CBD FAQ: A Comprehensive Overview


CBD oil first became legal in a handful of states starting in 2013. Since then, 33 states and the District of Columbia have legalized the manufacture, sale, and use of CBD oil. But what exactly is CBD oil, and who can take it? The following CBD FAQs will give readers a comprehensive overview of CBD oil and how to use it.

1. What is CBD oil and where does it come from?

CBD stands for cannabidiol, and It comes from the hemp plant, Cannabis sativa. The hemp plant has more than 100 different cannabinoids in its flowers, buds, stems, and leaves, and cannabidiol is one of them. These cannabinoids interact with certain neurotransmitters in the brain and throughout the body.

The human body possesses a system called the endocannabinoid system, or ECS. Natural endocannabinoids are produced and travel down throughout this system. The endocannabinoids are neurotransmitters, which are a type of chemical “key,” where the ECS possesses the locks that the endocannabinoids bind to, triggering numerous natural processes. The ECS system controls things like appetite, sleepiness, the way a person registers pain, and more.

2. How does someone use CBD oil?

CBD oil can be taken in many different ways. The most popular method is using oil as a sublingual tincture. User will get a dose of CBD oil with a dropper, and place and hold the treatment under the tongue for a set time, usually a minute to a minute and a half. The blood vessels and capillaries under the tongue are very thin, and can quickly absorb the cannabinoid molecules for a fast effect.

Another quick and effective way to take CBD oil is with a vaporizer. The oil is placed into the cartridge, along with a particular flavor for taste, and then heated and inhaled. This is one of the fastest ways to medicate with CBD, since the cannabinoids get to bypass the digestive system and the liver, and can get straight into the bloodstream. It is also a discreet way since the vapor is smokeless. CBD oils also come in sprays or inhalants.

CBD oil can also be taken as a gummy or flavored candy. Manufacturers are also creating CBD treats and chews for cats and dogs to get the analgesic effects of CBD. It is also possible to purchase CBD oil in capsule form, or as a syrup, wax, or concentrate.

Consumers can also purchase nano CBD oil, where the cannabinoid molecules are shrunk. Nano CBD molecules can quickly pass through the skin barrier, making it easy to medicate with CBD oil in a cream form, or as a medicated bath bomb.

3. How much CBD should someone take?

The appropriate dose a person takes will depend on what their goals are for taking the CBD oil. The health benefits of CBD oil have not been thoroughly studied as of yet. But the clinical trials that have been conducted so far prove that CBD oil offers people with specific health issues relief from certain symptoms. The Mayo Clinic has gathered information on the CBD oil trials that have been conducted so far and has put together a chart on CBD oil dose guidelines. For example:

  • Chronic Pain: 2.5 to 20 mg of CBD with or without THC taken orally
  • Epilepsy: 200 to 300 mg of CBD taken orally every day
  • Sleep Disorders: 40 to 160 mg of CBD taken orally
  • Glaucoma: 20 to 40 mg of sublingual CBD.

It is also possible to find an accurate CBD dosage calculator to find the exact dosage to take, based on a person’s height, weight, and the health issues they wish to treat. The Depression Alliance has put together a list of places with CBD oil calculators that patients can use online.

4. How is CBD oil made?

It’s possible for enterprising DIYers to make CBD oil themselves. Professional CBD distilleries use an industrial extraction method, where they remove the CBD from the marijuana plant using heated CO2. This method of extraction enables the CBD distillery to remove all traces of the cannabinoids from the plant, and then suspend the molecular cannabinoids in the oil. DIYers do not need access to these high-tech processes to make an effective CBD oil at home. To make CBD oil at home, it’s a good idea to use high-quality, non-virgin olive oil for the oil solution. Olive oil will preserve the CBD for a long time, and it can also be used in a variety of cooking processes.

Depending on whether or not a person wants a CBD oil with THC, choosing the correct strain of cannabis is essential. Certain strains of the plant have higher levels of THC than others. Studies have shown that for chronic pain patients, CBD oils that include THC are beneficial. But, anxiety and depression patients should only use THC-free CBD oils, since THC is known to trigger anxiety in susceptible patients.

There are two ways to get the cannabinoids out of the plant and into the oil for DIYers. They can bake the marijuana flowers, or grind dried marijuana flowers, or buds, into a super fine powder. Once either of these two processes is completed, the cooking process can begin.

Cooking the oil and cannabis will take a while and requires vigilance. Fill a saucepan with half oil, and half water, and then add the ground or baked cannabis. The pan will need to be stirred frequently to prevent burning and clumping. Brewers will need to heat the pan until the water starts to boil, then lower the temperature to a low boil. Ideally, the oil should cook at about 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Higher than that, and the cannabinoid molecules will evaporate into the air, instead of into the oil. Simmer the mixture for about a half hour, until the cannabis floats to the surface of the oil.

