Hi(gh) there, friend! We’re glad you’re here. We are MATCH CANNA and we relieve chronic pain, inflammation and anxiety through consciously sourced, luxurious cannabis products. We’re asked so many questions about CBD and we love answering them, so we thought we’d put the top 10 questions that we’re constantly asked in article form, for everyone to enjoy. Let’s talk CBD!
Question #1: What IS CBD and how does it work?
CBD, also known as Cannabidiol, is one of 80 naturally occurring compounds found in the cannabis Sativa plant. CBD, along with its counterparts; CBG, THC, CBN (and many more) all contain individual therapeutic profiles. CBD doesn’t cause the mind “high” that’s generally associated with THC. In fact, with CBD, you can have the benefits of cannabis without the head-high.
Scientists around the world are studying the healing properties of cannabis. CBD is considered a safe, non-addictive substance that may have significant medicinal benefits such as reducing inflammation, balancing mood, and relieving pain. CBD, for us, is a form of healthcare; more than 60% of people utilizing CBD are using it as a form of medicine.
To talk about how CBD works, we’ll need to get a bit sciency. When applied topically, inhaled, or consumed orally, CBD interacts with neuroreceptors in your endocannabinoid system (ECS for short). These naturally occurring cannabinoid receptors send signals between your cells to help regulate movement, mood, immune system and homeostasis (balance).
Endocannabinoids, produced by the body, work with the ECS to help regulate a range of functions. When we consume CBD, phytocannabinoids similar to endocannabinoids, nourish our ECS and help our bodies with learning, memory, emotional processing, sleep, temperature control, pain control, inflammation and immune responses, and appetite. The ECS is a network of chemical signals and cellular receptors in the body that works closely with our immune system by using “cannabinoid” receptors in the brain – called cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) and cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2). These receptors act like traffic lights, they control how your body communicates: turning the on and off switches of whichever system needs to be adjusted – pain, inflammation, anxiety, etc. By modulating the ECS and enhancing cannabinoids, CBD can help slow – or stop- the progression of disease. Interesting right? We know! Want to dive deeper? Read more about CBD here.
Question #2: What’s the difference between CBD and THC?
Both CBD (which can be extracted from hemp or marijuana) and THC (derived from marijuana) are two natural compounds found in plants of the Cannabis genus. However, there are some key differences between CBD and THC:
CBD (hemp) contains less than .3% THC and is federally legal. CBD is sold in many forms: gels, gummies, oils, supplements, extracts, and more. In 2018, Hemp products were found to be Federally legal and regulated as an agricultural product under the Farm Act.
THC (marijuana) is the active compound in cannabis that produces the sensation of being high. Products that contain more than .3% THC are currently federally illegal, and regulated by the DEA as a schedule 1 substance. THC products can be consumed by smoking, oils, edibles, tinctures, capsules and more.
The main difference between hemp and marijuana is the THC content and how the plant is regulated (either agricultural or as a schedule 1 drug). Both have therapeutic properties and both nourish your endocannabinoid system to help regulate your body’s response to pain, inflammation, mood and anxiety.
Question #3: Is CBD Legal in my state?
There’s a lot of gray space when it comes to the cannabis industry. However, since the Farm Bill was passed in 2018, hemp products can be legally shipped to all 50 states in the US, regardless of the status for CBD in individual states. We know that that can be confusing… What that means is even if there are regulations or restrictions regarding CBD in your state, you can still legally purchase CBD and have it shipped right to your door.
Question #4: Will I pass a drug test if I use CBD?
Modern drug tests do not test specifically for CBD, however, many CBD products (like full-spectrum products) contain up to .3% of THC, marijuana’s main active ingredient. Depending on how your body metabolizes cannabinoids, how much you have consumed and the type of test used; using an internal full spectrum product may lead you to a positive drug test. Additionally, many products on the shelves are not properly tested and can contain more than the legal amount of THC. We recommend avoiding full spectrum internal products if you are subject to drug testing. Stick to isolate products or T-free products to be safe. Proper testing of CBD and cannabis products is important and high quality CBD brands will post their COA’s (certificate of analysis) on their website to show that they’ve taken measures to test with third-party laboratories so that consumers feel safe about their choices.
When using a topical product, CBD and THC do not absorb into your bloodstream, so both CBD and full-spectrum topicals should be safe to use.
Question #5: What are the contraindications of using CBD?
CBD is a safe, natural, and forgiving medicine when used properly. However, rare side effects (usually in very high doses) of CBD use can be: cottonmouth, nausea, drowsiness, or diarrhea.
CBD does have the potential to interact with medications, including: OTC drugs, herbal products, and prescription medications. People considering CBD products should always consult with their doctors, particularly if they are taking other medications or have underlying medical conditions.
Question #6: How much CBD should I take?
The right dose of CBD is going to be different for everyone. There are so many variables when it comes to finding the optimal dose of CBD: weight, diet, consistency of and type of exercise, stress levels, metabolism, biochemistry, the severity of the condition needing treatment, tolerance to CBD, and the potency of the product (to name a few). The more CBD you use, combined with the type of delivery method, will affect the uptake and activity in your body. Some conditions will require stronger doses of CBD to offer any benefit, while others may only need a low strength dose to provide results.
