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What Is CBD and What Benefits Does It Offer?

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What Is CBD?

Cannabidiol, more frequently referred to as CBD, is one of the most abundant cannabinoid molecules found in the flower of a hemp plant. Discovered in 1940, it has gained popularity in recent years as a natural dietary supplement that offers many of the health benefits of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) without subjecting the user to the common psychoactive effects more commonly associated with cannabis use.

CBD can be extracted directly from hemp plants, with manufacturers deliberately growing strains of cannabis with low levels of THC and high levels of CBD. In American states wherein THC is not legal, manufacturers and sellers are limited to distributing CBD products with a total THC content of less than 0.3%. Presently, CBD products that fall below this threshold are legal to possess and sell in all fifty US States.

Those with concerns about unintentionally using THC do not need to worry when using CBD products since the legal threshold of 0.3% is far lower than what is necessary to either feel psychoactive effects, or unintentionally trigger a positive result on an illicit drug screening that accounts for cannabis.

Many of those who use CBD as a daily health supplement report enjoying a plethora of benefits including improvements to mood, sleep, and pain management. However, since the early 2010's, CBD has seen an increased popularity in use among those battling major neurological conditions.

CBD can be consumed using a diverse variety of products.

CBD can be consumed using a diverse variety of products.

How to Consume CBD

Fortunately, due to its widespread popularity, there seem to be endless options for those interested in trying CBD. Though individuals have the option to inhale CBD in the form of cigarettes or vaporizers, many of its more health-conscious users opt to consume other novel products, including:

  • Cookies, Candies, and Other Snacks
  • Beverages
  • Oils and Tinctures
  • Crystallized Extracts (Dissolved in Liquids)
  • Tablets and Capsules
  • Topical Products
  • Dog and Cat Treats for Furry Friends

When looking for CBD products, be mindful of how many milligrams of CBD are present in a given item per serving. Most CBD products will contain between ten and twenty-five milligrams, which is a great place to start for new users interested in testing how they respond to CBD. However, if you are more used to consuming cannabinoids such as THC, you might find yourself needing a little more to enjoy some of the same benefits.

Though CBD is generally considered safe for healthy individuals to injest, research suggests that individuals can consume amounts of CBD that may trigger potentially dangerous adverse reactions. By consuming excessively high doses of the molecule, some users may experience nausea, fatigue, and vomiting. So, it is important that people are mindful of how much CBD they consume, and monitor their bodily response to understand what dose is appropriate for them. If you have concerns about whether you are healthy enough to consume CBD, it is best to consult your doctor.

Evidence of widespread cannabis use by humans has been dated as far back as 500 BC China.

Evidence of widespread cannabis use by humans has been dated as far back as 500 BC China.

Benefits of Using CBD

Though none of the health claims made about CBD have been evaluated by the FDA, research has suggested that CBD, like other cannibanoids, may help people in a variety of ways, including:

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  • Reduction of pain and inflammation
  • Management of anxiety and other mental health disorders
  • Management of neurological disorders
  • Improved sleep quality
  • Reduced recovery time following workouts
  • Long-term organ health including brain and heart health
  • Increased appetite
  • Improved mood and focus
  • As a supplement to manage the side effects of other medications
CBD is legal to purchase and consume in all 50 US States, and is abundantly available at health stores, and other specialty stores across the country.

CBD is legal to purchase and consume in all 50 US States, and is abundantly available at health stores, and other specialty stores across the country.

Where Can You Buy CDB?

CBD is a popularly consumed dietary supplement and alternative medicine that can be purchased and consumed anywhere in the United States, and in many countries around the world.

Those interested in using CBD will not find it challenging to purchase these products as they are now widely available in health supplement stores, grocery stores, specialty hemp stores, cannabis dispensaries (in states where these businesses are legal), and convenience stores. Those interested in just dipping their toes can also find single servings of CBD at many juice, and coffee shops, where it is now a very common supplement that can be added to your morning coffee, or mid-day smoothie.

For those interested in trying CBD, but who don't live near any retailers who carry it, CBD products may even be purchased online, and shipped directly to their doorsteps. There are even subscription box services such as Hemp Crate that offer customers a rotating sample of CBD products on a monthly basis.

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Resources Used

Batalla A, Bos J, Postma A, Bossong MG. The Impact of Cannabidiol on Human Brain Function: A Systematic Review. Front Pharmacol. 2021 Jan 21;11:618184.

Fiani B, Sarhadi KJ, Soula M, Zafar A, Quadri SA. Current application of cannabidiol (CBD) in the management and treatment of neurological disorders. Neurol Sci. 2020 Nov;41(11):3085-3098.

Johnson, J. (n.d.). CBD for cancer: Possible benefits, side effects, and more. Medical News Today.

Kicman A, Toczek M. The Effects of Cannabidiol, a Non-Intoxicating Compound of Cannabis, on the Cardiovascular System in Health and Disease. Int J Mol Sci. 2020 Sep 14;21(18):6740.

Mills, G. The CBD manufacturing process - how CBD oil is made. Thomasnet.

Pertwee RG. Cannabinoid pharmacology: the first 66 years. Br J Pharmacol. 2006;147 Suppl 1(Suppl 1):S163-S171.

Robertson, K. (n.d). Yes, You Can Take Too Much CBD — Here’s What Happens. Healthline.

Shannon S, Lewis N, Lee H, Hughes S. Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series. Perm J. 2019;23:18-041.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

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