Flore Guide: CBD for Beginners

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In the last decade, cannabis has been an object of constant media coverage. As the most well-known molecule in the plant, THC has enjoyed a large portion of the attention for years. However, after the story of a young girl with a rare epileptic condition became national news in 2013, another molecule in the cannabis plant became famous – Cannabidiol, also known as CBD or hemp seed oil. So, we’ve made this CBD for beginners guide to teach you everything you need to know about this incredible compound!

What Is CBD?

CBD is short for Cannabidiol, one of the primary cannabinoids naturally found in cannabis plants. Cannabinoids are a class of compounds found in many plants in nature, but over a hundred cannabinoids are unique to the hemp plant, including CBD. Scientists and medical professionals are researching and confirming several notable therapeutic qualities of CBD, the second-most abundant cannabinoid after THC.

CBD is non-psychoactive, meaning it does not produce the “high” or “stoned” feeling typically associated with marijuana use. This is because CBD does not interact with the same receptors in the brain as THC. In fact, CBD actually counteracts many of the psychoactive effects of THC. CBD is also non-addictive and does not produce any harmful side effects.

A Well-Studied Cannabinoid

Cannabidiol was first studied in Western medicine in the 1940s, but scientific research on CBD did not begin in earnest until the 1970s. Since then, there have been numerous studies demonstrating CBD’s therapeutic properties.

CBD is currently being studied for its potential to treat a wide variety of conditions and illnesses, including:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Chronic pain
  • Inflammation
  • Epilepsy
  • Addiction
  • Cancer

The list goes on as new studies are constantly being published. CBD has shown promise in treating various conditions because it interacts with the body’s natural endocannabinoid system.

Life-Changing Relief with Cannabidiol

 

While there is still much to be discovered, the news about CBD is overwhelmingly positive. CBD has helped countless people worldwide find relief from conditions that had previously been difficult to treat. In many cases, CBD can provide comfort when other conventional treatments have failed.

In a news story, a 6-year-old girl is given life-changing relief from epileptic seizures after being treated with CBD oil. She went from hundreds of episodes weekly to just one or two monthly. Her family had tried every medication available to ease their child’s suffering, and CBD oil was the only thing that provided relief. The story also highlighted the lengths her parents had to go to acquire CBD oil, living in a state where cannabis is illegal and risking imprisonment to keep their daughter healthy.

Her inspiring tale had others sharing similar experiences, which catalyzed the last decade’s cannabis legalization efforts. Cannabidiol has rapidly become the most fascinating cannabinoid due to its remarkable therapeutic effects.

How Does CBD Work in the Body?

CBD works on a variety of levels, acting upon several internal systems in the body — especially the Endo Cannabinoid System.

The ECS is a network of cannabinoid receptors located throughout the body, with the highest density in the brain and central nervous system. When CBD is consumed, it interacts with cannabinoid receptors to produce a number of different effects.

Mirror Molecules

CBD interacts with the Endo Cannabinoid System by mimicking the effects of naturally-occurring cannabinoids, known as endocannabinoids. Endocannabinoids, named after the plant cannabinoids, or ‘phytocannabinoids,’ are molecules that bind to cannabinoid receptors in the body, triggering several different physiological responses. By interacting with cannabinoid receptors, CBD can produce many therapeutic effects.

CBD is also identical in molecular structure to 2-Arachnodonlyglycerol, or 2-AG, an endogenous cannabinoid. This means that CBD can interact with all the same systems that 2-AG does, and we currently know that it has at least 15 separate places in the body it interacts with!

Health benefits of CBD

As previously mentioned, CBD has a wide range of potential therapeutic applications. Below is a list of some of CBD’s most promising research areas.

CBD for Anxiety

CBD effectively treats anxiety disorders, with studies showing it can reduce mental and physical symptoms. For example, a 2011 study showed that pure CBD could reduce the anxiety induced by public speaking, and a 2015 review of studies concluded that CBD is an effective treatment for social anxiety disorder.

