What is CBD?
CBD is an acronym for cannabidiol, one of over 60 cannabinoids (chemical compounds) that can be found in cannabis plants. This non-psychoactive substance is typically extracted from the hemp plant which has a naturally higher CBD to THC ratio than marijuana and has less restrictions when it comes to growing. CBD is also found in very small quantities in normal marijuana strains. Since CBD is non-psychoactive, meaning it does not give you the mental effects of being high, it can be used in many different situations such as by working professionals who can enjoy the calming benefits while keeping a clear mind.
It all started with the incredible story of Charlotte Figi which helped to popularize and bring awareness to the benefits of CBD. Charlotte was born with a very rare type of epilepsy called Dravet’s syndrome which continued to get worse, giving her hundreds of crippling seizures each week and extended hospitalization. As a last ditch effort, her parents investigated into the use of CBD and contacted a local dispensary to help create a high CBD, low THC extract that provided no psychoactive effects, making it safe for children. The strain, Charlotte’s Web, was named in her honor after dramatically reducing the number of seizures she experienced, which allowed her to live a somewhat normal life. Charlotte’s Web is still one of the most popular CBD dominant strains and has helped countless other epilepsy sufferers over the years.
In addition to epilepsy, CBD advocates also claim that the extract helps with pain, anxiety, stress, insomnia, menstrual cramps, and depression, among dozens of other health benefits. There has even been some research into its anti-inflammatory properties which may help with acne. Many people who face these medical issues are using traditional medicines that cause a variety of side effects and are often addictive, making switching to a natural remedy like CBD even more appealing.
Ways to consume CBD
- Oils - These potent oils are created by diluting CBD extract in a carrier oil like coconut or olive and will come with a dropper or in a spray format. Oils are said to be one of the best ways to consume CBD, however it’s important to try out various methods to see what works best for you. CBD oil can be added to any type of food, sprayed into the mouth, or placed directly under the tongue with a dropper, the latter of which produces the most immediate effect.
- Dry herb - If you prefer to roll up a joint and smoke weed the traditional way—just with some added benefits—look for a high CBD, low THC strain so you can take advantage of the effects of CBD without getting high. Some of the most popular strains are Ringo’s Gift, which has a 25:1 average CBD to THC ratio, ACDC (20:1), or Charlotte’s Web (30:1).
- Vaping - I’m sure you’ve seen or maybe even tried one of the many CBD vape brands on the market since they are everywhere. Just like normal marijuana, smokers can easily find disposable and refillable CBD vape pens that work with dry herb, oil, or concentrates. Be sure to look over the list of ingredients as to avoid any additives, carriers, or thinning agents, which are known to be harmful to the body.
- Capsules/pills - Capsules are one of the only ways you can control the exact dose of CBD you’re getting, which can often be very inaccurate when smoking. Capsules are also one of the more discreet and simpler ways to get your cannabidiol fix.
- Topicals - There are a variety of brands that have infused CBD into lotions, creams, lip balm, patches, and salves, just to name a few. These topicals are perfect for spot treating specific areas of the body with pain, but also claims to work on skin conditions like acne, psoriasis, and more. Always choose a topical with a very high concentration of CBD since the skin doesn’t absorb as efficiently as other methods such as smoking or using oils.
- Food and Beverages - Eating or drinking your CBD is also an option, however just like THC laced edibles, it can take an hour or so to feel the full effects. From sparkling water and lattes to gummies, chocolate, and honey, CBD can be found in all sorts of common snacks and beverages. Since products with cannabidiol are not treated the same as THC products, you might even be able to find them at your normal grocery store and coffee shop.
When it comes to consuming CBD, the method you decide to go with really depends on what you’re comfortable with doing (i.e. people who prefer not to smoke) and how well it works with your body. What works for one person isn’t necessarily the method that will work best for you, so make sure to give a few options a try before settling on one.