CBD guide: everything you need to know about CBD
- First things first : what is CBD?
- How does CBD work?
- What does the law say about CBD?
- CBD Isolate vs Full-Spectrum CBD
- How do you use CBD?
- CBD different consumption methods
- CBD: all the benefits
- Anxiety Disorders
- Epilepsy and seizures
- Sleep Disorders and insomnia
- Skin disorders
- Drug Addiction
- Is CBD even safe?
- CBD dosage: how much should you take?
CBD has become very popular over the past few years. Shops have multiplied in the cities, CBD is advertised as a good remedy for depression, anxiety and insomnia, and more and more influencers promote it on social media.
What’s the hype and how to explain this sudden surge of interest amongst the general public? Are CBD’s proclaimed health benefits even effective? Is it harmful? And legal? Here’s everything you need to know about CBD.
First things first: what is CBD?
According to the US National Library of Medicine, CBD (short for cannabidiol) is a chemical that can be found in the Cannabis sativa plant and is one of the 120 cannabinoids contained in it.
Two of the main compounds in cannabis are delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and CBD. These compounds have different effects. The first one (THC) is responsible for creating that famous “high” feeling. But the second one (CBD) has no psychoactive effects at all, and won't alter a person’s state of mind when they use it. CBD is also entirely different from medical marijuana, which is used to ease symptoms caused by certain medical conditions.
CBD is derived from the hemp plant. Hemp plants contain an incredibly low amount of THC (no more than 0,3%). By comparison, marijuana (derived from the cannabis plant) contains significant amounts of THC and much lower levels of CBD.
How does CBD work?
Let’s introduce the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which explains why CBD has so many benefits. Discovered in the early 90’s, it’s a biological system that had three parts:
- Endocannabinoids: cannabinoids are substances produced naturally by your body that “talk to” your endocannabinoid system. The two main cannabinoids are anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG).
- Enzymes: enzymes are responsible for synthesizing, breaking down and using up those endocannabinoids. The two main ones are fatty acid amide hydrolase, which breaks down AEA and monoacylglycerol acid lipase, which breaks down 2-AG.
- Cannabinoid receptors : these are receptors found throughout your body that interact with cannabinoids, producing effects as a result. The two main cannabinoid receptors are CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors live in the brain while CB2 receptors are mostly found in the immune system.
The ECS is there to help our bodies to keep everything in balance. Endocannabinoids interact with the receptors in the system, producing the balancing effects. And the enzymes then get rid of those cannabinoids when they’re not needed.
What does the law say about CBD?
The stigma around CBD is slowly fading with time and its benefits are finally being widely recognized. As a result more and more countries are legalizing CBD-infused products all over the world, sometimes under certain conditions.
As a rough guideline:
- CBD is authorized and legal in the UK. However, it must be packaged in liquid form to be permitted by law.
- CBD laws vary massively from one European country to another, although it’s becoming more and more legal. In November 2020, the European Court of Justice published a judgment stating that cannabidiol extracted from the cannabis plant should not be considered a drug under the 1961 United Nations Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs.
- In South America, the market for CBD products is growing quickly. Public opinion is shifting regarding cannabis and its effects on health.
On December 20, 2018, the Farm Bill was signed into law. It legalized hemp-derived CBD products in the USA, under some conditions. Hemp can only contain 0.3% or less THC by definition. Also, individual states can decide how they regulate hemp.
- CBD and cannabis also became legal in Canada in 2018.
However, some places still consider CBD a problem simply because it comes from the same species of plants that cannabis is derived from and they have a conflicted opinion about its legal status - laws are often contradictory and can be a bit hard to understand. As an example, it’s completely banned in African countries (except South Africa) and the Middle East. As for Asia, it depends on the countries and it ranges from illegal to totally legal.
CBD Isolate vs Full-Spectrum CBD
Both full-spectrum CBD and CBD isolate are extracts from the hemp species of the cannabis plant, Cannabis Sativa. But even though they come from the same plant, there are main differences:
- CBD Isolate: It’s the purest form of CBD, meaning it contains no other cannabis plant compounds.
