Today I’m sharing a crash course on everything you need to know about CBD and answering some questions like: What is CBD? Who is it for? Will it help me? How do I take it? And more. CBD changed my life and I don’t want this article to glorify it, but I do want to stress that it can be an incredibly beneficial tool depending on your goals, and that it’s definitely an option people should be aware of. As always, please familiarize yourself with the WGOWJ Disclaimers, and do not make any changes to your treatment plan without first consulting your physician.
Please Note: Due to promotional restrictions, sponsored products for this post are promoting hemp oil products, as Amazon does not allow the sale of CBD products. Please note that hemp oil does not contain CBD – Hemp oil and CBD are not the same thing, this is discussed in greater detail further in this article.
If you are interested in a CBD supplement for yourself, I have personally had a lot of success with Goldline Vapors CBD Gummies. Their gummies contain 0% THC and are full-spectrum CBD isolate dosed at 25mg per gummy. This is NOT an affiliate link, but is a viable option for those interested:
What is CBD?
CBD is short for cannabidiol. Cannabidiol is an all-natural chemical compound that comes from the cannabis plant (marijuana). However, it is also a chemical compound that is present in hemp. A lot of CBD products are derived from hemp, not marijuana.
The psychoactive component in Cannabis is the THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol). This is the part that actually gives you the “head high” when you smoke marijuana. CBD is very different than THC, as this chemical compound (CBD) does not have any psychoactive properties. Meaning it doesn’t get you “high” or “stoned.” CBD is responsible for the physical relaxation of the body that comes along with smoking marijuana.
Purchasing a quality CBD supplement means that it does NOT contain THC and therefore, will not get you high when you take it.
Cannabidiol is an all-natural chemical compound that comes from the cannabis plant (marijuana). However, it is also a chemical compound that is present in hemp. A lot of CBD products are derived from hemp, not marijuana. Click To Tweet
What is CBD commonly used for?
CBD has a variety of uses, including but not limited to:
- Pain relief
- Alleviates and reduces symptoms of anxiety and depression
- Lowers blood pressure
- Reduces fear and paranoia
- Commonly used to reduce cancer-related symptoms (pain, nausea, vomiting)
- May help treat acne due to its anti-inflammatory properties
- Increases sleep quality, particularly for PTSD patients
- Believed to have neuroprotective properties (Studies have shown CBD can be useful for Multiple Sclerosis, Seizures & Epilepsy, Parkinson’s, and even Alzheimer’s)
What is the significance of CBD in the context of mental health?
CBD is important in the context of mental health because as mentioned previously, it helps with symptoms of anxiety and depression. Animal studies have shown CBD to have an antidepressant-like effect on the mind, as it works with the brain’s serotonin receptors.
I mention CBD as someone who was prescribed Benzodiazepines in the past. Benzodiazepines are not only dangerous and have a ton of side effects, but they are extremely addictive. CBD is an all-natural solution to get that physical relaxation without a ton of harmful side effects or the loopiness and giddiness of benzos.
I’m also partial to CBD because in the context of anxiety and panic disorder, CBD is a tool that helps people relax and avoid panic attacks. In my personal experience as an agoraphobe who shut down from the world and stopped going outside or being around people, CBD gave me my life back. It allowed me to relax when I was out in public and not be so on-edge everytime I left the house. It did all of this, without having harmful side effects on my memory, weight, or mood.
Cannabidiol gave me my life back. CBD gave me an all-natural alternative to Benzodiazepines without harmful side effects to my memory, weight, or mood. Click To Tweet
Does CBD have any side effects?
CBD does have some minor side effects such as:
- Changes in appetite and/or weight
- Fatigue (this one is common if you take too much CBD – you might feel a little too relaxed and feel like you want to lay down)
How long do the effects of CBD last?
CBD usually lasts anywhere from 2 – 6 hours, depending on the way that you take it.
What is CBD, physically? What form does it come in and how do I take it?
