That seems to the question of the year…so far anyway ;)
With CBD gaining popularity and lacking federal government classification as a narcotic (like THC), everyone from health food stores to cosmetic companies and gas stations are selling it!!! New products are flooding the market everyday and companies are scrambling to be part of the “green wave”.
While derived from the same plant (cannabis) as THC, CBD does NOT get you high. Which is a little bit of a bummer…but sometimes you need something to take the edge off or calm the pain while staying clear-headed.
Officially called Cannabidiol. It is one of at least 113 identified cannabinoids - the chemical compounds within the cannabis plant. THC is the other - more well known cannabinoid. There is fair amount of science, definition, background and burgeoning research involved in cannabis - which I would love to delve into, but for the sake of your time - we’ll leave that for another post. ;)
The Cliffnote version is: CBD can make up about 40% of the cannabis plant’s extract, has no psychoactive effects, is completely legal, reduces the effects of THC (makes you less high), is non-addictive and has a boatload of positive effects for its users (YEAH):
Super impressive, huh? The amazing thing is that they (the scientists) are regularly adding to this list as they explore the capabilities of cannabis. Researchers in the last few years have developed a theory call the “Entourage Effect”. It concludes that the addition of limited amounts of THC (and other cannabinoids) can increase the already awesome benefits derived from CBD.
This theory is far more complex than just the basic components of CBD or THC – but without getting super technical – the concept is to use a mix of different cannabinoids (113 options ish) in varying amounts together to achieve the ultimate desired benefit.
Think of it like painting and the color wheel - in elementary school. If you mix blue and yellow together, you get green. If you add red to that - you get brown. The more red, yellow or green you add will effect the shade of brown you get.
To make the concept of the entourage effect more accessible to users, growers have been crossing breeding different strains of cannabis plants - trying to create the most beneficial balance of CBD & THC to treat certain ailments. In fact, the most wonderful balance
Charlotte's Web (primarily CBD)
was created by the Stanley Brothers for a little girl named Charlotte suffering from seizures. There is a great article about it here. It changed her life and has helped endless others. I HIGHLY recommend it!
Smoking CBD not your jam?...have no fear! There are endless options. Endless as in – if you can think of a way to utilize CBD, they are doing it. Flowers, oils, topicals, lip balm, bath bombs, pills, edibles, dog treats, water….I could keep going on forever here. Needless to say – you have options. An additional upside to CBD products is that they are generally less expensive than products containing primarily THC. Bonus!
How you choose to utilize CBD is as personal as what type of vitamin you take – but read the label! With the increased demand for CBD, some suppliers aren’t using very healthy methods for extraction nor are they focused on using plants grown without pesticides. Since CBD is not regulated by the FDA and the cannabis industry is a little bit like the wild west right now - I suggest if legally able...going to a dispensary. If that isn't an option, I also recommend health-food stores that specialize in organic healing or your local “head shop”. Fortunately, these types of stores are more focused on your well-being and are less likely to suggest a product that isn’t prepared and grown in best manner possible.
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