- Table of Contents
- CBD Products
- Pros & Cons
- CBD for Addiction Treatment
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What is CBD?
Cannabinoids are chemical compounds produced naturally in some plants and even in our own bodies. When they are produced in our bodies, they are called endocannabinoids and phytocannabinoids when produced in plants. The endocannabinoid system is like our body’s operating system—it affects neurotransmitters that bind to receptors that impact pain, appetite, sleep; and how we feel, move and react.
When a person ingests phytocannabinoids like cannabidiol (CBD) or tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), they react to cannabinoid receptors in our brains and act similar to our body’s natural endocannabinoids. CBD and THC react to different cannabinoid receptors which is why THC is psychoactive and CBD is not.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a phytocannabinoid found in cannabis plants. While there are a variety of endocannabinoids in our body all working together to perform different tasks, CBD, when ingested, mimics our endocannabinoids and produces a variety of effects. The specific effects CBD has on our body ranges from person to person and studies on proven effects are limited, but CBD is most common for relaxation and anti-inflammation among others.
Differences Between Marijuana Buzz Words
Cannabis Plant (Indica, Sativa and Ruderalis)
First and foremost, Cannabis is the family classification of the plant. This classification is broken down into three main varieties: Indica, Sativa and Ruderalis.
Marijuana vs. Hemp
Hemp and Marijuana are really just ways to label cannabis plants in terms of how much THC they contain. Hemp, which is typically used for a variety of different fiber and textile uses, has less than 0.3% THC. Marijuana on the other hand is any cannabis plant that has greater than 0.3% THC concentration.
While hemp was previously regulated as an illegal substance under the Controlled Substance Act of 1970, it was removed as an illegal substance under the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018, which federally legalized hemp and hemp-derived products that contain no more than 0.3% THC.
Seeing as how this is an article about CBD, where does CBD fall under these classifications? Well, everywhere! CBD is found in every variation of Cannabis (Indica, Sativa, Ruderalis) and therefore also found in both Marijuana and Hemp. CBD is higher in Marijuana than in Hemp, but because Marijuana is federally illegal, in states where Marijuana is banned, CBD is made with Hemp.
What Is THC?
The cannabis plant has hundreds of active chemicals, including more than 120 cannabinoids. These cannabinoids can be found in all parts of the plant including the stalk, seeds, and flowers. The two most abundant cannabinoids (and the most popular) are cannabidiol (CBD) and
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). These two chemicals have similar chemical structures but have very different effects on the human body.
When heat is applied to THC, a process called decarboxylation, is it broken down and creates a mind-altering high by binding with the cannabinoid receptors in the brain. THC without decarboxylation does not cause any psychoactive high, therefore ingesting the raw plant will not have any effects. When ingested after decarboxylation, it can induce feelings of relaxation and enjoyable altered perceptions, but in some people, it can induce feelings of anxiety, paranoia, increased blood pressure, hallucinations, and even psychosis.
Marijuana (or THC specifically) is considered psychologically addictive; meaning a person chooses to keep using because of how it makes them feel rather than trying to suppress physical withdrawals. THC, especially when used during developmental years (before the age of 25) has been shown to negatively impact a person’s short and long-term memory.
CBD, on the other hand, is non-psychoactive and does not appear to be addictive. CBD works on separate endocannabinoids in our body that are not responsible for mind-altering effects.
How Does CBD Oil Make You Feel?
Like THC in Marijuana, CBD affects everyone a little differently. For the most part, the majority of people report feeling relaxed and focused as well as less pain and anxiousness. CBD has no psychoactive properties meaning it will not make the user high. A person cannot overdose on CBD and therefore many people substitute CBD for common prescription medications for things like chronic pain and insomnia as a safer alternative.
Cannabinoids are responsible for many bodily functions, one being an anti-inflammation. Inflammation is our body’s way of ridding it of unwanted substances like viruses and free radicals, but sometimes our bodies tend to overdo it causing headaches and a variety of different pains throughout our body. CBD acts like the anti-inflammatory endocannabinoids in our body and therefore can be responsible for many of the pain-relieving effects people feel.
According to one study comparing the effects of THC and CBD, THC activates neurotransmitters involved in our “fight or flight” response, while CBD represses autonomic arousal, the nervous system response associated with increased heart rate or respiration. This could be the reason why many people purchase CBD for its relaxation benefits. While CBD’s effect on anxiety disorders is currently anecdotal, because CBD is relatively new, more research needs to be done.
Why Are People Just Now Talking About CBD?
In 2018, the U.S. Farm Bill was passed allowing hemp-derived products to be legal as they were once under the Drug Enforcement Agency’s list of Schedule 1 substances. When hemp became officially federally legal, this made CBD federally legal along with it. This lead to a “hempslosion” of sorts, giving licensed growers the green light to cultivate and transfer hemp-derived products across state lines for commercial purposes. Today hemp, and therefore CBD, is still a highly regulated crop in the United State requiring serious provisions to grow. Under the Farm Bill, Marijuana (any cannabis plant containing over 0.3% THC) is still federally illegal.
