cbd for sleep?
this is a really interesting article written and produced by our friends at https://www.sleephelp.org/
these guys are based in America so make sure to check the legal status of any hemp or cannabis based products in your country, be safe…not sorry 🙂
What is CBD Oil? A Beginner’s Guide to Cannabidiol Uses, Benefits, and Side Effects
Have you been hearing about CBD oil but aren’t sure of exactly what it is or how it could help you?
CBD is becoming extremely popular across the country and world. People use it for sleep, pain relief, anxiety, and many other applications. But what is CBD, and how can it help you?
CBD is an abbreviation for cannabidiol. It’s one of the many active cannabinoids found in the Cannabis sativa plant. Commercially available CBD products are almost always derived from industrial hemp, and not marijuana – although CBD can be found in all varieties of cannabis.
Before using CBD, it’s important to understand how it can potentially help you. Equally important is learning about any potential risks associated with its use.
If you’ve been thinking about buying CBD oil but aren’t sure where to start, this article will help clarify dosages, administration, and any tools you need to make an informed decision regarding CBD oil and your body.
What is CBD Oil?
CBD oilCBD oil is a health supplement manufactured from cannabidiol, a compound found in cannabis and industrial hemp. The term “CBD oil” can refer to packaged CBD extracts mixed with various carrier oils, but it is also used to reference CBD itself.
CBD is a cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. Over 100 cannabinoids have been discovered so far, each with their own effects and applications. Cannabidiol, or CBD, was the second compound isolated in the cannabis plant—found in 1963 by researchers Mechoulam and Shvo. It also happens to be considered one of the most useful compounds in the cannabis plant.
Cannabidiol is one of the primary compounds in marijuana that provides therapeutic effects. However, it is not psychoactive, meaning it does not cause a euphoric “high” (unlike THC, the psychoactive cannabinoid in marijuana). This is one reason that CBD shows such a high potential for therapeutic value: It may help to relieve the symptoms of chronic pain, sleep disorders, anxiety, cancer, and more, but it does not cause intoxication.
Are CBD Products Made from Hemp or Marijuana?
Much of the CBD used medicinally around the world comes from the hemp plant, and not from psychoactive marijuana. Any CBD products that you can find online will be made exclusively from industrial hemp, and will contain only trace amounts of THC.
If you live in an area that has legalized marijuana, then you may also be able to find marijuana-derived CBD products. These products will likely also contain THC, making them potentially psychoactive. Marijuana-derived CBD products are generally only legal in states with specific legislation on cannabis products, while hemp-derived CBD oils are available nationwide.
For therapeutic uses, many people prefer hemp-derived CBD products, as they do not cause intoxication. They are also more widely available, both online and even in some health-food stores. You can find more information on the differences between hemp and marijuana in a later section.
How is CBD Oil Made?
CBD oil is extracted from industrial hemp plants. Not all hemp varieties are rich in CBD, so cultivators breed specific strains to offer very high CBD concentrations alongside very low THC levels.
Most CBD-rich hemp is grown in a handful of US states that have been proactive in passing pro-hemp legislation. Colorado and Kentucky were the two largest producers in 2018, but more states are catching up as the industry expands.
The process to actually extract CBD oil from plants involves harvesting the flowers and leaves, drying them, and extracting using some sort of solvent. CO2 is the most commonly used solvent, and it’s also considered the cleanest. Chemical solvents and alcohol can also be used.
The dried hemp flowers and leaves are ground into a fine powder to aid extraction. Solvents are applied, either at a high pressure (common with CO2 extraction) or a slow soak (alcohol/methanol extraction) to draw out the CBD and other cannabinoids.
Depending on the specific goal of the manufacturer, a further process called winterization may then take place. Winterization subjects the extracted CBD oil to cold temperatures, which helps to separate the fatty acids and lipids. This helps to preserve the ideal chemical make-up for CBD oil, and also helps improve shelf life.
The CBD oil is then analyzed for potency and cannabinoid content, usually by a third-party lab. Labs will test for levels of CBD and other cannabinoids, terpenes, and any potential contaminants. And most importantly, the oil is tested for THC content. In order to be sold legally as a health supplement, the finished CBD oil must test at less than 0.3% THC.
At this point, the CBD oil is a thick consistency with a dark color and an earthy, grassy taste. It can now be mixed with carrier oils to create oral tinctures, or used to manufacture various products, such as CBD oil capsules, ointments, vape oil cartridges, and more.
This is the basic process of how CBD is made – but keep in mind that methods do vary depending on the goals of the manufacturer. For instance, some CBD companies produce full spectrum CBD oil, which contains most of the cannabinoids and terpenes found in the hemp plant. Others seek to manufacture CBD isolate oil, which strips out the other cannabinoids and terpenes, leaving just cannabidiol.
