Cannabidiol (CBD): The Complete and Comprehensive Guide

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the fastest growing products in the wellness industry. It is a versatile chemical compound that acts on the endocannabinoid system.  Projections of rapid growth over the coming years reflect global consumers increasing appetite for cannabidiol. The substance itself is a compound that is found in the cannabis plant (cannabis sativa) or a cannabinoid. Hemp products are generally sold in one of thee categories: CBD isolate, broad-spectrum CBD oil, and full-spectrum CBD oil. These three vary by the profile of cannabinoids they extract from the hemp plant. One of the other main compounds in cannabis, the far better known and controversial tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), has led to the proliferation of many inaccurate associations, myths and hyperbole about CBD and its effects. This is understandable; because while you probably looked up this article in hopes of treating any range of potential ailments or to simply investigate something that is trending for potential addition into your health and wellness routine, you probably didn’t realize you would need a minor course in American Federalism to understand how to get CBD, what kinds you can and cannot legally purchase (based on where you live) and what you should and should not be using CBD for. Let’s help you answer these questions and more. The evidence from many consumers, medical studies and many physicians would suggest that taking the time to properly obtain and learn about CBD can pay huge dividends and keep the Feds or local fuzz off your back. Do not let the ambiguity of failed federal drug-control policy, bureaucratic red tape at the Food and Drug Administration, or hype and misconception prevent you from enjoying the benefits of CBD if you are so inclined. Hemp products are noe legal and will soon be in stores all around. 

CBD oil: Is It Legal? Are There Side Effects?

The answer is yes; and no, but mostly yes as long as you’re willing to engage in a little due diligence. We have the complete guide for you. Given the opaque leg

CBD Cream: How to Apply It, Why and Does It Work?

CBD (scientifically known as cannabidiol) is a non-psychoactive compound extracted from the hemp plant. These compounds are called cannabinoids. Most people know the cannabinoid called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is derived from the Marijuana Cannabis plant and is known for its psychoactive properties. CBD is derived from the Hemp Cannabis plant and is used for many of the same purposes as THC but is preferred by those that do not want to feel the effects of the psychoactive properties (which produces the feelings of being 'high'). According to a report by the World Health Organization, “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.”

Over the past few years, the popularity of CBD products has continued to increase in wake of a landmark legalization of hemp, which in turn made the extraction, sale and distribution of CBD federally legal so long as it is derived from Hemp. CBD is being added to a myriad of products ranging from basic oil tinctures to flavored gummies, candies, and sodas. There is a heightened activity in the research of CBD related medical properties. While, the FDA has been very reluctant to fully approve the use of CBD for the treatment of serious illnesses without significantly more research and human trials, there have been promising studies and ample anecdotal evidence supporting the efficacy of and consumer satisfaction with the use of CBD. Some people will use CBD for pain, others for anxiety, insomnia, or for the treatment of other symptoms. You can use CBD in pill form, oil form, or as a cream. 

Research indicates that using transdermal application of CBD has specific anti-inflammatory effects. The effectiveness of putting CBD directly on the skin of an effected area is very high. 

CBD Cream

As a compound, CBD is very effective when applied topically. That is why CBD-infused creams are so promising. Topical CBD products are usually made by blending high-quality CBD oil with any combination of other moisturizing agents such as coconut oil, shea butter, aloe vera, vitamin E, and other essential oils. Popular CBD cream products include:

  • CBD Lotion: CBD lotion is often applied to the face for it's hydrating and anti-inflammatory effects. Many users report that their skin tone appeared brighter and more vibrant when using CBD and that redness was greatly reduced. The calming effects of CBD are due to its anti-inflammatory properties, which work both when taken orally or added directly to the skin.
  • CBD Salve or Balm: CBD salves or balms are popular methods of pain management. Whether users are suffering from diseases that cause chronic pain like arthritis or if they have short-term acute pain from weightlifting and general physical exertion, applying a CBD salve or balm directly to where you are experiencing pain can be very helpful. 
  • CBD Patches: CBD patches, much like "Icy Hot" or other popular commercial patches, are applied to strained, pulled, or sore muscles to provide pain relief. Unlike most other commercial patches, though, CBD not only helps reduce pain, it also helps target the source of the problem, which is often inflammation. These are popular for relieving menstrual pain.