CBD for Chronic Pain

CBD is effective in treating chronic pain, with studies showing it is an anti inflammatory and helps with pain perception. A 2012 study showed that CBD could be an effective treatment for chronic neuropathic pain, and a review of studies concluded that CBD is an effective treatment for chronic pain. Those muscle aches and pains DON’T stand a chance.

CBD for Epilepsy

Taking CBD effectively treats epilepsy, with studies showing it can reduce seizure frequency and severity. A 2019 review of studies showed that CBD could be an effective treatment for epilepsy, and another study showed that CBD could be an effective treatment for Dravet syndrome, a rare form of epilepsy.

CBD for Cancer

CBD is effective in treating various types of cancer, with studies showing it can reduce tumor growth and kill cancer cells.

CBD and other cannabinoids are useful because they regulate the endocannabinoid system. This system becomes susceptible to disease when it is either lacking or overactive. Both phytocannabinoids and endocannabinoids can help re-establish the balance within our bodies that we need for good health. When our bodies cannot generate enough cannabinoids alone, plant cannabinoids like THC and CBD can fill in the gap.

Using CBD

Now that you know a little more about CBD, how does one go about using it?

CBD can be consumed in a variety of different ways, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. We’ll go over the most common methods of consumption below.

CBD Oil

Full spectrum CBD oil is perhaps the most popular way of consuming CBD and is typically taken sublingually (under the tongue). CBD oils have a higher concentration of CBD than other products, making them more efficient at delivering CBD to the body. They also tend to have a longer shelf life than other products.

CBD Flower

CBD flower is the unprocessed, raw hemp plant form and can be smoked or vaporized. Smoking or vaporizing CBD flower is one of the quickest ways to feel the effects of CBD as it enters the bloodstream through the lungs. However, it is also one of the less efficient methods, as not all of the CBD will be absorbed.

CBD Capsules

Capsules are an easy and convenient way to take CBD, offering a consistent dose of CBD. They are typically taken orally but can also be dissolved in water and taken sublingually. You can choose a low dose for overall wellness or a higher amount for specific conditions.

CBD Topicals

Topicals are CBD-infused products that are applied topically — directly to the skin. They are typically used for localized pain relief or skin conditions such as inflammation, acne, and psoriasis. CBD topicals can be found in creams, lotions, salves, and more.

CBD Edibles

Edibles are food items that have been infused with CBD. They are a convenient and delicious way to consume CBD, but they can take longer to kick in as they must be digested first.

CBD Gummies

Gummies are a popular way to consume CBD, as they are easy to take and come in a variety of delicious flavors. They offer a consistent dose of CBD, but they can take longer to kick in as they have to be digested first.

CBD Tincture

Tinctures are another popular way to consume and offer a high CBD concentration. They are typically taken sublingually (under the tongue) but can also be added to food or drinks. However, tinctures can have a strong taste, so they are not for everyone.

CBD Bath Bombs

Bath bombs are a fun and relaxing way to take CBD, and they can also be used for pain relief or skin conditions such as eczema. These are typically used in the bathtub but can also be used in a shower. These are great for those with an active lifestyle.

CBD Isolate

CBD isolate is a pure form of CBD isolated from other cannabinoids and other compounds. It is typically taken orally or added to food or drinks. CBD isolate can also be used to make your own CBD products.

The delivery method has a direct impact on the appropriate dose, and it’s something each individual will have to tinker with to find what ratios, doses, and methods work best for them.

Tips for CBD Users

For CBD beginners, it’s helpful to have a basis of understanding before trying out any CBD product. With that said, we have a few expert tips to share with you.

Check Your CBD Source

Always research any company you are considering buying CBD from, and look for information regarding their production methods. If they are not clearly explaining how they make and test their products, they could be disingenuous about what they contain.

When it comes to CBD, all extraction methods are not made equal. Certain industrial extraction types can leave chemical residue or damage the CBD molecules, so check what process each company uses.

Buy Your CBD from a Dispensary

One of the safest ways to ensure you buy a genuine CBD product tested for everything is by visiting a licensed dispensary like Flore!

