One of the buzziest wellness trends currently is CBD, cannabidiol. Few products have ever infiltrated so many industries. From cosmetics to cocktails to oils and gummies, CBD is everywhere, but is it safe? Will I get high? Do the benefits live up to the hype?
What Exactly Is CBD?
Cannabidiol is an active ingredient of the hemp plant. As the hemp plant is a cousin to the marijuana plant, CBD is an ingredient also of the marijuana plant, which is the second most active ingredient in marijuana. THC remains the first. THC is the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. Cannabidiol, by itself, is not psychoactive.
Straight from the World Health Organization’s report on CBD, it is not psychoactive and will not get you high. Moreso, cannabidiol is not addictive, and there are no reports of dependency or abuse. Since there are no mind-altering properties, there are also no regulations for driving and taking CBD.
Cannabidiol is only nonpsychoactive as long as there is no THC; therefore, always check the label for the percentage of THC in the product. Also note, the level of legal THC allowed in CBD varies from state to state. Federally, it must be lower than .3%. Be aware, trace amounts of THC found resulting in a positive drug test for marijuana.
Picking A CBD
While pure cannabidiol is relatively safe and free from psychoactive effects, it is not regulated by the FDA; therefore, it is crucial to buy high-quality and safe material. Like any unregulated natural supplement, do your research. Quality CBD will not likely come from larger retailers like Amazon. Search for companies willing to share information on their product. Pay attention to:
- Levels of THC
- Other added ingredients
- Grower’s COA (certificate of authenticity)
- Grown in the United States
- Reputable farmers
Lastly, be aware that even though CBD comes from the hemp plant, hemp oil is not CBD oil. Hemp oil comes from hemp seeds, whereas CBD oil comes from hemp flowers and leaves.
Different Types Of Cannabidiol Products
There is an overwhelming quantity of products out there. The most popular supplement is oil or tinctures, ingested orally. Taking it is as simple as placing a dropper under your tongue and swallowing. They’re also added to beverages, even to a cocktail at your local bar. Moreso, gummies and other edibles have spiked in popularity.
CBD is also booming in the beauty industry. Serums, lotions, masks, bath bombs, and makeup all boast benefits from adding cannabidiol to their products. Sephora even now has a page specifically for CBD skincare products. Despite cannabidiol beauty products costing on average much more than mainstream beauty products, brands like Lord Jones are still thriving. Consumers also tend to associate CBD products with clean beauty, also boosting popularity.
Other products include vape pens, salves, capsules, oral sprays, patches, and even pet supplies. There is no shortage of CBD products.
Benefits Of CBD
With it’s soaring interest, CBD must be some sort of magical product, right? It just might be as it claims many benefits.
Perhaps the most common purpose of using cannabidiol is for its anxiety-reducing results. Studies show effectively treating anxiety and depression as anti-anxiety medications, and with fewer side effects. For those whose anti-anxiety medication side effects outweigh the benefits, CBD is a transformational alternative. Many report lifelong struggles of anxiety and depression reversed after a few months on a regime. It is also helpful in treating stress-related traumas such as PTSD.
CBD is also known to reduce different forms of inflammation. Applied topically, it can reduce chronic inflammation and pain. Runners swear by CBD bath bombs and lotions to soothe sore joints and muscles. Topical beauty products has also shown to reduce inflammation caused by acne.
CBD has shown positive effects on heart health by reducing resting blood pressure and stress and lowering blood pressure.
The American Sleep Association also credits CBD to remedying insomnia and improving sleep quality in general. By regulating circadian rhythms, cannabidiol has shown to enhance sleep/wake cycles, resulting in more restful sleep. Furthermore, in reducing anxiety and depression (as mentioned above), improvement in sleep quality is gained.
The addition of CBD enhances many supplements. Probiotics, such as Garden of Life, add it because its stress-relieving benefits improve probiotic’s effectiveness. Stress has a significant effect on gut health, and so in reducing stress, it also aids in gut health.
Other potential benefits worth mentioning are reduced risk of diabetes, certain types of cancer, and Alzheimer’s.
The research behind cannabidiol is even more promising. Various studies have scientifically confirmed numerous benefits. Scientists seem eager to research CBD as an alternative to medications with unfavorable side effects. From acne to cancer to social anxiety relief, the research is present; CBD works.
A 2006 study found rats suffering from chronic pain and inflammation to have relief from certain doses.
A controlled study performed on mice revealed a decrease in the risk of diabetes when taking CBD as compared to mice not taking it.
Another study on mice presented Alzheimer’s prevention, even when genetically predisposed when given CBD doses on a long-term basis.
A two-year study that followed people’s insomnia found a decreased severity of insomnia when treated with CBD.
Side Effects Of CBD
Side effects of CBD are few and minor. First and foremost, always speak with your doctor about adding any supplement to your regime. While relatively harmless on its own, the supplement will interact with certain medications. Other side effects include:
- Fatigue and drowsiness
- Diarrhea and upset stomach
- Dry mouth
- Loss of appetite
- Possible rash when applied topically