Hello My Lovely Friend
Have you wondered about the benefits of CBD and whether you should incorporate it into your life?
In this post, I’ll answer 14 critical questions commonly asked, give you some great ways to use this often-misunderstood product, and hopefully ease any misconceptions you may have towards CBD.
1. Is CBD Legal?
This is obviously a valid question and one worth checking. While marijuana is not legal in most parts of the US, CBD is legal in all 50 states.
However, each state may have some differing rules related to the type of product, so it’s best to check the state you are in, or plan to travel to. This article is a great recourse.
Hemp is legal as it is very low in THC – only 0.3% and the plant and products made from it are proving to be widely accepted throughout the US.
Note: The FDA has not yet approved any OTC drugs containing CBD.
When traveling to other countries outside the US, the situation may be very different so always check before carrying CBD or hemp products just to be sure.
NEVER carry marijuana…especially interstate or overseas as you could find yourself in serious trouble!
2. What is CBD?
Firstly, let’s dispel a misconception.
It’s commonly believed that unlike marijuana, CBD is not psychoactive. This is not true.
CBD is definitely psychoactive and can be mood-altering, but not in the same way as marijuana. The definition of a psychoactive substance is that it has an effect on the brain chemistry, and CBD does.
There are other substances such as caffeine, nicotine, and anti-depressant medications that are also considered to be mood-altering and also without an intoxicating effect.
Unlike the active ingredient in marijuana known as TCH (delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD is the non-active portion of the plant.
This means that users of it don’t experience the euphoria or ‘high’ that they would from absorbing the THC in marijuana.
There are exceptions to this. Just as some people react to components in other supplements, a few people apparently report that they do experience a mild ‘altered state’, but overall you should not feel either ‘high’ or ‘sedated’.
It’s worth noting that different people react differently to CBD. Some will enjoy fantastic benefits, while others experience virtually no effect. This is perfectly normal as we are all bio-individual.
So experimentation with various products and dosages is the key for finding out what works best for you.
3. What Is The Difference Between Hemp & Marijuana?
There are two types of cannabis plants known as Sativa and Indica.
Sativa strains are associated with affecting your head, increasing energy, focus and creativity, and helping to offset stress and anxiety. For these reasons, sativa strains are considered great for daytime use.
Hemp and marijuana are both strains of sativa cannabis but there are differences between the two, mainly the levels of THC.
Indica strains are associated with body benefits such as relaxation and assisting in combating insomnia. This is better consumed at night.
There are also hybrids between the two and these are cultivated so the user can enjoy the benefits of the energizing effects of Sativa together with the relaxation of Indica.
However, the main purpose of growers cultivating a hybrid is to increase the level of THC in the product. For obvious reasons, hybrids are not used for CBD products as the higher levels of THC are not desirable.
4. Why Do Science & The Law Think Differently?
While the two primary species in the cannabis sativa plant are hemp and marijuana, science doesn’t distinguish between the two plants but the law certainly does.
What sets hemp apart from marijuana is the level of THC in the plant.
Where marijuana has a THC level greater than 0.3%, hemp contains less then 0.3% making it legal to grow and market products including hemp-derived CBD oil.
Both contain CBD, but the percentage is much higher in hemp, which also has very low levels of TCH. This is why hemp is not chosen by people who want to get high from marijuana.
Hemp oil is extracted from the hemp seeds and contains high levels of healthy fats and is commonly used as an ingredient in beauty products. Also, hemp seeds are nutritionally high in fiber and protein.
The high THC levels and the resulting effect on the body is why at this stage, cannabis is unlikely to be widely legalized for general non-therapeutic use.
It appears that one of the main reasons for not giving FDA approval and full legal recognition for all CBD products is the inconsistency and availability of sound scientific evidence.
To date, only one medication made from CBD has been approved for use. On June 26, 2018, the FDA approved Epidiolex for the treatment of seizures.
