CBD oil seems to be all the rage lately. You’ve probably seen some people posting about it on FB, maybe even selling it. Maybe you have a friend who is taking it to help with anxiety. But maybe you’re not totally sure what it is… okay you know isn’t not the same as pot but what exactly is the difference?? Well, I was in the same position as you! I’m no expert on CBD, in fact I’ve never taken it it any form…. but I wanted to know more about it and so I did my research! Now I’m going to break it down for you so you too can understand what all the hype is about and whether or not it is something that really interests you. Please do keep in mind that I’m not a doctor, I’m just sharing the info I’ve found online and it’s up to you to make your own decisions 😉
What is CBD?
CBD, short for cannabinoid, is one of the main compounds found in the cannabis plant (which both marijuana and hemp come from) and is gaining popularity because of its beneficial properties that you can take advantage of without the intoxicating effects of the other well-known cannabinoid THC. Let me make one thing very clear, CBD will NOT MAKE YOU HIGH (like marijuana) and is not psychoactive but it does alter your brain-state. It is an adaptogen, a regulator and a modulator. CBD may help promote balance in your body, reducing inflammation, lowering high blood pressure etc. Basically, CBD is clever and will try to help your body with whatever it needs at any given time. Studies have shown us that is capable or doing over 50 things to help our body!
CBD vs THC
CBD and THC are both compounds found in the cannabis plant. THC gives you a high, CBD does not. THC is most commonly associated with marijuana since marijuana contains a lot of THC (usually around 12%). Remember, CBD can be derived from hemp (very little THC) or marijuana (higher THC). Hemp CBD is a lot easier to obtain than marijuana CBD but both have health benefits. There seems to be mixed opinions on whether CBD without THC is as effective as CBD with THC. Some say you need both to really get results. Then again, others say CBD can still be very effective without THC and of course not everyone can have THC! So really, it’s up to you to decide what works for you. You can look for “THC free” or “No THC” or hemp derived CBD products which will have CBD plus other cannabinoids and terpenes but .3% THC (which will not get you high but may still show up in a drug test, effect a fetus or pass through breast milk. These products are easier to come by than higher THC ones.
Is CBD legal?
CBD oil that has a THC content of 0.3% or higher was until recently considered a Schedule 1 drug but with the Farm Bill Act recently passing that is changing. It is not yet legal in all 50 states although you can purchase any CBD products online. You’ll need to check the laws in your exact state, some have legalized marijuana for medical use while some have also legalized it for recreational use. CBD oil derived from hemp has less than 0.3% THC and is legal.
Last year the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Epidiolex, the first prescription medication to contain CBD. It’s used to treat rare, difficult-to-control forms of epilepsy. Both THC and CBD can show up on drug tests for several days or even weeks after use. Even hemp CBD can produce some THC and may give you a positive test result so if you’re job hunting or have a job with a strict no-drug policy… don’t chance it.
Ok, so it turns out that people actually have an endocannabinoid system in their body!! That might explain why CBD is so beneficial to us. I’m not going to go into detail about it because I’m still learning but if you want to read a bit more about it, check out this Mind Body Green article.
What to look for/avoid when buying CBD
You don’t want “cannabis seed oil” or “Cannabis sativa seed oil,” which is the scientific name for hemp seed oil. There’s nothing wrong with hemp seed oil (I give it to my dog actually and it really helps calm him and keep him from itching when it gets hot spots) but it is not the same as CBD and will not give you the same effects. Hemp seed oil or cannabis seed oil is high in antioxidants, amino acids, and omega-3 and -6 fatty acids. It’s great in a smoothie and like many natural oils, is wonderful for skin… but it’s not CBD oil and isn’t mean to help with anxiety or depression.
If you are vaping, you have to be extra careful because sometimes ingredients are used which are not safe to heat. Propylene glycol, a flavouring agent, is one to definitely avoid. Other ingredients to avoid are vegetable glycerin, polyethylene glycol and medium chain triglycerides.
Brands to avoid: Pure, True, Miracle, Sky, Assure, Divine, Pure Med, Serenity, Isolate Direct, CBD XRP, Optimal Choice and Organix. (source)
This is something I was very curious about since I am breastfeeding and is partly why I haven’t tried any CBD products yet. So, THC while pregnant is a no. I mean, some people do it but generally it’s advised against just like drinking.
There are cannabinoids naturally in breast milk but we do not know if they include THC or CBD. It’s also impossible to measure the amount of CBD in breast milk because it clings to fat so it is very difficult for people to study the safety of it (like how much is passed through breastmilk to a baby). If you are going to use CBD while pregnant or breastfeeding it is recommended that you use THC-free. Even then some studies are showing negative effects on the baby when using CBD at all during pregnancy so like I said, it’s not recommended.
Personally I would use hemp derived THC-free CBD while breastfeeding but not while pregnant and not in high doses. I don’t think I’d feel comfortable vaping because it’s much stronger that way and harder to regulate. My personal choice would be to use topicals because THC isn’t absorbed through the skin but you can still get help with pain, headaches etc For anxiety or stress, maybe edibles would be a good choice since they aren’t very potent. That’s just my personal take on it though, please come to your own conclusions and remember I’m not an expert!
CBD oil can also be used for pets! Just like with people, it can help with pain, anxiety, depression etc Make sure to look for products specifically for pets (usually dogs). You can also join this Facebook group for more information.
I have friends who give their kids CBD products so I wanted to look into the safety of this for sure. General consensus is that yes, it is safe, although most of the research is anecdotal still. You do want to look for THC-free of course!
A lot of the research surrounding CBD has been with ingesting it for help with seizures and it has had amazing results! But there hasn’t been as many studies for other things like ADHD and very few long term studies on children. So, obviously it’s your call but personally I think I’d only give it to my child regularly if it was for a medical condition. I see some people giving it just to “calm” their child and that doesn’t quite sit right with me. I think it’s important that kids learn how to deal with their emotions naturally. But is CBD right for some kids? Yes, I really think so! I wish I’d had a topical CBD cream for period cramps as a teen! This FB group is a helpful resource.
Again, make sure to check your state’s laws surrounding CBD. Even if you CAN purchase it online, if it’s illegal in your state you could still get in trouble with CPS. Also make sure to research the brand you buy and know the correct dosage to give.
For the best ways to take CBD, check out this article. It compares vaping, edibles, topicals etc
Vape pens in controlled doses.
CBD bitters to add to cocktails.
CBD infused chocolate bites
CBD gummy bears
MCT oil with CBD
Cooling stick for muscle and joint pain
CBD coconut oil
CBD bath bombs
Flavoured THC free drops
Roller for pain relief
Full Spectrum CBD oil
Mint Chocolate hemp CBD oil tincture
CBD bath salts
Headache recover roll on
CBD lotion for joint pain
Peanut butter oil tincture for dogs
I hope this post answered some questions you may have had about CBD oil! It’s definitely just a small look into CBD oil- there is SO much to learn and there are always new studies coming out. I suspect with the Farm Bill passing that many more studies will be done now and we’ll be able to learn a lot more. I think CBD is very promising for dealing with a lot of things like pain, anxiety and depression. But we do have to be careful and I don’t think it is right for everyone! Sometimes it can also be used as a bandaid and it’s not actually dealing with the root issue so it’s important to address whatever you’re struggling with from all angles. Don’t try CBD just because it seems like everyone is. Look into it and see if it really is right for you and remember that there are lots of options out there (well, depending on what state you live in!).