Why CBD Cream Works

CBD cream is a highly effective remedy for treating symptoms from a variety of ailments. The most important property that makes transdermal application effective is CBD’s powerful anti-inflammatory properties. It has also been proven effective to reaching arthritic and rheumatic pain through skin application. Some compounds, although effective when taken orally, are not able to absorb directly into the skin. Thankfully, this does not include CBD. 

CBD can penetrate deeply into the skin to provide many health and beauty benefits. Some lotions even add additional ingredients to improve how the CBD is absorbed into the skin and amplify its benefits. In addition to the treatment of joint or arthritic pain, CBD promotes clear skin. It has been found to have a positive effect on human skin cells and sebaceous glands. This means that CBD is great at treating acne.  

Which CBD Creams to Buy

As with any booming industry, the booming CBD industry has made room for some people looking to take advantage of unsuspecting consumers. Don’t let human greed deter you from an effective remedy. However, be smart and show common sense. Some products are incorrectly labeling their CBD-infused products both in terms of accuracy and in some cases whether there is any CBD present at all. This is much easier to do with creams or lotions than it is with products that have to make it through the FDA's rigorous approval process.

One study showed that only a little over a third of CBD-creams were properly labeled. Some CBD creams claimed to have more CBD in them than they actually did, and others had barely detectable amounts. This is not particularly surprising. Given that CBD was a recently illegal substance that is operating in a regulatory vacuum, it is no wonder that unscrupulous actors have come in to take advantage of legitimate consumer curiosity about a product that can help. 

You can avoid buying such "snake oil" products by ensuring your CBD cream has a third-party certificate of authenticity. This is sometimes easier to look for online than it is in stores because many store owners do not want to lose shelf space by displaying such certificates. But, even if you do buy your CBD in a store rather than online, you should be able to check the product's box or Google the product to ensure it's legit. If you can't find a third-party certificate of authenticity, don't buy it!

The quality and accuracy of contents in CBD products is one of the most risky parts about consuming these products before the FDA has approved and studied CBD for approved medical uses in humans. While research finds minimal if any harmful side-effects, particularly transdermal application, there have still been problems with the accuracy and quality of CBD products. 

One private solution that has been taking form in the absence of clear government standards has been spearheaded by Sephora. Sephora has been the first major vendor of CBD skin products to pass standards any product must pass before appearing on that stores shelves. These standards are the following:

    1. Inclusion of only full or broad spectrum CBD derived from US hemp. 
    2. CBD must be tested at least 3 times for quality and purity
    3. A Certificate of Analysis (COA) verifying the label and contents match must be available upon request 
    4. All products must meet Sephora Clean Standards

    Private efforts like these are helping fill the stop-gap until Federal policy catches up with consumer trends. Another way to ensure you’re getting a product free of any contaminants is ensuring your CBD vendor has the USDA certified organic seal. 

     How Do CBD Creams Work?

    CBD creams work in a number of different ways. Mainly, they work within your endocannabinoid system. This system effects and regulates many of the bodies functions. After you workout really hard, for example, your body releases endocannabinoids to signal to your brain that your muscle is tired or worn out. This, along with lactic acid accumulation, is where the feeling of soreness comes from. But it's not all bad; endocannabinoids are also partly responsible for giving you the euphoric sensation you sometimes feel after a good run or workout in the gym. When you take CBD orally or rub it onto your skin, the compound interacts with your endocannabinoid system at act to stimulate the euphoric sensations while minimizing the pain signals.

    The other, more direct way that CBD creams work is by acting to target inflammation specifically. While other non-prescription pain medications only work in your brain, CBD actually works both in your brain and at the source of your pain by reducing inflammation. This is one of the reasons why CBD makes such a great alternative to traditional medications for chronic pain sufferers: It gives them relief and can even help to cure the cause of some of their ailments.

    What Can CBD Creams Be Used For?