Are CBD Products Legal?
In short, yes. But things can get a little complicated when looking state-to-state. For instance, in Colorado where Marijuana is legal (yet still federally illegal – a concept that is quite confusing) CBD can be made from Marijuana. Remember that Marijuana is a cannabis plant containing more than 0.3% THC whereas Hemp is a cannabis plant with less than 0.3% THC. (For perspective, the average marijuana strain today contains about 12 percent THC.)
CBD made from marijuana is still federally illegal to sell and use but still legal on a state level. Therefore many of the CBD sold in states where Marijuana is legal is most likely made from marijuana and in states where Marijuana is illegal, CBD is made from Hemp.
Is there a difference between CBD from Marijuana and CBD from Hemp? In terms of the chemical structure, they are the exact same, but there can be some differences in how they are extracted. For instance, Hemp has 3-5% CBD makeup whereas Marijuana contains 18-20% CBD. Therefore to make federally legal CBD, growers need to produce a much higher volume, sometimes up to 6x more than a Marijuana grower to extract the same amount of CBD. This poses problems for Hemp CBD growers and extractors. By producing more volume of the plant, it heightens the risk of including other contaminants (pesticides and metals in the ground). Extractors of CBD must then implement extreme purification processes. Because CBD is an under-regulated product – meaning there are little to no required stipulations on how the product is made – not all suppliers of CBD go through the proper testing necessary to create a safe and effective product.
Where do you buy CBD?
Today CBD can be bought almost anywhere. CBD first started selling at smoke shops or “head shops” and has now expanded into gas stations, food stores, wellness boutiques and even online. As of recent, both CVS and Walgreens now carry a variety of CBD products in select states.
How Do You Take CBD?
CBD comes in a variety of forms from gummies to vape products, but the most common form is oil tinctures. Oil tinctures come in a variety of concentrations, ranging anywhere from 10mg all the way to 3500 mg. Tinctures are typically measured by a dropper and placed under your tongue, but they can also be massaged into your skin as oil, topical, lotion, or balm. CBD can also be effective when given to pets as a safe way to calm them.
Can You Fail a Drug Test After Taking CBD Oil?
If the product you ordered is manufactured according to the law, then no. The THC in hemp is very low and after the extraction process of CBD from hemp, there is little to no trace of THC. On the other hand, due to the lack of regulations on CBD products, some manufacturers–due to lack of competence–sell CBD products that unintentionally contain THC. To ensure your product does not contain THC, look for a manufacturer that can provide a Certificate of Analysis, or COA, for its product. This ensures the company is testing for THC, CBD and various contaminants.
What’s The Difference Between Hemp Seed Oil and CBD Hemp Oil?
Hemp seed oil has been around for a long time. Hemp oil is oil made from cold-pressing the seeds of the plant whereas CBD is extracted from the entire plant. Hemp oil contains no THC and very trace amounts of CBD. Hemp seed oil is known to be anti-inflammatory, not clog pores, and provides superior moisturization to keep the skin looking and feeling supple. It can be used within a product or even just on the skin as a face oil. Hemp seed oil will be listed as cannabis Sativa oil. CBD hemp oil will be listed as cannabidiol, full-spectrum hemp or hemp oil.
What Are The Proven Health Benefits?
As of today, Epidiolex is the only CBD product approved by the FDA. According to the FDA, this antiseizure medication for epilepsy outweighs any potential risks. There are a few other cannabis-related products with FDA approval, but Epidolex is the only medication in regards to the CBD cannabinoid.
What this means is that all other health benefit claims (besides anti-seizure from Epidiolex) have not yet been backed by scientific research. Not enough time has passed since the legalization of CBD for extensive clinical trials to be measured. Currently, there are multiple trials (all in their early stages) with emerging evidence to suggest some strains and dosages of CBD can be effective in the treatment of schizophrenia, psychosis, post-traumatic stress disorder, neuropathic pain, cancer, Type 1 diabetes and cognitive symptoms associated with HIV and Alzheimer’s disease.
Unsubstantiated Health Benefits
CBD has become so widely popular because many people feel it helps them in a variety of ways from anxiety to physical pain. CBD has become a panacea for any ailment or problem, but these claims have not been backed by any evidence. Due to the novelty of the drug, it can be hard to know whether these claims are real or just anecdotal. Nonetheless, here is a list of unsubstantiated health benefits of CBD:
- Pain Relief
- Reduce Anxiety and Depression
- Reduce Acne
- Neuroprotective Properties
- Heart Health
- Alleviate Cancer-Related Symptoms
- Substance Use Management
What Are The Possible Side Effects?
According to Mayo Clinic, “CBD use also carries some risks. Though it’s often well-tolerated, it can cause side effects, such as dry mouth, diarrhea, reduced appetite, drowsiness and fatigue.” CBD can also interact with medications such as blood thinners.
Is CBD Safe?
According to The World Health Organization, “CBD is generally well tolerated with a good safety profile.” They continued to state that any adverse effects from CBD would be the result of interactions between CBD and existing medications. The report further stated, “In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential…To date, there is no evidence of public health-related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.”
