Although medicinal marijuana is now legal in a grand total of 33 states plus D.C., and for recreational purposes in 11 states plus D.C, it remains federally illegal. Meanwhile, Canadians have the joy of knowing that they can use weed to their heart’s content (as long as they do so within the outlined rules) because it is now legal in their nation.
As popular as cannabis is, the existing federal prohibition means the market can’t grow to its full potential yet. The same cannot be said for the CBD market, which was the beneficiary of a huge legislative change. In December 2018, President Trump signed the Farm Bill into law. One of its many provisions stated that industrial hemp was now federally legal to grow in the United States.
While CBD comes from the marijuana plant, it is also available in abundance in the hemp plant. The market was already doing very well before the ban was lifted. A study conducted by Cowen & Co. suggested that the CBD market alone could pull in $15 billion by 2025. It is a figure that surprised the New York-based investment bank and is a testament to how fast the CBD phenomenon has caught on.
For such a lucrative industry, reliable information remains fairly thin on the ground. There are CBD sellers who make bold claims about the power of cannabidiol. While ongoing research is promising, it has yet to prove such claims conclusively. As such, we urge readers to steer clear of companies who state CBD is a ‘cure-all.’
There is an awful lot we don’t know about the cannabinoid, but the lifting of prohibition should allow far more research to take place. Until then, the best thing we can do is keep you informed to changes in the industry, as well as providing data from newly published studies. In any case, we are taking this opportunity to briefly answer the most Frequently Answered Questions (FAQs) about CBD.
10 Frequently Asked Questions About CBD oil
1) What is CBD?
Cannabidiol, better known as CBD, is one of 113 identified phytocannabinoids in the marijuana plant; and is also found in industrial hemp. It is the second most abundant cannabinoid in weed, behind THC. It is available in various forms including as a tincture, edible, or a topical such as a cream.
CBD is extracted from marijuana or hemp in one of several ways. The ‘gold’ standard is supercritical CO2 (carbon dioxide) extraction, but solvents such as ethanol or butane are also used. Unlike its famous counterpart THC, it is non-intoxicating, which is one of the reasons why parents allow their children to consume it.
2) Is CBD Legal?
You will see a lot of CBD sellers say that the compound is now legal in all 50 states. This isn’t strictly true. The Farm Bill of 2018 legalized the cultivation of industrial hemp, but it did nothing to alter CBD’s status as a controlled substance when derived from marijuana. However, CBD taken from industrial hemp was delisted as a controlled substance thanks to the Farm Bill, as long as any CBD product contains 0.3% THC or less.
There is still the small matter of FDA regulations to consider as well. Did you know that hemp CBD is legal for sale as a cosmetics product but cannot be sold as an ingredient in animal food, dietary supplements, or food? This is because of its status as an active ingredient in an FDA-approved drug.
It is also incorrect to conclusively state that CBD is legal for sale in all 50 states because each one has its own unique laws. In Idaho, for example, CBD products are legal if they contain zero percent THC. You could have problems if you live in Nebraska or South Dakota.
The University of Nebraska and Nebraska Medicine are allowed to possess CBD, but if you are not part of the cannabidiol pilot study, you could be arrested for possession of an illegal controlled substance. A Vape store in Washington County was raided in 2019 as law enforcement claimed the CBD it was selling is a controlled substance!
Things are arguably even worse in South Dakota. Governor Kristi Noem says it should remain illegal despite federal law, and the state Attorney General, Jason Ravnsborg, made a statement in March 2019 which said CBD oil and industrial hemp are still illegal in the state of South Dakota.
3) Can I Use CBD Oil?
Not in South Dakota or Nebraska as things stand! In Idaho, the oil must contain 0.0% THC. Fortunately, there are plenty of CBD sellers that provide CBD tinctures completely free from THC. In every other state, you should be able to use CBD oil as it is legal under 2018 Farm Bill rules. Make sure the oil contains 0.3% THC or less to stay within the law.
As for whether you ‘should’ use CBD oil, that’s entirely up to you. Some people don’t like the bitter plant taste that’s a hallmark of high-quality oil. In this instance, you may prefer to use an edible.
4) What’s Better Hemp or Cannabis CBD Oil?
From a legal standpoint, CBD oil derived from hemp is easier to get hold of. As long as the hemp-derived CBD oil contains less than 0.3% THC (0.0% THC in Idaho), you should be able to find it online, unless of course, you live in South Dakota or Nebraska! CBD from the marijuana plant is only legal in states where weed is legal.