- Full-Spectrum CBD: A full-spectrum CBD product contains several cannabis plant extracts, such as essential oils, terpenes, and up to 0.3% THC.
- Broad-spectrum CBD: contains all the same compounds as full-spectrum CBD, but no THC.
How do you use CBD?
CBD comes in many different forms such as oil, edibles, capsules, vapes, patches, lotions, creams… Let’s take a further look at all the types of CBD products available on the market.
CBD oil and tinctures
The most popular type of CBD products, CBD oil is made from refined hemp extract combined with a carrier oil. There are many different techniques for extracting CBD from the hemp plant :
- CO2 extraction: the most popular method for extracting CBD is “CO2 extraction” (also called supercritical carbon dioxide). It uses a closed-loop extractor, a system also used for extracting essential oils for perfumes and creating food additives. The hemp is put in a chamber filled with carbon dioxide, which turns into liquid by applying pressure. It then absorbs all the hemp’s oil and flavours. This process results in a liquid containing CBD and carbon dioxide. The mixture is then pumped into the third chamber where the contents are separated. The oil is collected and the CO2 flows back to the original vessel for re-use.
- Cold press CBD extraction: this method doesn’t require any solvents or special equipment, but the CBD flowers are simply frozen and then crushed under pressure. It allows the extraction of all the cannabinoids and terpenes during the cold pressing process.
- Liquid solvent extraction: the cheapest method of extraction, it is quite the most dangerous as the chemicals are flammable. The most popular solvents are butane, ethanol, and hexane. DIY fans with home made methods also use natural oils, like coconut or olive oil.
The classic, and most effective way to use CBD oil and tinctures is sublingual (you place a few drops under the tongue and swallow) - but oil can also be applied on the skin or mixed to food and beverages. CBD oils are increasingly used by people for many different reasons. Well Slept by eve offers two types of CBD oils to get better sleep: one supported with ginkgo biloba and ginseng, and another one with camomile and passion flower.
CBD pills and capsules
Just like CBD oil, pills can contain CBD isolate or a whole plant extract. It’s a very easy way to consume CBD, explaining why it’s the second most popular type of product. However, the time lapse between consuming the pills, and benefiting from the effects can be quite long.
They are available in many different flavors, formulations and strengths on the market. You can find CBD-infused candies, chocolate, cooking oils, and a lot more edible products. It’s certainly the tastiest and the most affordable way to use CBD. Another advantage: you know exactly what dose you are consuming.
CBD creams and lotions
Topical CBD products are increasingly popular for multiple reasons : they offer localized relief and they are good for your skin although there are limited effects on stress, anxiety and sleep. They come in a very wide variety of options, from balms and lotions to serums and patches. More and more makeup brands depict CBD as the miracle ingredient you need in your beauty routine.
However, as topicals work on localized parts of the body, they don’t have a global effect, which means they can’t be used to improve the quality of your sleep. That’s the reason why you won’t find topical products applied to the skin amongst Well Slept’s online products, as Well Slept CBD products are designed explicitly for better sleep.
CBD different consumption methods
There are four common ways to consume CBD. Each method has its own benefits and disadvantages, according to personal preferences and the effect you’re looking for.
If you want to put CBD under your tongue, you can buy all kinds of tinctures, which is a suspension of CBD in oil. All you need to do is place a few drops and hold it in your mouth for at least 30 seconds before swallowing. The results will be faster this way, as more of the CBD makes its way directly into your system.
Many people prefer this method of consumption because it’s easy and it produces long-lasting effects. WE believe it’s one of the best ways to use CBD and this is why we chose to start our CBD range with CBD oils in the first place.
Vaping and smoking CBD is the quickest and most effective way to feel its effects, as the particules go directly into your bloodstream and your lungs. It is particularly recommended for people who are already smoking / vaping and have the required equipment.
