If you have ever had a question about CBD, but have been too afraid to ask for fear of sounding dumb, you have found a guide tailor-made for you! In truth, there are no ‘dumb’ questions, since everyone has to start somewhere when they learn about something new. Some questions are universal and will be asked by pretty much anyone who begins to learn about cannabis. In this guide, we’re covering 10 of the most common questions people ask about CBD and providing simple answers to help you feel more confident and informed about this powerful cannabinoid.
What’s a cannabinoid? Keep reading to find out!
1. What Is CBD?
CBD is a natural chemical compound found in varieties of cannabis called cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are what give cannabis its psychoactive and physiological properties, interacting with the brain’s cannabinoid receptors to produce different physical and emotional responses. CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, meaning that it does not have the mind-altering effects often associated with cannabis.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is non-intoxicating and regarded as therapeutic, highly prized for its anti-anxiety and pain-reducing properties. Now a popular ingredient in anti-inflammatory and pain-relief products, CBD is also commonly used as a natural sleep aid and to reduce the effects of certain degenerative conditions.
2. Hemp vs. Marijuana: What’s the Difference?
Hemp and marijuana are ostensibly the same or slightly different variations of the same plant. Often used interchangeably, the difference between hemp and marijuana was primarily established by the creation of restrictive cannabis laws. Cannabis plants come in many shapes, sizes, and chemical compositions. Some cannabis plants contain a high concentration of THC, a psychoactive compound responsible for the stereotypical ‘high’ that accompanies marijuana consumption.
The simplest answer is: Cannabis that contains more than 0.3% THC is technically considered ‘marijuana’, whereas strains containing less than 0.3% THC are considered hemp. Hemp is naturally higher in CBD, though some strains of marijuana also contain cannabidiol.
3. How Does CBD Work?
When humans consume CBD, it interacts with the endocannabinoid system - a network of neurotransmitters and receptors that maintain homeostasis for a range of biological functions like sleep, temperature regulation, immune response, pain reception, pleasure, appetite, and even memory. When your health is compromised by an injury, toxic microbe, or some other risk to health, the endocannabinoid system produces and releases natural cannabinoids which act to restore homeostasis. CBD mimics the natural endocannabinoid response, helping to keep the body and mind in balance, and providing therapeutic relief for a range of chronic health conditions.
4. Does CBD Make You Hungry?
Some people stay away from cannabis to avoid getting “the munchies” - a ravenous sense of hunger that can accompany some THC highs. While it is true that some strains of cannabis may increase hunger, hemp extracts and CBD on their own won’t make you hungry. However, CBD can help to reduce nausea, stomach cramping, and anxiety, all of which may reduce appetite or make it difficult to eat.
Long story short: CBD won’t make you scarf down a family-sized bag of chips...unless you want to, in which case, it will give you the power to do whatever you are craving!
5. Does CBD Oil Contain THC?
No! But don’t just grab anything that says CBD without reading the label. CBD oils are made without any other added cannabinoids and do not deliver any psychoactive effects.
Some THC oils and tinctures also contain CBD, but these are not advertised as ‘CBD oils’. If you are unsure, check product labels to confirm their ingredients. Products that contain CBD will include information on how many milligrams there are per serving, and a list of other ingredients like stabilizing oils, flavorings, etc.
6. How Long Do the Effects of CBD Last?
CBD can stay in your system for days, but you’ll only feel its effects for the first 2-8 hours after initial consumption. Because CBD doesn’t have the same potent effects as THC; recommended dosage can range anywhere from 2mg to more than 150mg for severe or chronic pain. Depending on your dose, the effects of CBD typically begin with 10-45 minutes, with some fast delivery methods providing nearly instant, long-lasting relief.
7. What is Full Spectrum vs. Broad Spectrum CBD?
Two terms often appear when browsing CBD products: full-spectrum and broad-spectrum. Similar enough that they can be used interchangeably by most people, the slight difference between full and broad-spectrum CBD lies in their chemical composition.
Full-spectrum CBD contains all the natural compounds from the hemp plant, including up to 0.3% THC. Broad-spectrum CBD also contains some compounds - like terpenes - from the plant but has had all traces of THC removed. If you are concerned about failing a drug test due to small amounts of THC, broad-spectrum CBD is a safe way to enjoy cannabis.
8. Does CBD Oil Show Up On Drug Tests?
No! Two key facts keep CBD off of drug screenings. First, CBD is legal under Federal U.S. law and can be bought, sold, purchased, and consumed with varying degrees of restriction in all 50 states. Second, CBD is non-intoxicating, meaning it isn’t thought to impair judgment or motor function. Because of this, drug tests do not screen for CBD, so you can safely consume CBD products without worrying about failing a work-mandated drug test.
Be aware: some CBD products containing trace amounts of THC can show up on a drug test, but this is due to the THC and not the CBD in every case. To be safe, seek out broad-spectrum CBD oils that have had all THC removed.
9. Does CBD Make You Sleepy?
CBD is not naturally sedative, but it is frequently used as a sleep aid. CBD helps to relax the muscles, alleviate stress, and even reduce pain, helping to put the mind and body in the perfect state to fall asleep. Consuming CBD oil before bed can help to reduce general discomfort due to injury or chronic illness, and has been proven to help individuals with insomnia fall asleep more quickly, stay asleep longer, and feel more refreshed.
So, no, CBD doesn’t “make you sleepy”, but it can help enhance your sleep!
10. Is CBD Legal?
In 2018, with the passing of the Farm Bill, CBD and hemp became federally legal across the U.S. While some states still regulate the purchase and sale of CBD infused products, its status as federally legal has made it widely available across the country. Additionally, CBD has been removed from the list of controlled substances, fully decriminalizing the cannabinoid at every legal level. To qualify as a legal CBD product, CBD oils, balms, edibles, etc., must contain less than 0.3% THC.
Thanks to widespread legalization, CBD can now be purchased everywhere from dispensaries to local supermarkets. Available in a wide range of strengths and formulated for a variety of purposes (there is even pet CBD!), CBD is quickly becoming one of the world’s most popular natural supplements.