Most Texans know that our state is not known for our laid back attitude towards cannabis. As other parts of the country allow citizens to grow the plants in their homes, Texas’s heavy restrictions on cannabis based medicines made it so that only a handful of people could find the relief they were looking for. However since the unanimous passing of HB 1325 through the Texas House and Senate, CBD – one of the major components of the cannabis plant – is now fully legal to sell and consume as long as it contains less than 0.3 percent THC. So what is CBD, how is it different than marijuana, and why is this important?
According to the United States federal government cannabis can come in two forms: marijuana and hemp. Hemp contains high levels of CBD, or cannabidiol, and is regulated to stay below 0.3 percent THC, which is the part of the plant that causes the psychoactive – or “high” like – effects. Marijuana does not have this restriction and over time the plant was bred to have very high levels of THC. However, because CBD can bind to the same areas of the brain as THC it can also modulate how THC is received by the body, usually decreasing its potency. Because of this effect, many growers seem to have bred CBD out of their crop to keep the THC as potent as possible. Although it makes for nice psychoactive effects, this also resulted in a key component of the plant to be missing from the majority of the market, which is where hemp comes in to fill the gap.
The next obvious question is if this is cannabis, but it won’t get me high, what does CBD do exactly? Well, CBD has a wide variety of uses depending on how it is taken.
When applied to the skin through products like lotions and balms, CBD attaches to receptors in the skin and inhibits signaling through pain pathways, as well as reducing the number of inflammatory cells that are produced. This combined effect reduces pain and inflammation in the affected area, usually within ten minutes, and often lasts between two and four hours. This makes it an excellent choice for people suffering from symptoms related to arthritis, neck, shoulder and knee pain, as well as general muscle soreness and inflammation.
When inhaled through the lungs in products like vapes or hemp cigarettes, CBD has a way to almost immediately enter the bloodstream. The benefit of this is that the effects begin almost immediately, usually within fifteen seconds or so. The effects will not be quite as potent as other administration methods, but it will be very consistent and quick. This makes vaping perfect for people who have situational or social anxiety, or pains that don’t need the targeting or strength of other methods. These effects usually last around thirty minutes, and with chronic issues would need to be administered several times throughout the day.
Oral and Sublingual
The last two methods, oral and sublingual ingestion, work mostly the same with one major difference. Oral ingestion, like taking a pill or an edible, causes CBD to go through what is known as first pass metabolism. This causes the CBD to be broken down, and in many cases causes it to lose potency. This could be why a lot of lower strength or quality products like gummies seem to not work for some people. If most of it was broken down, you didn’t really take much in. By comparison taking CBD sublingually, or under the tongue, bypasses much of this first pass system and allows the salivary glands in the mouth to absorb the CBD directly into the bloodstream. Over the next hour the CBD will bind to receptors all over the body, providing the widest range of benefits, but without the advantage of directly targeting a specific symptom. These methods are most widely recommended because of their efficiency and ability to reduce the symptoms of a variety of disorders from anxiety, stress, pain, inflammation, spasticity, its ability to provide protection from nerve damage, among a host of others.
CBD is an amazing compound with so many different effects, and we are learning more about with each year that passes. As it stands, CBD is gaining traction and people all over the world are starting to see how effective it can be at helping relieve them of their symptoms. If you feel like you’re ready to make the jump and see what it’s all about feel free to visit our website or come down to our shop Flow CBD Lounge on 215 E Commerce St, San Antonio, TX 78205!