Anyone who has ever felt the relaxing effects of marijuana will wonder why cannabis is illegal. Maybe because a population that is relaxed is unproductive? Whatever the case, cannabis still has a bad reputation, yet it is one of the world’s oldest crops ever. For at least ten thousand years, the fibers of the hemp plant have been used to make clothing, paper, food and fuel. The psychoactive effect of cannabis has also been known for more than 3000 years. But cannabis does not only make you high: For several decades, the effect of another active ingredient in cannabis has been studied: CBD is the name of the wonder stuff that is now on everyone’s proverbial lips. We answer the most important questions about CBD and its (side) effects.
1. what is CBD?
CBD is a cannabinoid from the female hemp and, along with THC, one of the main active ingredients of cannabis. Unlike THC, however, CBD does not have a psychoactive effect. Products made from CBD, for example CBD oil, also contain vitamins such as B1, B2 and E, proteins and various minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, copper, iron, sodium, phosphorus and zinc.
2. What is the difference with THC?
Tetrahydrocannabiol is the psychoactive, or intoxicating, component of cannabis that produces the infamous high and can lead to psychological dependence. The more THC present in a plant, the lower the CBD component. Since many people who smoke cannabis want to get high, the ratio of THC to CBD in some cannabis plants can be 250 to 1, which can lead to a more blatant high and, at worst, anxiety and paranoia.
3 How does CBD work?
CBD is said to work wonders. It is said to help with inflammation and inflammation-related pain, epilepsy, schizophrenic psychosis, stress, burnout, insomnia, migraines, nausea and vomiting. The list could go on forever. In short, CBD doesn’t get you high, it has relaxing effects on the body. CBD is even currently being tested to fight breast cancer, and CBD is also a component of a drug against multiple sclerosis. However, it is important to note that there are still no long-term studies that prove all these effects one hundred percent.
4 How fast does CBD work?
As with any active ingredient and with cannabis itself, CBD products work differently for each person. Here, especially the dose, body weight and the area of application play a major role. In general, it is advisable to find out about the amount of CBD contained in a product before taking it and to start with a small dose to determine the effect on your own body. Many sites therefore advise starting with a dose of 25 milligrams of CBD per day. Professional advice on the intake of CBD is recommended.
5. why does CBD work so well?
Cannabis contains over 100 cannabinoids that act on the human body. The human nervous system is equipped with cannabinoid receptors to which the active ingredients can dock. These receptors are located in the central nervous system, the immune system, the digestive system and the reproductive system. For this purpose, the human body produces so-called endocannabinoids, which dock at the same receptors. Cannabinoids help with food regulation, fine motor skills, orientation and sensory perception. “And they may be the substances behind post-exercise euphoria,” according to the Netflix documentary “Explained.”
6. are there side effects? Who should not take CBD?
CBD is generally considered safe, but it can inhibit the effects of some medications. So, anyone taking medications should consult a doctor beforehand. Other side effects can include dry mouth, low blood pressure, drowsiness, and sleepiness. Again, there are no long-term studies on the side effects yet, so safe statements can not be made 100 percent.
7. Is CBD suitable for children?
So far, there are few studies on the effect of CBD on children. In some studies with children suffering from epilepsy and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, taking CBD medication showed an improvement in symptoms. In general, however, intake should be done under medical advice, because children are in the developmental stage and even here the consequences of CBD consumption are still largely unexplored.
8. is CBD addictive?
No, even the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed this at the end of 2017 in a comprehensive report (read it here), which deals with the mode of action of CBD. In an additional article, the ECDD (Expert Committee on Drug Dependence) confirms that CBD is unlikely to be abused or create dependence.
9. In what form can I buy CBD?
CBD is now available in countless products: You can still smoke it, of course, or you can smear it on your body as a cream, eat it as ice cream or gummy bears, massage yourself with oil, swallow capsules, or mix hemp powder into your smoothie. In Germany, CBD is declared as a food supplement, so you can buy CBD preparations not only in pharmacies, but now also in supermarkets, drugstores like Rossmann and dm, or online in numerous stores. In some Spätis you can also find non-psychoactive hemp flowers for smoking. Utopia reports that Lidl in Switzerland sells hemp and Coca-Cola wants to develop cannabis-containing drinks.
10. Is CBD legal?
Since as early as 1996, farmers have been allowed to grow CBD-rich commercial hemp, which has a low THC content and is primarily processed into renewable plastics, paper or clothing. Thus, CBD products whose THC content is below 0.2 percent are then also legal and may be sold freely. In Bavaria, for example, Josef Bayer operates Germany’s first hemp field for self-picking, as Vice reports. Nevertheless, the cultivation of cannabis plants containing more than o.2% THC is still illegal.
11. What happens if I am stopped by the police?
The purchase and possession of CBD products containing less than 0.2% THC is legal in Germany. German law states that you cannot possess more than 0.1 grams of marijuana or hashish. In Berlin, the upper limit is 10 grams “if there is no danger to others.”
Dr.med. Napoleon DeLeon holds a degree in medicine from the United Arab Emirates College, Al Ain, UAE.
With over 15 years of experience, he is an expert in evaluating and curating healthcare web content based on clinical evidence.