In recent years, CBD has found itself under the spotlight, both from state regulatory bodies and consumers. While some are still skeptical about it, it cannot be denied that CBD proved to be useful for some individuals suffering from certain epilepsies, such as Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) and Dravet syndrome. With the advent of its medical usage, different presentations of this product popped up and are advertised to help with other conditions like anxiety and insomnia. As cases of these other disorders are also on the rise, it would be helpful to shed light on the role of CBD in their treatment, as well as give clarity on its legality and availability.
What is CBD?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of the many compounds that can be found in the cannabis plant. Unlike its relatively more popular brother, THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD is not known to cause ‘high’ to its users. In fact, it is also being explored if cannabidiol can block some of the psychoactive effects of THC.
CBD is high, and THC is low in the Indica variety of the cannabis plant, while the reverse is true for the Sativa kind.
Various bodies of theories were proposed as to how CBD works, but the one that probably is most widely accepted is its stimulation of the cannabinoid receptors in the human body. Once stimulated, our endocannabinoid system produces its own CBD, known as endocannabinoids. Some also posited that CBD prevents the breakdown of certain chemicals in our brain associated with mental function, mood, and pain. The way CBD works in our body is still a field of study for our researchers, and publications on its true pharmacological properties continue to evolve together with laws and regulations in different states and countries.
Legal Status and Accessibility
Worldwide, the legality of marijuana is as diverse as the dialects of India. European countries such as the Netherlands, Spain, and Switzerland allow the use of weeds. Others allow personal consumption but not cultivation and selling. Of course, probably the most famous musician to light it up is Bob Marley, who hails from Jamaica and practices the Rastafarian religion, where the use of this plant is part of the holy sacrament.
There are also states in which the use of recreational marijuana is allowed, and this includes Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, DC, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, New Jersey, Nevada, Oregon, South Dakota, Vermont, and Washington. Figures suggest that those that legalize these substances had increased tax revenues.
Vegas, which is known for its casinos and other entertainment sites, is an incredibly lucrative market for this booming industry. Back in the day, people used to sneak around just to smoke a joint or two. You can now buy CBD products in a dispensary, which is also known as a group of people who can legally sell these items (and educate you while doing so). They can be purchased virtually by anyone, though those who are between 18-20 years old need to have a valid medical marijuana card, while minors need to have their guardian’s or parent’s written consent. The transaction must happen though between 6:00 am and 10:00 pm, as this is the time window authorized by Las Vegas authorities for dispensaries to operate.
Aside from the above rules, certain regulations on the amount that can be purchased were also enacted. Up to one-eight of an ounce is the limit per transaction for concentrates and one ounce for the cannabis flower. On top of this, a 15% excise tax must be settled. The duration during which you buy your marijuana is also regulated, and you can only have up to 2.5 ounces every two weeks.
Despite the laws going relatively lax in its use, several etiquettes must still be observed when taking a sniff—as with other products such as tobacco and cigarettes, smoking in the general public is widely prohibited. It is also almost customary to ditch your roll when someone in the room asks you not to light one up.
Guide to Vaping CBD
CBD is famous for its therapeutic benefits to soothe and relax the user. There's a lot of ways you can take CBD, and probably the most popular among them is through vape. The CBD oil and vape in the market is diverse, and that gives you many choices to choose from. Before you embark on your vaping journey, below are the things you need to know to do it properly:
Get Your Dose First
Metabolism plays a huge part in how your system responds to the presence of CBD in your body. Hence, each person is unique and will react differently. Your dose will depend primarily on your weight and tolerance, while the symptoms you wish to alleviate need consideration too. To determine your tolerance, you have to try and observe yourself, gradually increasing dosage until you pinpoint the precise amount.
To do this, 1-2 mg of CBD is suggested for minimal intake, and then 6 hours must lapse before the next one. In each interval, 5 mg is considered safe to add each time around. As soon as the benefits start kicking in, then you just need to stick to wherever you stopped. On average, 10-30 mg per day is suggested for regular users, while those with harsher symptoms can take CBD ranging from 200-1000 per day.
Unlike other methods, either needing to be applied or ingested, vaping is more straightforward. The simple inhalation of CBD oil directly transfers to the bloodstream, making it the fastest method of intake. This saves you so much time, adding convenience to the already portable vape, which you can carry around even in your pocket. This is especially helpful for cannabis-dependent patients, who might need attending to in a matter of seconds.
Vaping, however, is not that heavily researched. Still, it is generally considered to be safer than cigarettes in terms of long-term effects. For those who vape for medical reasons, the best thing to do is have a proper talk with your doctor before you add it to your regimen. For people who regularly use CBD and have developed a tolerance for it, the side effects are less pronounced and considered normal.
The substance being used to create that vapor in a vape pen is CBD oil. It can also be consumed as extracts in tinctures, in which you drop some underneath your tongue, where it is absorbed inside the mouth. Some manufacturers also sell it as capsules, which you can take like your regular pill.
