CBD FAQ: What is It? How Does It Work?*

The hemp product known by the acronym, CBD, is trending across America: coffee shops, storefronts, restaurants, pharmacies, new(s) stands, bookstores, veterinary clinics, diners and country gas stations. CBD is being discussed in newspapers, magazines, on television, radio, podcasts and the internet. 

Most people have had a recent conversation about CBD with someone: friends, coworkers, family or medical personnel. Always the trend setter, Kim Kardashian recently threw a CBD-themed baby shower featuring a variety of CBD-infused treats and a floral bouquet featuring hemp leaves.

But still many people are confused.

What Exactly is CBD? 

CBD is an abbreviation for cannabidiol, a chemical compound found naturally in a wide range of plants, including mangoes, hops, black pepper and cannabis. CBD is also produced by the human body. Cultivated by humans for at least 12,000 years, cannabis, an ideal plant for producing CBD, is “one of the oldest plants on record as having been used for human benefit,” said Shelley Durocher, a University of Connecticut researcher.

Where Does CBD Come From?

Marijuana and hemp are two different varieties of cannabis that come from the same species of plant. While CBD can be found in both varieties, the hemp plant is an entirely different strain of cannabis that contains high quantities of CBD throughout the plant and very low traces of THC, or less than .3% by law, which means it will not get you high.

How Does CBD Work?

CBD works with one of the most essential systems in your body: the endocannabinoid system. We have a vast network of endocannabinoid receptors present in our skin, immune cells, bone, fat tissue, liver, pancreas, skeletal muscle, heart, blood vessels, kidney, and gastrointestinal tract. As discussed in this UCLA article, these receptors control a wide variety of processes, including pain, memory, mood, appetite, stress, sleep, metabolism, immune function, and reproductive function.

CBD works by directing the body to use more of the cannabidiol that the body produces naturally. As UCLA Health notes, “endocannabinoids are arguably one of the most widespread and versatile signaling molecules known to man.”

How Do I Take CBD?

It’s all about bioavailability, or said another way, the easiest, most effective to get CBD into your system.

CBD flower, the flower of the cannabis sativa plant, can be smoked in a pipe or pre-roll or vaped with the CBD absorbed directly into your bloodstream. You will feel the effects in 10 minutes or less. 

A dropper of CBD tincture, meanwhile, is designed to be absorbed (sublingual) under the tongue. Tinctures are products where CBD is infused in oil or alcohol. Typically you will experience the effects in under an hour.

CBD vape cartridges are well established for nicotine and THC and are used with a vape pen or device. However, there is research showing that thinning agents or carriers such as fractionated coconut oil, propylene glycol, or vegetable glycerin can cause damage to lung tissue.

A discreet way to take CBD include a wide range of edibles like gummies, lollipops, and mints, but the downside is they have to be digested first, which means your body takes longer to receive the CBD dose and the amount you receive is less than on the package.

There is some evidence that CBD creams and topicals may be an antioxidant which protects skin cells from free radicals (unstable molecules from the environment) which damage the skin.  With potential anti-aging properties, CBD cream has the ability to calm agitated skin and inhibit the production of oil in the skin which helps with breakouts and acne.

Still data on CBD for humans and animals is sparse and is mostly anecdotal. Larger studies are being funded and will provide more evidence-based data in the next five years.

Is Hemp CBD Good for the Planet?

Hemp is fast growing, drought resistant, anti-bacterial, durable and biodegradable. It requires no pesticides, and even helps to remove pesticides from the soil.

Today you can buy hemp towels, tablecloths, cushion covers and shower curtains. It is three times more durable than cotton, resists mold and mildew and is UV resistant. There is even hempcrete (concrete).

What Health Conditions Does CBD Treat?*

Today people are using CBD to treat a wide range of health conditions but should do so in partnership with their medical professional. With one in four Americans suffering from chronic pain, CBD holds great promise in pain reduction without the side effects of opioids as well as a tool to help manage anxiety and depression.

Will CBD Get Me High?

CBD is non intoxicating. Some people even use a dose of CBD to counteract or balance intoxication frequently associated with high doses of THC. 

Is CBD Legal?

Purchasing CBD is federally legal as long as it doesn't contain more than 0.3 percent THC, but some state laws have put restrictions on buyers. For example, Virginians can only buy and possess CBD if they have a prescription. Per USDA guidelines it is permissible to buy, sell, and ship across state lines. 

Does CBD Have Side Effects?

The only significant side effect is in vaping CBD oils that were produced using a thinning agent, such as propylene glycol. When burned/vaped, propylene glycol produces formaldehyde, which is a known carcinogen. CBD oils produced by CO2 extraction are safer and purer than oils that were produced with liquid alcohol/thinning agents. Other than that, most research has concluded that CBD is safe with no known side effects, though some users report drowsiness, lightheadedness, low blood pressure, and dry mouth. 

Can I Cook with CBD? 

Absolutely! CBD infused oils are a fantastic ingredient to cook with. For recipes, click here.

Will CBD Show Up on Drug Tests?

Almost every hemp product, including Scotch Valley Ranch Hemp, may contain a trace amount of the cannabinoid THC, less than .3%, the legal limit. If your work requires drug testing it is prudent to consult with your healthcare clinician and your company first before consuming a hemp-based product.

*Please reference FDA disclaimer at this bottom of this page.