The only other medications approved are Marinol, Syndros, and Cesamet, to be used for the nausea associated with chemotherapy. These all contain synthetic chemicals similar to THC.
Although hemp oil and hemp products are accepted, the varying quality of CBD products gives the Federal government cause for concern.
Unlike the manufacture of OTC pharmaceuticals, it has proven hard to totally regulate the cannabis industry to ensure a uniform standard of quality and safety for general use by the US public.
With greater scientific research, many states will eventually change their laws, but we may be a long time before we see marijuana legalized. It’s a pity, as it could have far-reaching benefits…not the least being a reduction in crime associated with this particularly useful plant.
5. How Does CBD Work In The Body?
We have natural cannabinoid receptors in our body. These for part of our Endocannabinoid system which plays an important role in our central and peripheral nervous systems.
Within this we have two receptors:
CB1 – these are present throughout your body but particularly in the central nervous system in the brain. They co-ordinate your mood, emotions, pain, movement, appetite, memory, and many other functions.
CB2 – these are common in your peripheral nervous system like the immune system and affect pain and inflammation.
TCH and CBD bind to these receptors but research shows that they don’t bind in the same way.
THC binds mainly with the CB1 receptors and has produces the ‘high’ that we all associate with using marijuana. CBD binds primarily with the CB2 receptors allowing it to interact with our immune system, reducing inflammation and pain.
It is believed that CBD actually prevents your body’s natural endocannabinoids from being broken down, thereby allowing them to have more of an effect on your body.
So, although both TCH and CBD have the effect of stimulating your body in different ways, because CBD doesn’t have the euphoric reaction, it’s considered a much better option for therapeutic application.
6. Will CBD Fix All My Problems?
Short answer is no.
Like all types of supplements, it’s individual. It also may take some experimentation to find the correct dose for you.
When using CBD for pain or anxiety relief, different people will probably need different doses because we all have varying tolerances.
Also like all supplements, you need to combine it with other benefits such as a healthy diet, regular exercise, plenty of water and good quality sleep. (related post you may like: Why You Sleep Badly)
CBD can’t fix all issues related to a lifestyle lacking in these important components.
7. How Can I Incorporate CBD Into My Lifestyle?
Always look for organic, US-grown cannabis which is subject to agricultural regulations and is not permitted to contain more than 0.3 percent TCH. Also being organic, it’s much less likely to contain pesticides and other nasty chemicals.
Such as gummies, truffles, chocolates, cakes, cookies – may take up to 2 hours to take effect. You will absorb only about 20-30% of the CBD component which may be enough depending on your requirements.
Fast reaction time particularly for pain relief – usually within 10 minutes. Plus, you will absorb a higher percentage of the CBD.
Care should be taken with how much and how often you vape, as the effect on the body is still subject to investigation. The lack of quality control can be particularly worrying when you are inhaling the oil directly into your lungs so use caution.
Where edibles can contain sugar and preservatives, a better way to gain the benefits of CBD is to use a sublingual like oils, tinctures, lozenges, and sprays.
These are designed to be absorbed directly through the membrane under your tongue.
This allows for rapid absorption into your bloodstream. By not going directly into your digestive tract you benefit by preserving more of the CBD.
When using CBD oil, apply 4-5 drops of oil under your tongue and hold it there for 60-120 seconds before swallowing.
Make sure the oil remains in contact with the membrane under your tongue for the full time before swallowing for maximum benefit.
Note: always use a CBD oil that has been mixed with an MCT (see below) or other suitable carrier oil, to avoid a reaction as concentrated CBD oil may prove to be a little strong.
Similarly with sprays and tinctures, apply them under your tongue for maximum absorption.
These include creams, balms, CBD-infused oils, and transdermal patches.
All of these products are a fantastic way to benefit from relief by application directly onto the affected area.
Unlike applying CBD sublingually, application to the skin needs to have a higher concentration of CBD so apply it generously for maximum results.