CBD vs. THC
CBD is not the same thing as THC, although both are cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. The main difference between THC and CBD is that CBD is not psychoactive, unlike the well-known cannabinoid THC, or delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol.
The World Health Organization defines psychoactive drugs as: “…substances that, when taken in or administered into one’s system, affect mental processes, e.g., cognition or effect.”
In plain terms, this means that psychoactive drugs cause a high, or intoxicate you. Since CBD is not psychoactive, it will not significantly alter your state of mind or make you feel “high” when used.
CBD and THC work differently in your body’s endocannabinoid system, producing different effects. While THC can cause a euphoric “high”, CBD will not.
This is one reason why CBD is so beneficial for various therapeutic uses. It can be used freely without worry of intoxication or clouded judgement. CBD products are used by millions of people daily, and many appreciate the fact that they can go about their daily lives without interference.
Hemp vs. Marijuana
Both hemp and marijuana come from the same plant (Cannabis sativa), which creates a fair amount of confusion. However, there are big differences between these two varieties of the same plant family.
Marijuana is a psychoactive drug that is smoked, vaporized or consumed for both recreational and medicinal applications. Marijuana contains high concentrations of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis. Commonly referred to as “weed”, marijuana is a popular recreational drug, and it’s also widely used to address medical concerns including insomnia, depression, eating disorders and more.
Hemp is a variety of Cannabis sativa that has a very low THC content, making it non-psychoactive. While marijuana is largely used for recreational and medicinal applications, hemp is mostly used for industrial purposes. Hemp can be used for a wide variety of applications, including the manufacture of paper, textiles, construction materials, food products, and of course, CBD oil.
The legal distinction between hemp and marijuana is based on the plant’s THC content. A Cannabis sativa plant with more than 0.3% THC is considered a marijuana plant, while varieties with less than 0.3% THC are considered industrial hemp. The same 0.3 percent THC level restriction is used for CBD oil, too.
To comply with this legal limit and produce the highest quality CBD products possible, modern hemp growers develop strains that produce as much CBD as possible, while minimizing THC content. Hemp crops in the US are tested frequently to ensure that compliance with federal THC restrictions is maintained.
On the other hand, marijuana producers often seek to maximize THC content. High grade cannabis from marijuana plants can easily exceed 35% THC, compared to the less than 0.3% found in industrial hemp.
CBD and the Endocannabinoid System
Many of the beneficial effects of CBD are caused by its interactions with the endocannabinoid system, a recently-discovered biological system in humans, mammals, reptiles and other vertebrates. The system interacts with endocannabinoids, which are produced naturally in the human body, and serves a variety of important roles. The primary function of endocannabinoids is to help maintain bodily homeostasis, which refers to maintaining biological harmony in response to changes in the environment. In other words, endocannabinoids help to keep us relatively calm and biologically functional in changing environments and during times of stress. The endocannabinoid system is essentially a regulator of our behaviors and energy balances.
The endocannabinoid system is at least partially involved in a huge variety of biological processes, including sleep, stress, pain, metabolism, mood, memory and more. Cannabinoid receptors, which interact with endocannabinoids and make up the bulk of this biological system, are found all over the body. Cannabinoid receptors can be found in the brain, connective tissues, skin, heart, intestines, and more.
The three main components of the endocannabinoid system are cannabinoid receptors found throughout the body, endocannabinoids themselves (small molecules that activate the cannabinoid receptors on the cells), and metabolic enzymes, which break down endocannabinoids after use. Cannabinoids such as CBD attach to receptors in our bodies known as CB1 and CB2 receptors, and each cannabinoid affects the body in different ways.
Fascinatingly, it appears that cannabinoids – the compounds such as CBD and THC that are found in cannabis – mimic these naturally-occurring endocannabinoids which our bodies already produce. It was actually the cannabis plant that led to the discovery of the endocannabinoid system (which is now named after cannabis). Scientists who sought to study the various therapeutic effects of marijuana first encountered the endocannabinoid system in the 1990s, and the discovery was a significant breakthrough for medical science.
The discovery of this system was hugely important to our understanding of human health. As one clinical trial editor put it, “The endogenous cannabinoid system—named for the plant that led to its discovery—is one of the most important physiologic systems involved in establishing and maintaining human health…the endocannabinoids are literally a bridge between body and mind. By understanding this system, we begin to see a mechanism that could connect brain activity and states of physical health and disease”.
Many aspects of the system are still being studied, but suffice it to say that the discovery of the endocannabinoid system was a massive breakthrough in our understanding of our own biological processes.