So ask yourself what you’re using CBD for – and then you can determine where to begin. Our biggest tips:
- Jump in! But start low and go slow
- When you’re trying to find your perfect dose try taking a few small doses over the course of the day rather than one big dose
- Use the same dose and ratio for several days while observing the effects and if necessary adjust the ratio or amount until you feel good; using a journal can help you track how much you’re using and how you’re feeling to help you adjust properly
- If you’re on prescription or over the counter medications, please consult with your physician before starting a regime
- CBD dosing can be difficult to get right, for more tips and tricks, check out our article on dosing here.
Question #7: How do I find the right product?
Smoking, dabbing, eating, or rubbing it in – different bodies and pathologies will require different CBD routes of delivery. It’s important to experiment with what works best for your body. But let’s dig into the various ways you can use CBD so that you can figure out which product is best for you:
- Benefits of Smoking CBD: rapid effects (2-5 minutes), non-intoxicating, alternative for people looking to quit smoking cigarettes, supports a calm mood
- Benefits of Edibles (oils, tinctures, gummies): long-lasting relief, less risk of lung irritation, easy to dose, discreet
- Benefits of Topicals (oils, creams, salves, balms): addresses inflammation and/or chronic pain locally. It provides relief from arthritis and other joint issues and assists with skin-conditions such as eczema or psoriasis.
Question #8: Does CBD really help relieve chronic pain?
CBD has become wildly popular for its ability to help alleviate chronic pain. It has been shown to reduce physical pain caused by inflammation. Researchers at Harvard University Hospital estimate that nearly 50 million adults, or 20% of Americans, in the US are suffering from chronic pain and doctors report that chronic pain is the #1 reason patients seek help from their physicians (Dahlhamer). Johns Hopkins University estimates that chronic pain costs the US up to $635 billion dollars every year (“Study Shows Chronic Pain Costs United States Up to $635 Billion”).
Continued studies in the U.S. indicate that CBD is highly effective in treating the symptoms of chronic pain (“CBD (Cannabidiol) for Pain: Does it Work?”). When introduced topically, CBD has localized analgesic properties — meaning that it can target specific pain. Since it’s more direct, it may have a more pronounced effect. What does that mean? Taking the time to rub a little CBD on that pain site will work in conjunction with the team of therapists and medical professionals that you rely on to help manage your long-term chronic pain.
When ingested, CBD helps modulate pain and enhances feelings of happiness and well-being by interacting with a range of proteins throughout the body. This can include components of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) like the CB1 receptors in the nervous system and brain, and the CB2 receptors in the immune system. According to research (“The Endocannabinoid System, Cannabinoids, and Pain”), CBD targets alpha-3 glycine receptors to significantly reduce inflammation. What all of this means simply is that CBD can reduce pain and make you feel happier and calmer. If you want to learn more about the intersection of CBD and pain, check out our article.
Question #9: What’s the difference between full-spectrum and isolate?
Simply, the difference between a full-spectrum product and an isolate product in the cannabinoid content.
Full-spectrum products take advantage of the entourage effect that pulls not only CBD but other minor cannabinoids (such as CBG, CBN, THC, etc.). Full spectrum products are best for people who are experiencing symptoms such as: tremors, muscle spasticity, low appetite, pain, nervous system disorders, and mild anxiety (if you can tolerate low levels of THC).
Isolate products are pure CBD, meaning they are free of THC. So these products are best for those concerned with drug testing, or for people who have experienced sensitivity to products with THC. Isolate products help people who are experiencing symptoms such as: sleeplessness, immune function, seizures, migraines, nausea, injury repair and recovery, depression, and severe anxiety or panic.
Question #10: Why is my CBD not working?
Once you find the right method of delivery that works for you, the top question that we usually get from our customers is why their CBD isn’t working. Well, this is a complex question, but it could be a number of things, including: consistency, dosing, and quality.
CBD is non-intoxicating, non-habit forming, and safe when you’re using clean, quality products. To ensure the best results, you should be using CBD consistently. Consistency will look different for each person but typically means using CBD every day or, for some, multiple times a day. For me, consistency looks like using .5mL of CBD T-free oil every morning with my tea and I also liberally mix my topical CBD Relief Oil with my lotion after I shower. Every single person will require a different amount of CBD to tackle their individualized wellness.
We’ve already outlined WHY dosing can be so hard to hone in on, but if you want to see benefits, you’ll need to do the work and figure out what the best dose and delivery method will be for you. Need more info? Check out our dosing article here.
Lastly, quality is key. In the last few years, CBD has literally skyrocketed in popularity; however, not all CBD is created equally. Making sure that you’re buying a high-quality product can be the difference between realizing CBD’s medicinal benefits and feeling like you bought snake oil. Because CBD has been touted as an all-purpose palliative, you can buy CBD anywhere nowadays. You can buy it at community markets, coffee shops, health clubs… you can even buy it at GAS STATIONS. The massive consumer demand has created a huge, unregulated market of CBD products. The over-exposure to low-quality products has given CBD a bad rap. To experience the full health benefits of CBD, it’s important for consumers to: research the company that they’re purchasing from, to review the ingredients list, and look at the company’s COA’s. Learn more about the importance of quality.
Eeeek! We just love talking all about our favorite show stopper, CBD. We answered all your red-hot questions about cannabis, but don’t be scared to slide into our DM’s if you have a question we didn’t get to. If you’re ready to experience the benefits of high quality CBD products, you know what to do – shop our full line of CBD products.
* Important Disclaimer: We are not medical professionals and we’re by no means giving medical advice in this article. It’s always important to check with your physician before starting a new treatment and to learn about how CBD can interact with medications or therapies that you may already be taking.