This way, you can gain relief from localized pain, headaches, migraines, swelling, pain associated with arthritis and skin conditions like eczema.
8. What Are MCT Carrier Oils?
MCT stands for medium-chain triglyceride, referring to the length of fatty acid chain triglycerides.
These act as the carriers and because MCT has a small molecular structure, it allows the CBD to be absorbed easily by the body.
Hemp seed oil also makes a fantastic carrier oil for CBD, especially when applying topicals on your skin. The healthy fat content in the hemp seed oil aids in the intake of the cannabinoid by your body.
However, Hemp seed oil may not have the same absorption rate as using MCT.
Other suitable fatty carrier oils that work well are avocado, coconut and sunflower.
9. How Can CBD Assist With Menopause?
Ok ladies, here’s the biggie we all want to know…can CBD help with menopause?
Research is still being conducted before any definitive scientific answer can be given regarding the benefits of CBD on menopause…but, many women are convinced that it helps.
Menopause appears to disrupt our natural endocannabinoid system, particularly the receptors throughout the female reproductive system, so it stands to reason that the effect of CBD on these receptors can help.
While nothing can get rid of menopause as it’s a naturally occurring transition in a woman’s body, CBD appears to be able to help alleviate some symptoms that drive us crazy. Anything that can do that get’s my absolute seal of approval!
Personally, when the symptoms are too much to bear, I will take a natural plant extract like CBD over many manufactured OTC drugs and their associated side effects.
But as with anything new, use your best judgement and proceed with caution.
Here are some ways women have experienced good results with CBD:
Improving Sleep Quality:
The relaxing effects of CBD can serve to offset insomnia allowing for better sleep quality.
This can help you to sleep more deeply, and possibly preventing you from being woken by night sweats. Capsules and gummie edibles are great for sleep disorders.
Reducing Anxiety & Mild Depression:
The anxiety that appears to accompany menopause can also be eased with CBD, either by ingesting the oil directly or using edibles and topicals.
(related post you may like: Calming Midlife Anxiety)
This is due to the calming and relaxing effect of CBD on your central nervous system.
The same is also true for mood swings and the minor depression that can take us by surprise…particularly if we aren’t usually prone to these emotions.
Reduce The Severity Of Hot Flashes:
Because the endocannabinoid system helps to regulate body temperatures, any disruption to this system due to menopause could be aided by stimulating this system with CBD.
Reduce Headaches and Migraines:
The relaxing effect of CBD can assist in easing the tension associated with headaches and migraines. Take a nap, meditate or just lie down quietly to allow the benefits to take hold.
Help Reduce Hair Loss:
CBD oil is rich in fatty acids and when blended with a carrier oil and massaged into the scalp may help to promote regrowth. A recent study into the effects of CBD on hair loss, showed that the use of While this is often more promising in men than women, over a period of six months women reported a noticeable difference.
Improving Skin Conditions:
The anti-inflammatory properties in CBD may be beneficial for reducing the onset of eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis.
Also, it may help to reduce midlife or menopausal acne that afflicts some women. Use a rich CBD infused cream and look for one that has few other ingredients, so it is as pure as possible.
Bone Density Loss:
Due to the reduction in estrogen during menopause, the loss of bone density plays a real risk in the increase in falls and bruising. CBD interacts with a cannabinoid receptor that may play a role in bone density loss.
Joint Aches & Pains:
Menopause-related aches and pains in joints caused by decreased estrogen levels and arthritis can be eased by direct application of CBD-infused balms, creams and soaking in baths containing bath bombs.
As we age, we appear to bruise more easily. Have you noticed that just catching your leg on a corner of furniture can produce the most disturbingly black bruise…like you’ve done 10 rounds with Mike Tyson!
Rubbing CBD balm into the affected area appears to help the bruising dissipate much quicker.
Overall, the best and fastest relief for all menopause-related problems is to take a good quality CBD oil sublingually – under your tongue.
