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Cannabis 101

CBD uses and potential benefits

01.10.22 - 4 min read

Summary: 

  • Cannabidiol (CBD) is a chemical compound or cannabinoid found in cannabis. 
  • CBD products are federally allowed on the market and can be purchased without a medical marijuana card as long as they contain less than 0.03% of THC. 
  • Several research have shown CBD to have the potential to improve symptoms of conditions like anxiety, depression, sleep disorders, cancer, chronic pain, epilepsy, chronic inflammation, etc.

From potentially alleviating joint pain to muscle spasms, cannabis has been used for a wide variety of applications—and records of these practices date back to 2900 B.C. [Source] 

These days, further research is being conducted to understand exactly how cannabis can be used for medical purposes. Many of these studies are focused on one specific cannabinoid found in marijuana: cannabidiol, or simple CBD. 

Products containing CBD are hitting the market at a rapid pace. Public awareness of the potential benefits of CBD, along with changing laws, has made it possible for CBD to become widely available.  

You may have heard that CBD is associated with a number of benefits related to well-being. But do you find yourself wondering exactly what CBD is used for? Maybe you’re interested in learning what the potential benefits of CBD are, or where CBD is available and what types of CBD products are currently being produced.  

Getting the answers to these and questions about CBD benefits and applications can help you decide if you want to try CBD and which CBD products are right for you. But first, let’s walk through the basics. 

What is CBD? 

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a chemical compound or cannabinoid found in cannabis that is extracted directly from the plant and reacts with specialized cannabinoid receptors found throughout your brain and body. These receptors are a part of the endocannabinoid system that is believed to have a direct impact on important functions like appetite, sleep, metabolism, mood, memory, immune system responses, reproduction, pain, and more. [Source] 

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What is CBD used for? 

CBD can be used to potentially bring relief for many issues, ranging from chronic conditions to daily stressors. Federal and state laws throughout the United States made it difficult in years past for researchers to fully explore the potential uses of CBD. 

In 2015, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the federal government eased restrictions and created protocols that made it possible for researchers to conduct trials on CBD for medical applications. The Farm Bill, which was signed into law in 2018, made the commercial production of hemp in the US legal. These changes allowed research into the uses and benefits of CBD to take off and inspired the development of a long list of CBD-based products. CBD products are federally allowed on the market and can be purchased without a medical marijuana card as long as they contain less than 0.03% of THC. 

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What are the potential benefits of CBD? 

There is still a lot of research that needs to be done to provide a comprehensive list of all the possible benefits of CBD. Keep reading below to learn about a few of the ways that CBD may have a positive impact on your life. 

CBD can help manage pain 

Finding ways to manage pain—whether it is acute or chronic—is not always straightforward. Over-the-counter and prescription pain relievers come with a long list of potential side effects including liver damage, stomach issues, and gastrointestinal bleeding. If you are looking for a more natural way to manage pain, CBD may be able to help. Some research shows that CBD may be an effective natural pain management option for both acute and chronic pain. This is possible by the cannabinoid’s interaction with the endocannabinoid system.  

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CBD can promote sleep 

The amount and quality of sleep you get can impact your immune function, memory, ability to learn, and your metabolism. Basically, just about every element of your life can be impacted by sleep—or the lack of it! 

Research has shown that CBD can improve sleep in both low and high doses. 

Several pieces of research showed that CBD can help relieve nightmares and active behavior during REM sleep, improving the quality of sleep and bringing relief to patients with anxiety, PTSD, and Parkinson’s Disease

CBD may help manage anxiety 

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association in America, anxiety is affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older. 

A 2017 study from the University of Washington has shown that the endocannabinoid system helps balance the stress-reward network in the brain, affecting the process of fear, stress and anxiety. The same research has shown that both THC and CBD have the potential to bring relief to people suffering from anxiety. A 2018 survey shows feedback from medical cannabis users that reported a 58% reduction in anxiety after cannabis use.

CBD can have a positive impact on the symptoms of depression 

Over 19 million people in the United States have experienced at least one major depressive episode and many others deal with a range of depressive symptoms every day.  

