CBD products are suddenly popping up everywhere you look. We hear them discussed on TV and on the radio, and many podcasts like the Joe Rogan Experience are hailing its supreme benefits.  Here are how the strains may affect you, and how to use them properly for the desired effects.   

What gives? 

Why are CBD products, which are often sold alongside other natural herbs like kratom, suddenly gaining such world-wide exposure? Is this another hype train like acai or Atkins that will diminish with time?  More importantly, does the pervasiveness of the compound mean that using CBD is safe? Or are there negative health effects that the public should know about? The truth is, there is a lot of confusion surrounding CBD, and it’s understandable. Anytime a substance gains mass appeal, there are bound to be conflicting reports. One group says it’s awesome, and the other says it’s not. Somehow, we have to meet in the middle, where the truth prevails. The following should help to alleviate any confusion you might have about CBD, its use, effectiveness, and safety. That way, the next time you see CBD in print or on the shelf, you will be a better-informed consumer of cannabidiol, better known as CBD. 

What is CBD?

CBD is a phytocannabinoid extracted from the cannabis plant. Unlike THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which also originates from the cannabis plant and is the compound that makes you feel high, CBD is not psychoactive. Instead of feeling intoxicated, users report many health benefits of the mind and body.  CBD is but one of 80+ cannabinoids that can be extracted from cannabis, or, more specifically, the hemp plant. CBD is found primarily in the leaves and stems of the hemp plant.  First discovered in 1940, the compound hasn’t enjoyed as much widespread popularity as it has today. Well, sort of.  The cannabis plant has been used as a medicine for thousands of years, but the compound we know as CBD has only been popular for a short time.  In 2018, clinical research on CBD began to study its effects on cognition, anxiety, movement disorders, and pain. 

THC vs. CBD

It is important to note that CBD is not marijuana. Hemp and marijuana are close relatives, but they are not the same thing.  By definition, hemp and extracts that come from the hemp plant, contain no more than .3% of THC.  THC is the main compound in marijuana. It is psychoactive and is what makes people feel “high.”  Humans have two types of cannabinoid receptors in the body. THC bonds with these receptors, which are mostly located in the brain. These are the same receptors that control pain, mood, and other sensations. This is why ingesting or smoking THC can make you feel euphoric or “stoned.”  CBD doesn’t cause the same kind of high. While CBD does bond with the same receptors in the body, the compound is thought to work with other elements in the body to produce feelings linked with wellness and well-being. CBD can actually neutralize the psychoactive effects of THC, depending on how much of each compound you consume. Many people want the health benefits of cannabis without feeling high – or while feeling less of a high. The fact that CBD is effective therapeutically and is non-intoxicating, and is easy to consume when made into, say CBD oil, you can imagine why the compound is appealing for those seeking safe treatments, but who may be cautious about trying cannabis for the first time.  

How is CBD Made?

Vice reporter Rajul Punjabi also noticed that CBD seems to be everywhere, so he visited a cannabis farm in Kentucky to find out how CBD is made.   Punjabi confirmed that THC is purposefully bred out of the hemp plants in order to render the extracted CBD oil non-psychoactive.  The process begins with a “clone” which is a small cutting from a previously planted cannabis plant grown in a greenhouse. Using a clone versus seeds ensures the farm is able to grow the same crop consisting of the same plant genetics (High CBD and Low THC).  Once the clones are planted, the plants are watered through an irrigation system and left to grow from May to October. Farmers during this time keep a careful eye on soil moisture levels and soil pH.  The plants are ready to harvest in October. However, before the harvesting can begin, the plants must get clearance from the Kentucky Department of Agriculture. A sample of each crop is tested by the state to ensure it only contains trace amounts of THC.  When cleared, the mature plants are taken out of the ground and left to cure inside a barn. The plants are hung upside down and left to air dry for about three or four weeks.  The plants are then stripped of their flowers. The flowers are transported to a processing plant, where the flowers are ground down to a fine consistency.  The ground flowers are steeped in a cold methanol extraction, which removes terpenes (the organic compounds that give cannabis its distinct scents), then subjected to cold temperatures. The cold removes fatty acids and any other substances that can alter the chemical makeup of the oil.  From there, the mixture is distilled in a warm bath, leaving behind raw oil. The CBD oil is run through another distillation process to produce a clear color and remove more contaminants while leaving “good” terpenes behind. The oil is tested for quality and strength by an independent lab and bottled or infused into soaps, lotions, muscle balms, and many, many other products. 

Are There Any Health Benefits to CBD?