CBD topicals are designed to be safely applied to your skin. You can find all sorts with a bit of searching, balms, creams, ointments, transdermal patches. Topicals are good for localized pain and you can apply topicals on your feet, neck, back. They’re easy to use, they work well on sore muscles and migraines, and they don’t require you to buy additional tools. But if you’re looking to solve stress, anxiety and sleep problems, topicals will be of little use as they are just effective on localized pain.
More and more people buy edibles because it’s the tastiest way to take CBD, and fits within your normal eating habits. Some restaurants even sell CBD-based products such as muffins, cookies, herbal teas. Because it takes quite long for the effects to kick in, it can be quite hard to manage the correct dosage for the beneficial effects your seeking however. The main advantage of edibles is that you have countless options in terms of food, oils and beverages.
However, beware. Many of these options don’t have the expected effects, with very low quantities of CBD included, or included in a way that will not be effective. As an example, CBD is not water-soluble, which means CBD infused teas are not as effective as it should be. In water-soluble CBD, you can find nano-emulsions that improve the absorption just a bit, but not enough for them to be completely soluble. This is why you won’t find any of these CBD tea products at our online shop.
CBD: all the benefits
According to numerous scientific studies, CBD is proven to have many beneficial effects on health. Research has shown that regular or temporary consumption can ease symptoms of anxiety, insomnia, depression… Discover all the science-backed benefits of CBD.
Experts believe CBD can have positive effects on serotonin receptors of the brain, which can help people who suffer from depression. A research conducted on animals in 2014 showed CBD produced anti-anxiety and antidepressant effects. A more recent study, published in 2018, supported this theory, revealing that CBD has anxiolytic, antipsychotic and neuroprotective properties, actually helping the brain stay healthy.
Reducing anxiety is one of the main reasons why people take CBD, explaining why its use is so widespread. Anxiety and depression are often connected, and both seem to have a link to low levels of serotonin. Multiple studies have demonstrated that CBD could relieve anxiety:
- A Brazilian study published in 2018 showed that CBD alleviated anxiety about public speaking for people who had social anxiety.
- Another study from 2016 examined the effectiveness of cannabidiol oil for pediatric anxiety and insomnia as part of post-traumatic stress disorder.
- A Colorado study found that CBD was helpful to reduce post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms.
Epilepsy and seizures
In the past few years, several studies have addressed the issue of CBD’s efficacy on epilepsy. This is a condition which affects the brain, causing recurring and unprovoked seizures. Experts carried out a study showing that the use of cannabidiol could represent a hope for patients who suffer from epilepsy, in addition to common anti-epileptic drugs. Another study reviewed 36 papers and concluded that CBD was indeed helpful to reduce the number of seizures, and even stop them completely for some patients.
Sleep Disorders and insomnia
It’s a recurrent question : does CBD work as a sleep aid? Whether for those who have difficulties falling asleep those who wake up in the night, cannabidiol at the right doses shows clear evidence of potential. Scientists from all over the world have conducted studies that offer more insight into the effects of CBD on insomnia. One of them summarizes the state of research on cannabis and sleep up to 2014, showing evidence that CBD may have useful sedating effects if taken at the right doses.
A more recent research on 103 participants who had trouble sleeping argued that cannabidiol may hold benefit for anxiety-related disorders, along with other prescribed medications. Combination of CBD with other chemical substances seems to be particularly effective to help people sleep better. According to a study, melatonin (which is a naturally occurring hormone that regulates night and day cycles or sleep-wake cycles) taken with CBD could be a good remedy against sleep disorders.
Unsurprisingly, CBD could have promising effects to help people with skin disorders such as eczema and psoriasis. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is present in our skin and CBD could potentially have anti-inflammatory effects and hydrate the skin, which is why many people use it as a balm or a cream. There have been a few studies examining the impact of CBD on people with skin conditions.
