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Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About CBD (But Were Too Afraid to Ask)

People still seem to be making up their mind about marijuana. Some are vehemently against it, and some are glad it’s finally legal where they live. But its increased popularity and availability has brought up an interesting question: for those among us who aren’t looking to get high, do we have to totally forgo the more benign effects like pain relief and relaxation?

The answer might surprise you—as it turns out, we might be able to have our cake and eat it too. The key here is a cannabinoid product called CBD.

What Is It?

Marijuana contains two chemicals that set it apart from more mundane leaves: tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). The former is the psychoactive ingredient; in other words, THC is what gets you high—the euphoric, “Whoa, man,” feeling. 

CBD, on the other hand, is an entirely different beast. It doesn’t inebriate or intoxicate. In fact, according to some uses, it may even clear the mind, making it easier to think straight. It’s been linked to a number of potentially positive effects, from relaxation and anxiety reduction to pain relief. And the good news is, marijuana isn’t the only place you can find it. 

Why Is It So Popular?

Marijuana is actually part of a family of plants, a family that includes hemp. What makes hemp special is this: unlike marijuana, which is high in THC and low in CBD, hemp is high in CBD, and very low in THC. The average THC content of CBD products derived from hemp is .3% or less. What this means is that people can enjoy the benefits of CBD without even testing positive for THC on the majority of drug tests. Oh, and of course, it doesn’t get you high. 

What Does It Do?

We’re still in the early stages of research regarding CBD and there’s a lot we don’t know, so it’s good advice to be wary of any CBD product that guarantees anything. That said, there are some initial results, and a lot of anecdotal evidence, that suggest it can help with a number of things. 

What we know for sure is this: it’s a wonder drug for kids with conditions like epilepsy. In fact, it’s recent explosion in popularity is largely due to the discovery of its effectiveness at reducing the number of seizures these kids have. The FDA has even recently approved the first prescription-strength medication that contains CBD.

Beyond that primary effect, users have reported reductions in chronic pain (both nerve-based and inflammation-based), alleviation of stress and anxiety, and a host of other positive effects. It’s not a cure-all, and it works a little different for everybody, but for people who have suffered for years and tried everything else out there, CBD may work where other products have failed. 

Where Do I Get It?

While marijuana and marijuana products are still a toss-up legality-wise depending on where you live, recent legislation has made hemp and hemp products a lot easier to come by. Only three states—Idaho, Nebraska, and South Dakota—have a ban on CBD oil. In every other state, CBD is legal, whether or not marijuana is. 

Where you buy it is up to you. Many people pick it up at their local dispensary, as CBD is often sold alongside other cannabis products. If you don’t feel comfortable with that, you can get it online, as it’s now legal to ship. 

How Do I Use It?

There’s a number of delivery systems for CBD. It comes in oils and tinctures, in edibles, and even in vape form. It can be consumed, respirated, or applied topically. Using depends on your need and the effect you’re looking for—applying topically results in localized relief; vaping it results in faster relief, but with a shorter duration. Most people take it orally.

CBD is unregulated, though, so potency varies by brand. You may find that determining an effective dose for you will take some trial and error. 

For more information on CBD, what it is, where to get it, and how to use it, contact the experts at Keen Leaf.