CBD FAQs: all you need to know about the substance

Cannabidiol (CBD) products are now being used by up to 15 percent of Americans, according to a recent Gallup poll. CBD is a popular substance that is thought to help with pain, anxiety, sleep problems, migraines and headaches, skin complaints and more.

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But with CBD being a fairly new wellness trend, and there being so much misinformation online nowadays, it’s easy for users to get confused about what CBD is, and how it works. We’re going to clear up any uncertainties and misconceptions by going over these frequently asked questions (FAQs).

Will CBD get me stoned?

No. CBD doesn’t have the chemical composition to produce a ‘stoned’ or ‘high’ effect like cannabis. Critical to the psychoactive high is a cannabinoid called delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which exerts these unusual effects as an agonist of the endocannabinoid system’s (ECS) CB1 receptor. While CBD also functions in the ECS, it acts as a CB1 receptor antagonist, or in totally the opposite way to THC.

It is the non-intoxicating trait of CBD which is integral to the popularity of hemp-based CBD products. Finally, CBD offers a middle ground for users who want the original therapeutic effects of cannabis, without the side effect of a ‘high’. CBD appears to have a more nuanced effect on mood, promoting natural ECS bonds between anandamide, an endocannabinoid, and the CB1 receptor.

How does CBD work?

In addition to interacting with CB1 receptors, wholesale CBD products also work with CB2 receptors, which are implicated in the regulation of the immune system. Again, CBD doesn’t bind to CB2 receptors, but ensures they function correctly by boosting anandamide levels. CBD manages this by stopping the FAAH enzyme from breaking down anandamide. In effect, CBD is an anandamide reuptake inhibitor. Regulation at CB1 and CB2 receptors is key for overall ECS regulation, and homeostasis throughout the body.

CBD has some effect outside of the ECS, as an agonist of TRPV-1 receptors which control pain perception, and as a serotonin 1A receptor agonist, which may account for the cannabinoid’s anti-anxiety properties.

What’s the difference between isolated and full-spectrum CBD?

CBD-isolate and full-spectrum CBD are the two forms of hemp extract used to make CBD products. The former is created with the supercritical CO2 extraction process, which separates individual CBD molecules from the hemp, to create a pure CBD extract. This can then be used to make products that have no THC.

In contrast, full-spectrum products are made with a complete hemp extract, and feature a full complexion of cannabinoids, flavonoids and terpenes. Full-spectrum CBD products are likely to have traces of THC, but must meet legal requirements, which permit no more than 0.3 percent THC in any hemp-based product.

Can I drive after taking CBD?

There are no specific regulations about driving after taking CBD – although just because you can doesn’t necessarily mean you should. As CBD is non-intoxicating, it doesn’t have the adverse effects on cognitive or motor control that occur when under the influence of cannabis. Therefore, your driving abilities should not be affected after a dose of CBD.

That said, a high dose of CBD can lead to sleepiness, especially if it’s part of an indica-dominant, full-spectrum CBD product. This could make you a danger on the road, and some CBD products state that they shouldn’t be taken while operating heavy machinery. It’s best to weigh up your own situation, and whether you feel up to driving. If you have any doubts, it’s best to give it a miss.

Is CBD drug-test friendly?

Yes. CBD is completely drug-test friendly, and will never be the cause of a failed test. The only cannabinoid that drug testers care about is THC, since that’s what generates the ‘high’. CBD is safe for consumption in any quantity. However, given that full-spectrum CBD products have a tiny level of THC, those who take large doses on a regular basis may experience some THC build-up in their systems. This is why some CBD users prefer the assurance of a CBD-isolate product.

Does CBD have any side effects?

CBD has few side effects, but it may be problematic for some people. Strong doses are known for inducing drowsiness, which may be an issue for those taking CBD during the day. CBD is also a blood thinner, which can increase the risk of bruising. Moreover, CBD can interfere with drug metabolization in some cases, due to its effect on the cytochrome P450 system. Consult with a medical expert if you have any worries about taking CBD with your prescription medication.

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