You may have heard of the hot, new wellness product — CBD — because it’s just about everywhere, including smoothies, gummies, tinctures and salves.
CBD may be more than just a trend, however. It contains natural, medicinal properties derived from the cannabis plant, and as the health benefits of marijuana continue to be more widely recognized and researched, its legalization has spread across the U.S.
You may have your qualms about getting stoned (or too stoned after unwittingly eating a brownie that one time), but CBD helps people manage pain, fall asleep at night and decrease stress without having to get high at all.
What Exactly is CBD?
Cannabidiol or CBD, is a cannabis-derived compound extracted from the marijuana flower or the hemp plant, says Lindsay Ducheine, patient advocate for Revolutionary Clinics, a medical dispensary.
CBD won’t get you high, because it only contains tiny amounts of THC, the main psychoactive component of the cannabis plant.
In an interview with Exhale, Ducheine says hemp is the male plant, while the flower is the female plant. “When derived from the female plant, CBD contains a bit of THC, which is more therapeutic and has more beneficial properties.”
Is It Legal in Massachusetts?
Just like marijuana, CBD is legal in Massachusetts.
CBD containing more than 0.3 percent THC is considered cannabis and is regulated by the state’s Cannabis Control Commission (and its Commissioner, Shaleen Title), meaning you’d find these products at a licensed dispensary.
CBD products containing less than 0.3 percent THC, usually derived from hemp, are not regulated. These are the type of products you would find readily available at grocery or wellness stores.
The state requires that CBD products made for human consumption should be labeled with a breakdown of the cannabinoid profile and warn the consumer that it has not been analyzed or approved by the FDA.
You won’t need to apply for a medical cannabis card with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts if you’re purchasing something with less than 5 mg of THC.
What Can CBD Be Used For?
According to Ducheine, CBD can be used for many ailments because of its natural anti-inflammatory effect. It can help with anxiety, depression, PTSD, arthritis, seizures, acne and eczema. You can use it on skin and hair.
“The effects are very calming,” says Ducheine, when used for therapeutic reasons. “You feel less on edge, less tense and more clear-headed.”
Because it’s anti-inflammatory, using CBD topically on the face can even treat redness and inflammation caused by acne. When used as a salve, it can be applied to parts of the body experiencing muscle or nerve pain.
How Can It Be Used?
Depending on the individual and the desired effect, you can ingest, vape, smoke or apply CBD. It comes in edible form, such as a chocolate bar; in tincture form, added to tea or coffee; in flower form, to be smoked; and in ointment or salve form, applied directly on the body.
If used in tincture form, applying a couple drops under the tongue will give you a fast onset time of 15 to 20 minutes. Otherwise, onset time is closer to 45 minutes or an hour with any edible, but the effects can last most of the day, depending on the dosage, according to Ducheine.
On the other hand, inhaling CBD oil with a vape has the quickest onset time of five to 10 minutes.
Ducheine says she usually starts off first-timers with a low dosage of one to five milligrams. Most CBD products available at Revolutionary Clinics contain small amounts of THC to get the most beneficial outcome, but the exact ratio of CBD to THC is up to the consumer.