Things to know about CBD benefits and uses

CBD can be found in salves, drinks, gummies, and even sanitary products. However, its popularity means that there is misinformation about what CBD is, how it works, and if it's even legal. If you're unfamiliar with CBD but keen to learn more about its uses and benefits, read on.

1. How does CBD oil make you feel?

CBD can engender feelings of calm by inhibiting anandamide absorption. Anandamide is an endocannabinoid that helps to regulate homeostasis, the body's natural state of equilibrium. It promotes feelings of well-being and helps to keep pain and emotional stress in check.

There are also many anecdotal reports that CBD promotes feelings of drowsiness, helping those with insomnia to fall asleep and stay asleep. CBD also possesses anti-inflammatory properties and is an anxiolytic, which may also provide sleep aid by easing pain and anxiety.

“To generalize, most CBD extracts administered at common doses tend to promote calmness and reduce anxiety,” said Dr. J. Matthew Andry, a professor of medicine at Indiana University, and an expert on cannabis medicine. 

2. CBD oil effects

The effects of CBD on the individual depends on a host of factors: the dosage, absorption, the quality, and if the oil is an isolate, containing only the CBD molecule, or a full-spectrum product.

“The feeling you get depends upon the amounts  and the ratios of cannabinoids like CBD, CBG, CBC, and CBN, and terpenes such as alpha-pinene, limonene, linalool or beta-myrcene that are present in the plant and the extracted oil,” Andry explained.

The effects of CBD on the individual depends on dosage, absorption, quality, and whether the oil is an isolate or a full-spectrum product.
Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

“An oil that contains higher levels of alpha-pinene and limonene might make you feel more energetic or alert, while strains higher in linalool or myrcene might be more calming or sedating.”

Andry also emphasized that dosage matters. CBD is a biphasic compound, which means that it causes distinct responses at different concentrations. At lower levels, CBD is energizing and increases wakefulness and alertness. At higher concentrations, it works as a sedative, causing the individual to feel sleepy and calm. In order to achieve the desired effects, it's vital to talk to an expert at a dispensary or follow the dosage guidelines provided. A higher dose can be considered anywhere between 150 milligrams to 600 milligrams.

Individuals metabolize compounds such as CBD differently.

“There's variation from person to person,” Andry said. What is useful for some may not be so effective for others.

3. Does CBD oil get you high?

CBD contrasts with THC, the cannabinoid that possesses intoxicating properties. THC produces a high because it binds directly to the body's CB1 receptors, which mediate the psychoactive effects of cannabinoids. CBD can't get you high because it doesn't directly link to any of the body's cannabinoid receptors. Instead, it interacts with the body's own endocannabinoids in complex ways. 

What's more, CBD has been shown to help counteract the effects of THC by modulating cannabinoid activity in the brain. In this way, CBD can tone down the paranoia that THC sometimes provokes. Full-spectrum CBD oils allow the user to enjoy the synergistic effects of CBD and THC combined without the psychoactive effects.

4. CBD oil benefits list

Studies have shown that CBD has the potential to ease symptoms of many conditions, including chronic pain and inflammation.
Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

Specifically, some of the conditions that CBD may benefit include:

Another general benefit of CBD is that it is safe, effective, and available without a prescription. “CBD oil can benefit health, and is an agent which is much safer than a great many over the counter and prescription medications,” Andry noted. “CBD can potentially be used for many conditions. Many scientific studies suggest that it can be helpful in a very wide array of situations, though more research is needed.” 

5. Is CBD oil legal?

Hemp-derived CBD oil is now legal under federal law following a provision of the 2018 Farm Bill which removed the federal ban on hemp production. To meet federal legal criteria, CBD oil must be made from hemp, the cannabis plant that contains no more than 0.3% THC. 

Andry points out that although 0.3% THC or less is recognized as legal, issues may arise with drug testing. “While 0.3% is not enough to cause any significant effect in the body, it could be enough to cause one to test positive on a drug test, obviously putting someone's employment or legal status potentially at risk.”

CBD and weed
To meet federal legal criteria, CBD oil must contain no more than 0.3 percent THC.
Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

Consumers should be aware that there is some inconsistency regarding CBD policies at a state level. Certain states still regard and police CBD as contraband rather than a health supplement if it contains THC. In states such as Idaho, Nebraska, and South Dakota, individuals possessing CBD products containing even the slightest concentration of THC may be charged with a felony.

CBD boasts potential as a safe treatment for a range of symptoms. Anecdotal reports and emerging studies affirm that it can alleviate insomnia, anxiety, inflammation, and pain. Rigorous scientific studies are still lagging, however, and are needed to confirm the usefulness of this compound and provide guidelines around how to most effectively administer it.

Although hemp-derived CBD is now recognized as a legal substance at a federal level, a patchwork of policy at a state level means that in some states it is illegal. Check your state's policy on CBD before you make a purchase.

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The information contained in this site is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical or legal advice. This page was last updated on August 4, 2020.