Although you can extract CBD from marijuana and not leave much THC, few manufacturers do so. Only a handful of cannabis plants (such as Charlotte’s Web) contain large amounts of CBD. Therefore, it makes little sense to extract CBD and leave THC behind after spending so much money cultivating it!
Therefore, cannabis oil may contain CBD, but it usually involves a percentage of THC that makes it illegal in certain states. Cannabis oil is designed to provide you with an intoxicating high, hemp oil is not.
5) How to Take CBD?
It depends on the form you consume it in! CBD oil is consumed sublingually, orally, or else it is vaporized. When you use it sublingually, you place the drops beneath the tongue and hold them there for 60 seconds or so. Oral consumption involves adding it to food or drink.
Vaporizing CBD oil helps the CBD bypass the digestive system, and it gets to the bloodstream faster. As a result, the absorption rate is much higher. In other words, you need less vape juice to get the same effect as CBD oil consumed sublingually or orally. For the record, oral consumption has a ‘bioavailability’ of between 4% and 20%, sublingual consumption’s rate is between 12% and 35%, while vaporization has a rate of between 34% and 56%!
6) Can I purchase CBD online?
Once again, it depends on where you live! Residents of South Dakota and Nebraska are out of luck, for instance! In general, however, major CBD sellers such as Premium Jane, Green Roads, and Pure Kana offer CBD products to residents in dozens of states. When you check out these websites, you’ll quickly know if the brand can deliver to your home state. Some brands also deliver internationally.
7) What Can CBD Oil Help With?
It’s important to understand that there is currently no scientific research proving that CBD oil, in any form, can cure diseases. However, there are numerous case studies and testimonials from patients who have claimed that it has helped them with the following conditions:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Bipolar disorder
- Cardiovascular disorders
- Chronic pain
- Epilepsy (seizures)
- Huntington’s disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Nausea (emesis)
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Tourette’s syndrome
Related article: 5 Best CBD Oils for Pain Relief [2019 Update]
9) What is CO2 Extraction?
Extraction is essential to isolate the CBD from the hemp or marijuana plant. Supercritical CO2 extraction has long been considered the safest method of extracting CBD from plant material. The process involves the use of carbon dioxide. The CO2 acts like a solvent at a particular temperature and pressure.
However, CO2 crucially doesn’t threaten to impact the plant in the same way as solvents. When you use butane or even ethanol, there is a danger of leaving residual solvents in the final product. Although CO2 extraction is more expensive, it leaves behind a clean CBD product free from contaminants.
One downside of supercritical CO2 extraction is that it can damage the terpene content of the plant. Subcritical extraction takes even longer and produces a smaller yield, but it retains the terpenes. However, it is a far more expensive process so expect to pay more for the privilege!
10) Will CBD oil get you high?
We would like to say ‘no’ as a definitive answer, but that depends on the quality of the brand. Companies such as Pure Kana, Green Roads, Premium Jane, and Provacan have developed a stellar reputation for quality. They guarantee minimal THC in their products, which means you will not get high from the CBD oil.
As long as a CBD seller adheres to the law, the 0.3% or less THC in any oil should not be enough to provide even a mild feeling of intoxication, unless you use an enormous amount. However, even trace amounts of THC metabolites can show up on a drug test so don’t assume that you will pass a screening just because you consume CBD only.
There is research which suggests that consuming 6mg of THC a day means you have a 25% chance of failing a drug test. This equates to 2,000mg of CBD oil with a THC level of 0.3%. Most people don’t need more than 50-100mg per day, although patients with epilepsy often require a greater daily dosage.
11) Are CBD products safe?
Once again, we would like to say ‘yes’ for definite, but it all depends on the quality of the CBD oil. If you are dealing with a reputable seller, you have little to worry about. In very rare instances, consumption of CBD oil may result in nausea, dry mouth, diarrhea, anxiety, mood changes, or drowsiness. In the unlikely event that you suffer from any of the above, discuss your symptoms with a doctor and discontinue treatment if necessary.
Perhaps the biggest danger with CBD oil is a low-quality product. You could feel adverse side effects if you buy oil with pesticides or herbicides. We recommend only buying your CBD oil from a company that provides third-party lab testing from a reputable laboratory. The top brands usually offer a money-back guarantee also.
Related article: 5 Best CBD Oils For Anxiety [2019 Update]