Once this step is complete, the mixture will need to cool until it reaches room temperature. At this point, users can extract the leftover cannabis flowers or powder, until only the olive oil and water mixture is left in the pan. Next, the pan will need to be covered and chilled overnight in the fridge. The next day, the oil will have hardened and risen to the surface of the mixture, leaving the water at the bottom of the pan. It is now possible to extract the CBD-infused oil and put it into a proper receptacle. The remaining water can be discarded.

5. Does CBD oil get you high?

Most people do not realize that there are many different types of cannabis plants. These plants can come in either the indica or sativa varieties. There are marijuana cannabis plants, and hemp cannabis plants, that can come in either the indica or sativa varieties.

The component in the marijuana plant that gets someone high is called THC. THC is a cannabinoid that interacts with the body’s natural endocannabinoid system. Preliminary studies have found that THC does have some health benefits, which is why people with chronic pain can benefit from CBD oils infused with THC. However, THC in CBD oil will not get a person high.

Each cannabis plant, no matter if it is hemp, marijuana, sativa, or indica,  will have its own unique makeup of cannabinoids. Some plants will possess higher quantities of cannabidiol than others, while some can have very high THC content. Hemp has little to no THC content at all. Hemp is used in most industrial processes, to make things like cloth or rope. Hemp plants are also used to make CBD oils. HUGS CBD products are made with hemp plants.

Because of the origin of cannabis that is used to make CBD oils, CBD oil will not get a person high because it does possess large enough levels of THC to produce that effect.

6. What does CBD oil do?

While CBD oil won’t get a person high, it is still a psychoactive substance. Psychoactive substances change a person’s mental state, impacting how the brain and the central nervous systems operate. Examples are CBD oil, caffeine, and even chocolate. It is not the same as an intoxicant, which will create a diminished state of mind, and impair a person’s physical abilities.

CBD oils are a new product to hit the market, and there aren’t many in-depth, long term studies on their effects yet. However, the clinical trials that have been conducted have found that CBD oils interact with the endocannabinoid system in the body, and can diminish the symptoms of specific debilitating health issues, such as chronic pain, migraine headaches, and epilepsy. The FDA recently approved a medical marijuana drug for childhood epilepsy. As the industry for CBD oils and medical marijuana products grows, more studies will be produced and will highlight the risks and benefits of CBD oils in more detail and with higher levels of concrete, scientific evidence.

7. How long does it take for CBD oil to work?

It depends on how someone administers the oil. Sublingual and vaporized CBD oil can produce almost immediate effects, while CBD oil absorbed through the skin, or taken as a capsule can take up to an hour to deliver results. CBD edibles can take as long as one to two hours to take effect.

8. Is hemp oil the same as CBD oil?

Hemp oil and CBD oil are slightly different. The hemp plant contains virtually no THC, and smaller levels of cannabidiol than other cannabis strains. Most CBD oils come from cannabis plants that contain both THC and CBD, in varying levels and degrees. Technically, these two oils are different because of their source. Many of the popular CBD oils on the market are derived from hemp plants that are specially bred to have higher levels of CBD, but no THC.

9. How long does CBD stay in someone’s system?

CBD will stay in someone’s system for about one week. People who have to get drug tested for work should stay away from CBD oils that contain THC since they can show up on a drug test as a positive result.

10. Is it possible to vape CBD oil?

Yes. In fact, vaping CBD oil is one of the fastest ways to take CBD.

11. What drugs should not be taken with CBD oil?

Preliminary studies have found that CBD oils will create a drop in resting and active blood pressure. It is not a good idea for people who are on blood pressure medications to take CBD. Certain epileptic drugs should also not be combined with CBD. It’s always a good idea to speak to a doctor before trying CBD oil if a person is on prescription medication.

12. Does medical marijuana get someone high?

Medical marijuana is similar to recreational marijuana. It can get someone high since it contains THC.

13. Can someone smoke CBD oil?

CBD oil can be smoked in a traditional water pipe, though this is not a popular way to take it since it can be harsh on the throat and lungs.

14. How is CBD extracted from the cannabis plant?

Manufacturers use superheated CO2 to extract the cannabinoids from the cannabis plant flowers, leaves, and stems. The extracted cannabinoids are suspended in an oil.

15. Does insurance cover CBD oil?

CBD oil is not covered under health insurance plans.

16. Does someone need a prescription for CBD oil?

No, it is possible for anyone to purchase CBD oil from a reputable company, or to make their own.

17. Is CBD an adaptogen?

Since CBD is non-toxic and produces a relaxing effect on the body, it meets the criteria as an adaptogen. Combining CBD with other adaptogenic herbs and plants could possibly increase and strengthen the impact of either substance.

18. Can CBD oil be diffused?

Putting CBD oil in a diffuser is possible. But this will not give users the health benefits of the product.

CBD can be purchased in a variety of strains, flavors, and products. The method by which a person uses CBD depends on what they are trying to treat. As always, it’s critical to speak to a doctor first before trying CBD, especially if someone takes a prescription.