Can CBD Help Me?

Get answers to your toughest questions here

As of this writing, a quick google search for "what is CBD" brings up 443 million search results! The topic is becoming so popular that even people that live under a rock have heard about it. Before we get into "What is CBD", let's first answer "What are the benefits of CBD" that are causing it to become so popular.

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What are the benefits of CBD?

CBD has been used and reported to help various conditions, such as:

  • Pain
  • Seizures
  • Inflammation
  • Nausea
  • Migraines
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Psychosis or Mental Disorders
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease

The primary benefit the average healthy adult would receive from CBD is managing pain, as many of us have nagging aches and pains from our younger years that we’d rather not treat with prescriptions drugs or synthetic over the counter pain pills.
CBD may provide a natural relief to pain without some of the dangers of prescription drugs.

The first FDA approved drug was done in June of 2018 to treat seizures associated with two rare and severe forms of epilepsy.

How does CBD provide these benefits?

We’ll try to keep this as simple as possible.
Our bodies have an endocannabinoid system (ECS).  It’s a biological system composed of, you guessed it – endocannabinoids. 

This system has receptors that receive and translate signals from cannabinoids with the purpose of helping our bodies stay in homeostasis.  
Homeostasis simply means our body’s “pre-determined” levels, for example body temperature of 98.6, to operate normally. 

If something triggers your temperature to go out of normal range, you have cannabinoid receptors that translates the problem to the proper area, allowing your body to begin repair.

Research has linked the ECS to the following processes:
  • Appetite and Digestion
  • Metabolism
  • Chronic Pain
  • Inflammation and other immune system responses
  • Mood
  • Learning and Memory
  • Motor control
  • Sleep
  • Cardiovascular system function
  • Muscle formation
  • Bone remodeling and growth
  • Liver function
  • Reproductive system function
  • Stress
  • Skin and nerve function

Our bodies produce some cannabinoids on its own, which are called endocannabinoids. There are also cannabinoids in plants, called phytocannabinoids which now leads us to and begins to answer the question....

What exactly is CBD?

CBD is short for Cannabidiol, which is a phytocannabinoid discovered in 1940.  CBD is a natural compound found in plants of the Cannabis genus.
The chemical structure of CBD is similar to your body’s own endocannabinoids, which allows it to interact with your cannabinoid receptors.

Is CBD legal?

The United States federal government recognizes the plant Cannabis sativa in two forms: hemp and marijuana. 
Hemp contains high levels of cannabidiol or CBD — the compound in cannabis known for its medicinal properties — and traces (less than 0.3% to be legal) of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC.  
This THC is what gives people the “high” or “stoned” feeling.  By containing less the .3%, you get the benefits, stay legal and avoid the unwanted side effects.

Marijuana, on the other hand, is still illegal in most of the United States and has much higher levels of THC.
This seems pretty straight forward, but many people have heard the horror stories of someone using a CBD product testing positive for a drug test and losing their job or worst, facing criminal charges.  So this begs the question….

Can CBD make you high or fail a drug test?

If a product is legal, then it shouldn’t cause you to fail a drug test, right?  Absolutely!  So what gives?
Since CBD has recently been made legal to consume in all 50 states, government regulation and oversight hasn’t been clearly established yet.  It’s still like the wild wild west, and many shady companies more interested in making a quick buck than your actual health and wellness. Thus, they are taking advantage of consumers.  
So this means the product label may say “less than 0.3%” THC, but may not actually contain less than 0.3%.  So your “legally” sold CBD product may contain an illegal amount of THC.  
It isn’t the first time in history that a manufacturer of a product hasn’t been upfront and honest with it’s ingredients and levels of each ingredient, so you have to do your own due diligence. 
And this leads us to our next question….

How do I know the quality of the CBD product I'm considering?

Although, CBD has recently been made legal, the government regulation and oversight of products is still very unclear.  This allows many companies more interested in making a quick buck, than your actual health and wellness, a legitimate concern for may users.

