Frequently Asked Questions
Will CBD make me high?
No. CBD alone has no “psychoactive” properties and cannot make you high. THC is the only known cannabinoid that has a psychoactive effect.
However, some CBD products made from traditional marijuana can contain enough THC to make you high. CBD products made from hemp, containing less than .03% THC by dry weight, will not make you high.
Is CBD safe?
Ongoing international research confirms that CBD is completely safe. It is non-toxic and an overdose of CBD has never been reported. And CBD recently received definitive validation of its safely by three authoritative organizations.
A 2017 World Health Organization (WHO) report, presented by its Expert Committee on Drug Dependence, concludes that naturally occurring CBD has no adverse health outcomes and is safe and well-tolerated in humans and animals. WHO experts assert that CBD does not induce physical dependence and is not associated with abuse potential or other negative public health effects.
In 2017, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), which sets the international standards that determine which substances are permitted or prohibited for use by athletes in training and competition, officially removed CBD from its list of prohibited substances.
Finally, in 2018, the FDA approved the first CBD-based drug, Epidiolex, for the treatment of certain types of epileptic seizures.
The independent rulings of these respected organizations sends a clear message to consumers everywhere that CBD is:
- Safe for adults, children and animals
- Non-addictive and poses no negative public health threat
- Recognized as medically effective
- Not a dangerous substance
Is CBD legal?
The short answer is yes, but…
Basically, there are two types of cannabis plants (Cannabis Sativa L.). One is hemp, which contains high amounts of CBD and low amounts of psychoactive THC. The other is non-hemp cannabis commonly known as “marijuana,” which is low in CBD and high in THC.
In the 2018 Farm Bill, the federal government now says CBD made from hemp, containing less than .03% THC by dry volume, is legal. It puts no restriction on the possession, sale or interstate transport of hemp-based CBD that meets this and other regulatory standards. It also removes hemp-based CBD from the list of Schedule 1 drugs under the Controlled Substances Act.
However, CBD made from marijuana is still illegal on the federal level and still classified as a Schedule 1 drug. Marijuana-based CBD may be legal in individual states, but not one of these state-legal cannabis programs is considered legal by the federal government.
Therefore, marijuana-based CBD products cannot be transported across state lines. And their possession and sale are considered federal crimes, even though federal law enforcement officials haven’t actively pursued and prosecuted offenders.
The bottom line is as long as your hemp-based CBD meets all federal and state government standards, it is legal. Still, always make sure to buy your CBD products from reputable companies that can prove they meet these standards.
How does CBD work?
Even though cannabis has been studied throughout the world for more than 5,000 years, it wasn’t until the late 19th Century that scientists discovered THC, the first of many cannabinoids naturally found in cannabis. CBD, the second most prevalent cannabinoid, was discovered around 1940. However, only in the mid 1980s did science begin to understand how CBD and other cannabinoids affect the human body.
The breakthrough was the discovery of the first “endocannabinoid,” a cannabinoid actually produced in our own bodies. This quickly led to the discovery of the Endocannabinoid System (ECS), hailed as one of the most exciting developments in modern science. This highly complex biological system has been described as “the bridge between the body and the mind.”
Your ECS plays a significant role in creating and maintaining homeostasis, the consistent environment inside your body that enables it to function properly regardless of the environment outside your body. This internal balance helps ensure normal body, brain, nerve and immune system functions.
Without this balance, your body can suffer a greater susceptibility to illness and disease, and have more difficulty fighting them. You can suffer from diminished memory, cognition, motor coordination, emotional control, etc. And you could experience increased physical deterioration beyond “normal” aging.
Research shows that CBD supplements your body’s own cannabinoids and can help:
- Balance your ECS
- Maintain normal body, brain, nerve and immune functions
- Contribute to greater overall physical health and mental well-being
- Improve the long-term performance of the ECS
How much CBD should I take?
As with all medicinal and recreational cannabis products, there is no simple answer to this question. Nonetheless, here goes.
Historically, the FDA has considered CBD as a food product. And while the FDA has established a Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA), Daily Value (DV) and an individual serving size for almost every other food product, it has not established an RDA, DV or serving size for CBD.
Therefore, the serving size that appears on the Nutrition Facts or Supplement Facts panel on most CBD products is, at best, a guestimate by the manufacturer. It offers a convenient, one-size-fits-all answer to the question of how much CBD you should take.
However, every body is different and every need is different. Whether you are using CBD to promote overall health or to address a specific medical condition, there are countless variables, such as your weight, diet, metabolism and genetics, as well as the product’s potency and consistency, that make it impossible to establish an optimal individual dose.
For overall health, start by taking the manufacturer’s average serving once a day. After a few days, you should be able to determine the product’s effect on your body. Gradually increase or decrease the dosage until you get the best results.
