Does CBD get you high? What are the actual benefits? What is the right way to use it? What are some risks and concerns of the use of CBD? Here’s everything you need to know about the product that’s suddenly everywhere.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are two natural compounds found in the plants of Cannabis sativa. Cannabis sativa has two primary species, hemp and marijuana.
CBD and THC have similar chemical structure, but don’t have the same psychoactive effects. In fact, CBD is the non-psychoactive portion of the plant and does not pro- duce a ‘high’ state. THC on the other hand is psychoactive and produces a high or sense of euphoria. CBD can be extracted from hemp or from marijuana. Hemp plants are cannabis plants that contain less than 0.3% THC, while
marijuana plants are cannabis plants that contain higher concentrations of THC.
Both CBD and THC release neurotransmitters in the brain. Neurotransmitters are chemicals responsible for relaying messages between cells and have roles in pain, immune function, stress, and sleep, to name a few.
CBD in Luxembourg
Since 2016 the cannabis flower has been sold legally in Luxembourg if the THC level of the ‘buds’ does not exceed the 0,3% threshold. A number of shops have already popped up in Luxembourg, selling products containing CBD. They are monitored regularly, and Luxembourg is currently working on reframing the legislative processes. However, the booming CBD business in Luxembourg will face some serious challenges, as an increase in tax of up to 50% could lead to fatal consequences for this new sector in Luxembourg. Up until now, CBD has been taxed at the same rate as tea, notably the standard 3% tax on food items. Starting 1. December, an increase to 33% will be applied, along with 17% VAT. This decision has hit small businesses hard, and there is some uncertainty around how these businesses will be able to afford the tax increase.
It is difficult to pinpoint a moment in time when CBD boomed the way it has. People have been using marijuana to treat pain for a long time, but with marijuana stigma- tized the way it is, non-users have been hesitant to try it. It is likely that people nervous to try THC for its health benefits are more ready to accept CBD because it has the advantage of not inducing a high and for its marketability as a natural product.
CBD products now come in all sorts of forms: oils, tinc- tures, sprays, lotions, edibles, bath bombs, gummies, vapes and more. The seeds of industrial hemp and prod- ucts made from them, such as hemp oil, can be used as food products. The flowers are well known as tea.
CBD oil is made by extracting CBD from the cannabis plant, then diluting it with a carrier oil like coconut or hemp seed oil.
Claimed health benefits
CBD has been touted for a wide variety of health issues, but the strongest scientific evidence is for its effectiveness in treating epilepsy. In numerous cases, CBD was able to reduce the number of seizures, and in some cases, it was able to stop them altogether.
CBD is commonly used to address anxiety and depres- sion, and for patients who suffer through the misery of insomnia, studies suggest that CBD may help with both falling asleep and staying asleep. Additionally, CBD may offer an option for treating different types of chronic pain. CBD applied on the skin could help lower pain and inflammation due to arthritis. A study demonstrated the mechanism by which CBD inhibits inflammatory and neuropathic pain, two of the most difficult types of chronic pain to treat. Some studies suggest that canna- bidiol can be beneficial for heart health, reducing acne, migraine and more.
More study in humans is needed in this area to substanti- ate the claims of CBD proponents about pain contvrol. As most research is conducted on animals, evidence of CBD’s effectiveness often comes from personal anecdotes.
Health risks and issues
While CBD does appear to be more or less safe, interested individuals should consult with their doctors before add- ing CBD to their diets. Known side effects from the use of CBD include vomiting, nausea, drowsiness, diarrhoea, increased anxiety and changes in mood and appetite. There can be some confusion around the dosage of CBD too, as some people react to a lower dose, while others do not. There are no clear indications regarding this.
Are all CBD products the same?
The truth is that the CBD landscape can be dangerous. The industry is dangerously unregulated. It is easy for a business to say that its product contains CBD when, in fact, it contains none at all – or too much, or even synthetic cannabidiol.
Most CBD products are sourced from hemp. Hemp is a bio accumulator, meaning it absorbs pesticides, heavy metals, and other toxins from the soil and water around it. These chemicals can end up in derived oils, creams, and other products, which can be detrimental to intakers’ health.
When shopping for CBD products pay attention to:
- Where the company’s hemp is sourced from
- Look for the lab results to check purity of a CBD product
- Check the certificate of analysis if the content of CBD is correct and that the CBD is not synthetic
- Make sure the product does not contain higher amounts of THC than what is legal
- Avoid any company that makes claims about its products’ effects
The bottom line
The main reason for the hype about CBD nowadays is linked to its natural compounds. Many people see this as an alternative to pharmaceutical remedies known to have side effects if used for longer periods.
Despite CBD’s newness to the modern medical landscape – and the fact that cannabis’ legal status makes research difficult in humans – many people feel inclined to trust it. CBD is the most promising drug that has come out for neuropsychiatric diseases in the last 50 years. The reason it is so promising is that it has a unique combination of safety and effectiveness across a very broad range of con- ditions.
If you are curious to include CBD products in your diet, discuss this with your doctor before using it, and do your research on the origin and quality of the products before committing to purchase.