What is CBD? | Cannabidiol Definition by Weedmaps (2022)

Cannabidiol, or CBD for short,is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid found in cannabis. Cannabidiol is the second-most abundant cannabinoid in the plant after tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). It has many potential therapeutic benefits, including anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-anxiety, and seizure-suppressant properties. CBD can be sourced from both marijuana and hemp plants.

CBD is the yang to THC's yin; it may calm anxiety and elevate your level of chill without intoxication.

Combine THC and CBD to fully enjoy the entourage effect.

What is CBD?

The phytocannabinoid cannabidiol is a non-intoxicating molecule that results from the heating, or decarboxylation, of cannabidiolic acid (CBDA). Most cannabis cultivars have lower concentrations of CBD than THC. However, following an explosive discovery in 2009, droves of CBD-rich cultivars began cropping up across the US.

Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

How CBD works

CBD's actions within the brain and body are quite complicated. It's very likely that the beneficial effects of CBD operate through diverse biological pathways, rather than by a single action. More research is needed to fully understand the mechanisms by which CBD relieves ailments such as seizures.

CBD directly interacts with several proteins in the body and central nervous system, a few of which are components of the endocannabinoid system (ECS). CBD has an affinity for both the CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors. Our bodies have several other receptor proteins that participate in the endocannabinoid system, such as GPR3, GPR6, TRPV1, and TRPV2, for example. CBD binds to all of these, and its possible anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects may occur through these pathways.

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CBD has some other very important roles outside the ECS. For instance, CBD mildly activates one of the brain's predominant serotonin receptors (5-HT1A) in mice, which may explain its supposed effects on depression and anxiety. It also acts at the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) in mice, which may indicate its usefulness in fighting inflammation.

CBD can affect liver function, however. Similar to grapefruit, CBD can inhibit certain drug-metabolizing enzymes in the liver, resulting in much higher levels of some prescription medications in the bloodstream. If you are taking medication, check with your physician before using CBD.

Legality

In the United States

The legality of CBD in the United States depends on whether it is derived from industrial hemp or marijuana plants. Following the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp-derived CBD products containing less than 0.3% THC became legal. Marijuana-derived CBD remains illegal under federal law, but it is available in states that have legalized marijuana for medical and adult use.

Internationally

The mosaic of laws that govern CBD legality across the globe varies just as much as the legislation across the United States. Most Group of 20 (G20) countries allow CBD extracted from industrial hemp, but not CBD extracted from whole-plant marijuana.

Is CBD a drug?

CBD fits the definition of a psychoactive substance as it can subtly alter perception and mood. However, it's important to reiterate that unlike weed, CBD does not cause intoxication. CBD is a non-intoxicating substance, so it cannot stimulate the level of sensory and psychological effects that THC does.

How does CBD relate to THC?

The relationship between THC and CBD is complex, but in short, CBD appears to minimize some of THC's less desirable effects, such as paranoia, heart palpitations, and impaired thinking. A combination of THC and CBD may offer enhanced therapeutic value to patients. This phenomenon of cannabis-derived molecules working more synergistically together than they do in isolation is commonly referred to as the entourage effect.

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Medical uses

Consumers report using CBD for a huge variety of health and wellness reasons, but significantly more research is needed to determine the symptoms and ailments it can most successfully treat. Currently, there are over 60clinical trials are examining the effectiveness of CBD for a variety of conditions.

If you're using CBD, it's a good idea to do some research to inform your dosage. Young children can tolerate daily doses of up to 20 milligrams per kilogram of body weight. For a 175-pound (79.4-kilogram) adult, that's more than 1,500 milligrams. The most common side effect of large doses of CBD is sleepiness.

Research into CBD has been conducted for the following conditions.

Pain relief and anti-inflammation

According to research, when CBD is introduced to our endocannabinoid system, it prevents the body from absorbing a pain-regulating compound known as anandamide, an endogenous cannabinoid. Inhibiting the absorption of this compound shunts excess quantities into the bloodstream that in turn, may reduce pain. CBD may also target specific spinal receptors helping to suppress pain and inflammation. In both human and animal models, CBD seems to have a variety of anti-inflammatory properties.

