The safety and long-term health effects of using e-cigarettes and other vaping products are still not well understood. In September 2019, federal and state health officials began investigating an outbreak of severe lung disease associated with e-cigarettes and other vaporizing products.
There are many different types of cannabinoids found in cannabis plants. And while researchers have only just begun studying it, one substance in particular has already shown promise in terms of potential health benefits.
That compound is cannabidiol or CBD. Unlike its cousin, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD is non-intoxicating, meaning it doesn't get you "high".
Research on CBD is ongoing but is still in its infancy. It's currently not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the only use it's approved for is epilepsy, in the form of the drug Epidiolex.
Still, some studies have shown that CBD can protect nerves from damage and that it is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent. It can also be used to treat a number of diseases such as anxiety and pain.
It is even being explored as a possible drug for treating Alzheimer's disease.
While CBD has a wide variety of uses, it's worth noting that some forms of CBD are more bioavailable than others. This means that they can be more easily absorbed by the body.
Learning the nuances of using CBD can be a lot. This short guide will help you familiarize yourself with each form of CBD consumption and determine what is best for your needs.
What to look for in a product
Regardless of how you take CBD, there are a few things to look out for when making a purchase.
Full or broad spectrum of activity
Watch out for products that are made from Full or broad spectrum oil are made - rather than made from distillate or isolate - to get the full range of health benefits. Full spectrum oils contain all of the cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant, including CBD and THC. Broad-spectrum oils contain most of the cannabinoids, but generally no THC.
Research has found that THC and CBD work better when taken together than when taken alone. This is known as the "entourage effect".
Full and broad spectrum products are also less processed, which helps reduce some of the volatile organic compounds in cannabis, such as. B. terpenes. Terpenes affect the taste and smell of the product, and they also have medicinal benefits of their own.
Since CBD products are not currently regulated by the FDA, it is important to make sure that the product you are buying has been laboratory tested by a third party. In this way you can see exactly what you are putting into your body and check that the product contains what is stated on the packaging.
Organic cannabis grown in regulated countries
Look out for products made from organic cannabis grown in regulated countries. Cannabis grown in the United States is subject to agricultural regulations and cannot contain more than 0,2 percent THC. Organic ingredients mean you are less likely to ingest pesticides or other chemicals.
Edibles are a great and discreet way to try CBD. There are a variety of CBD edibles, including gummy candies, truffles, or even peppermints, that can mask any "herbaceous" taste well.
However, there are a few caveats about edibles. Research shows that consuming CBD leads to what is known as a "first pass effect". During the first pass effect, CBD is partially broken down by the liver and digestive tract. That means it can take up to two hours for the CBD to work and that you get around 20 to 30 percent of it.
It takes up to two hours for the effects to kick in, and you'll get around 20 to 30 percent of the CBD you consume.
Many edibles contain sugar and preservatives. So if you want to avoid additives, consider trying a sublingual product. These are designed to be absorbed under the tongue. These include tinctures - solutions made by soaking cannabis flowers in oil or alcohol - sprays, oils, and lozenges.
By absorbing the product under the tongue rather than burdening the digestive tract, more CBD is retained and you will feel the effects faster.
Sublingual products develop their effects faster than edible products. Go this route if you want faster results.
CBD topicals are intended for direct application to the skin. You can find lotions, balms, creams, ointments, and transdermal patches that contain CBD. Topicals are a good choice when it comes to treating local pain or skin diseases such as eczema in a discreet manner.
A 2015 study on rats found that CBD gel applied to the skin greatly reduced joint swelling - promising results for people with conditions like arthritis.
Even if the studies on topical agents have not given an estimate of bioavailability, we do know a few things:
Topical agents are not subject to the first pass effect, so they provide concentrated relief in a specific area.
The permeability of the skin is quite low compared to the mucous membranes and sublingual tissue. This means that when using a topical product, you should choose a product that is high in CBD and apply it liberally.
Using a product that has additional pain relievers like menthol, camphor, and capsaicin can increase its therapeutic potential even further.
Vaporizing and smoking
You can CBD-rich cannabis flowers smoke in a joint, use a vaporizer with a cartridge that contains CBD oil, or even inhale CBD concentrates like sugar waxes with a vape pen that has a chamber for concentrates.
When vaping and smoking, the CBD goes straight into the bloodstream, so you can feel the effects much faster than with other methods. In 10 minutes or less, you will be consuming 34 to 56 percent of the CBD.
Remember that smoking cannabis can expose you to carcinogens. Vaping bypasses this by heating the cannabis to just below the burn point, but how safe this is has not yet been clarified so it may not be the best choice.
If you choose to vape, avoid CBD vaping cartridges made with diluents or carriers like Fractionated Coconut Oil (MCT), propylene glycol or vegetable glycerin. A 2017 research found that these compounds can damage lung tissue.
Vaporized or smoked CBD works in 10 minutes or less, and you ingest about 34 to 56 percent of the CBD you consume. However, vaping can have other negative health effects.
Talk to your doctor
While there are many ways to take CBD, there is no single right or best method. It's important to try different methods and see what works best for you.
Also, before trying CBD, you should speak to your doctor, especially if you are currently on medication. CBD can interact with prescription drugs such as antibiotics, antidepressants, blood thinners, and others.
Is CBD Legal? Hemp CBD products (containing less than 0,2 percent THC) are legal at the federal level, but are still illegal in some states. CBD products made from marijuana are illegal at the federal level, but legal in some states. Find out about the laws of your state and the laws of your travel destination. Note that non-prescription CBD products are not FDA approved and may be inaccurately labeled.