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Non-psychoactive CBD is, along with its psychoactive antagonist THC, one of the main constituents of the natural product hemp. Non-psychoactive means that it neither initiates a state of intoxication nor is it suspected of being addictive. Since the medical and therapeutic relevance of CBD has become known, the number of producers has increased, as has the number of scientifically proven positive properties of cannabidiol.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a member of a group of compounds called the cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are active substances which are primarily found in cannabis and hemp plants. Today, a total of more than 100 different cannabinoids are known to science. Due to the world-wide reputation of the intoxicating cannabinoid THC, some mistakenly believe that CBD is also an illegal cannabis product. This is, however, far from being the case. As a substance, cannabidiol is legal both in the UK and in most other countries in the world. What is special about cannabidiol is that soon after the substance was discovered, researchers began to investigate the healing and preventive properties of this substance – doing so with resounding success.
It was quickly recognised that CBD contains analgesic agents (pain relief agents) which can counter both joint pain and muscle pain. According to researchers, CBD also has a positive effect on nervous tension due to its relaxing effect. Studies have also shown that CBD is antiepileptic and can therefore be used to deal with many forms of epilepsy. Even sleep disorders, from mild to severe, can be alleviated by taking CBD.
Cannabidiol’s effects (CBD)
In order to understand the mode of action of CBD in the human body it is first necessary to explain the endocannabinoid system. This is an essential component of the body’s nervous system. It has, for example, responsibilities in pain relief and in the immune system. Whatever influences this system also influences our perception of pain and nerve damage and of our general state of health. Scientists around the world have studied the interaction of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) with CBD and have concluded that cannabidiol has a positive effect on the ECS.
The idea that cannabidiol is something that might be good for the human body is in fact clear from the fact that our body produces its own cannabinoids on a daily basis. In addition, the two cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2 are located on cells within our bodies. CB1 receptors are predominantly found on nerve cells in the brain which are responsible for appetite, mood, pain and coordination. CB2 receptors are used specifically by immune system cells for communication between cannabinoids and the cells themselves. They thereby help to effectively counteract pain and inflammation. CBD is also responsible for maintaining the body’s own anandamide cannabinoid balance. It is this which gives CBD its antipsychotic properties.
The desired effects of CBD
CBD has two fundamentally very desirable properties – on the one hand, it relieves pain, and on the other it inhibits inflammation. In addition to having these two properties, it has been established that cannabidiol has a positive effect on high blood pressure. This condition, also known as hypertension, can result in certain secondary diseases. These include strokes, atherosclerosis, heart or kidney failure, and other vascular diseases. According to a study, taking CBD significantly lowers blood pressure. Other positive and thus desirable effects of CBD are that it has an anticonvulsant effect on the body and helps against type 2 diabetes. The number of diseases where cannabidiol is known to help has already become very long and is steadily getting longer.
CBD side effects?
Those who pay attention to good quality and high production standards for CBD products should generally not have to be concerned about any harmful side effects which might result from consuming CBD. As a matter of principle, a doctor should always be consulted as a precaution before starting to take any medication. This is particularly true where severe or chronic diseases are already present.
Women only need to avoid taking CBD during pregnancy and whilst breastfeeding. The reason for the former is that CBD may reduce the protective function of the placenta.
Unproven but nevertheless possible side effects which may occur after taking CBD are increased intraocular pressure, possible interactions with medication, a dry feeling in the mouth, lower blood pressure and mild light-headedness and drowsiness.
To summarise, CBD is not addictive, does not have a psychoactive effect (does not intoxicate), in most instances does not pose a health risk, and is suitable for use both by humans and animals.
What is the difference between CBD and THC?
Both substances, CBD and THC, are extracted from the same plant. However, they differ greatly in their mechanism of action. THC has a psychoactive effect, making the consumer “high”, in colloquial terms. This does not happen when CBD is taken, and it has been demonstrated that it is a non-psychoactive substance. Consumption does not result in any kind of intoxication, in other words.
Furthermore, to produce cannabidiol, specially bred low-THC hemp is used. In the EU, high-THC hemp is strictly controlled, and is banned in most regions. This means that in the EU, only hemp varieties containing a maximum THC content of 0.2% are permitted. These varieties have now been certified by the EU, and these are the only ones which producers are allowed to use.
Buying CBD – What kinds of CBD products are there?