Epilepsy and seizures

One of CBD's chief benefits is its anticonvulsant properties. CBD has been documented as a potential antiepileptic since 1881; it was approved by the Food and Drug Administration for treating severe types of childhood epilepsy in 2018. However, its anticonvulsant mechanisms are still not fully understood. One possible explanation for CBD's perceived neuroprotective effects is its interaction with NMDA receptors, which play a key role in the type of neuronal activity that is a hallmark of epilepsy.

Addiction treatment

In 2015, researchers from the University of Montreal conducted a comprehensive review of CBD as an intervention for addictive behaviors. They concluded that CBD might have a beneficial impact on opioid, cocaine, and psychostimulant addiction. In addition, studies suggest that CBD may also be helpful in the treatment of tobacco addiction. One reason may be CBD's potential ability to ease the anxiety that leads people to crave drugs such as heroin.

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Does CBD affect mood?

Existing evidence suggests that CBD could help treat some anxiety disorders. For instance, at doses of 400 to 600 milligrams, CBD can alleviate situational anxiety, such as public speaking. Interestingly, cannabis cultivars that are high in CBD and low in THC may be better than other cultivars for alleviating depression.

Single compound vs. whole plant

The Hebrew University of Israel published a studyin 2015 that documented the potency of single-molecule CBD extract versus the potency of whole-plant CBD-rich extract. It found that extract taken from whole plant CBD-rich cannabis seemed to be therapeutically superior to single-molecule extract.

The scientists behind this study noticed that researchers had been utilizing pure, single-molecule CBD, which resulted in a bell-shaped dose-response curve. This curve indicates that CBD's efficacy plummets at very high and very low doses.

Industrial hemp and whole-plant marijuana

Industrial hemp contains far less CBD by weight than CBD-rich cultivars such as Harlequin or Sour Tsunami. A single 10 milliliter dose of CBD requires the cultivation and extraction of significantly more hemp than whole-plant marijuana, thus raising the risk of exposing users to more contaminants. Hemp is classified as a bio-accumulator, or a plant that naturally absorbs toxins from the soil.

Also, CBD derived from industrial hemp lacks the incredibly diverse profile of different cannabinoids and terpenes found in whole-plant marijuana. CBD derived from hemp seems to have a weaker entourage effect.

Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

High-CBD strains

AC/DC: A sativa-dominant phenotype of Cannatonic, this cultivar boasts one of the highest ratios of CBD to THC, clocking in at 20:1.

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Harlequin: This cultivar was bred by crossing classic landraces from Nepal, Switzerland, and Thailand. Its consistent 5:2 CBD to THC ratio ranks it among CBD-rich staple cultivars.

Sour Tsunami: One of the first strains bred for its CBD content, this cultivar typically sports a 1:1 ratio of CBD to THC.

CBD products

Cannabidiol is as versatile as THC, if not more so, and has worked its way into a host of products.

Flower: Combusting or vaporizing CBD weed allows users to feel the potential therapeutic effects of CBD almost immediately.

Isolate: CBD isolate is cannabidiol in its purest form: a fine white powder. This crystalline form of CBD is versatile and allows users to measure precise doses.

Concentrates: CBD can also be purchased in concentrate form, including raw CBD oil, cartridges, vape pens, syringes, and more. Concentrates bridge the gap between CBD flower and CBD isolate.

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Infusions: Research and opportunity have driven chefs and chemists to infuse CBD into all sorts of readily usable products, including edibles, elixirs, sublingual sprays, and even topicals.

FAQs

How is CBD defined? ›

Overview. Cannabidiol (CBD) is a chemical in the Cannabis sativa plant, also known as cannabis or hemp. One specific form of CBD is approved as a drug in the U.S. for seizures. Over 80 chemicals, known as cannabinoids, have been found in the Cannabis sativa plant.

What are the 3 types of CBD? ›

There are three types of CBD, containing different compounds and concentrations:
  • Full-spectrum: Includes all parts of the cannabis plant. Full-spectrum products contain less than <0.3% THC .
  • Broad-spectrum: This contains most of the cannabis plant compounds. ...
  • Isolates: Only contain CBD, with no other cannabinoids or THC.