On the other hand, CBD is currently sold as a supplement and not a medication. This poses a problem as dietary supplements are not currently regulated by the FDA for safety and purity. Therefore, many CBD products on the market today can have inaccurate labeling of the volume of CBD concentration. According to a 2017 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, of the commercially available CBD products tested, only 30 percent were accurately labeled.
The Regulation Problem of CBD
Because CBD has only been federally legal for just over a year, the industry has been considered the “Wild Wild West” because of its regulations or lack thereof. CBD is now being sold everywhere, from the corner gas station to the local barbershop, and even in your drinks; but because of this surge in CBD volume, the federal government has been having trouble keeping up with keeping everything regulated and under control.
For CBD products, it can be hard to know if the label is correct. For instance, according to a study where they tested a variety of CBD products, they found that: four samples were pretty much right on, two samples cheated you, giving only 60 to 80% of the advertised dosage, there were the over-performers: A thousand-milligram sample was really 1,100 milligrams (10% higher), and one was way over 210% of what the label said. Some samples even had trace amounts of THC.
While the labels of some CBD products can be misleading, it is hard for consumers to not only know if they are receiving the right amount of CBD but it can be hard to know whether or not these products are safe. As an example, there are a variety of products in China that have been shown to contain high amounts of metal and chemical contaminants.
According to a statement by the FDA, any product that contains CBD – even if derived from legal, commercial hemp–unless they have been approved by the FDA, cannot be sold as a dietary supplement or claim to have any therapeutic supplements of any kind. Today, the FDA has approved on CBD product called Epidiolex, which is only for the treatment of rare and severe forms of epilepsy. Therefore, any CBD product you find having claims to any type of benefits are unsubstantiated and not backed by any type of research.
Is CBD Addictive?
Evidence does not show CBD to be addictive. THC on the other hand is, and therefore, if you purchase an unregulated CBD product which contains trace amounts of THC in it, it could be addictive but only due to the THC, not the CBD.
Is CBD Effective for Addiction Treatment?
Currently, no scientific evidence exists proving the effectiveness of CBD treatment for substance use disorders. Once again, because the drug is relatively new, it will be some time until clinical trials are released to have a better understanding of its effectiveness. For the time being the jury still seems to be out.
That being said, CBD has been shown to have minimal side effects. CBD can cause problems with the liver, but this has only been shown when it is mixed with certain prescribed medications; therefore it is always best to consult your doctor before trying CBD.
Although CBD has not been a proven treatment for addiction, the health benefits that a variety of people say they feel from CBD – such as neuroprotective properties as well as alleviating pain, depression, anxiety, PTSD, schizophrenia, and trauma – this compound could have a positive impact on a person’s recovery. A large group of proponents claim CBD has helped them overcome their substance use disorders.
Therefore, due to CBD having little-to-no negative side effects and the possibility of it helping people overcome their substance use disorders, we at Coalition Recovery feel that this can only be a positive impact during recovery. Addiction treatment takes a tailored approach as people react differently to different treatments and therapies. If a person finds CBD has no effect on them, no harm no foul, but even for the 1% who find CBD helps them alleviate stressors they feel during recovery, then it is worth implementing into a treatment program.
How Can You Be Sure The CBD Is Safe?
Thankfully our CBD product comes from one of the most reputable and safest suppliers in the nation – Green Roads. They have obtained countless awards for the integrity of their products and continue to pave the way for how CBD should be made.
“Our CBD starts as hemp grown on American farms that use the highest standards in their cultivation processes. The hemp then goes to extraction facilities that use cutting-edge methods to yield rich, broad-spectrum oils and isolates. To ensure purity, Green Roads tests these raw materials for heavy metals, pesticides, microbials, solvents, and more. Then our pharmacist and co-founder’s proprietary formulations turn these ingredients into products worthy of our brand. However, before any batch is permitted to hit the shelves, it’s sent to an external lab, and the results of those third-party tests are made available to everyone via a QR code on the packaging.”
By supplying our CBD supplements through Green Roads, we are confident we are giving our clients the highest quality CBD available.
CBD Therapy for Addiction – Coalition Recovery
Here at Coalition Recovery, we make CBD available to our patients if they so choose. We wish to utilize every tool we can to combat addiction and if CBD can be that with almost zero negative side effects, then we say, “why not?” While evidence-based therapies have been found to be the most effective, our additional therapies can only foster healthy improvements. Like meditation, yoga, and music therapy; CBD is one of these modes we hope can be an additional additive to help people along their path to recovery. Even if our CBD therapy for addiction helps just one person, it is has been worth it, but we believe it will help many more. While studies are still in the beginning stages showing the proven effectiveness of CBD, we know the side effects when done correctly are minimal. So if you are interested in CBD treatment for substance abuse, please reach out to one of our representatives today. They can answer any questions or concerns you might have and assess whether or not CBD treatment is the right fit for you!
Content Creator for Coalition Recovery