Is CBD for Me?

Danette Preston with Settlers Natural Market in Moses Lake helps to answer the question

Health Matters Posted on Dec 16, 2019
Unless you have been living in a cave, you have no doubt heard a lot of buzz about CBD lately. From capsules and tinctures to beverages and burgers, CBD is everywhere and for good reason! CBD (Cannabidiol) is only one of over 100 compounds extracted from industrial (agricultural) Hemp. Hemp is in the same family as marijuana (the cannabis family) but has a very different chemical makeup.

What is the difference between CBD & Marijuana? CBD is NOT marijuana, and it will not make you high. Marijuana refers only to the varieties of Cannabis that contain the compound that gets you high, called THC (tetra-hydrocannabinol). Marijuana varieties are bred for higher levels of THC and lower levels of CBD. Hemp, on the other hand, is legally defined as varieties of cannabis that have virtually no THC and contains higher levels of CBD. The amount of residual THC in full-spectrum hemp is less than 1/3 of one percent. CBD completely counteracts the ‘psychoactive’ effects of THC (up to 6%).1

How does it work? The Endocanabinoid System is a recently discovered body system that may be the most important physiologic system involved in establishing and maintaining our health. Discovered in 1992, the endocannabinoid system (ECS) refers to endocannabinoids, the enzymes that regulate their production and degradation, and their receptors.

Endocannabinoids are “messengers”, isolated from brain and peripheral tissues that communicate via cannabinoid receptors.2 These functions all contribute to homeostasis, which refers to the stability of your internal environment. For example, if an outside force, such as pain from an injury or a fever, throws off your body’s homeostasis, your ECS kicks in to help your body return to its ideal operation.

Today, experts believe that maintaining homeostasis if the primary role of the ECS. However, the phytocannabinoid CBD doesn’t directly trigger either receptor. Instead, it modifies the receptors' ability to bind to cannabinoids. Additionally, CBD plays a larger role in the endocannabinoid system: influencing other types of receptors, while also enhancing your natural levels of endocannabinoids by occupying certain enzymes.3 The ECS exists and is active in your body even if you don’t use cannabis.

Is it Safe? CBD has a remarkable safety profile. No cases of toxicity or overdose from the use of hemp-based CBD oil have been reported so far. In spite of its benefits, CBD, like anything we can ingest or use on ourselves, can have side effects in some people. Do your own research and consult your health care professional to find out if there may be interactions with other medications you may be taking.4

What are the benefits of CBD? CBD has been recognized for its benefits on human and animal health and is capable of affecting nearly every biological process via the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Hemp contains excellent nutritional value, providing essential nutritional components called Essential Fatty acids that the human body does not produce naturally, and must be consumed by the diet. Further, emerging scientific research supports the consumption of CBD from hemp oil for general well-being and keeps you healthy.

Is all CBD created equally? No! With so much attention on CBD at this time, it is crucial to choose a product that is safe and effective. You should be looking for a CBD product that tests for potency, pesticides, herbicides, heavy metals, and residual solvents. Look for a product grown outside in the fresh air and sunshine. Only use CBD from companies that have full traceability and can provide a certificate of analysis. Buy your CBD from trusted sources, like your local Health Food Store, who have researched reliable, trusted companies to bring you the best quality products available.

Will it show up on a drug test? It might. It is recommended that individuals who are required not to fail a drug test, should avoid all hemp-derived products. Even though CBD products will not cause any feelings of intoxication, these products are not completely THC free.

Is there a THC-free CBD? Yes. CBD can be obtained from citrus as well as hemp, though the reviews are mixed as to the compared effectiveness of the two. CBD isolates are another option to get a TCH-free product, but in doing so, you are removing so many of the other naturally occurring constituents that work synergistically with the CBD to provide maximum health benefits. Products labeled as THC Free are Broad Spectrum and not full-spectrum, as they have undergone further processing to remove the THC to non-detectable levels. Some companies will use THC Free on their labels because the THC is below the legal limit (THC concentration of .3% or less), but the product will still have small traces THC.

Is it legal? On 20th December 2018, the Farm Bill declared that all “hemp” extracts (CBD) are legal agricultural products provided that they contain <0.3% THC. So yes, purchasing CBD is federally legal as long as it doesn’t contain more than 0.3 percent THC, but some state laws have put restrictions on buyers. For example, Virginians can only buy and possess CBD if they have a prescription. While some states allow CBD possession, federal and state law must both agree for CBD to be free of consequence. For example, someone who fails a drug test because of CBD that contains too much THC will not be allowed to work a federal job.
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