Other ways of using CBD
Care to have your skincare routine while having your dose of CBD? Then the topical applications might be the right format for you. Since the skin is the largest organ in the human body, this is an ingenious way of introducing CBD in your system, which is readily absorbed through the cannabinoid receptors in the skin. Who knows, this might be the solution to obtain that clear, flawless skin, as researchers suggest that CBD might also have anti-acne properties.
Now, if you are not into smoking and beauty products, edibles might do the trick. Though the possibilities are limitless, the most common foods in which CBD is infused are gummies, chocolates, baked goods, and meals. Next time you’re craving some sweets, why not top it up with cannabidiol? Just make sure to control the access from your kids.
There is also a growing trend of CBD-infused cocktails, so you get the best of both worlds. Since CBD is also known to reduce feelings of nausea, it may prevent our partygoers from being too tipsy. If you are not an alcoholic but still want to try this product out, why not combine it with your milk or coffee? Again, the possibilities are endless, so experiment and mix it up!
Health Claims and Ongoing Studies
In one way or another, our ancestors have been using these things for medicinal purposes long before regulatory bodies even came into existence. Despite this, the health effects of these substances are still an ongoing science. Research institutions have been slow to recommend as the acquisition of these materials was hampered by previous prohibitory laws. Yet, some products already received go signals from the FDA as a treatment for certain health conditions.
In strict terms, only one CBD product got the nod from the FDA. It is a drug used to treat two types of epilepsies that are resistant to anti-seizure medications namely, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) and Dravet syndrome. There are videos available online, demonstrating how this drug stopped the seizures of children with these conditions. Not only did it stop some episodes of the disease, in some cases, but the seizures also ended completely.
Children suffering from autism were shown to calm down when administered with CBD.
Perhaps the majority of the people using CBD for health effects will tell you that they use it to treat their anxiety. In several documented instances, cannabis was used to treat individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), mainly by reducing the amount of time spent in rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. REM is the stage in our sleep where dreams are most vivid. Therefore less time in REM means less exposure to bad dreams for individuals with PTSD.
Whenever you feel anxious, one of your friends might have offered you some tea to relax. It turns out, a cup of tea plus some CBD shots have synergistic effects. This is due to the L-theanine component of tea, which resembles one of the neurotransmitters in the brain, thereby blocking this neurotransmitter from contacting its receptor, which ultimately calms down the brain.
Being one of the most dreaded conditions for our elderly, there is still no established cure for Alzheimer’s disease. Thus, researchers are continuously looking for other novel treatments. Though still being tested on animals, the initial results are promising for CBD or the combination of CBD and THC.
Since CBD is an antioxidant, it protects and even promotes the regeneration of brain cells, therefore protecting and improving our memory.
A lot of research revealed that most Americans suffer from sleep disorders like insomnia. Contrary to THC, CBD was found to cause earlier onset of REM sleep, and individuals taking doses of CBD before sleep tend to spend a long time dreaming.
The anti-inflammatory properties of CBD are well known in the medical world. However, it does not promote the synthesis and repair of cartilage, which is essential to address joint pains. Thus, some treat their arthritis with CBD in combination with chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine. These two stimulate cartilage and repair and the production of synovial fluid (the fluid that lubricates your joints).
Side Effects and Other Risks
According to the FDA themselves, CBD can cause harm to one’s health, either chronic or acute. The common acute side effects are irritability, fatigue, and nausea. Users might also suffer from low blood pressure, liver injuries, and other possible side effects when CBD interacts with other medications or alcohol. As with health claims, these side effects are still being studied, and more data are needed to substantiate any recommendations.
A more certain risk, however, is the contamination of otherwise labeled as “pure CBD extracts” with other substances. Some were found to contain dextromethorphan, an addictive substance used in cough medications, or synthetic cannabinoids. Among other things, it is also prevalent that products contain less CBD than what is declared, or the THC level higher than what is indicated.
Finally, since this is a relatively new science, a lot is still unknown regarding its safety. Questions on its accumulative effect on the body is a common question, as well as the proper dosage for each intended medicinal use. Are these safe for pregnant women and their babies? Does it affect male fertility the same way with animals used in clinical studies?
With individuals suffering from rare and sometimes incurable health conditions, alternative means of medicine have been continuously explored by experts. One of these is the cannabis plant, specifically one of the chemical compounds found in it, the cannabidiol or CBD. This compound has found use in treating certain types of epilepsies, as well as anxiety and sleep disorders. With its use in the medical world finding a ground, it also found its way into becoming a recreational substance.
Despite varying restrictions, there is an increasing trend of relaxation of rules regarding the use of recreational CBD. Consumers can get its other health benefits in different formats, sourced from various dispensaries throughout the country. And while reports of side effects are not uncommon, the use of CBD still has great potential for your personal well-being. Go and munch on it as edibles, apply it during bath time, or just inhale and exhale it the classic way.