While it has a host of benefits, CBD isn’t for everyone. Scientists are working hard to determine all the benefits of CBD and its potential uses in medicine. Right now, the only CBD product approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for medical use is Epidiolex, a prescription CBD solution used in combination with other medications for treating childhood seizures (FDA, 2020).
Written by Hope Chang, PharmD
If you take other medications, you may want to talk to a healthcare provider before using CBD products. Cannabis can also change how your liver processes other drugs (VanDolah, 2019).
What effect does CBD have on the body?
While marijuana contains both CBD and THC, hemp contains CBD with no or nearly no THC. By law, it’s hemp if it has less than 0.3% THC. If it contains 0.3% THC or more, it’s labeled marijuana.
CBD cigarettes are a smokeable form of cannabis that contains high levels of CBD. CBD may have a calming effect or ease pain. CBD cigarettes don’t contain tobacco or nicotine, but the smoke may cause lung problems.
Right now, we don’t have data regarding the health effects of hemp smoke. Animal studies show marijuana smoke damages the lungs similarly to smoking tobacco. (Maertens, 2013).
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Most workplace drug screens test for the presence of certain chemicals in your urine. In the case of marijuana, the drug test will turn positive if there’s THC in your urine, and since hemp can contain small amounts of THC, the drug test can still show as positive (ElSohly, 2003).
Hemp, defined as cannabis that contains less than 0.3% THC, became federally legal in the United States following the 2018 Farm Bill, but individual state laws vary (Abernathy, 2019).
The good news is there is a lot of clinical evidence that CBD is safe to consume, even in large quantities. A clinical trial published in CNS Drugs in 2019 showed that healthy individuals who received 1500 mg of CBD twice per day experienced very few adverse reactions and all were mild. For context, most CBD products on the market today contain 10 mg per serving.
The only way to find out if CBD works for you is to try it. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
The benefits of smoking CBD
You’ve likely seen cannabidiol (CBD) everywhere from drugstore gummies to boutique coffee concoctions. But there’s reason to believe smoking high-CBD flower might be one of the most effective ways to experience the potential benefits of CBD.
Many consumers typically prefer consuming or smoking CBD through a pipe, joint, or vape pen. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
A 2007 study published in the Harm Reduction Journal examined self-reported respiratory symptoms in participants who used cigarettes and cannabis. The study found that using a vaporizer could decrease respiratory symptoms in regular cannabis users who smoke.