There’s no denying it – Cannabidiol is officially everywhere! But what do you really know about CBD?
You can drink it, eat it, rub it on your skin, put it under your tongue, and take a bath with it. It’s in makeup, bedsheets, lattes, and dog treats.
When some people hear “CBD,” they immediately think of marijuana. And while there is a connection, there is definitely a difference.
What is CBD
CBD, short for Cannabidiol (can·na·bid·i·oll) is one of many chemical compounds (or cannabinoids) found in hemp plants.
It promotes wellness without the psychotropic or intoxicating effects of THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol).
The list of physical problems that CBD helps with can sound unrealistic. To make it easier to understand, let’s consider that CBD only helps with 1 thing. It supports and strengthens the Endocannabinoid System (ECS).
The healing gained is because the ECS is the master regulator for all the body’s systems. So when we help this system out, we allow the body to find balance or homeostasis in many of our body’s systems.
Did you know that by law, CBD products can have no more than 0.3 percent THC?
CBD can help relieve pain, reduce stress, and relax your muscles, but it will not get you high.
The Difference Between Hemp and Marijuana
One of the common misconceptions is that hemp and marijuana are one and the same. In reality, they are related but are not the same plant.
Cannabis is a family of plants that includes both hemp and marijuana. Physically, they look very different. Marijuana is characterized by broad leaves and tight buds and generally grows less than 5 feet in size. Hemp, however, has skinny leaves and can grow up to 15 feet tall.
Another major difference is their CBD and THC content profiles. Hemp is characterized by having a high amount of CBD and a low amount of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), whereas marijuana has the opposite profile, with a high amount of THC and a low amount of CBD.
But why is this important?
The Difference Between CBD and THC
CBD and THC are both cannabinoids, however, CBD is a non-psychotropic compound, which means that it won’t give you the “high” or “buzz” known to accompany THC? So, you don’t have to worry about using CBD and feeling weird afterward. Instead, you can just enjoy the medicinal benefits that it provides.
How common is CBD use?
- 33% of American adults have used CBD once or more. (SingleCare, 2020)
- 64% of Americans are familiar with CBD and/or CBD products. (Gallup, 2019)
- An estimated 64 million Americans have tried CBD in the last 24 months. (Consumer Reports, 2019)
- Of those who use CBD, 22% said it helped them supplement or replace prescription or over-the-counter drugs. (Consumer Reports, 2019)
CBD statistics by age (Single Care)
CBD user demographics skew young. Of all age groups, Americans aged 18-29 are most likely to use CBD consistently, and its popularity decreases with age. (Gallup, 2019):
- 20% of people ages 18-29 use CBD
- 16% of people ages 30-49 use CBD
- 11% of people ages 50-64 use CBD
- 8% of people age 65 and older use CBD
And the numbers nearly double for adults who have tried it once or more. According to a 2019 Consumer Reports CBD survey:
- 40% of people ages 18-29 have tried CBD
- 32% of people ages 30-44 have tried CBD
- 23% of people ages 45-59 have tried CBD
- 15% of people 60 and older have tried CBD
CBD statistics by usage method
According to our SingleCare survey, nearly half of CBD users prefer oils/tinctures, lotions/balms, and gummies. But there’s a growing market for CBD edibles.
- 18% interested in capsules/tablets
- 18% interested in topical sprays
- 17% interested in CBD-infused food, such as chocolate
- 13% interested in vaping products
- 12% interested in soap
- 11% interested in CBD-infused drinks (non-alcoholic)
- 9% interested in CBD bath bombs and salts
- 8% interested in skincare products
- 8% interested in pain patches
- 1% interested in other CBD products
Types of CBD
When you’re trying to buy CBD products, it can be confusing to figure out which type you need. There is a lot to know about the different types of CBD. Here’s a quick breakdown.
As mentioned above, CBD is a cannabinoid. Hundreds of cannabinoids have been identified. CBD Isolate is what you get when you isolate CBD from all other cannabinoids. In other words, it is pure CBD. This form won’t have any THC and is the safest bet for anyone who might have allergies or intolerances to other cannabinoids. The downside is that you won’t experience any benefits from other cannabinoids otherwise known as the Entourage Effect.
This form contains CBD and all other cannabinoids EXCEPT THC. This is a great option for people dealing with pain or muscle tension since CBN (another cannabinoid) has some great anti-inflammatory properties. It’s also desirable for people who want the broader effect of multiple cannabinoids but can’t or don’t want to use THC.
This form has it all — including naturally-occurring amounts of THC. In the U.S., this is still legal as long as the amount of THC contained does not exceed .3%. This trace amount of THC will help you get the most of the medicinal effects, but won’t give you the “high” that you’d get from pure THC.
Types of CBD Products
When it comes to CBD, there’s a variety of products on the market that you can try out.
Here are some popular choices.
Tinctures and Oils
Tincture vs. oil — Tinctures are made by soaking cannabis in alcohol. Oils are made by suspending CBD in a carrier oil, like coconut or olive oil. Both are taken sublingually (under the tongue).
Topicals: Creams, Balms, and Salves
CBD topicals are specifically designed for localized pain caused by conditions such as arthritis, muscle soreness, aches, and even injuries. Some formulas are used as scar treatments in addition to pain relief.
CBD topicals work transdermally, or through the skin and their effects will be felt in minutes instead of hours.
CBD modulates pain and the sensation of pain by stimulating the reuptake of adenosine (the neurotransmitter), thereby boosting adenosine levels in the brain and inhibiting pain sensations.
CBD may also block pain signals from reaching processing centers in the brain by binding to TRPV1, which is responsible for pain and inflammation.
Applying CBD cream or balm allows the CBD to pass through the subcutaneous layer via blood vessels and interact directly with the afflicted area.
In plain English, CBD can help dial down your pain by blocking the signals for pain.
This is probably the most popular category of CBD products. Gummies, in particular, are the edible that comes to mind most readily. However, there are also other options, including hard candy, snack bars, CBD-infused nuts, fruit chews, protein bars, trail mix, and a variety of baked goods.
Did you know that you can also try CBD in a drinkable form, such as in smoothies, green juices, lemonades, coffee drinks, and tea blends?
For smokers, you can obtain CBD in flower or pre-rolled forms. It has been used to help some people transition when they are trying to quit smoking cigarettes since it helps meet their oral fixation needs but doesn’t contain nicotine or tobacco. However, this can lead to lung issues, so we recommend talking to your doctor before trying it.
There are sleep aids on the market for people who have trouble falling, staying asleep, or feeling rested after sleeping. These products are typically a blend of CBD (often broad-spectrum) and a low amount of melatonin. They can be in the form of tinctures, oils, capsules, or edibles.
This is not an exhaustive list, but it will get you started. There are suppositories, lubes, deodorants, face creams, coffees, and on and on.
There is so much to know but we hope we have increased your CBD-IQ. And if you’re looking to give it a try, you definitely won’t have a hard time finding it.