What does CBD mean in smoking? ›

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a cannabinoid, a type of natural compound found in cannabis and hemp. It's one of hundreds of compounds in these plants, but it's received more attention lately as changes to state and federal laws have led to a rise in the production of CBD-infused products.

Does CBD affect the brain? ›

Studies have shown that CBD can alter the flow of blood in the brain. In reducing the flow of blood to the area of the brain responsible for anxiety, a person's sense of anxiety is also reduced.

Does CBD make you last longer? ›

There is no concrete proof that CBD can help people last longer in bed, as no such research has been done. However, it is worth noting that CBD's anti-anxiety effects can help the blood vessels in the body to relax, resulting in easier blood flow to all parts of the body.

How long does 25 mg of CBD stay in your system? ›

In fact, a 2020 study in the Journal of Analytical Toxicology found people who consumed a single dose of a standardized CBD formulation had detectable levels of CBD in their urine for four to five days after ingestion.

Is hemp and CBD the same? ›

Hemp seed oil is extracted from the seeds of the hemp plant, which is a variety of the cannabis sativa plant that contains less than 0.3% THC, while CBD oil comes from the leaves, stalks and flowers of both cannabis and hemp plants. Both oils can be identified across a variety of products, from beauty to food.

Is smoking CBD addictive? ›

According to a report from the World Health Organization, "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."

Can CBD cause memory loss? ›

While THC can have the reputation of causing memory loss, recent studies have revealed that CBD might have the opposite effect. It is a non-intoxicating substance that can improve memory retention consolidation.

How does CBD affect the heart? ›

In vivo, CBD treatment does not appear to have any effect on resting blood pressure or heart rate, but does reduce the cardiovascular response to various types of stress.

Will CBD oil show up on a drug test? ›

Long story short, yes, CBD may yield a positive result on a drug test. There are certain actions you can take to determine whether the product you're buying contains the lowest amount of THC possible, but there's no guarantee that the labeling is accurate due to the lack of regulation of CBD products.

Does CBD help with arthritis? ›

The American Arthritis Foundation reports that CBD may be a beneficial option for people with arthritis and recommends discussing all treatments with your healthcare provider. For many people, this non-psychotropic, mild cannabinoid can offer relief from the chronic pain of osteoarthritis with minimal side effects.

What kind of CBD is strongest? ›

Top 6 Strongest Most Potent CBD Oils in 2022
  • Editor's Pick: Royal CBD (2500 mg full-spectrum CBD oil) ...
  • Best Organic Formula: Gold Bee (1200 mg full-spectrum CBD oil) ...
  • Runner-up: CBDPure (600 mg full-spectrum CBD oil) ...
  • NuLeaf Naturals (1800 mg full-spectrum CBD oil) ...
  • CBDistillery (1000 mg full-spectrum CBD oil)
23 Aug 2022

How much CBD is enough relax? ›

"For generalized anxiety or sleep disorders, 25 to 75 milligrams per day is recommended, while for PTSD, 33 to 50 milligrams per day is recommended. In severe anxiety, a patient's dose might be increased to 300 to 600 milligrams.

Do CBD gummies work for pain? ›

CBD may help to reduce pain by acting on a variety of biological processes in the body. CBD has been shown to work as an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and analgesic. CBD may also reduce the anxiety that people living with chronic pain often experience.

How long after taking CBD oil Can I drink water? ›

Even if you consume sublingual CBD oil, there's no need to wait at least an hour before drinking water afterward. It's okay to wash what's left down with water as long as you've given the CBD oil some time to sit beneath your tongue for between 30 and 60 seconds.

Which is better for pain CBD or hemp? ›

On the other hand, CBD oil may offer all sorts of benefits, including relief from stress and anxiety, better sleep, effective pain management, and more. So if you're looking for an oil that offers therapeutic benefits, you'll want to try CBD opposed to hemp seed oil, which has very little effects.

Which is better CBD or hemp? ›

Hemp oil typically has more nutritional benefits, while CBD oil is best for treating the conditions we mentioned above (anxiety and depression). And, when it comes to hemp oil and CBD oil for pain relief, CBD oil wins (although hemp oil can help as well).

