What is CBD? A Q&A Guide For the CBD Curious

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No burying the lede here. What is CBD?

Even though the popularity of using CBD has exploded in recent years, the fact is it’s been around longer than you might think! The first time CBD was successfully separated from the Cannabis sativa plant was in 1940 by a Harvard graduate chemist named Roger Adams, and yet, people are still asking, “What is CBD?”

So… What is CBD?

While CBD is an essential part of medical marijuana, it’s derived directly from the hemp plant, a sort of cousin to the marijuana plant. The Farm Bill of 2018 legalized industrial hemp as an agricultural commodity and removed it from the list of controlled substances making industrial hemp product, including CBD, legal at the federal level in all 50 states.

The Hemp Farming Act included in the Farm Bill still provides states with the ability to oversee its legality at a state level, however, so it’s important to know your state’s laws on CBD.

So with its popularity exploding (as many as 14% of Americans saying they use CBD products in 2019), you might have found yourself curious about CBD. How does CBD work? What is it? Do I want CBD oils or edibles? Those are all great questions.

In this Q&A guide for CBD we’re exploring:

  • What’s the difference between CBD vs. THC?
  • Does CBD get you high?
  • What does CBD oil do?
  • What do CBD edibles do?
  • How long does CBD last?

We don’t want to overwhelm you with information so consider this an introductory guide.

What’s the Difference Between CBD vs. THC?

For the CBD curious it’s important to note the differences between CBD vs. THC *and* what is CBD in relation to THC. Both are cannabinoids but an easy way to distinguish between them is by how they make you feel. THC is a psychoactive part of marijuana that gives you a high. CBD, on the other hand, is a non-intoxicating compound and doesn’t impair your mind.

Another difference between CBD vs. THC is that CBD by itself won’t show up on a drug test since most are designed to detect THC breakdowns. Broad-spectrum CBD products (which is what hello amber primarily carries, outside of our full spectrum CBD tincture) entirely remove THC during the extraction process whereas full-spectrum CBD products may contain trace amounts of THC (>0.3%). There’s also a third kind of CBD offering called CBD isolate where CBD is fully extracted away from all other compounds to present an almost pure CBD product.

We’ll be talking more about what the extraction process is, the pros and cons, and the different CBD types in a future post!

Does CBD Get You High?

Nope! Go ahead and add that CBD oil to your morning coffee with no fear of accidentally getting high before diving into your projects for the day (or accidentally running into people.)

Since it’s not psychoactive CBD doesn’t affect your brain in the same way THC does. Actually, CBD acts as a CB1 antagonist, meaning it can block or inhibit the effects of THC that produce a regular high. Using CBD oil or tinctures may give an uplifting feeling, but it’s not the same as a regular “high.”

A report from the World Health Organization has also stated, “In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential…. To date, there is no evidence of public health-related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.”

What is Carrier Oil?

Carrier oil is an oil that carries CBD extracted from the hemp plant and you’ll often notice it on the container’s ingredients list. Carrier oils are plant-based fatty oils (like high quality virgin olive oil or sunflower oil) as CBD is soluble in fats and oils, not water. The oil allows CBD to dissolve making it easier to use.

Carrier oil also enhances CBD absorption and makes measuring dosages easier. There are different types of carrier oils each with their own benefits.

What Does CBD Oil Do?

Supplementing your lifestyle with CBD products varies from person to person. While there are no definitive claims to specific health benefits of CBD oil, it has been studied for its potential role in helping with many common health issues such as:
  • Relieving stress and anxiety
  • Reducing symptoms of depression
  • Providing pain relief
  • Fighting acne and other inflammatory skin issues
  • Treating neurological disorders like epilepsy and multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • Preventing cognitive decline due to diseases like Alzheimer’s

There are a variety of ways of ingesting CBD oil depending on what you’re taking it for and what you want to achieve. It’s great for supporting morning clarity and preparing to take on the day ahead! We love adding CBD oil to our morning coffee (essential for life, right?) and enjoying it as we get ready. You can also add it to a nightcap beverage in the evening as part of a nightly ritual to unwind before bed.

You don’t have to put CBD oil in a beverage, though. You can also take it directly sublingually. Taking your CBD oil under the tongue helps it absorb into your bloodstream even more quickly.

How long a CBD product takes to work varies from person to person. It’ll depend on factors like body weight, metabolism, dosage, product quality, and how you take it. CBD oil kicks in the fastest of most CBD products and may be felt within minutes.

What Do CBD Edibles Do?

CBD edibles may provide similar health benefits to CBD oil but come with their own set of pros and cons.

If adding CBD oil to a drink while on the go or at an office may feel uncomfortable to you, a CBD edible is much more discreet. There are lots of options for CBD edibles from traditional chocolate bars to strawberry lemonade CBD gummies (which we affectionately call Epic Sunset). Keeping in mind the dosage you want is important, though, so choose a CBD edible that is easy to measure out.

When you’re choosing a CBD edible you also need to think of the shelf-life it has. While CBD oil may last for a long time, the lifespan of a CBD edible is only as long as the form it takes. For example, a CBD brownie won’t last as long as a CBD gummy. So think about how frequently you will be using your CBD product before purchasing.

Unlike CBD oil, a CBD edible may take a little longer to kick in (up to an hour). This is great if you need additional time to unwind after a hectic workday and may help you sleep better.

How Long Does CBD Last? 🕐

If you’re planning to add CBD to your routine you want to know how long the effects last, right? Figuring out how long CBD lasts in your system will vary from person to person just like how long it takes to kick in. It’ll depend on the method of ingestion (oil, edible, topical, etc.), product quality, the frequency you use CBD products, and how your body reacts with CBD itself.

As a general rule of thumb we say you can expect the effects of CBD to last from 2 to 8 hours. If you’re new to CBD, give it time to start working. Consistent daily use may give the best results when it comes to CBD oil and edibles.

If you’ve found yourself curious about CBD, hopefully our Q&A guide answered some of your questions! Determining which products and routines work best for your lifestyle may take a little adjusting, so don’t be afraid to give different products a try. Consider using different CBD products at various points in your day like adding CBD oil to your morning coffee to support clarity or a CBD edible after work to unwind for the night. Using CBD products regularly will yield the best results. Luckily for you, we know just where you can find them.

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