10. Are There Any Downsides To Using CBD?
Usually, CBD is well tolerated by most people. But there will always be some people who experience some side effects from the chemicals.These can include:
Note: CBD may compete with other medications for the liver enzymes required to break down the drugs. Check that any other medications you may be on don’t have a ‘grapefruit’ warning.
If you fall into the above category, consider your liver when taking medium/high levels of CBD.
Always start slowly and with low doses and also be aware that it may interact badly with other medications you are taking, particularly blood thinners.
11. Why Consult Your Physician Before Using CBD Products?
It’s always a good idea to speak with your doctor before trying something new such as CBD.
This is particularly important if you are currently taking other medication as there could potentially be a conflict with them. It’s always best that your doctor is aware of what you are doing.
However, don’t be surprised if you get push-back from some physicians. Not all are well-informed or convinced of the benefits of CBD, and may be concerned about staying on the right side of the law. They will often prefer to place their faith in medications from big Pharma.
In that case, it will be up to you to find out all you can about clashes with your current medications and then decide if you want to try CBD.
If you decide to go ahead, do so cautiously but starting with small doses and monitoring your body’s reaction. But, always ensure that your doctor is aware that you are trying out CBD in case you do have any strange reactions.
12. Why Always Use CBD From A Reputable Source?
Like any supplement, particularly one that isn’t FDA approved, take the time to source good quality, organic products from a reputable company. This way you will ensure it is organic and unlikely to contain pesticides and other nasties.
Stick with only purchasing US-grown cannabis/hemp as the companies are subject to agricultural regulations. Their cannabis crop is not permitted to contain more than 0.3 percent TCH.
13. Is CBD Safe For Children?
This is a contentious subject.
Some parents feel perfectly comfortable giving it to their kids while others don’t. If you’re on the fence, this article may assist you.
To date there is insufficient scientific study that CBD products are either safe or harmful for children. Some parents report that ADHD behavior is calmed by using the product, while others report no behavioral changes at all.
A main issue is that it hasn’t been extensively tested for use in children. also, because it’s an unregulated product, parents can’t be 100% sure what is in it.
Children on other medications should not be given it to ensure there is no adverse interaction between them. CBD can interfere with some enzymes needed to metabolize certain medications in the same way that grapefruit can.
Don’t give CBD to children taking another medication that has a ‘grapefruit’ warning on the label. Also, some products may contain traces of THC which is illegal to give to children, and may also cause an adverse reaction.
As with yourself, consult your doctor before proceeding.
14. Is CBD Safe For Animals?
While there are many pet owners who swear that administering CBD to their dog or cat has had amazing effects, there isn’t a lot of scientific evidence to support this.
This article is the most definitive I could find on the subject. It suggests that the best option for administering it is by using a pure oil.
Dogs and cats that suffer from anxiety, arthritic pain or lethargy associated with aging could benefit from CBD but absolute care must be taken with dosages and the quality of the product.
It’s best to use products and oil made specifically for animals to ensure the ingredients are suitable. Some products made for human consumption may contain traces of THC which is highly toxic to animals.
Symptoms of THC poisoning are: vomiting, restlessness, diarrhea, lethargy and difficulty standing.
As with humans, caution needs to be taken when giving CBD to animals that have a compromised liver, particularly where other medications are involved, as the two may compete for metabolization by the liver putting it under further strain.
However, as much as I think CBD is a special product, when it comes to animals my personal advise is to proceed with great caution. Unlike us, your pet can’t tell you how it feels…you may only find out by an adverse reaction.
A safe option is to always consult your veterinarian before starting your beloved pet on any potentially negative product.
I hope this post has given you a good understanding of CBD and its benefits, and
As with any medication, take things easy initially until you understand how your body is going to react to certain doses.
I have found it very good for the occasional aching joint and muscular pain, and also for helping me relax and fall asleep…something I have always had problems with even before the dreaded menopause.
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