You’ve seen it at the checkout at Whole Foods. You’ve heard about it from people in all different demographics — from your teenage neighbor to your grandmother. You are curious, but overwhelmed by all the information out there. So what do you need to know before trying CBD for the first time?
Products with CBD — or cannabidiol — have reached a saturation point. That’s a good and bad thing. It’s good because greater availability means more choice of different products to try. It’s bad because there’s still a lot of misinformation out there.
Everyone wants to talk about CBD these days. But a lot of the talk you hear at this stage is aimed at people who have already “made the leap.” That is, people who know what they want to use CBD for, know what formulation they’re interested in and have an idea of what dosage is appropriate.
Let’s assume you don’t know any of those things. (And that’s OK!) Here’s where the information overload sets in. CBD suffers from an embarrassment of riches when it comes to possible benefits — you’ve probably heard people swear by it when used for pain relief, anxiety control, sleep aid and so much more.
You also probably know that it can be taken many ways, and in many different dosages. You can apply it to your skin. You can drop it under your tongue. You can take it in pill form — oral or suppository. You can ingest it as a food.
This article will take you through the different factors to consider and things to know as you start to embark on your CBD journey.
…Oh, and congratulations! We’d be remiss if we didn’t share our joy and excitement that you’re thinking of taking this step. CBD has changed the lives of so many people already. It’s not unreasonable to think that your life could be transformed by this little miracle substance, too.
FACT TO KNOW ABOUT CBD #1: IT WON’T GET YOU HIGH
This is the biggest question that most people have when they dive into the world of CBD. Will it get you high?
It’s a marketing and perception problem — many companies trade on the cute cannabis or hemp leaf imagery when advertising their CBD products. As that imagery is strongly associated with marijuana and its psychoactive effects, you can see where the confusion comes in.
The key to this issue lies in understanding the difference between the cannabinoids THC and CBD. But let’s back up.
What is a cannabinoid? It’s simply a chemical compound found in cannabis. There are at least 113 different cannabinoids present in the cannabis plant, and they each exhibit different effects. But let’s not worry about 111 of those cannabinoids — the two most common ones — and the ones you hear about the most — are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD).
Cultural stereotypes around marijuana are primarily centered on the effects of THC, as it’s the primary psychoactive compound. When people talk about losing their short-term memory, exhibiting slowed reaction time, laughing uncontrollably, getting the “munchies,” feeling relaxed or even more extreme outcomes like hallucinating or paranoia — those are symptoms directly attributable to the consumption and metabolism of THC.
These images are indelible in the public memory. From the propaganda film Reefer Madness to the use of “stoner” as an insult term to countless anti-drug campaigns across the years — marijuana has been strongly negatively associated with those famous effects of THC.
It’s only been in recent years that CBD — another prominent but totally different compound in cannabis — has been widely talked about.
As mentioned earlier, popular imagery — such as the iconic hemp or cannabis leaf — has been extensively used in the marketing of CBD products. Who can blame people for getting confused, as such imagery has already been used for decades as a symbol of the effects of THC!
The key difference between CBD and THC is that CBD is non-psychoactive. This is relatively new science, by the way — the 2015 study called “A systematic review of the antipsychotic properties of cannabidiol in humans” (Schizophrenia Research) found that CBD actually counteracts the cognitive impairment that is widely associated with the use of cannabis. In fact, early research seems to suggest that CBD might have an antipsychotic effect; this understanding is still developing.
Long story short: As long as you choose CBD products with Zero THC, you will not be experiencing the “high” sensation commonly associated with marijuana use.
Look for the Zero THC icon in the product description and label of your New Coastal products for full assurance that the product you’re considering contains less than the legal threshold of 0.3% THC.
FACT TO KNOW ABOUT CBD #2: IT MIGHT HELP WITH A SURPRISING NUMBER OF HEALTH ISSUES
We touched on a few of the common reasons people take CBD.
Here’s an encouraging addendum to that: CBD is an incredibly utilitarian substance that can help you combat a truly staggering number of problems — and more benefits are being discovered every day.
CBD is a popular source of relief for the following frustrating problems:
- Menstrual cramps
- Chronic, stubborn or unexplained pain
- Pet behavioral issues or anxiety
- Lack of appetite
- And much, much more — new uses are being discovered every day
FACT TO KNOW ABOUT CBD #3: METHOD AND DOSAGE ARE IMPORTANT
For way too long, the CBD industry was in the habit of recommending to consumers that they use the trial and error method in order to determine what concentration of CBD would provide the best benefit.
See a problem with this?
Humans are not guinea pigs!
This is exactly why New Coastal developed its innovative CBD DNA test, which is designed to provide people with the science-backed answer to the age-old question of how much CBD is it best to take.
We will cover the specifics of dosage and concentration — including what the milligram measurements mean and what the differences might be when you try different applications of CBD — in a future article.
Which brings us to the issue that goes hand-in-hand with dosage: method. Will you take softgels, tinctures, suppositories, gummies or something else to get your CBD?
Thankfully, this question is a little less complex than the issue of dosage. To oversimplify the answer, we will start by saying that the most important thing is sustainability. Hate taking pills? Then perhaps our softgels aren’t for you. Are you squeamish about putting things in your body? Then suppositories may not be the ticket. The list of considerations can go on — for example, will you be administering the CBD to someone or having it administered to you? That can of course impact what type of delivery mechanism you might want to consider.
Take an educated guess about what might work for you, and don’t be afraid to reach out to us for assistance — we’re always here to help.
FACT TO KNOW ABOUT CBD #4: THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IS SHOWING MORE AND MORE SUPPORT FOR THE CBD INDUSTRY EVERY DAY
You’re a responsible person. Naturally, due to the longtime negative association with marijuana and illegality, you want to be sure that CBD products are “OK” to take. You wonder: Will using CBD products get you in trouble with your job? Could they get you in trouble with the law?
The legislation is ever-evolving, but take heart. The 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp with 0.3% or less THC legal in the U.S. CBD is not a controlled substance, and therefore it is completely legal to grow, distribute and sell it.
New Coastal takes legal issues and federal rules extremely seriously. We sell high-quality CBD products to responsible people like you, and we follow all applicable laws and regulations.
FACT TO KNOW ABOUT CBD #5: ALL PRODUCTS ARE NOT CREATED EQUAL!
If you take one piece of knowledge from this article, it should be this: CBD products are only as good as the company that sells them.
Yes, we said it. There’s a lot of junk out there. So when you’re ready to try CBD for the first time, keep this key piece of advice in mind: Check for the Certificate of Analysis!
The COA is an independent evaluation from a third party lab that speaks to the purity and potency of each product. CBD companies are not required to invest in COAs for their products — and for that reason, many do not.
New Coastal believes you deserve better. We have invested in third party lab testing. We have made our third party COAs available so you can review exactly what you’re getting with each product. The COAs will also clue you in to critical information such as the presence (if any) of pesticides, toxins, residual solvents and more.
In our humble opinion, COAs are not optional for any honest CBD company that respects its customers.
For more on what COAs tell you and how to read them, see our article on the subject here [insert link to COA article].
And there you have it: These are the most important facts and factors to consider when you’re thinking about trying CBD for the first time. What product are you most interested in trying first?