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In a nutshell

CBD is a compound that is short for cannabidiol. CBD is not a drug (in the traditional sense), and comes from the hemp plant. CBD can be extracted from the hemp plant in several different ways, but the goal of extraction is to turn CBD into a product that can be used by humans or animals. CBD has been deemed to be safe by the World Health Organization, where in their report they found that the potential for addition was virtually non-existent, and that it is generally well-tolerated in humans.

These days, CBD has become one of the absolute hottest items on the market. You don’t need to read this article for proof: All you need to do is go for a walk in a commercial district or do a little bit of Googling. According to a survey from August 2019 15% of Americans have actually tried CBD – and that was less than a year after its legalization at the federal level. There is little doubt that those numbers have only increased since then. 

Interestingly enough, despite the fact that CBD is wildly popular, many people don’t fully understand just what CBD is, how it works and what it does. If that’s the case for you, read on for more.

What is CBD?

CBD is a compound and is short for cannabidiol. CBD is not a drug – at least, not in the traditional sense. It comes from the hemp plant and is extracted via multiple potential methods. 

Ultimately, the goal of these extraction methods is to turn CBD into a product that can then be used by humans or animals. Once the product is ingested, CBD may have multiple benefits, including addressing numerous physical and emotional challenges. This includes back pain, arthritis, insomnia, and more.

Is all CBD identical?

No. CBD can vary significantly, depending on how the compound is extracted from hemp plant and how it is ultimately ingested. CBD can be put into multiple forms, including edibles, tinctures, vaping pens, balms, and creams. Furthermore, new products are arriving on an almost daily basis, making it easier than every for people to consume CBD.

There are additional differences among CBD in terms of the various types. For example, CBD is usually sold in one of three varieties: Full spectrum, Broad spectrum or Isolate.

Full spectrum CBD is processed so that as many of the CBD’s naturally occurring flavonoids and terpenes are maintained in the final product. However, also maintained is THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, which is another type of cannabinoid. THC is best known for its presence in marijuana and ability to intoxicate. Within the United States, THC is allowed to be present in CBD products, so long as the total amount of THC is not greater than .3%, an amount that is far too low to result in any intoxication. 

Broad spectrum CBD is identical to full spectrum CBD with one exception: All THC has been removed. 

CBD Isolate is sold in a powder-like form and is as close to pure CBD as possible, as the final product sold is usually 99% CBD, with virtually all other compounds removed. This product is often used by people who are interested in maxing their own CBD creations. 

Is CBD Safe?

According to numerous reports, yes. The World Health Organization released a report some time ago on CBD, noting it’s potential for abuse or addiction was virtually non-existent, as the product contained no substances that could result in addiction or any sort of intoxication. Furthermore, the report found that CBD is generally well-tolerated in humans. 

That is not to say that CBD causes no side effects. According to at least one study, CBD has been known to cause minor side effects, including fatigue, upset stomach and appetite or weight changes. As such, anyone trying CBD for the first time should be in a position where they can potentially monitor these side effects.

You should always speak with your doctor or a medical professional before starting CBD, just like you would before starting something as safe as a new vitamin. While CBD is generally safe, there is some evidence to indicate that there may be some adverse drug reactions when you take the compound. 

Furthermore, unfortunately, some studies have found that some CBD vendors are less than reputable in how they label and advertise their products. For example, a 2017 study from the University of Pennsylvania found that nearly 70% of tested CBD products were inaccurately labeled for a variety of ingredient, including THC. Thankfully, there is an easy way to avoid this. You should only purchase CBD that has undergone third-party CBD testing. This is testing, done by an independently paid party, that confirms what ingredients are in a CBD product and produces a publicly available report on that CBD batch. If a CBD product has a testing report available, you can confidently ingest it, knowing that it has been accurately labeled.

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