CBD (cannabidiol) has been in the news a lot lately and has many people wondering what this substance is and if it really does provide the multitude of health benefits that some experts report. CBD is the non-psychoactive chemical that is present in both cannabis and hemp. It can be used as a natural treatment for everything from anxiety disorders to migraines, inflammation, and even as a soothing treatment for those experiencing nausea or fatigue from cancer or AIDS medications.
So what makes CBD different from marijuana? How do you know if it’s legal where you live? And finally, how do you know if it’s right for you? Here’s what you need to know if you’re wondering whether you should include CBD in your treatment regimen.
CBD vs Marijuana
The drug most of us know as marijuana is derived from the cannabis plant and has a combination of THC and CBD. THC is psychoactive, which means it creates a ‘high’ effect and is illegal in many states. CBD can be derived from the cannabis plant or it can be derived from hemp.
If it’s derived from cannabis, there is often still a THC component to the resulting product, though that component can be very low and cause no psychoactive effects. If the CBD is derived from hemp, there is a very low or no THC component and these products can be sold and used legally in all 50 states.
Buying CBD Derived from Cannabis
Most experts agree that CBD derived from cannabis has more therapeutic properties than CBD derived from hemp. Some people also find that CBD products that contain some level of THC amplify the effects of the product and can be especially helpful when dealing with chronic pain, inflammation, seizures, or some other types of disorders.
However, CBD derived from cannabis is only legal in some states. If you live in a state where both recreational and medical marijuana is legal, you should be able to buy cannabis-derived CBD products with no problem even if it contains high levels of THC.
If you live in a state where medical marijuana is legal but recreational is not, you will need to obtain a medical marijuana ID card to obtain cannabis-derived CBD products. Depending on your state’s specific laws, you may be able to buy CBD products that contain some level of THC with your medical marijuana ID card.
If you live in a state where both medical and recreational marijuana are illegal, you will probably not be able to buy CBD derived from cannabis. However, you will be able to buy CBD derived from hemp.
Buying CBD Derived from Hemp
CBD that is derived from hemp has very low levels of THC, most of the time under 0.3%. This means that those who use it experience no psychoactive effects. CBD products with less than 0.3% THC are legal to buy in any state and can be shipped and carried over state lines. You can buy hemp-derived CBD from numerous online sites as well as at natural food stores, grocery stores, and specialty stores in your area.
Knowing What Type of CBD is Right for You
Trying to decide whether hemp or cannabis-derived CBD is right for you? First, you need to look at the laws for the state in which you live. In some cases, you won’t have the choice between the two because you live in a state where medical and recreational marijuana are illegal. However, if you live in a state where both medical and recreational marijuana are legal or you live in a state where medical marijuana is legal and you have an ID card, your decision becomes more complex.
Most of your decision will be based on how you tolerate THC and how much of it you want in your CBD. Some people do not tolerate THC well and find it causes them anxiety or paranoia. If you have an anxiety-related disorder such as post-traumatic stress disorder or generalized anxiety disorder, you may want to start out with a CBD product that contains a very low level of THC.
However, if you have a condition that causes chronic pain, inflammation, seizures, or digestive problems, some level of THC could be desirable. The best way to find out is to talk with a knowledgeable marijuana doctor or staff member of a licensed dispensary. They can listen to your health concerns, go over your medical history, and help you decide which types of CBD products would be best for your unique needs. They can also help you decide what dosage to start out with and will also help you change products if you find the first one you try is not effective or has unwanted side effects.
The Bottom Line
Whether it is hemp or cannabis-derived, CBD has proven to have numerous beneficial properties for those experiencing physical, mental, or emotional disorders. If you live in a state where recreational and/or medical marijuana are legal, you can usually choose between CBD products that are extracted from hemp or cannabis.
While most experts agree that cannabis-derived CBD products have more therapeutic qualities, some people prefer hemp-derived products for personal reasons or because they cannot tolerate even low levels of THC. If you live in a state where neither recreational or medical marijuana are legal, you will need to settle for hemp-derived CBD products. However, these can still have numerous therapeutic properties and can be a welcome additional to your treatment plan.