For specific medical conditions, some online research can provide recommended dosages based on anecdotal reports and product reviews from others with the same condition.
Are there any side effects from taking CBD?
Because every body is different, there is always the potential for side effects whether you take CBD, herbal preparations or prescription pharmaceuticals. However, compared to prescription and over-the-counter medicines the side effects of CBD are relatively rare and mild.
The most-reported side effects include dry mouth, fatigue, lower blood pressure and lightheadedness. Others side effects can include reduced T and B cell activity, fertility and p-Glycoprotein activity.
However, there is slightly more concern about the potential effects of CBD on a key enzyme system in the liver. The Cytochrome P450 system uses more than 50 different enzymes to metabolize potentially toxic compounds, including those found in about 60% of all prescription medications, and eliminate them from the body.
There is evidence that cannabinoids may inhibit the optimal function of this system. Other natural foods and supplements, such as grapefruit, watercress, St. John’s Wort and goldenseal, have been shown to have a similar effect.
It is always best to discuss any potential side effects of CBD and any herbal or pharmaceutical medication with a medical doctor or a qualified alternative medicine professional.
Does CBD interact with other medications?
Any medications that are metabolized in the liver by the Cytochrome P450 system (see Are there any side effects from taking CBD?) may interact with CBD. These may include, but are not limited to:
- Beta blockers
- Immune modulators
Because part of the Cytochrome P450 system helps metabolizes alcohol, CBD may inhibit this function, making the effects of drinking alcohol last longer. However, research shows that CBD could protect the liver and the brain against damage from drinking alcohol. It may also work in the Endocannabinoid System (see How does CBD work?) to help reduce your desire to consume alcohol.
Caffeine, the world’s most commonly consumed psychoactive substance, is also metabolized by part of the Cytochrome P450 system. This means that when combining coffee and CBD, the caffeine could take longer to kick in, but it could also last longer. One cup could keep you alert all day.
Always discuss any potential drug interactions with a medical professional before taking CBD.
Are all CBD products the same?
There are more than 800 CBD products available in the U.S. marketplace. In some way, each of them can be considered different from all others. And not merely because of their different manufacturers, names and packages.
CBD products can be ingested, applied to the skin or vaporized and inhaled. For people and pets, oral CBD is usually the most convenient dosing method. Vaping provides the fastest action, as the CBD vapors are immediately absorbed into the bloodstream through the lungs. CBD lotions, creams and other “topical” products are rapidly absorbed directly through the skin wherever they are applied.
Many CBD products use “full-spectrum” hemp oil as their primary ingredient. This contains CBD, as well as other cannabinoids and compounds, such as terpenes, which are present in the “whole plant” extract. One advantage of full-spectrum CBD products is that all of their components work together naturally to deliver enhanced benefits that CBD alone cannot. This “entourage effect” is one of the main reasons why cannabis has such potential as a therapeutic agent for so many different medical conditions.
Other products contain CBD oil, extracted from hemp oil and refined to remove impurities and other unwanted components. Still others contain CBD isolate, which is a highly purified and potent crystalline form of CBD. Other ingredients, such as terpenes, flavorings and MCT oil, can be added in to CBD isolate to enhance benefits and tailor the product’s effects to specific therapeutic uses.
Because CBD is relatively new to the mainstream marketplace, most consumers are unaware of the difference between hemp oil, CBD oil and CBD isolate. Most have no knowledge of what terpenes are and what they can do. And consumers are only beginning to learn about CBD’s wide range of benefits.
However, unethical manufacturers and distributors are taking advantage of consumer eagerness and knowledge gaps. Online searches for “CBD,” “CBD oil” and other similar terms commonly refer consumers to “Hemp Oil” products that provide little or no explanations of their benefits and uses.
Also, many CBD products do not deliver the CBD potency promised on their labels. Recent FDA and independent tests of various hemp oil and CBD products revealed that half did not contain the CBD amounts stated on their labels. Many of the tested products contained little or no CBD at all.
Not all CBD products are the same. And until the CBD industry becomes better regulated and monitored to protect consumers from unethical practices, you should always do extensive research before you buy. Then choose an ethical brand with high quality products you can trust.
Can I have an allergic reaction to CBD?
A person can have an allergic reaction to just about anything from foods and drugs to pollen and mold to bee stings and latex. While allergic reactions to hemp, hemp products and CBD are rare, it is always a good idea to proceed with caution when trying CBD products for the first time, especially if you are already susceptible to plant allergies.
You can test your body’s reaction by ingesting a tiny amount of CBD oil or applying it to your skin. Better yet, consult an allergist or another qualified health professional before taking CBD.
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