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A Beginner’s Guide to CBD

The cannabis plant naturally produces hundreds of chemicals. In terms of human consumption, the most important is a class of compounds called “cannabinoids.” These chemicals interact with your body’s “endocannabinoid system” to produce a broad range of effects, including things like regulating appetite, mood, and sleep, as well as numerous medicinal and psychoactive effects.

What is CBD?

Within the world of cannabinoids, the two most important things to know about are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), which are responsible for most of the effects produced by the cannabis plant.

You’ve probably heard of THC and CBD before. The simplest way to think about them is that THC produces marijuana’s psychoactive effects while CBD is responsible for most of the therapeutic properties of the plant. In recent months, CBD has seen an explosive rise in popularity. According to a report from market research company Brightfield Group, CBD sales in 2019 in the U.S.A. alone are predicted to see a 706% year-over-year increase, jumping to $5 billion. By 2023, CBD sales will skyrocket to $23.7 billion.

With claims that CBD can provide numerous medicinal benefits—without getting you high—CBD is becoming a huge market in the health and wellness space. Yet despite its rapidly growing popularity, many of the details about CBD remain unclear. This CBD for beginner’s guide will give you everything you need to know to build a solid foundation of CBD knowledge.

CBD is one of the most important cannabinoids produced by the cannabis plant. In many ways, it is the complement to THC. More specifically, the effects of CBD actually balance out many of the more intense, psychoactive properties of THC, while also serving as a powerful therapeutic compound.

When consuming CBD, you will not feel “high.” Instead, CBD delivers a number of subtle, though for many consumers very powerful, therapeutic and health benefits.

How Much CBD Should I Try?

If you’re a first time CBD consumer, it’s important to know a bit about CBD dosage. There’s no single answer when it comes to dosing CBD. That’s because CBD dosage depends on a number of variables, including why you’re consuming CBD, the potency of your CBD product, and the means through which you’re consuming it.

As a general guideline, for a beginner CBD consumer, start slow and build up until you figure out how much CBD you need to meet your goals. Oils and tinctures often come in 1 milligram droppers, so it’s easy to track your precise CBD dosage and simple to scale up or down as needed. Similarly, edibles and drinkables typically mark how many milligrams of CBD are in each serving. However, when it comes to vaping concentrates or smoking CBD flowers, your CBD dosage is a bit less clear. The best advice here is to start slow, especially since vaping and smoking produce fast-acting effects. If you feel good after a hit or two, then that’s a good dosage for you. But if you don’t feel anything, or if you want to heighten the effects after a couple initial hits, go ahead and do another one and see how you feel.

CBD and THC

CBD and THC have a very interesting relationship. THC is the primary driver of marijuana’s psychoactive effects. CBD is the primary driver of marijuana’s therapeutic effects. Interestingly, many of the effects of CBD serve to counteract and balance out the more intense properties of THC.

You can certainly target the therapeutic, non-psychoactive aspects of cannabis by consuming a purely CBD product. However, many believe that the cannabis plant functions most effectively when the full range of chemicals in the plant—CBD along with THC and the hundreds of other cannabinoids and terpenes produced by cannabis—interact together inside your body. The symbiotic relationship between marijuana’s numerous chemicals is called the “entourage effect,” and many believe that having the full range of cannabinoids in your body all together simultaneously enhances the effects of produced by the cannabis plant.

Effects of CBD: What to Expect

If you’re a beginner CBD consumer, don’t expect to feel high. In fact, many consumers don’t really feel anything at all. Think about something more common like aspirin: you know it’s working even if you don’t feel a pronounced difference in your lived experience. Many of the effects of CBD work much the same way. Most of CBD’s therapeutic effects are subtle yet powerful. The most noticeable effects of CBD tend to be its relaxing, anti-anxiety properties.

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