10 Things Canadians should know about CBD
With legalization beginning tomorrow in Canada, CBD is getting a lot of attention. However, there are still a lot of misconceptions surrounding this cannabinoid, how it affects the body, its potential uses, and even its legality. Below are the 10 Things Canadians should know about CBD.
- CBD CAN BE CONSIDERED PSYCHOACTIVE
This is bound to be the most controversial. Most literature on CBD, whether it was written on someone’s blog or an acclaimed academic journal, refers to CBD as a “non-psychoactive” compound. Now, this statement is technically incorrect.
We know that CBD doesn’t produce the same psychoactive effects as THC, for example. Most importantly, it doesn’t get you “high.” But technically speaking, CBD is psychoactive as it can alter and affect your state of consciousness.
After all, if CBD wasn’t psychoactive, it wouldn’t be able to help relieve the symptoms of anxiety, depression, or affect our mood. However, the fact that CBD’s effects are much more subtle and less inebriating than those of THC, it’s been wrongly labeled as “non-psychoactive.” You will likely continue to see it labeled this way, as it allows for retailers and advocates to market the cannabinoid in a certain way.
- CBD CAN BE USED RECREATIONALLY AND THC CAN BE USED MEDICINALLY
There’s a strong misrepresentation of CBD as a purely medical compound and THC as purely recreational. This isn’t true. Just like THC can be used medicinally (to help relieve pain, nausea, vomiting, etc), CBD can also be used recreationally.
In fact, the recreational CBD market is budding in Switzerland. While THC is still illegal under Swiss law, CBD-rich cannabis flowers and concentrates can be bought from kiosks and dispensaries completely legally. This has given rise to a large movement of recreational CBD users who cherish CBD cannabis for its calming effects.
- CBD CAN COUNTERACT THE EFFECTS OF THC AND WORKS BEST IN COMBINATION WITH OTHER CANNABINOIDS
Cannabinoids, terpenes, and other compounds found in cannabis interact with each other. Studies and anecdotal evidence suggest that the interaction between these substances and our endocannabinoid system results in synergistic effects, which is called the “entourage effect”.
Research has shown that for instance CBD and THC together produce stronger, faster pain relief than either compound could on their own. And while our understanding of the entourage effect is still in its infancy, research indicates that the medicinal benefits of cannabis lie in the whole plant, rather than just isolated chemicals.
In fact, studies have shown that isolated forms of THC and CBD produce very different effects than whole plant products.
While THC can have beneficial effects, it can also produce unwelcome side effects, especially in large doses. These include nausea, vomiting, increased pain sensation, anxiety, paranoia, and more. Luckily, research shows that CBD can counteract many of these effects.
The relationship between CBD and THC is actually complex and impossible to cover entirely in this article. However, it is true that CBD can help reduce the anxiety and paranoia that some may experience after consuming THC.
- CBD IS LESS POTENT THAN THC
Microdosing has become increasingly popular as a way to gain more control over the way one responds to cannabis. And when it comes to THC, microdosing is a perfect method to control the strong euphoria that THC-rich cannabis strains produce, as well as avoid some of the side effects mentioned above.
When it comes to CBD, however, it might be better to stick to larger doses. Compared to THC, CBD is a much less potent chemical, and hence, you may need larger amounts in order for the compound to produce the desired effects.
- CBD IS NOT A SEDATIVE
The effects of CBD have sometimes been labeled as sedating, especially in large doses. However, research suggests that CBD doesn’t actually have sedative effects.
In fact, a 2008 study published in Biological Psychological showed that even in extremely large doses, isolated CBD doesn’t produce sedative effects. Interestingly enough, the effects of CBD are actually alerting.
It is believed that some CBD products might contain high amounts of myrcene and other terpenes that are known to produce sedative effects or leave you feeling sleepy.
- NOT ALL CANNABIS PLANTS CONTAIN CBD
While CBD is derived from cannabis plants, it isn’t present in all varieties of this species. In fact, most of the cannabis used for recreational purposes contains only trace amounts of CBD.
That’s because, since the 1980s, cannabis breeders and seed banks have really focused on producing potent, THC-rich strains designed to get people out-of-this-world high.
Since CBD has become more popular, however, seed banks have started offering more CBD-rich strains both for medicinal and recreational purposes. CBD also tends to be found in higher concentrations in hemp plants.
- CBD CAN BE USED TOPICALLY
We generally associate cannabis use with smoking. But thanks to a ton of innovation and research in the cannabis space, there are now plenty of ways to use cannabis that don’t involve lighting a joint or bong.
Topicals like balms, sprays, and soaps enriched with cannabis extract, for example, are a great way to treat localized symptoms like pain, inflammation, and even skin irritations. Instead of smoking or vaporizing (where the chemicals in cannabis are taken up via the capillaries in the lungs), topicals are absorbed transdermally.
They are becoming increasingly popular among patients looking to treat physical symptoms like inflammation and swelling caused by arthritis and other conditions. Many patients also find cannabis topicals offer relief from itching or skin irritations, and a range of companies are now developing transdermal patches containing CBD, THC, and other cannabinoids.
- ANIMALS CAN ALSO BENEFIT FROM CBD
One of the biggest advancements in our understanding of cannabis came with the discovery of the endocannabinoid system, which essentially regulates the effects of cannabis around the body.
Well, it turns out humans aren’t the only creatures with this system; dogs, cats, horses, and many other animals also have endocannabinoid systems and experience cannabis in much the same way we do. In fact, all mammals have an endocannabinoid system, which is why cannabis is often tested on rats.
This has given rise to whole new market: cannabis supplements for pets. Pet owners all around the world are beginning to use cannabis products like CBD oil, capsules, infused treats, and even topicals to help their pets deal with a wide variety of conditions.
Some dog owners, for example, use CBD supplements to help control symptoms like nausea and vomiting, chronic inflammation and pain, or even anxiety in their pets. Just like in humans, CBD supplements can give pets relief from a variety of symptoms without inducing a high.
- FLAX MAY ALSO CONTAIN CBD
For a long time, CBD was thought to be a compound unique to only cannabis. However, researchers from Poland may have accidentally discovered that the flax plant also contains CBD.
In an analysis of flax plants (a valuable source of linseed, oils, and fibers) also contained a special terpenoid very similar to CBD. The researchers tested the compound and found that it produced anti-inflammatory effects in mice. Moreover, they also found that the compound activated cannabinoid receptors.
The research is the first of its kind and suggests that flax may be one of a growing number of plants besides cannabis that can produce cannabinoids or cannabinoid-like substances.
- CBD ISN’T LEGAL EVERYWHERE
Many people think that CBD is a completely legal substance. After all, it doesn’t produce the same euphoric high we associate with cannabis, and it’s readily available online from a wide variety of retailers.
However, CBD isn’t legal everywhere. In the US, for example, CBD is only legal if it is derived from hemp. Cannabis-derived CBD, on the other hand, is only legal in 17 states.
Outside of the US, the legal status of CBD is constantly shifting as new laws are ushered in or replaced. In the EU, CBD supplements are largely legal as long as THC levels are negligible. Make sure you follow us for more information on CBD and many other topics as they relate to cannabis!