    Some of the more popular uses for CBD creams include:

    • For ArthritisCBD is increasingly popular among people living with arthritis who take the compound both orally and by rubbing a balm or salve on their hands—which is one of the primary sources of pain for many people living with arthritis. The anti-inflammatory effects of CBD significantly mitigate the symptoms of arthritis according to many CBD users. The unfortunate fact about arthritis is that it is uncured and can thus only be managed. When it comes to pain management, you always want to choose something that is not going to have a negative impact on your overall health. You don't want to try and "grin and bear it," and you don't want to stupefy yourself into a zombie by using hardcore, potentially dangerous drugs like opioids. While opioids have their place—namely in hospitals and for sufferers of major acute pain, they are not ideal long-term solutions for chronic pain sufferers. CBD creams, on the other hand, get right to the source of the problem. That, plus they have few, very mild side effects.  
    • For Acne: While more research needs to be done, people have reported CBD lotions and creams have helped reduce their acne and improve the overall tone and texture of their skin. The anti-inflammatory effect on particular skin cells can have a particularly powerful effect on soothing troubled skin. 
    • For Rosacea or Red Skin Tone: It is believed that CBD's anti-inflammatory properties that CBD-infused facial lotions can help calm the skin and reduce signs or Rosacea or red skin tone, greatly improving the user's complexion. The overall positive effect has resulted in very high user satisfaction.
    • For Muscle Pain or Soreness: CBD-based products, especially creams, are becoming increasingly popular among weightlifters, bodybuilders, and athletes. CBD creams can be applied directly to sore areas and offer quick results that can provide relief and reduce inflammation. Research has shown that transdermal application directly to the effected area can be just as effective as oral ingestion. 

    Should I Try a CBD Cream?

    If you suffer from chronic pain or recurring acute pain from demanding physical activity, then CBD is worth a try. It is natural, effective, and has very few side-effects. If you are uncertain about whether CBD is right for you, don't hesitate to talk to your doctor. It is important to remember that CBD is not currently a prescription for any particular skin ailments. While it has been approved by the FDA for use in the treatment of a severe seizure disorder, any decision you make to try CBD should be for the purpose of reducing unpleasant symptoms not curing an underlying condition. 

    It is important to always remember that any supplement, which most CBD is sold as, is not regulated by the FDA. This means, until further medical research and validation of results amongst human trial participants, the proper dose of CBD (most effective) is not known. Though CBD shows a lot of promise; it is not currently a medicine except for sufferers of seizures who get a prescription from a physician. You should not use CBD instead of a prescription medication, or at all without talking to your physician. CBD is known to have side effects such as fatigue, irritability and dry mouth. It can also interact with medications in the same way as grapefruit juice. Other than seizures CBD should not be used to cure any ailment, only to help with its symptoms. Also, because the supplements are not regulated for purity the FDA and independent research groups have found a large amount of CBD vendors who mislabel or misrepresent the contents of their products. Other government certifications like the USDA Certified Organic seal and private methods like batch numbers and lab testing can help ensure you select only quality CBD products. 

    al landscape, due diligence is worth the time. Unfortunately, CBD has become lumped in with mind-altering and potentially addictive drugs for purposes of the law despite not possessing these effects. The Controlled Substances Act (CSA) legally banned the Marijuana plant and stated that this plant and/or any substance synthesized from it has zero medical use; this included CBD since it comes from the plant. Well firstly, the problem with this was that the marijuana plant has been used medicinally since the beginning of civilization. It was one of the first plants cultivated by humans. Under Federal Law, Marijuana and its derivatives are still a Schedule 1 Substance and thus illegal to possess, manufacture or distribute. State law is another story altogether. All but three states have passed some law legalizing marijuana and/or CBD for at least limited medicinal purposes. These range from full recreational use, to medically authorized use only and some states even have laws permitting low-THC variants of marijuana to allow for the possession and use of CBD. Until very recently, regardless of what state you were in, CBD would have been illegal under the CSA. However, in the 2018 Agricultural Improvement Act (Farm Bill) an amendment was included and passed that made a legal distinction between Hemp and Marijuana, virtually the same plant but the former containing less than 0.3% THC. This important legal change opened the door for the fully federally legal sale and distribution of CBD derived from hemp but not from the higher THC variety of the plant, marijuana. Are you confused? Fear not, let us break it down simply: 

    If you use CBD that is derived solely from Hemp it is legal in all 50 states (you can travel with it on planes and take this product anywhere with no fear or legal ramification) 

    If you use CBD that is derived from Marijuana, it is still illegal under Federal Law, however specific state restrictions may apply if marijuana is not fully legal in your state.,

    if you are in a state like California, Washington or Colorado where marijuana is fully legal for recreational use then you will not have any restrictions on your CBD use regardless of whether it is CBD extracted from Hemp or Marijuana.