Can U Get Hooked on CBD? ›

Summary. While chronic cannabis use may increase the risk of dependence, CBD alone does not appear to have the potential for addiction or abuse. Preliminary evidence suggests that CBD may help treat substance use disorder.

Is CBD good for mental health? ›

CBD oil has been used to safely treat insomnia and anxiety in children with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a type of anxiety disorder ( 13 ). A small 2019 study also found that CBD was effective for reducing PTSD-related symptoms, including nightmares, in adults ( 14 ).

How long does CBD gummies last for? ›

TL;DR – Most people report that CBD gummies last for about four to six hours. They take roughly 30 minutes to kick in. Eat a CBD gummy, then wait about an hour before you take another. Some people process CBD slower than others.

Is hemp and CBD the same? ›

Hemp seed oil is extracted from the seeds of the hemp plant, which is a variety of the cannabis sativa plant that contains less than 0.3% THC, while CBD oil comes from the leaves, stalks and flowers of both cannabis and hemp plants. Both oils can be identified across a variety of products, from beauty to food.

How long does 25 mg of CBD stay in your system? ›

In fact, a 2020 study in the Journal of Analytical Toxicology found people who consumed a single dose of a standardized CBD formulation had detectable levels of CBD in their urine for four to five days after ingestion.

Will CBD oil show up on a drug test? ›

Long story short, yes, CBD may yield a positive result on a drug test. There are certain actions you can take to determine whether the product you're buying contains the lowest amount of THC possible, but there's no guarantee that the labeling is accurate due to the lack of regulation of CBD products.

How much CBD is enough relax? ›

One 2020 review of studies found that participants showed improvements in anxiety levels after single doses of CBD ranging from 300 to 600 mg. 10 Such results indicate that the CBD may hold promise as a treatment to alleviate symptoms of acute anxiety.

Which is better for pain CBD or hemp? ›

On the other hand, CBD oil may offer all sorts of benefits, including relief from stress and anxiety, better sleep, effective pain management, and more. So if you're looking for an oil that offers therapeutic benefits, you'll want to try CBD opposed to hemp seed oil, which has very little effects.

Which is better CBD or hemp? ›

Hemp oil typically has more nutritional benefits, while CBD oil is best for treating the conditions we mentioned above (anxiety and depression). And, when it comes to hemp oil and CBD oil for pain relief, CBD oil wins (although hemp oil can help as well).

Does CBD oil Help Arthritis pain? ›

Under the guidance of a medical professional, CBD may be helpful in temporarily relieving inflammation and pain associated with arthritis. CBD should not be used as a substitute for disease-modifying treatments or lifestyle modifications recommended by a doctor.

Do CBD gummies work for pain? ›

CBD may help to reduce pain by acting on a variety of biological processes in the body. CBD has been shown to work as an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and analgesic. CBD may also reduce the anxiety that people living with chronic pain often experience.

How long after taking CBD oil Can I drink water? ›

Even if you consume sublingual CBD oil, there's no need to wait at least an hour before drinking water afterward. It's okay to wash what's left down with water as long as you've given the CBD oil some time to sit beneath your tongue for between 30 and 60 seconds.

What happens if u take too much CBD oil? ›

The general consensus among professionals and even the World Health Organization, is that in even in extremely large doses, CBD is likely to cause extreme drowsiness, lethargy, upset stomach, nausea and diarrhoea and other unpleasant, disorienting side effects, not death.

What is CBD oil Good For? ›

People use CBD oil and other CBD-based products for different reasons, including reducing pain, controlling anxiety, and managing seizures. Although studies report few side effects with CBD use, its effectiveness for various medical conditions requires further research.

Is there negative effects to CBD? ›

Though it's often well-tolerated, CBD can cause side effects, such as dry mouth, diarrhea, reduced appetite, drowsiness and fatigue. CBD can also interact with other medications you're taking, such as blood thinners. Another cause for concern is the unreliability of the purity and dosage of CBD in products.

Can I take CBD and drink alcohol? ›

CBD and alcohol may amplify each other's effects, and taking both together in high doses may cause sleepiness and sedation. However, many human and animal studies show that CBD protects against alcohol-induced cell damage and reduces blood alcohol concentration and addiction and withdrawal symptoms.

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