Ryan Vandrey, an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, oversaw a study that sought to understand the effects of CBD and the conditions it might help treat.  Vandrey recently did a Q&A with Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, where he was asked about the initial findings from the long-term observational study.  Vandrey said, “We found that, among individuals with a variety of health problems such as epilepsy, We found that, among individuals with a variety of health problems such as epilepsy, chronic pain, autism, anxiety, and other serious health conditions, those who were using a cannabis product—people predominantly used CBD products—reported a better quality of life and satisfaction with health, pain, sleep, and mood compared with those who were not using cannabis products.” Vandrey, like the FDA, holds the view that there is little evidence that CBD helps with the treatment of any ailments. However, Vandrey’s observable results showed similar results to the group that started out cannabis-free and then started using cannabis products, a decrease of their symptoms.  Vandrey admits that more studies are needed and that the results highlight the need for more focus into CBD for the treatment of ailments like epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, depression, anxiety, autism, chronic pain, and others. 

Are There Any Risks to Using CBD?

In the Johns Hopkins piece, Vandrey was also asked if he had any advice for people taking CBD products for the first time. His advice was to talk to your physician before you try any new drug, including CBD. This is good advice, especially if you are taking medications that CBD has the potential to interfere with. The FDA takes a hardline stance against cannabis and only recently loosened the laws around hemp. The FDA even goes so far as to say that CBD can be harmful. The agency points to a study that showed that heavy amounts of CBD oil were shown to cause liver damage…in mice. Human trials are still ongoing.  The FDA is also adamant that CBD doesn’t cure cancer, which – again – more studies are needed. Still, while mice may have a difficult time with CBD, many people use the products infused with CBD or CBD oil safely every day. Dr. Diana Martins-Welch said to Healthline, “Many people know that taking too much ibuprofen or Tylenol can have detrimental consequences. CBD is no different. Generally speaking, therapeutic CBD doses range from 0.5 mg/kg/day to 20 mg/kg per day.” She went on to say, “This study in mice used significantly higher doses of CBD than what is usually taken for therapeutic benefit in humans.” As to CBD’s safety, Martins-Welch added, “Bottom line: Therapeutic-range CBD is generally safe. Toxicity at high doses is a concern, as is the case with most other medicines.”

Uses of CBD

People use CBD in the hopes that it will help to treat a wide variety of ailments, including depression, anxiety, chronic pain, seizures, and symptoms related to Parkinson’s disease, among many others.  And more people are using CBD than ever before.  The FDA has an agency-approved CBD drug called Epidiolex, which is used to treat seizures from rare types of epilepsy.  Cosmetic skin-care and beauty products retailer Sephora is about to release a new line of CBD infused lip glosses, body serums, and makeup. And other brands and companies are also jumping on the CBD train, including sporting goods retailers, brands that market to athletes, and discount stores like Dollar General. 

CBD Products

CBD can be ingested in a variety of different ways. The flowers can even be smoked, similar to how one might use marijuana.  Many stores that sell CBD products and other herbs like kratom sell the compound in a variety of forms. The most common ways to buy CBD include CBD oils, edibles, topical ointments, and in foods and beverages.

CBD Oil

People who use CBD oil typically drop it under their tongue to hail its many benefits, with many claiming pain relief, the reduction of anxiety and depression, and the alleviation of cancer-related symptoms. Some use CBD oil to treat epilepsy, while others may use it to combat acne. 

CBD Wax

CBD wax is a form of cannabis concentrate. People who use CBD wax rave about its heightened potency. Because the CBD is highly concentrated, the CBD wax lets you take high levels of the compound without ingesting too much volume in the process. You use less to receive more, in other words.  CBD wax comes in different types, including CBD shatter, budder, crumble, and live resin. These terms refer to the state of the wax after the extraction and production process.  Shatter resembles broken glass, budder looks like fluffy wax, crumble looks like feta cheese, and live resin looks like pure wax. Users ingest CBD wax in various ways, with many dabbing. Dabbing is a form of flash vaporization, where a hot surface is used, and the vapor inhaled to receive the CBD benefits. Others use a water pipe or vaping device. 
Learn more about : CBD and Kratom – What’s the Difference and What Are They Used For?

CBD Ointments, Foods & Beverages

Instead of dropping oil under your tongue or smoking CBD, some prefer to rub a cream on their skin or to drink a CBD-infused beverage. Others prefer to eat their CBD. Grocery giant Kroger has recently started all sorts of CBD products like topical creams, lotions, balms, foods, and beverages. The CBD beverage industry, meanwhile, is expanding rapidly. Experts predict that all this CBD hysteria is going to mean big business in the coming years, with estimates at around $22 Billion by 2022.

Where to Find CBD Near You

You don’t have to shop at expensive Sephora or a sporting goods store to find CBD infused products. You don’t even need to go to Kroger.  That is because Lotus Botanicals – with two locations in Oklahoma City and Norman – now offers CBD products in all the forms you prefer. From topical creams and CBD beverages to gummies and teas, we can help you find the products you need.  Our staff can educate you regarding the many forms and uses of CBD and can answer your questions as they relate to how CBD works. Learn more by calling our OKC or Norman location and see why we are the preferred CBD and Kratom retailer throughout Oklahoma.
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