All sorts of CBD products are now available. These include:
CBD oil – The number 1 of all CBD products
CBD oil is by far the most popular CBD product. The main reason is, that CBD oil is easy to dispense and easy to take. It comes in different concentrations and there is a CBD oil for every user and for every indication where CBD can help. CBD usually comes as full-spectrum oil (made from an extract) or as pure CBD oil (made from CBD crystals). In most cases it is based on hemp seed oil or MCT oil.
Less common but great: CBD paste
CBD paste usually comes in a dosing syringe. In most cases it is a soft, brown to green mass and easy to dispense. CBD paste is practically an early form of CBD oil and usually contains numerous cannabinoids and terpenes. CBD paste comes in different sizes and CBD concentrations.
CBD flowers – looks like cannabis
The most natural and at the same time most controversial form of CBD products are CBD flowers. From just looking at them it is pretty much impossible if they are 'just' CBD flowers or illegal cannabis. CBD flowers though do not contain much THC and are mostly smoked. Therefore, the CBD can be absorbed quickly.
Oil in capsules: CBD capsules
Especially older people or people who have difficulties in dispensing CBD oil prefer to use CBD capsules. These capsules are mostly vegan and prefilled. Therefore, it is easy to take the same amount of CBD every day. CBD capsules can be found in different concentrations.
Fast absorption with e liquids
Especially smokers and vapers like to use CBD e liquids. These products are great for a quick intake of CBD. CBD e liquids contain pure CBD crystals or full-spectrum extracts and can be consumed with a vape pen / e cigarette. The vapour is inhaled and absorbed through the lungs. Some studies say that this way CBD is absorbed up to 30% faster.
Water-soluble CBD with high bioavailability
Water-soluble CBD, also known as liposomal CBD, has a higher bioavailability than conventional CBD oil. The CBD is solved in water on a molecular level and can therefore be absorbed in a very effective way. Some sources say that water-soluble CBD can be absorbed 5 times as good as CBD oil. Therefore, a 4% liposomal CBD product can be compared to a 20% CBD oil.
CBD skincare and cosmetics: Salves, creams, balms and co.
The world of CBD skincare products is diverse and exciting. Nowadays you can find special salves, shampoo, lipstick, tattoo balms and many other products. CBD skincare and cosmetics are only for external use and are usually applied right where they are needed. Many people chose to combine the use of CBD skincare products and products such as CBD oil.
CBD an food and sweets (edibles)
CBD edibles grow in popularity. In the US and Canada cannabis edibles have been popular for years. There is also a growing number of CBD edibles such as gummy bears, cookies or lollypops in the market.
CBD chewing gums for quick intake
The fastest way to absorb CBD is through the oral mucosa. Therefore, CBD chewing gums are a good options to quickly take some CBD. It looks inconspicuous and is perfect for everyday use of small amounts of CBD. Therefore, nowadays CBD chewing gums can be found in many drug stores.
The purest of all CBD products – CBD crystals
When CBD is extracted from the plant it is often isolated and comes in the shape of CBD crystals. These crystals are odorless and tasteless. They are very pure and contain up to 99.8% CBD. CBD Crystals can be eaten or used to make CBD oil or e liquids. The main advantage: CBD crystals do not contain any THC.
Almost all these also exist as full-spectrum products. There are also other cannabinoid products such as CBG oil and many others. Furthermore, the different products also vary significantly in their cannabinoid content. For example, you can find CBD oil in the form of 2% CBD oil, but also as 30% CBD oil.
Which of all of these CBD products is the best one for you is something which you will have to find out for yourself. The products are all taken in different ways and can be more or less useful depending on the purpose of their use. More information can be found in the relevant texts on CBD products.
Tips on using CBD the right way
CBD can be taken in all sorts of different ways. You will find more specific information on this on some of the other pages of this website. Generally, you should start with relatively low doses and then only increase the dosage slowly.
Both the right way to take the substance and the perfect dosage differ from person to person. They key here is that ultimately, you are going to have to try things out for yourself.
- CBD is currently the most popular non-psychoactive cannabinoid, which is due not least to its incredibly broad and increasingly well-researched spectrum of activity.
Taking products containing cannabinoids may result in interactions with various medications. If you are already taking medication, the use of CBD and other cannabinoids should be discussed with your doctor beforehand.