CBD comes in a wide variety of products. Here are some of the more common forms of CBD you’ll run into:
- Tablets, pills, chewables, and gummies
- Oil, oral syringes, and tinctures
- Lotions, balms, and topicals
- Vape pens and cartridges
- Shampoo, conditioner, and soaps
- Drinks, foods, and desserts
- Waxes and concentrates
CBD comes in a variety of useful forms, including but not limited to: tablet & pills, gummies, tinctures, lotions & topicals, soaps, edibles, vapes, and even waxes & concentrates. Click To Tweet
What do I need to know about CBD?
So if you’re reading this article and looking for answers to the question “What is CBD?,” then you’re probably interested in getting some for yourself. Before you do that, there are definitely some things you should know about and consider, because not all CBD is equal.
1. Always consider convenience and the optimal way for you to take your CBD.
- Meaning, if you struggle starting your day, you might want to take your CBD as a morning gummy vitamin or tablet.
- If you’re struggling to sleep at night, you might want to think about CBD bath salts or a CBD lotion.
- If you’re someone who is on the move a lot, I always love tinctures because they’re simple and convenient – you can put a couple drips into a drink and you’re ready to go. Think about what option suits your lifestyle best.
2. Marijuana-derived CBD really only exists for medical patients, as it’s becoming illegal at the federal level.
- Hemp-derived CBD DOES contain some THC as well – since the hemp plant is related to the cannabis plant. Regardless, these trace amounts will not actually get you high, as the requirement for production is that the THC content does not exceed 0.3%.
3. The two primary components present in the Cannabis and Hemp plant are THC and CBD.
- These are the two cannabinoids that have been seriously studied. However, there are believed to be as many as 113 cannabinoids in these plants.
4. You will need to understand the terms CBD isolate, Broad-Spectrum CBD, and Full-Spectrum CBD:
- CBD Isolate:
- Has had all other parts of the plant removed and contains only pure CBD.
- This form of CBD is typically more potent and contains no risk of psychoactive effects because all other cannabinoids from the plant have been removed.
- CBD isolate is typically odorless and flavorless, and is commonly found in CBD butters and used for cooking.
- Broad-Spectrum CBD:
- Has had all of the THC removed, but still contains different cannabinoids from the hemp plant.
- This is typically used for what’s known as the “entourage effect,” where the combination of cannabinoids from the plant allow the CBD supplement to be more efficient.
- Full-Spectrum CBD:
- Contains a full range of cannabinoids from the hemp plant. This form of CBD is considered to be the most natural, as it’s not processed like isolate and hasn’t had anything removed like broad-spectrum CBD.
- Full-spectrum CBD most closely resembles the chemical content of the plant.
- This form of CBD is often used for the most therapeutic experience as the “entourage effect” helps make the supplement as effective as possible.
5. Hemp Oil and CBD Oil are not the same thing:
- CBD Oil uses the whole plant, hemp oil uses the seeds
- Hemp oil dosages look different than CBD dosages
- Hemp oil contains no THC or CBD
Hemp Oil and CBD are not the same thing. CBD is derived from the entire plant. Hemp Oil is made from only the seeds of the plant. While hemp oil has similar therapeutic properties, it does not contain THC or CBD. Click To Tweet
How much CBD should I take?
How much CBD you should take depends on your purpose for taking CBD and how you’re taking CBD, as some forms of CBD will kick in quicker than others. For example, a CBD tea might take as long as 45 minutes to 90 minutes to feel the effects. Whereas, a vape cartridge could kick in, in as little as 15 minutes.
If you consider CBD gummies, the majority are typically dosed at 15mg per gummy. Anywhere from 5mg – 15mg is a good starting point to begin to understand how your body reacts to CBD. Everybody’s dosage looks different. I used to take 50mg but found myself getting a little too drowsy and mellow, so I’ve found 25mg to be the sweet spot for me.
I know that was a lot of information, but I wanted to put it all in one place for people to make an informed decision. I hope this helps and I’ll be back soon with more!
For more information on vitamins & supplements in the context of mental health, see my article Supplements For Depression.
Thanks for reading!