CBD is rapidly growing in popularity, and chances are you have heard it mentioned in the news.

Since CBD science and products are new to many people, there has been a lot of confusion and misconceptions surrounding the topic.

If you are new to CBD and feeling overwhelmed, this CBD Guide is a great place to start!

 

What is CBD?

CBD is short for Cannabidiol, one of the active compounds in the Cannabis plant.

It is not the same as THC.

THC is a different compound in the Cannabis plant and is known for its psychoactive properties or the “high” people experience.

CBD is non-psychoactive. It does, however, have medical and health benefits.

CBD and THC are only two of more than 100 types of cannabinoids compounds.

The Science: What does CBD treat?

The research on the health effects of CBD is limited. However, the studies that have explored CBD have found CBD may be useful in providing relief from several medical and mental health conditions.

Studies have suggested the CBD compound may provide relief for mental health conditions such as

  • addiction (1)
  • schizophrenia (2)
  • PTSD (3)
  • anxiety disorders (4)

There is also some evidence to suggest CBD may be beneficial for providing relief for some physical health conditions.

One study found CBD oil may treat pain associated with arthritis while another study suggested CBD cream to be anti-inflammatory on human cells (5).

CBD has also been shown to help treat certain seizure disorders such as childhood epilepsy (6). CBD is also being used to alleviate and manage the side effects of cancer treatment (7).

More research is needed to fully evaluate CBD and the benefits it could have for treating physical and mental health conditions.

Ongoing studies are exploring the benefits and effectiveness of CBD. In the meantime, research has shown CBD to be generally safe to use with few (if any) side effects.

Side Effects: Is CBD Safe?

If you decide to use any CBD products, talk to your doctor first.

At the very least, to talk to your doctor if you are currently taking medication to be sure CBD will not affect or interact with current your medication.

If you currently take prescription drugs — especially if they have a warning label not to be consumed with grapefruit, speak with a health care professional before incorporating CBD into your wellness routine.

A few reported side effects of CBD include fatigue, nausea, dry mouth, and irritability (1).

 

How do I take CBD?

There is no “best” way to take CBD. CBD is available in several different forms, but the two most common ways to take or use CBD products are oral and topical.

Each delivery method has pros and cons.

Things to consider between the different techniques are how quickly and effectively your body will absorb it, and how long it will stay in your system.

In the end, it merely comes down to your personal preference and lifestyle.

Here are the most common forms of CBD:

CBD Oils and tinctures

CBD oils and tinctures are in liquid form. These CBD oils come in a small bottle with a dropper. Drops of oil are placed under the tongue using the dropper.

Another option for CBD oils is adding a few drops to favorite beverages.

A few common drinks people add CBD oil to include:

  • Smoothies
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Protein Shakes

Oils and tinctures are a good option for people how can’t or don’t like swallowing capsules or pills.

Pros of CBD Tinctures

  • Quickly absorbed into the body and high bioavailability
  • Easy to use
  • Can also be added to food or beverages
  • Flexible dosing (adjust the dose with the dropper and/or split it into multiple doses throughout the day)

Cons of CBD Tinctures

Some people do not like the taste (may choose to add it to food or beverages instead of using it directly).

It also might be inconvenient to hold the oil under the tongue for 60to 90 seconds.

These CBD products are stored in glass bottles and are liquid and are therefore breakable and spillable.

Not the best choice if you travel often or have an active lifestyle where you will be taking CBD Oil with you on the go (like hiking, camping, etc.)

3 Types of CBD Oil Extracts

CBD Oil itself can be confusing for first-time users.

When looking for CBD Oil, you will come across 3 main types of CBD Oil:

  • Full Spectrum CBD: Oil extracted from the whole hemp plant, including up to 0.3% of THC.
  • Broad Spectrum CBD: This is an oil that starts out as Full Spectrum but goes through additional a process to remove the trace amounts of THC. It offers the same effect as full-spectrum CBD but without any THC ingested into the body
  • CBD Isolate: This is pure CBD. It has none of the other natural compounds found in the hep plant.

Here is a great visual to explain the differences in CBD Oil types:

Pie chart diagrams of CBD and THC content

Image source: https://tesseranaturals.com/beginners-guide-to-cbd/

CBD capsules and pills

One benefit of using CBD in capsule or pill form is that it is easy to control the dosage.

The biggest drawback of CBD pills and capsules is the extended wining period from ingestion to the onset of effects. CBD pills and capsules can take 45 minutes or longer to be absorbed into the system. Afterward, they can last for several hours.

Pros of CBD Capsules

a convenient way to consume CBD
No odor or taste
Exact dosage every time
More natural habit for people that are conformable taking medication or vitamin supplements

Cons of using CBD Capsules

Takes longer to feel the effects (45 minutes+)
Slower adsorption rate and less bioavailability

Gummies and edibles

The third most common form of ingesting CBD is through CBD gummies or other CBD edible products.

CBD Gummies are chewable and candy-like available in a variety of flavors, sizes, and doses.

CBD Gummies are the most popular form of edible, but others include

  • CBD Gum
  • CBD Mints
  • Chocolate
  • Protein & Drink mixes
  • Recovery Bars

Pros of CBD Edibles
A convenient way to consume CBD
Great tasting

Cons of CBD Edibles
Low absorption and bioavailability since it will be processed through the digestive system first.

Some might include artificial ingredients and sweeteners
Unwanted calories

 

Topical Applications (Creams, Balms, Lotions, etc.)

Topical CBD products are popular among people looking to target specific aches and pain on their bodies.

These products are applied to your body, NOT ingested. Typical uses of topical CBD products have been for muscle aches and joint pain.

How much CBD should I take?

If you are considering using CBD products, it is essential to talk to your doctor first. This is especially true if you have an existing medical condition or are taking medications.

With that being said, finding the right dose varies from person to person and also will depend on the type of CBD product you are using (delivery method).

A few factors that determine the optimal dose for you include:

  • body weight
  • metabolism
  • diet
  • sleep patterns
  • stress levels
  • lifestyle

Some people are also more sensitive to CBD.

Its always recommended to start with a low dose and observe the effects.

From there, you can increase the dose slowly over the next several days until you find the most effective dose and delivery method for you.

You can begin by taking as little as 5 to 10mg of CBD when needed.

Notice the effects, and if needed, slowly increase the amount of CBD until you find the right dose for your needs.

A good rule of thumb for beginners is to start with 1mg of CBD for every 20 pounds of body weight.

To calculate your starting does use this method, follow these steps:

Take your body weight and divide that number by 20

For example, I weight 130 pounds.
130 divided by 20 is 6.5

Therefore, my starting dose should be 6.5mg

From here, you can increase your serving size slowly.

Every time you increase your serving size, take a few days to stay at that amount, and note how you feel.

 

Are you interested in CBD but have more questions? Leave a comment below!