CBD—it’s amazing how quickly these three letters rile people up. Some people decry it as dangerous. Others hail it as the hero of the health and beauty world. This can leave outside observers scratching their heads. If the debate has left you curious enough to give it a try, learn what to know before trying CBD for the first time.
What Is CBD?
CBD stands for cannabidiol, a substance found in industrial hemp. People extract it using a complex process that involves soaking the plant in a solvent—preferably ethanol—at frigid temperatures. When you remove the plant matter, you’re left with a golden-colored semi-liquid. This is CBD oil.
A Note on THC
People usually stop when they hear CBD comes from hemp. “Isn’t that just another way of saying Mary Jane?” While hemp and marijuana are cousins, they’re far from the same. The difference is a compound known as tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. This is the substance found in pot that gets you high. Legal, industrial hemp only contains up to 0.3 percent of THC—far from enough to get you high.
What Are the Potential Benefits of CBD?
What is all the hype about? Proponents of CBD claim it offers a host of health benefits, including:
- Anxiety relief
- Help focusing
- Skin moisturization
- Help sleeping
- Pain relief
- Inflammation reduction
- Improvement of epilepsy
It’s important to remember that the FDA still has its reservations about CBD. More information may arise over time as scientists continue to conduct research.
How Do You Take CBD?
If you look up images of CBD, chances are you’ll see many little brown vials with a stopper on top. That’s because the most common way of ingesting CBD oil is to take it straight from the bottle. You can try a few drops under the tongue, but others swallow capsules, take CBD-infused gummies, or drop the oil into their food or drink.
People often mix up CBD and pot because you can smoke both. People smoke CBD flowers that have all kinds of fun names, like Sour Patch Candy and Hawaiian Haze. Otherwise, they add it to vape pens. This is one of the quickest ways to get it into your system, though you have to deal with the health concerns of breathing substances other than good old oxygen.
For those interested in the health and beauty part of CBD, companies sometimes incorporate CBD into balms, lotions, and hair care. These topical options are designed for application directly to the skin or hair to help moisturize your skin, fight acne, or reduce pain and swelling.
What About Dosage?
Knowing how much to take is an important factor to know before trying CBD oil. A doctor can estimate a proper dosage for you based on your body weight, chemistry, and any health conditions. Either way, it’s best to start off with smaller doses so you can gauge how your body responds to it.