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A Comprehensive Guide to CBD and How it Works

here’s a lot of information swirling around about CBD right now, but since it’s relatively new in the mainstream, you cannot trust all of it. In this article, we are going to touch all of the bases, explaining what CBD is, how to use it and investigate what different forms that it comes in. From this you can deduce whether it’s for you or not.

What is CBD?
CBD is a cannabinoid extracted from cannabis sativa. It has an impact on the body’s endocannabinoid system when ingested, producing various effects. The receptors that CBD works with are located in the brain and the central nervous system. The EC system modulates many of the body’s functions, including mood, appetite and pain sensation. Many people are turning to CBD due to the distinct lack of side effects.

CBD is found in marijuana although it isn’t psychoactive – it’s the THC cannabinoid in marijuana which is responsible for making you feel high. Subsequently, when taking CBD, you won’t feel euphoric or anything, but you will notice the therapeutic effects that you would get from smoking cannabis. Companies are keen on CBD products, because thanks to the lack of psychoactivity, it is legal to sell in all 50 states.

It’s taken an age for CBD to be accepted by the wider population because cannabis has been looked down on negatively for decades. However, with the failings of traditional medicine becoming more apparent, people are looking for alternatives to bring them satisfaction. Cannabidiol has been extensively studied in recent years and the tide is certainly turning, with medical professionals increasingly being forced to admit that CBD has therapeutic properties.

Extracting CBD
Usually, CBD is extracted with either alcohol or oil. Olive oil extraction is generally considered one of the cheapest extraction methods and it also makes it possible to keep other worthwhile parts of the plants. However, the oil extracted in this method has a much shorter life span. Extracting with alcohol ensures the oil will last much longer, however the harsher method can ruin the waxes, resulting in an inferior end product – although most e-liquids and oils will be extracted with alcohol.

Meanwhile, carbon dioxide extraction is the ultimate method but also by far the most expensive, so it’s rarely used and the products are pricier.

In some states where medical marijuana has not been legalized, it’s only possible to sell CBD which has been extracted from industrial hemp. Industrial hemp is still a strain of cannabis sativa, but a very CBD-dominant strain with low amounts of THC, making it impossible to get high from.

All methods have their pros and cons so don’t get too caught up, especially if you haven’t tried CBD before. Just pick one that you think will work for you and give it a go.

What can CBD treat?
There’s still plenty more CBD research to be carried out before scientists can make final conclusions, but scientists are confident that the cannabinoid is effective in treating plenty of illnesses and disorders, doing so without side effects.

National Institute on Drug Abuse Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control director Nora D. Volkow says that early research has indicated CBD has anti-anxiety, anti-seizure, anti-tumor, antioxidant and anti-pyschotic properties. Furthermore, the British Pharmacology Society has found that CBD is a “potential medicine” for vomiting, nausea, schizophrenia and more.

The FDA is still proving very restrictive, stopping information concerning CBD from really getting out there. While companies are often happy to privately wax lyrical about the benefits of CBD, they are reluctant to do so in a public setting, due to fear of punishment from the FDA.

As of now, the FDA prevents medical advice which has not been proven from being given. Since most of the CBD research is ongoing, there are still a lot of holes to be filled in. While the anecdotal evidence is enormous and CBD clearly works, sthis isn’t good enough for the FDA. One benefit of this, however, is that companies cannot make irrational claims about CBD, lulling in vulnerable people and giving them false hope.


Different types of CBD
CBD can be consumed in many ways. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular forms of consumption:


CBD capsules are taken orally and look like the Omega 3 and vitamin E tablets that you may have taken in the past. You can purchase capsules in various dosages and these offer a slow and steady release of CBD through several hours. If you don’t like the CBD flavor or don’t want the hassle of vaping or smoking, then capsules may be your best bet.

Dabs and Waxes

CBD dabs and waxes deliver high concentrations of CBD in a very short space of time. Usually, people will vape their dabs or waxes using a vape pen, although a special atomizer is required to do so. While this method is liked for its quick impact and high doses, it can be messy, with the coils having to be cleaned regularly due to the consistent build-up of waxes and oils. If you suffer with inflammation or mental disorders then dabbing is recommended.

CBD often comes in gummy edibles and these can administer large doses of CBD in a very short space of time. They’re just like normal candies and come in all the flavors you’re used to, and as with the capsules, they come in low, medium and high doses, which all release in the same steady way that you have come accustomed to with edibles.


CBD in crystal form allows you to take your CBD in a few ways. You can either mix it in with a drink or bake it into an edible, such as a cake, if you’re looking for a slow release. Vaping crystals is also possible – although a little fiddly – and if you’re using a thick e-liquid then the crystals may struggle to dissolve properly. However, crystals are a good way to experiment with CBD consumption.


Creams and lotions
CBD creams and lotions are a good way of tackling localized pain and work in a similar way to products like Deep Heat. You simply apply the cream, ointment or balm onto the affected area, and wait for the skin to absorb. In addition to being a healthier way to take CBD than by ingesting it, CBD creams are also excellent at promoting healthy skin and can be used to treat complaints such as psoriasis and acne. You can even rub CBD creams into your hair if you have scalp issues – it’s really versatile stuff.

Vaping e-liquid
CBD e-liquids are vaped using a vape pen or like-for-like device. These are made up of CBD extract, vegetable glycerin (VG) and propylene glycol (PG). There will be varying amounts of CBD extract, PG and VG in different products allowing for different strengths. Vaping CBD is no longer the quickest way to get CBD into your system,  but it is consistent and easy to use – as long as your device has charge, you can be off and running within seconds.

CBD oils
With there being so many CBD oil products, customers can be a little overwhelmed at first. The typical oils come in jars and have been mixed in with oils like coconut oils. These are easy to consume and can either be done so directly, or mixed in with food and beverages.

Not all CBD oils are “oils” in the typical sense. Some administer the CBD via a spray while others come in tinctures – both are intended to allow for rapid absorption. When taking a spray or a tincture, most choose to drip it under the tongue. Advocates of this form of CBD claim that it’s quicker to take effect than any other method.

Furthermore, there are CBD oil products which are just e-liquids combined with cannabidiol concentrates.

CBD patches

CBD patches are effective in treating localized pain, operating similarly to creams and lotions. You apply the patch just like you would a nicotine patch, leaving it on for several hours while the body absorbs the CBD.



Final Thoughts
If you didn’t see before, it’s clear now why so many are confused and even intimidated by the CBD world – there’s so much choice and so much terminology to learn. “Oils” aren’t always oils like we know them for example. But most importantly, remember that each method has its perks and there’s no “best” method as everybody is after something different from CBD.

Not all brands and companies label their CBD products correctly, so some “oils” may not even be oils at all. For example, e-liquids tend to be CBD extract mixed in with PG and/or VG, therefore having no oil base at all. “Oil” is simply a colloquial

As you would with any other “medicine”, be sure to read the instructions and directions before using CBD for the first time. Knowledge is power, and having it will ensure you have a pleasant and worthwhile CBD experience.

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