Updated: Jul 30, 2020
Where Do You Begin With CBD?
CBD was not something I knew much about until I began working in the legal cannabis industry in Washington. CBD is THC's non-psychoactive cousin, which means it doesn't get you high. While many people are seeking high concentrations of THC, a growing number of people are using CBD to ease minor aches and pains. I created this CBD guide as a way to help people who are new to CBD and don't know where to begin!
What Is CBD?
CBD is an organic molecule found in plants (hemp, cannabis, echinacea), which works within the body's endocannabinoid system (ECS). CBD binds to receptors in the ECS, which gives you a variety of effects. CBD is known for helping support normal joint function, helping ease occasional nausea, and helping ease minor pain in the body.
General Dosage Guide
As a general rule, always start small and gradually increase your dose as needed. If you are trying CBD products for the first time, start with 5-10mg and wait up to 2 hours before taking more. Some people are very sensitive to the effects of CBD, so it's a good idea to proceed with caution. Take your CBD with food, because an empty stomach can increase the effects of CBD. Once you feel comfortable with the dose, increase it as needed. A typical dose is anywhere from 10-25mg, but it will vary for each person. This is a dose for general use only. If you are seeking information about treating yourself with CBD, please consult a doctor. A reliable company will never tell you that their products can cure or treat any diseases, and they will never tell you how much you should take. There are strict regulations against this, so it's best to talk to your doctor.
What CBD Products Are Available?
There are a number of CBD products available, and they can range in dose depending on what company you purchase them from. Here are some of the most common CBD products you'll find:
Tinctures: CBD tinctures are very popular. They are easy to take, and typically go into effect quickly. Tinctures allow you more control over your dose than products that come in specific serving sizes.
Capsules: Capsules are flavorless and come in a range of specific serving sizes. Capsules are very easy to take, making them another popular method for taking CBD.
Isolate: CBD isolate is typically around 95-99% pure CBD. Isolate is a very diverse product, but can seem the least user friendly. People typically use isolate for dabbing, which requires special paraphernalia. Isolate is oil soluble, so you can dissolve it into a variety of carrier oils and use it for cooking or making your own skin care products.
Topical: CBD is often used in lotions, creams, and salves because CBD can help ease sore muscles. This is ideal for people who don't want to ingest CBD.
Edibles: You can buy CBD infused into cookies, chocolate, brownies, hard candies, gummies, coffee, and water. That's just to name a few. CBD edibles are fun to eat, but is not always the best way to get the medicinal benefits you need. CBD edibles usually have smaller amounts of CBD than what you will find in tinctures or capsules. You are paying for the ingredients, as well as the CBD. If you are just taking CBD to relax, this may be a nice option for you.
Flower: CBD flower (AKA "bud") will contain varying levels of CBD. CBD flower can only be purchased in medical or recreational shops.
Transdermal: Distinct from topicals, transdermal products absorb into the blood stream for fast acting relief. Popular transdermals include gels and patches. Transdermal products are still somewhat expensive and difficult to find in most shops.
What Does CBD Feel Like?
This can be a tricky question to answer, because CBD isn't supposed to have a psychoactive effect. With hemp-derived CBD, there is no sensation of "getting high" (precisely one of the reasons some people prefer it). Everyone's body chemistry is different, which means some individuals will feel more noticeable effects than others. In general, CBD may make you feel more relaxed or more at ease. With topicals, you may notice a tingling, or sustained feeling of warmth around the area you rub it on. It's also common that if you take a small amount of CBD (5mg), you most likely won't feel any significant, immediate effects.
How Long Does CBD Last?
The effects of CBD will typically last anywhere from 2-6 hours, depending on how much you have taken. It will vary upon your metabolism as well, but in general it will start slow and come on strong. When you are first starting out, it is a good idea to take less than you think you need. If you haven't eaten much that day, you might have a much stronger effect than you are use to. Less is often more.