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A Beginner’s Guide to CBD

It’s natural to have a flurry of questions anytime you start something new. CBD is no exception. You can easily get overwhelmed sifting through Google searches for questions like “What is CBD” or “How to take CBD.” We understand that everyone is coming at this topic from a different place or perspective, so we thought it would be helpful to create a CBD guide for beginners

This article will help you navigate some of the basic questions and issues most people encounter when trying to figure out what CBD to buy and what type of experience to expect

So, let’s start with the basics

CBD for Beginners: What Is CBD?

CBD is short for “cannabidiol.”1 CBD is a non-psychoactive compound produced by the hemp plant. The cannabis hemp plant has over 100 different types of these compounds, called cannabinoids, with cannabidiol being one of the most prevalent. Each cannabinoid possesses its own unique skill set and effects for the consumer. CBD is well known for its calming abilities and overall wellness benefits. It’s because of these positive effects that many people are turning to CBD for the first time.

CBD interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system,2 an extremely important molecular system that interacts with the central and peripheral nervous systems, helping your body regulate and perform various critical functions. These essential functions include pain, sleep, appetite, motor control, memory, mood, and many more. When you take CBD, it interacts with receptors in this system and bolsters its effectiveness in many of these key functions for the mind and body.

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CBD for Beginners: CBD vs. THC

When talking about the differences between CBD and THC,3 it's perhaps best to start with a quick discussion of marijuana vs. hemp. The hemp plant4 is a cannabis plant with less than 0.3% THC. Marijuana, on the other hand, is a cannabis plant that can have upwards of 30% THC.

THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is a cannabinoid, like CBD. But unlike CBD, THC is a psychoactive compound that can produce intoxicating effects when consumed. CBD does no such thing. Instead, CBD promotes calming wellness by way of its interaction with the body’s endocannabinoid system. CBD does not get you “high.”

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CBD for Beginners: Where Should I Start With CBD?

Now that you have an understanding of what CBD is (and is not), the next question is how to start shopping for CBD.

Types of CBD Products

First, think about what you need your CBD product to do. Do you need a CBD calming product, CBD for focus, a CBD sleep aid, general CBD wellness benefits, a CBD topical for pain relief or skin care? CBD can serve a wide variety of needs.

Once you've decided what effects you're looking for from your CBD product, the next step is to see what products are available that serve that need. CBD comes in a variety of product forms:

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We encourage you to check out a few different options, so that you find the best product for your routine or lifestyle.

How Much CBD Should I Take?

Many products come in a single strength, like our original Mixed Berry CBD Gummies, while others come in a variety strengths, like our CBD + CBD Oil Wellness Tincture, which ranges in strength from 500mg to 4000mg. Also, different methods of delivery affect how quickly the CBD is absorbed into your bloodstream. This is called bioavailability.5

CBD vaping products enter the bloodstream the quickest, as the CBD is absorbed through the lungs. When you vape CBD, it’s possible to feel the effects within minutes (or even seconds).

CBD oil drops have a high rate of bioavailability, since they absorb into the capillaries under the tongue, while you hold the tincture oil there for 60 seconds before swallowing. Edible CBD products, like CBD gummies, CBD cookies, and CBD capsules, take a little longer to absorb into the bloodstream, since they have to travel through the digestive system (and lose some of their potency in the process). However, once they kick in, CBD edibles have a longer-lasting effect.

People tend to start with edible options, since they offer lower concentrations and ease of use, with CBD gummies being one of the top choices for CBD newbies and experienced users alike. CBD gummies, capsules, and tablets may require a higher amount to achieve the same effect as a CBD oil tincture.

CBD topicals are products that are applied on the skin, never entering the bloodstream. Instead, the CBD content travels through multiple layers of skin before reaching the area in need. Some of the most popular topical CBD products are CBD creams, CBD balms, CBD bath bombs, CBD masks, and more. Topical CBD products are ideal when you have a specific area bothering you and you want targeted relief.

Our advice for beginners asking how much CBD to take is to start with a low dosage and figure out where your tolerance level is. Everyone has a different physiology, with differing height, weight, metabolism, and other factors. Start low and, if that doesn’t work, try a slightly larger serving size the next day. Work your way up until you find your sweet spot. But don’t take more while you still have the same serving in your system. You won’t be able to tell what your effective dosage is, and you might accidentally build up tolerance to the CBD.

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  1. Felton, Kathleen. “Every Question You Have About CBD—Answered.” Health.com, https://www.health.com/condition/chronic-pain/what-is-cbd. Updated 12 December 2019.
  2. Raypole, Crystal. “A Simple Guide to the Endocannabinoid System.” Healthline.com, https://www.healthline.com/health/endocannabinoid-system. 17 May 2019.
  3. Holland, Kimberly. “CBD vs. THC: What’s the Difference?” Healthline.com, https://www.healthline.com/health/cbd-vs-thc. Updated 20 July 2020.
  4. Ferguson, Sian. “Hemp vs. Marijuana: What’s the Difference?” Healthline.com, https://www.healthline.com/health/hemp-vs-marijuana. 27 August 2020.
  5. Cadena, Aaron. “What is CBD Bioavailability and Why Does It Matter?” CBD Origin, https://medium.com/cbd-origin/what-is-cbd-bioavailability-and-why-does-it-matter-69d9a2e37e6c. 26 June 2018.
  6. U.S. Department of Agriculture. “Farm Bill.” https://www.usda.gov/farmbill. 20 December 2018.