CBD: Quick Facts

By David Jelinek |
CBD: Quick Facts

So what’s CBD? 

CBD is short for cannabidiol, the second most prevalent active ingredient in cannabis. It is a naturally occurring substance that comes directly from the hemp plant, a cousin of the more famous marijuana plant. CBD is consumed in many different ways, and we’ll break those down here [insert link] 

Does CBD get me high? 

No. The terms can be confusing when you hear cannabis, marijuana and hemp mixed with the term CBD, but since CBD is derived from the hemp plant, it generally has very low (less than 0.3%) levels of THC compared to the marijuana plant, and has a much higher percentage of CBD. At those levels, you won’t experience a “high” because the psychoactive component simply isn’t there. 

Is it legal? 

The government’s position on CBD is confusing. At the federal level, the government classifies CBD the same as marijuana. But all 50 states have legalized CBD with various restrictions and is far more available than its THC counterparts. There’s also hope the laws will be changing - especially in regards to CBD - as there is strong bipartisan support (a recent Farm Bill made it legal to grow hemp, for example) to make the hemp plant legal, thereby likely legitimizing cannabidiol. 

Wait, how does hemp differ from cannabis? 

Cannabis is the broader term here, referring to a plant in the Cannabaceae family. Hemp is a specific type of cannabis plant that is low in THC and high in CBD. You won’t be getting high from hemp anytime soon, but the CBD effects can still give you a nice, calm relaxed feeling in a non-psychoactive way. 

Alright I’m interested, but how do I know it’s safe?

Since CBD is primarily marketed and sold as a supplement, the FDA does not regulate it the same way it would as a medication. The best way to ensure your CBD is the quality it claims to be, look to see if the brand uses third party testing. Without it, you don’t have a definitive way to know what exactly the potency is, what unknown elements are included or what the active ingredients really are. There is a lot more research needed in CBD, but the documented health benefits are no small list. Check more on that info here.

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