    But wait, if your state law says CBD is legal and Federal Law says it is not will the DEA or FBI arrest you with marijuana derived CBD? Even though Federal Law specifically states that Marijuana is illegal the 2014 Rohrabacher-Farr amendment prevents the Justice Department (which oversees all Federal Law enforcement) from appropriating any funds that will be used to enforce against the implementation of a state marijuana law. So, for all intents and purposes, if you are complying with your state’s unique codes on the legality of marijuana and CBD, you should not be molested by any Federal law enforcement official or agency. So, as a roundabout answer to the incredibly complicated question of whether (and what kind of) CBD is legal remember that if your state doesn’t have marijuana fully legalized it is easiest to remember that hemp-derived CBD is 100% legal. Todd Harrison of Venable LLC Law Firm in Washington DC put it this way “I think there is very little risk for consumers. If you are buying CBD from marijuana, there might be a risk. [But]I don't think the states are going to take action against the consumer.” While this answer may be frustrating and lengthy we beg you to remember the words of Winston Churchill, “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.”


    CBD is it safe? How is it regulated?

    CBD is really the first example of a formerly controlled substance becoming an uncontrolled substance on a large scale in the United States. Thus, the adjustment period between being an illicit substance to a commonly available one has been one of fits and starts. For example. The FDA technically does not approve any additive of CBD into food or drink, but it is occurring all across the country. The FDA has found many CBD products do not accurately represent the levels of or even if there is CBD present in them as far as advertising, or some products may make unsubstantiated claims as to health benefits. The Digital Citizens Alliance released a 2019 report that revealed the following:

    “More than half of the products purchased and tested by Digital Citizens contained CBD levels that were 20 percent higher or lower than what was listed on the packaging. In a number of cases, CBD levels were less than half, with some containing less than 10 percent, of what the label claimed. That means consumers were receiving essentially a placebo. What makes the findings alarming is that many Americans who take CBD report they did so to replace a prescription medication to treat medical issues including pain, insomnia, anxiety, depression, and, even in some cases, cancer and Alzheimer's disease.” The Executive Director of the organization, Tom Galvin, said "CBD shows promise to treat pain, anxiety and seizures such as epilepsy. But the market can't be built on inaccurate CBD levels, misleading claims and a false sense of security about safety," 

    This is understandable in a nascent market and does not reflect upon CBD itself but rather upon the significant legal and commercial transformation CBD products have recently undergone. The incentives this process has created for private businesses who may prioritize profit over quality and have an unprecedented opportunity to accomplish this with far less accountability than in more established and regulated products and industries.

    While consumers wait for the US Government to develop a comprehensive and understandable regulatory framework for CBD, there are a few key steps you can take to make sure you’re only buying quality CBD products. 

    Check a company’s claims and reputation- Is a company telling you CBD will cure any ailment? Has the company received any enforcement letters from the FDA? If so, has the company rectified any outstanding issues in labeling or advertising?

    Manufacturing quality/batch number: Does a company elaborate on the quality and manufacturing processes? Does the company have good quality control and lab-testing? Can you verify the content of the product? Do you know what level of THC or other adulterants may be present?

    Other government certifications-: Even though the FDA has a slow process for approval, that doesn’t mean CBD vendors can’t obtain other government certifications that boost consumer’s confidence in their product. One of the most important of these to look out for would be the USDA Certified Organic label. This label ensures that your product is free of harmful adulterants and pesticides. 

    It’s important to remember to behave as an informed and intelligent consumer when putting anything in your body. Follow these guidelines when taking CBD. 

    Do not take CBD to cure any medical condition, but rather as a holistic response to symptoms that CBD may help with. 

