CBD is a hot topic these days, and it’s one of the things people ask us about most frequently. To address some of the more common inquiries, we decided to devote an anonymous Q & A to CBD. As always, these are compiled from real questions we’ve been asked more than once. If you’ve got a question for Splimm please don’t hesitate to contact us in whatever way you feel the most comfortable. We love to help!
What is CBD?
Technically speaking, CBD is short for cannabidiol. Cannabidiol is a cannabinoid, a chemical compound. Like THC, it is one of (at least) 113 identified cannabinoids found in cannabis. All humans and many other mammals are born with cannabinoid receptors in their brains and throughout their bodies that interact with these different compounds. Quite literally, you and most of the other mammals you ever cared about were made to enjoy the benefits of cannabis.
Will it help with my sore muscles/anxiety/autism/psychosis?
Here’s the point where we tell you that Splimm is not a doctor. You can ask your doctor, but they most likely haven’t been trained on the endocannabinoid system. You can ask your budtendter, and hopefully you’ve chosen a shop that’s invested time and money in training and educating their employees. But if you’re in Washington State they aren’t legally allowed to talk about the medical benefits of cannabis. And if you live in one of the many states without any kind of cannabis shop, getting a straight answer can be impossible.
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way.
There is mounting anecdotal and scientific evidence that CBD can help with a variety of ailments. Many athletes swear by a high CBD cocktail or topical after a workout. They say it helps reduce soreness and speeds up muscle recovery. CBD has been shown to be a highly effective anti-inflammatory agent, which helps relieve pain and stiffness. More and more people are finding that CBD can help treat their anxiety, with some studies suggesting that CBD both reduces social anxiety and changes the way blood flows in the brain. A recent article in USA Today calls CBD a “miracle drug” when it comes to treating children with autism. Early studies have shown improvement in communication and self-harm reduction. Even patients suffering from psychosis have responded positively to CBD treatments.
I heard CBD is not legal in my American state. Is that true?
Untrue. In fact, CBD is totally legal, provided it’s manufactured properly. From the fingers of the DEA:
According to the scientific literature, cannabinoids are not found in the parts of the cannabis plant that are excluded from the CSA definition of marijuana, except for trace amounts (typically, only parts per million) that may be found where small quantities of resin adhere to the surface of seeds and mature stalk. Thus, based on the scientific literature, it is not practical to produce extracts that contain more than trace amounts of cannabinoids using only the parts of the cannabis plant that are excluded from the CSA definition of marijuana, such as oil from the seeds.
The industrial processes used to clean cannabis seeds and produce seed oil would likely further diminish any trace amounts of cannabinoids that end up in the finished product. However, as indicated above, if a product, such as oil from cannabis seeds, consisted solely of parts of the cannabis plant excluded from the CSA definition of marijuana, such product would not be included in the new drug code (7350) or in the drug code for marijuana (7360), even if it contained trace amounts of cannabinoids.
So yes, you can legally obtain CBD oil in all 50 states, provided it is extracted from the right parts of the right plants. However, as the DEA itself notes, you can still get in some other kinds of trouble…
Is it true CBD won’t get me high?
Hmm. This is a tricky one. We hear this all the time, and the answer is a resounding ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.
In our experience, it’s just not true that CBD always cancels out THC. Having an edible with 50 mg THC and 50 mg CBD isn’t necessarily going to mean a zero sum total. It’s also not true, as is so often claimed, that CBD is non-psychoactive. We’ve heard from readers, especially when eating cannabis, that CBD can actually enhance some of the psychotropic effects of the plant. You may not feel “stoned” or “high,” but you may feel different than you did before you ingested CBD.
The most honest answer we can give is that enough research hasn’t been done, and people respond to cannabis on such an individual, case by case basis that you’re going to need to do some of your own experimenting. Don’t assume that you can eat a high-CBD edible and operate as you normally would. Give yourself the space to try new medicine in a responsible way, even when its effects will likely be mild.
One more thing to consider: there is evidence that you can actually still test positive for THC, and the rules outlined above by the DEA state that it’s possible for legal CBD products to contain trace amounts of other cannabinoids.
Is it super bad for me if I get some THC in my system?
Not necessarily! It might even be good for you! While CBD gets a lot of attention for having such wonderful medicinal properties, THC packs its own healing powers too. There’s also anecdotal and scientific evidence that it might be beneficial to include some THC with your CBD.
This refers to the idea that cannabis is at its most effective as whole plant medicine. When the naturally occurring combinations of cannabinoids are left intact and produce an entourage effect. But this is only possible in states that have medical or recreational cannabis.
Your unique relationship with cannabinoids
Really, what makes cannabis treatments so hopeful and so hard to measure is that each person might respond to different strains and different ingestion methods differently. We’ve heard stories of people taking THC and CBD who felt like the two canceled each other out, and we’ve heard stories of people who took high levels of THC and CBD for intense pain – which they say it helped – but also left them confined to the couch for the evening (though totally fine in the morning).
Just like with any new drug treatment regiment, there is a period of adjustment. It may be that you need a few days before your body acclimates to the new additions.
The most important this to do is listen to your body. Hopefully you have a physician or health adviser you can trust. Cannabis, like all forms of medicine, won’t work for everyone, and not every method of ingestion will have the same effect. Go slow and feel confident experimenting with a medicine that has already helped a lot of people.
If you’re looking for additional thorough and well-researched information about everything CBD, we recommend checking out Shira Adler’s The ABC’s of CBD: The Essential Guide for Parents (and regular folks too).