Studies suggest that CBD can have a positive impact on the symptoms of depression, though further research is required. 

(Note: We recommend that anyone experiencing mental health conditions sees a licensed physician to monitor their symptoms.) 

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Is CBD available everywhere? 

CBD is more widely available now than ever before. Federal law currently allows the farming of industrial hemp which makes it much easier for companies to derive and offer CBD-based products. CBD products that are on the open market must contain less than 0.03% Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is the element in cannabis that causes the intoxicating sensation commonly associated with the plant. While federal law has changed drastically in regard to CBD, some state laws continue to impose more restrictions. The laws in your state may impact the amount and types of CBD products that are available to you. 

What types of CBD products are available? 

Companies that offer CBD-based products are getting creative with all of the ways they include CBD in various products. You can take CBD sublingually (under your tongue), use it topically, in pill or capsule form, or ingest it in a drink or food. 

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CBD oil 

CBD oil is one of the most widely available options for adding CBD to your routine. You can find CBD oil at health food stores, online, at your pharmacy and sometimes at your local grocery (to mention just a handful of options). CBD oil is often taken sublingually, which means that you can simply put a few drops under your tongue. You may also be able to add CBD to a drink or food. (If you’r new to CBD, we recommend always starting with the minimum recommended dose to see how you react.) 

CBD capsules & pills 

You can take CBD with your daily vitamins in pill or capsule form. There are a few different CBD options available in this form: isolate, full-spectrum and broad-spectrum. Isolate only includes the pure CBD found in cannabis, full-spectrum includes all compounds found in cannabis, including THC and other cannabinoids and terpenes, and broad-spectrum includes all compounds found in cannabis except for THC. The right option for you depends on your approach to taking CBD. Some research suggests that the various compounds found in cannabis can work together creating the entourage effect that can alert the resulting sensation and effects. 

Topical CBD 

You can choose to apply CBD topically to target areas of your body where you are experiencing pain or skin issues. There are lotions, creams and topicals that include CBD in their ingredient list. You can even get hair products such as shampoo that include CBD. 

Edibles 

You can also find cannabidiol in edible forms like CBD gummies, CBD-infused olive oil, drinks and chocolate. It is important to look at serving size and potency when you choose edible products that include CBD to ensure that you’re getting the dosage you want. 

Smoking, vaping & inhaling 

If you’re looking for an option that helps you feel the positive effects of CBD relatively quickly, smoking, vaping, or inhaling can provide quick results. For example, using a vaporizer and cartridge containing CBD can get the CBD in your system faster than many other consumption methods. 

Choose the right CBD product for you 

As you explore options for including CBD in your wellness routine, it’s important to remember two things: the amount of CBD in products and the quality of the CBD can vary. All CBD products are not created equally! In order to experience the best results from adding CBD to your life, you’ll want to find the highest quality products on the market. We recommend using CBD products that have third party testing results available for consumers. 

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Seek out expert advice 

One of the best ways to find the right CBD product for you is to seek out help from the pros. When you choose a CBD product, you’ll want to look at factors like potency, whether it is a CBD isolate, full-spectrum, or broad-spectrum, the ratio of THC and CBD (if it is a product that includes THC), as well as the delivery method. (Phew!)  

It can be overwhelming to try and explore this lengthy list of factors on your own. Luckily, a cannabis and CBD expert can guide you through the process of finding the products that best fit your needs and lifestyle. 

Explore the resources available from RISE 

RISE has dozens of dispensaries in various states throughout the United States. If you have a dispensary near you, you can get expert advice in-person! Stop in to discuss which CBD products are the ideal match for your goals and needs. Aside from visiting a RISE Dispensary nearby, you can explore our cannabis resources. They include information about choosing the right product, finding a dispensary, the benefits of medical cannabis and answers to the most commonly asked questions. 

CBD can work hand-in-hand with other components in cannabis. If you need assistance getting a medical marijuana card or registering with a RISE Dispensary, we can help. The RISE website is full of resources that are designed to make the entire process as simple as possible. You can explore the resources on your own or reach out to our patient care team for help every step of the way. At RISE, we’re here to answer your questions and guide you through the process of improving your overall well-being. 

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