    Do not replace prescription medications with CBD

    Do not start taking CBD without asking your personal physician as it can cause interactions with other medications


    What Is CBD Used For? How Can CBD Be Taken?


    CBD is used to treat several physical ailments, medical conditions, and health conditions of the human body, and more seem to be discovered every day.

    PainPain reduction and management is one of CBD’s best-known uses. While the compound can be used for certain kinds of acute pain (like muscle and tissue soreness), it is particularly useful when used to treat chronic pain symptoms from ailments like arthritis, migraines, and others. The effects of CBD is such an excellent option for chronic pain sufferers because prior to CBD, these people were forced to either take opioids, take commercial non-prescription painkillers, or try and ignore their pain. At this point, the dangerous potential of opioid use and abuse is quite well known. What is not as well known are the negative side-effects associated with taking non-prescriptions medications like Tylenol and Ibuprofen. Both medications have been linked to a range of problems ranging from bone and joint issues to heart and kidney issues, digestive problems, and more. It’s for all these reasons that many chronic pain sufferers are willing to try CBD and are incredibly thankful when it helps.

    Epilepsy and SeizuresThe benefits of CBD have long been known to help those suffering from Epilepsy and other neurological diseases resulting in seizures. Just a few years ago, CBD made national headlines as parents of epileptic protested the fact that the laws in their state did not allow for their children to use CBD. Many of these parents had experimented with using CBD on their children and saw incredible results. The laws at the time were not on their side. Thankfully, that has changed. Not only have most states embraced CBD, but the FDA even recently approved its first-ever CBD-based product for epilepsy and seizure cases.

    InflammationMore than possibly anything else, inflammation is either the symptom or cause of disease. Everything from cancer to the flu causes parts of the body to become inflamed. Certain amounts of inflammation may be the body’s natural response to certain kinds of activities, but too much inflammation is undoubtedly a bad thing. CBD is believed to be anti-inflammatory and reduce inflammation both when taken orally or when administered as a topical treatment. When CBD is administered as a topical treatment, users benefit from the anti-inflammatory properties without the digestive complications often produced from taking over the counter pain medications such as Ibuprofen or Tylenol. 

    Anxiety: Anxiety disorder is considered the most common mental health disease in the United States. Many of the 40-million people afflicted with anxiety disorders go undiagnosed and do not seek help. This, at least in part, is due to the unsatisfactory nature of modern anxiety treatments. CBD offers a healthy, natural alternative to people suffering from anxiety that will help them conquer their fears and begin to feel better without negatively impacting their health or personalities.

    Trouble SleepingCBD has long been used by those suffering from insomnia or who have regular trouble sleeping. The compound is great to take at night because it calms the mind and relaxes the body without causing an excess level of tiredness or other negative side-effects common to other supplements used for

    Now that you know what CBD is, you can decide whether or not it is for you. If you suffer from chronic pain or are often sore due to working out, then CBD is certainly worth considering.


    How to Take CBD

    CBD Tinctures:

    CBD oil tinctures are the most popular CBD-based product. There are three basic types of CBD tinctures: Isolate, broad-spectrum, and full spectrum. CBD isolate is simply 100% pure CBD oil and contains no other cannabinoids.  

    CBD Supplements:

    CBD supplements are increasingly popular among people who take CBD for minor chronic or acute pain and other health issues. This can include those who are not familiar with self-administering from a tincture and want the certainty of a pre-dosed pill, so they know precisely how much CBD they are getting. Some CBD companies have begun creating CBD-hybrids by adding caffeine to their supplements for day-time usage and melatonin to take before bed.  

    CBD Gummies:

    CBD gummies are popular among those who don’t like to swallow pills. Gummies can be just as potent and helpful as CBD supplements or tinctures; it’s merely a matter of preference and experience.

    CBD Creams:

    CBD creams are increasingly popular in specific communities, including weightlifters, bodybuilders, and professional and amateur athletes. These people and others face issues associated with constant sore and tired muscles, as well as tissue damage. Thankfully CBD is an effective topical treatment that can help relieve muscle pain and reduce inflammation. CBD creams are also popular among those who have rheumatoid arthritis. 

    CBD Lotions:

    CBD lotions are great for helping skin tone, reducing redness, and can even help with acne.


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