Most Important Tool You Have –  Certificate of Analysis (COA)

If a CBD company won’t or doesn’t offer one, this should be the only red flag you need to avoid doing business with them.  What is a COA?  According to Cambridge Business English Dictionary , a COA is an official document that shows the results of scientific tests on a product such as a food or drug, listing the chemicals, etc. it contains and the quantities of them.
Basically, it’s a test that proves your CBD product has what it says it has in it. Once you get a Certificate of Analysis, inspect it thoroughly. Here are a few things to watch out for.

Once you get a Certificate of Analysis, inspect it thoroughly. Here are a few things to watch out for:

Credible 3rd Party vs Self-Issued

Obviously 3rd party verification is much more trustworthy than being issued by the company selling you the product.  Of course they’ll say their CBD label ingredients matches the test result.  Make sure the lab is accredited and credible for the testing.  You should be able to obtain a 3rd party document from the CBD manufacturer or directly from the certifying lab.

Missing cannabinoids

If a CBD product is marketed as full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or PCR, that means it contains a variety of cannabinoids. The COA should show the product contains at least small amounts of CBDa, CBG, CBC, CBN, and/or other cannabinoids, in addition to CBD.

Verify THC Levels

To be considered legal CBD in most states, it cannot contain above 0.3% THC. If it contains more, then it’s considered marijuana and can cause you legal and/or employment problems.  Also, if your product is advertised as containing no THC, then reading the COA is a good way to verify that claim.

Confirm CBD Levels

This one is obvious, but for good measure, we’re mentioning it. It’s very important to make sure the Certificate of Analysis reflects the advertised CBD content on your product’s label.

Frequency of Certificate of Analysis

This is a tricky one that companies can use to deceive users.  Every batch or every X batch or every 2 months etc.

What's the "proper" amount of CBD for usage?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), CBD is safe to consume as long as it’s clean and contains no toxins.  That’s why we discussed verifying what’s in your CBD by way of a credible third party Certificate of Analysis.  However, you still may be wondering what’s the best CBD dosage for you?  If you want the easy answer to start, you can simply start with recommended amount on the CBD product you purchased.
If you want to take the time to find out what your body actually needs, consider this –

The Step-Up method:

Leinow & Birnbaum recommend in their book “CBD: A patient’s guide to Medical Cannabis” to start with a microdose, standard dose or even macrodose, depending on the type of symptoms.

Based on the guideline in the book, you gradually increase the dose until the most desired results are reached. 
The term used in the book is “Titration.” This is a chemistry term that means taking small steps over time in order to allow for the proper adjustment. By using this method, you’re finding the amount of CBD to fit your body’s needs. Every person is different and everyone’s reaction to CBD is different.

Are there any known side effects?

Most people tolerate CBD oil well, but there are some possible side effects.  

According to a review in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, the most common side effects include:

      • tiredness
      • diarrhea
      • changes in appetite
      • weight gain or weight loss

Many of the reported side effects have been linked to an interaction with another drug the user was consuming at the time.

What to do next if you've determined you're going to try CBD?

If you and your doctor have identified that one of the possible benefits of CBD could help you, make sure you've done your due diligence on the quality of the CBD product you're considering (See above " How do I know the quality of the CBD product I'm considering?").  

Consider the manufacturer’s history and track record.  Most reputable companies will also give you a hassle free return policy if the product doesn’t prove to be effective.

We recommend a product that is: 
1.  Full Spectrum
2.  Has a reputable 3rd party COA (certificate of analysis) for EACH batch produced that you can access
3.  Gives you as long of a return policy as possible giving you ample time to test your results (The longest we’ve found is a 6 month return policy)

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Disclaimers and our authors accept no liability for any inconvenience or damage arising from the use of the information presented here.  Our articles do not in any way replace professional advice from a doctor or pharmacist and they may not be used as a basis for independent diagnosis and the commencement, modification or termination of treatment of diseases.  This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or skin conditions. Any information contained in or made available on our website is not intended to be a substitute for healthcare advice. Please consult a licensed healthcare practitioner regarding any potential interactions or complications.