What is CBD all about?

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    Photo by iStock.

    After some time wondering what all this talk of CBD and the other ingredients being discovered in the cannabis plant is about, I sat down with GR Magazine’s resident cannabis expert, gentleman and shade tree scholar Frank Madison, to get to the bottom of what we know about this CBD stuff.

    Q: So Frank, I’ve heard a lot about CBD recently. What is it? Does it get you high?

    A: Actually, no Gil, CBD doesn’t get you high, and it’s not addictive. CBD or ‘Cannabidiol’ is derived from hemp, or any part of the cannabis plant with less than .3% THC, which is the mind-altering substance in cannabis.

    Q: Ok so, it doesn’t get you high. What is it used for then?

    A: Well, CBD is marketed in all kinds of products, from oils, lotions, capsules, cosmetics, even foods. While scientists are still learning about how CBD affects the body, the FDA has approved a medicine called Epidiolex, which contains purified CBD from hemp, to treat rare seizure disorders.

    CBD is also used to treat anxiety, chronic pain, inflammation, and insomnia. Studies show that CBD may relieve pain by affecting receptors of the endocannabinoid system, which helps regulate pain, mood, and memory.

    Q: That’s a lot of useful stuff CBD is used for! Are there any other uses you know about?

    A: Yes, there are! For instance, if you get too high, like I did after smoking the Snootchie Bootchie, a resin infused pre-roll, rolled in keef, and dipped in hash oil, which may leave the user vibrating, possibly transmogrifying into an ape, or wondering if you accidentally licked a toad (see my review in an earlier addition of GR Mag), CBD can mellow you out and reduce the high. Pro tip.

    Q: Got it. So, are there any side effects? What’s the bottom line?

    A: I’d say, before trying it, talk to your doctor. CBD is fairly safe, but there’s always potential for interaction with other medications. Side effects may include dry mouth, drowsiness, or low blood pressure. Also, because regulation is done at the state level, you don’t always know what dosage you’re getting or what ingredients might be in it. So, do your research, and find a trusted brand.

    Q: Are there any other useful ingredients derived from cannabis other than THC and CBD?

    A: Yes! CBD is just the tip of the iceberg. There are hundreds of other cannabinoids yet to be explored, understood, and utilized. For instance, one other ingredient found in cannabis is called CBG. Animal studies show CBG plays a role in blood pressure regulation and pain. Two animal studies show that CBG may be beneficial in inflammatory bowel disease (like ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease), and Huntington’s disease.

    Test tube studies show CBG to have anti-bacterial properties and may prevent colon cancer. So yeah, more research and clinical studies needs to be done before drawing any major conclusions, but there is a lot more to learn about the various uses of the cannabis plant.

    Editor’s note: Grand Rapids Magazine’s Pat Evans recently had this to say about CBD:
    “I’ve also been having some sore shoulder issues and recently tried some THC/CBD cream on it from Escape Artists. The topicals are great, including a 1:1 CBD:THC and 20:1 CBD:THC blends, and they smell decent as well, not crazy menthol like the good ol’ Icy Hot. The creams are available at Michigan dispensaries and start at $13. And no, they don’t give you a buzz.”

     

     

     

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