CBD is certainly sweeping the nation, isn’t it? This powerful little compound comes to us from the cannabis plant, but allows us to enjoy all of its medicinal benefits without any risk of that reefer madness. In other words, CBD doesn’t get you high (THC is the part of marijuana that does that), but it does help you out with things like anxiety, mood adjustments, muscle soreness, inflammation, and more.
It’s pretty impressive, and unsurprisingly enough, it’s gotten very popular in the last several years, the market becoming practically flooded with all manner of exciting new CBD products. From topicals to tinctures, there are a ton of different options…but the best one usually depends on what kind of issue it is you’re looking to address.
Different CBD modalities come with different experiences, so it’s best to know before you go, and make an informed decision according to what you’re specifically looking for.
CBD (also known by its full name, cannabidiol) and THC (or tetrahydrocannabinol) are among two of the most notable cannabinoids, chemical compounds that specifically interact with a part of our nervous system known as the endocannabinoid system(or ECS, for short).
Your ECS helps you control things like mood, appetite, sleep patterns, and so forth…so when you supplement your body with extra cannabinoids (like THC and CBD, which cannabis is positively loaded with), you’re tipping your naturally-occurring scales in a much more positive direction.
Specifically, THC interacts with your ECS in a way that produces that uplifted, euphoric feeling (the “high” that typically comes with marijuana consumption), while CBD interacts with your ECS in a way that can relieve anxiety, improve moods, help with insomnia, and improve appetites. When it’s applied topically, CBD can also help with inflammation and muscle soreness.
Almost all marijuana has CBD in it, but over the years, growers have been focused on more heavily psychoactive strains, so CBD-dominant flower has been bred out of favor. Now that we’re getting more and more hip to the potential health benefits that come from CBD, it’s gaining popularity in its extracted form…which means there are a ton of ways to enjoy all those benefits that come along with it.
One important thing to know about CBD is that it gets by with a little help from its friends. This is due to something known as the “entourage effect” (yes, really), which is the name for the phenomenon wherein different cannabinoids interact with each other in ways that make them more potent and effective.
When CBD is combined with THC, the THC works to make the CBD more effective…while the CBD actively works to lessen the psychoactive impacts that would normally come from the THC. “Broad spectrum” CBD products tend to leave out the THC, while “full spectrum” products include THC, giving the CBD a nifty boost.
Pay attention to the ratio of THC to CBD when you’re purchasing your products, as different ratios will produce a different experience — the more THC, the more chance of that cannabis high. But if the THC ratio is particularly low, the CBD will work to effectively minimize that possibility.
Perhaps the most common form of CBD consumption, smoking or vaping can take many different forms. You can pick up some CBD-dominant flower, which can be smoked in a bowl or joint or the apparatus of your choosing.
Oil cartridges are another great way to go, and offer a good amount of control and customization, too. Different CBD to THC ratios can help you find exactly the experience that you’re looking for.
This is also a much faster and more direct method of getting that CBD into your bloodstream…but it bears mentioning that combustion involves carcinogens, and the medical jury is very much still out on the health risks that might come with vaping.
One of the most common kinds of CBD consumption is the classic edible. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? You can find CBD treats in just about any form you want, from chocolates to gummies, to sodas and beyond…you just might have to do a bit of shopping around, to see which local retailer has exactly the type of snacks you’re looking for.
One thing to remember, when it comes to edibles, is that they can be quite slow-acting. You might have to wait anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour for your high to set in, and it’s worth mentioning that other parts of your body that are involved in the digestive process can sometimes absorb some of the total CBD content contained in whatever you’ve eaten.
One of the best things about CBD is that it can be applied topically for targeted, direct action. Minor injuries, pulled muscles, rogue inflammation…they can all be soothed quite nicely by some CBD cream, which makes topical application another one of the more common ways to consume CBD.
Creams can be bought online or at your local dispensary. Just be sure to look out for a high CBD concentration, as your skin is a bit less permeable than those thin membranes in your mouth.
Taking CBD under the tongue is one of the most direct ways to go, as the membranes in your mouth (your gums, and the area under your tongue) are very permeable, giving a pretty direct path to the bloodstream and increasing what’s known as its bioavailability.
This is also a handy way to avoid some of the additives that often accompany edibles — those tasty treats are, of course, going to come along with things like preservatives, sugar, and so forth. Sublingual supplements are a great way to avoid this, often taking the form of a lozenge, tincture, or oil.
When it comes to picking out the perfect THC to CBD ratio, it really comes down to the experience that you’re looking to enjoy. Novice cannabis consumers, are encouraged to start with lower THC to CBD ratios. It’s smartest to start slowly with the more psychoactive aspects of cannabis, and adjust to the experience at a rate that feels most comfortable for you.
Different ratios don’t necessarily make CBD more or less effective at treating any specific set of issues. The effects are the same; the only difference will be in the psychoactive effects that come from the THC involved.
Regardless of your choice in modality, CBD is a great way to enjoy many of the health benefits that come from cannabis, without committing to the psychoactive experience. The choices can seem endless, but all this means it that you have the power to pick exactly the experience that’s perfect for you!