Cannabinoids are already commonly used to alleviate some cancer-related symptoms, especially nausea, chronic pain and vomiting. Some studies conducted the past few years offered quite promising results and indicated it could be the same for CBD: one in 2006 about breast cancer, a study on mice published in 2012…
Interestingly, CBD could be used to treat drug addiction to a wide variety of addictive substances, such as cannabis, opioids and cocaine. Although further studies are clearly necessary to fully evaluate the potential of CBD as an intervention for addictive disorders, some research has already laid the groundwork to prove it is useful. This article is a review of the evidence.
According to scientific research, CBD could also have potential effects on other conditions and pathologies such as:
- Neurodegenerative Disorders ;
- Cardiovascular Diseases ;
- Digestive Disorders ;
- Migraines ;
- Psychosis ;
- Autism ;
Is CBD safe?
In 2018, a World Health Organization’s (WHO) report found no public health risks or abuse potential for CBD : "To date, there is no evidence of recreational use of CBD or any public health related problems associated with the use of pure CBD".
However, if CBD is overall a very safe substance, there are some potential side effects to be aware of:
- Drowsiness ;
- Dry Mouth ;
- Low blood pressure ;
- Lightheadedness ;
- Fatigue ;
- Diarrhea ;
- Reduced appetite.
These effects have only been reported with very high oral doses of CBD and remain quite mild for most people using it regularly. CBD is a non-addictive substance, so there’s no risk of any withdrawal symptoms if you stop using it.
CBD dosage: how much should you take?
Determining the right dosage for each person is not an easy task and depends on a range of factors:
- Your body weight
- The effect you’re looking for
- The potential condition you have
- Your body chemistry and genetics
- The concentration of CBD in the products you want to take (gummies, capsules, oil)
- Your method of consumption
In other words, there are a lot of variables and the right dosage of CBD varies from one person to another. Some people prefer to talk to a doctor before they decide to take CBD. Generally, it’s best to start gradually and then increase the dose as you need, whilst keeping a close eye out for any side effects.
This chart will help you work out the right dosage of CBD for your weight and the severity of the symptoms you’re experiencing:
Weight (lbs / kg)
100 lbs / 45 kg
125 lbs / 55 kg
150 lbs / 70 kg
175 lbs / 80 kg
200 lbs / 90 kg
225 lbs / 100 kg
250 lbs / 110 kg
What is CBD?
CBD is a nonintoxicating cannabinoid found in hemp, a strain of the cannabis plant, and stands for ‘cannabidiol’. While there is only low levels of CBD in marijuana, it is highly concentrated in hemp. On the contrary, THC is contained at a low amount in hemp, but at significant amounts in marijuana.
How does CBD work?
CBD works with the Endocannabinoid system, which maintains the balance in your body and brain. Cannabinoids interact with cannabinoid receptors found in the ECS to produce their balancing effects.
What does the law say about CBD?
There is no common policy regarding the use of CBD all over the world, as every cannabis-related subject appears to be quite controversial. It really depends on each country and its laws, although it has been legalized in the UK.
How do you use CBD?
CBD comes in many different forms:
- Oil and tinctures ;
- Pure CBD
- Pills and capsules ;
- Edibles ;
- Creams and lotions.
What are the different methods of CBD consumption?
There are four common ways to consume CBD:
- Inhalation ;
- Topical ;
- Sublingual ;
What are the benefits of CBD?
Decades of research have shown that CBD has potential for alleviating symptoms of many different conditions:
- Anxiety disorders ;
- Depression ;
- Epilepsy and seizures ;
- Sleep disorders and insomnia ;
- Skin disorders ;
- Cancer ;
- Drug addiction.
Are there any side effects?
CBD is overall recognized as a very safe substance, although it might include some side effects at high doses:
- Drowsiness ;
- Dry Mouth ;
- Low blood pressure ;
- Lightheadedness ;
- Fatigue ;
- Diarrhea ;
- Reduced appetite.
What dosage for CBD?
Finding the right dosage for each person depends on many different variables:
- Your body weight ;
- The effect you’re looking for ;
- The potential condition you have ;
- Your body chemistry and genetics ;
- The concentration of CBD in the products you want to take (gummies, capsules, oil…).