Cannabidiol, more commonly known as CBD, is one of the many medicinal compounds found in the cannabis plant. Unlike its psychoactive cousin THC, you won’t get high if you smoke pure CBD. However, doing this will still have a range of different effects on your body.
In this article, we take a look at what happens when you smoke pure CBD. It is a good idea, or could it have some negative side effects? Let’s take a look.
What is Pure CBD?
Cannabidiol is just one of the hundreds of compounds produced by the cannabis plant. It belongs to a family of chemicals known as cannabinoids, which also includes THC, CBG, CBN, CBC, and many others. Cannabis also produces numerous other compounds, including terpenes, flavonoids, and fatty acids, all of which have different effects on the human body.
When you smoke or vaporize weed in its natural form, you inhale a combination of all of these chemicals. However, it is also possible to isolate individual compounds such as THC or CBD using various extraction methods.
These can then be used to make concentrates which are rich in the chosen cannabinoid. These highly potent products come in a variety of forms, including oil, wax, shatter, budder, and more. These are generally used by smoking, dabbing, or vaping.
CBD is also available in a form known as CBD isolate. This is a crystalline powder which contains over 99% CBD. This is the purest available form of CBD, and it can be used in a variety of ways.
How to Use Pure CBD
CBD is most often associated with CBD oil. This is a liquid which is taken by holding it under the tongue for around 90 seconds and then swallowing. Although it is now possible to purchase CBD oils which are incredibly potent, they will often contain other compounds as well as a carrier such as MCT oil. Therefore, these oils are not pure CBD. For that, you need CBD isolate.
CBD isolate can be used in the same way as many other cannabis concentrates. You can smoke it by adding a small amount to joints, bowls, or bongs. You can also inhale it using a dab rig. If you are more of a vape fan, you can even add a little CBD isolate to your favorite vape juice.
Because it comes as a powder, CBD isolate is even more versatile than other cannabis concentrates. As well as smoking it, CBD isolate can be sprinkled into edibles, used to make tinctures, or added to creams for topical use. However, smoking and vaping provide the fastest results by far.
So, what happens in your body when you smoke pure CBD?
What Happens When You Smoke Pure CBD?
When you smoke CBD (or consume it in any other way), it has profound effects on your body and mind. This is, in part, due to its interaction with the endocannabinoid system (ECS). We say ‘in part’ because CBD also influences other biological systems, but we’ll get to that in a moment.
The ECS is a series of receptors which are located throughout the body and chemicals called endocannabinoids. When endocannabinoids bind with cannabinoid receptors, they trigger several different processes which help the body to maintain homeostasis or a state of internal balance.
The cannabinoids found in cannabis have molecules which are similarly shaped to endocannabinoids. This means that they can bind with the body’s cannabinoid receptors in a comparable way. For example, THC binds strongly with cannabinoid receptors in the brain to produce its intoxicating effects.
CBD, however, works in a slightly different way. Although it does bind with cannabinoid receptors, it does not act on them as strongly as THC. What it does do, though, is change the way that other molecules like THC bind with the receptors. This is why CBD is thought to mitigate some of the adverse side effects of THC.
CBD also works outside the ECS, though. It has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and is even thought to protect nerve cells from damage. Another action of CBD outside of the ECS is its anti-tumoral effects. CBD has been found to prevent the spread of cancerous cells, and increase a process called apoptosis (programmed cell death) in damaged cells. The exact mechanism of this is still not fully understood, but the current evidence is extremely promising.
These varied effects on the body are the reason why CBD has been receiving so much positive press in the past few years. Its many potential benefits include:
- Anti-inflammatory and painkilling properties
- Protects nerve cells from damage
- Prevents the spread of cancerous cells
- Reduces anxiety
All of this suggests that CBD is some kind of miracle drug with countless benefits for both physical and mental health. However, with any powerful medicine, you expect there to be some adverse side effects. Is this also true of CBD?
Smoking Pure CBD: Safety and Side Effects
CBD is generally considered safe and is well-tolerated by most people. However, it is not entirely free from side effects. The most commonly experienced adverse effects of CBD include:
- Dry mouth
- Digestive problems
- Reduced blood pressure
Not all of these side effects will affect everyone, and when they do, they are rarely severe. For this reason, CBD has gained a reputation for being safe as well as effective. However, there is another potential danger associated with CBD, and that is drug interactions.
Many different drugs are processed in the liver by an enzyme called cytochrome P450 (CYP450), and CBD is one of them. This means that if you take CBD at the same time as other drugs which are metabolized in the same way, it can compete for the CYP450 enzyme and increase levels of the other drug in your bloodstream.
One example of this is the anti-epileptic drug clobazam. Studies have found that taking CBD increases concentrations of clobazam in the blood, meaning that lower doses are needed to provide the same effect. This is certainly a good thing, but only if you are aware it is going to happen and adjust your dose accordingly.
Therefore, if you take any prescription or over-the-counter medication, you should talk to your physician before using CBD. It is also thought that CBD could affect your liver enzymes and cause damage if it is taken over a long period, but there is limited evidence for this one way or the other. Remember, CBD research is still in its infancy, and there are very few studies on the compound’s long-term effects.
Another downside to smoking pure CBD is that it is not the healthiest route of consumption. Although CBD is less harmful than tobacco, smoking anything is going to irritate your lungs to some extent. Using a vaporizer is arguably better, but many vape juices contain chemicals which could be equally dangerous.
It is also critical to note that you should only smoke or vape products which are intended to be used that way. Never try to smoke regular CBD oil as this will be ineffective, taste awful, and could mess up your vape for good.
Smoking Pure CBD vs. Full-Spectrum CBD
The final disadvantage to smoking pure CBD is that it may not be as effective as a full-spectrum product. Full-spectrum CBD contains cannabidiol along with all the other cannabinoids, terpenes, and the various other compounds found in cannabis.
Many experts believe that full-spectrum products are more effective because of the ‘entourage effect.’ This is based on the popular theory that the chemicals in weed work together synergistically to provide benefits beyond those of each ingredient alone.
Some people may be put off full-spectrum CBD products because they are worried that they could make them high. However, most CBD companies extract their cannabinoids from industrial hemp, which contains trace amounts of THC. This means that the majority of CBD products are non-intoxicating and legal to purchase in all 50 states.
If you would prefer to ensure that your CBD is 100% pure and unadulterated, though, CBD isolate could be the best option for you. You may not benefit from the entourage effect, but you will definitely be getting the highest possible concentration of CBD for your money and a versatile product which can be used in a number of ways.
What Happens When You Smoke Pure CBD? Final Thoughts
It is quite unusual to find pure CBD products, with most companies opting to create full-spectrum oils instead. Full-spectrum CBD is perfect if you want to benefit from the entourage effect, but some people prefer a product which is pure CBD.
Smoking pure CBD has a variety of positive effects on your body, although it is not the healthiest method of consumption. However, smoking CBD does produce fast results, and for some people, this is the most important thing.
How you take your CBD, and the form you prefer, is really a matter of personal preference. We hope this article has helped you understand your options and make a more educated choice!