Until the discovery of the endocannabinoid system, very little was known about why cannabis caused therapeutic effects on the body and mind. Today, research conducted on the endocannabinoid system has helped researchers increase our understanding of the positive attributes of CBD and other cannabinoids.
CBD Benefits and Uses
CBD has many potential uses and positive effects on the body and mind. Millions of people worldwide use CBD products for pain, anxiety, sleep, and much more.
Due to the legal prohibition of cannabis over the years, many attributes of CBD have not been fully studied in clinical trials. However, recent legislation has allowed for more in-depth clinical studies than ever before. Recently, even the U.S. government has funded some clinical trials.
CBD is quickly becoming a widely-accepted product for therapeutic purposes. Just this year, CBD was taken off the list of banned substances by the World Anti-Doping Agency, and in June of 2018 the FDA approved the first medication with CBD oil in it, a drug for severe epilepsy. There are also more studies being conducted on the efficacy of CBD oil each year, as the medical community seeks to understand more about this fascinating cannabinoid.
What is CBD Used For?
Cannabis has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for many things. While studies are ongoing, there is some scientific evidence and a lot of anecdotal evidence of how CBD oil has helped people who suffer from both physical and mental illnesses.
CBD Benefits for Physical Health
Here are some physical conditions CBD may be helpful for, and how.
Note: CBD is not FDA approved for any medical treatments aside from one very specific form of epilepsy. This page is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, prevent, or treat any medical condition.
Is CBD Oil Legal?
CBD oil and other cannabinoids are not 100% legal in the United States. Laws vary depending on the state you live in. The legality of CBD oil also depends on how it was produced.
CBD oil derived from hemp (which must have less than 0.3% THC to be considered hemp) is federally legal under the 2018 Farm Bill. However, some states have laws restricting the use of CBD products, even if they are derived from hemp.
CBD oil derived from marijuana (Cannabis sativa plants containing more than 0.3% THC), on the other hand, is federally illegal. These products are much more restricted and are only available in medical marijuana dispensaries and cannabis retail stores in states with recreational marijuana laws.
If the product is derived from hemp and contains less than 0.3% THC, you can buy it legally under federal law. All CBD oil products sold online are derived from hemp and tested to meet the 0.3% THC limit. Most CBD ecommerce retailers ship to all US states, but you should still check state laws in your area.
As mentioned, state laws surrounding cannabis products vary. According to data from the National Conference of State Legislatures, 33 states plus Washington DC, Guam, and Puerto Rico have medical marijuana and medicinal cannabis by-products programs, and 13 states have separate laws allowing “low THC, high CBD” products for medicinal or recreational use.
The only states or territories with absolutely no public cannabis access programs at all are Idaho, Nebraska, Kansas, South Dakota, and American Samoa.
Every state in the U.S. has different regulations. For example, Louisiana has legalized medical marijuana, but it cannot be smoked. It can be used in oils, ointments, and topical applications. Alabama and Mississippi allow medical marijuana, but only for specific and severe epilepsy. It’s important to check laws in your state for specifics.
At the federal level, marijuana and its extracts that contain THC are still considered Schedule I substances under the Controlled Substances Act. There have been measures put into place to allow states to make their own regulations, but it is important to realize that it is still not legal at the federal level.
Cannabis laws are complex and convoluted. However, as an individual interested in CBD use, here’s what you need to know: CBD products derived from hemp, and containing less than 0.3% THC, are legal in most states. CBD oil is widely available online, in health food stores and increasingly at mainstream retailers such as Kroger. Although laws are complex, penalties for individual CBD users are exceedingly rare and should not be a concern for responsible users.
How to take CBD Oil
There is a lot of confusion surrounding the best way to take CBD oil, the proper dosages to follow, etc. Unfortunately, no official dosage guidelines exist. It’s recommended to consult with your medical doctor before using CBD products. The section below is intended for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice.
Here are the four ways to use CBD:
Topically (on the skin)
Inhaling it (vaping)
Sublingually (putting it under your tongue)
Topical Application (Creams & Salves)
You can use CBD-infused creams, lotions, and salves on your skin to help relieve joint and muscle pain. Because it is on your skin, the CBD oil is only absorbed into the topmost layer of your body’s cells in that area, and the CBD does not get into your bloodstream or affect the rest of your body. This is a great way to assist with muscle and joint pain in a very targeted area and with very minimal risk of side effects.
Ingesting CBD Oil (Capsules & Edibles)
Eating or taking a pill is generally considered to be the easiest way to take CBD oil. If you want to use CBD oil for sleeping, taking it orally is generally considered the best method. CBD edibles and capsules also offer the benefit of a highly controlled dose.