CBD. Thanks to the entourage effect, CBD may be more effective when combined with the other cannabinoids and terpenes that naturally appear in cannabis. Terpenes are plant compounds responsible for a plant’s unique smell or taste. Some of them may also have medicinal benefits.
If you want to avoid ingesting other cannabinoids and just want to see what CBD alone can do for you, you can try CBD isolate products. These CBD products only contain CBD, and none of the other terpenes or cannabinoids found in cannabis.
Manufacturers of CBD products should provide a certificate of analysis, or COA, showing that their products have been examined in a third-party lab for their purity and potency. The COA should tell you how much CBD and other cannabinoids are actually in the product, so you should verify that the product actually has as much CBD as the manufacturer claims. The COA should also tell you whether any contaminants were found in the product, like mold or pesticides. The highest-quality CBD products are made from organic, US-grown hemp, and these are the products least likely to contain pesticides. The third-party lab that does the analysis should be accredited by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).
Most manufacturers put the COA on their online CBD store, where it’s easy for shoppers to find. Most products also have a QR code that will take you to the COA, so you can verify the potency and purity of products in real time.
There are three ways to take CBD: you can eat it, absorb it through the skin, or smoke or vape it. Eating CBD edibles and capsules can be discreet, but it can take up to two hours to feel the effects. When you smoke or vape CBD, you feel the effects right away, but it’s not very discreet.
You can also buy oils or tinctures that you hold under your tongue for a minute before swallowing, for faster and more effective CBD absorption through the skin of the mouth. CBD transdermal patches are available for those who need a steady dose of CBD throughout the day. You can even buy CBD creams, lotions, and ointments that can be applied to sore joints or muscles to relieve the pain.
There’s not much official guidance on how much CBD you should take. Studies have examined the efficacy of doses ranging from 16 mg to 1,000 mg. If you’re taking CBD for anxiety, try 300 mg to 600 mg. If you’re treating chronic pain, try about 40 mg a day. It’s generally recommended that you start with a low dose and gradually increase it as needed, so that you’re taking the smallest effective amount. CBD is generally well-tolerated. Side effects are minimal and include fatigue and upset stomach.
If you’ve been thinking about trying CBD for your chronic pain, anxiety, insomnia or other medical condition, there’s no time like the present to start feeling better.