Any cannabis product on a dispensary shelf or a delivery service’s inventory in California has been through a rigorous testing process to verify its contents and certify its safety. Testing is a core requirement of the legal market and one of the main advantages of buying your CBD at a California dispensary.

Understand Using THC and CBD

Scientific studies have shown that THC and CBD are more therapeutically effective when both are present with the lesser-known cannabinoids. For this reason, many of the CBD products available today are “full spectrum,” — meaning they include as many other cannabinoids as possible to get maximum medicinal effect into products. This is also known as the entourage effect, one of the things that makes cannabis unique.

We recommend looking for products with a high ratio of CBD to THC (20:1 or higher), as they will be more effective for most people.

Start Low and Slow

When trying CBD for the first time, starting with a lower dose and going slow is essential. We recommend starting with 5-10mg of CBD, depending on the delivery method. Of course, you can always take more as needed, but you cannot un-take it once it’s in your system.

Beginner’s Guide FAQ

How much CBD oil should I take?

Dosing CBD is one of the trickiest things to determine, as there is no one size fits all approach that is common with many pharmaceutical prescription medications. It depends on the individual’s needs and preferences. Some people find that a 1:1 ratio works best for them, while others prefer a higher CBD to THC ratio.

Will CBD Make Me Feel High?

It’s complicated!

In most cases, CBD will NOT make you feel ‘high.’ Taking in large doses can cause grogginess and lethargy, but it does not have the euphoric effect of THC. This can make it hard to determine if CBD is working, but in our experience, you’re more likely to notice an absence of symptoms than a change in consciousness. So take a few drops before committing to a bigger dose.

How can I tell what good quality CBD is?

Finding good quality CBD largely depends on finding companies that lab tests their products and are transparent with their manufacturing processes.

Since 2018, the Hemp Farm Bill has meant that the market is flooded with all kinds of CBD products claiming to be ‘cures’ for all kinds of ailments. Unfortunately, as the market currently is not regulated, manufacturers do not have to test their products to verify potency, purity or safety for consumption.

For these reasons, we highly encourage you to buy from manufacturers that use independent testing labs to confirm their products contain everything they claim to and no filler or harmful chemicals.

A Selection of Our Favorite and Best CBD products

With all that said and done (we know it’s a lot), we understand that knowing where to start when trying CBD can still be daunting. So, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite, highest quality CBD products for beginners at Flore!

Level Protab – CBD

The Protabs from Level are an easy entry point to CBD, simple and discreet, with 25mg of CBD per tablet. Tablets are swallowed and take 30-90 minutes to take effect, designed to ease physical and mental stress. Tablets are scored so you can split them in half for 2 separate 12.5mg doses.

Level Protab – Hangover

Level also offers blends of cannabinoids in their Protabs, and the Hangover is our favorite. It contains CBD, CBG, THCa and THC to help you feel better the day after a long night. The individual amount of each cannabinoid is listed on the packaging for a total of 25mg per tablet. This restorative combination is designed to aid rest and recovery, lasting 3-6 hours.

Level Protab – 1:1 THC:CBD – 4 pack

For a balanced synergy between THC and CBD, Level offers the 1:1 Protabs, giving a euphoric high with a less intense peak thanks to the CBD in the formula. Each Protab contains 12.5mg of THC and 12.5mg of CBD – if this dose is too large, Protabs are scored and can be easily split in half for a dose of 6.25mg of both CBD and THC.

Mary’s Medicinals – Transdermal Patch – 1:1 THC:CBD

Transdermal Patches are an excellent way to get your dose of CBD, as the cannabinoids are transported through the skin and into the bloodstream by menthol and eucalyptus. Patches can be effective for up to 12 hours, as transdermal absorption happens in stages, meaning you won’t absorb the entire dose of cannabinoids as soon as you apply the patch.

Mary’s Medicinals balanced 1:1 THC:CBD

These patches are an excellent option for pain management and staying pain-free for long periods.

Sunset Connect – Sore No More Muscle Gel – 1:1 THC:CBD

One of our favorite topicals, this muscle gel, is a fast-acting pain relief option that can be applied directly to the affected area. The balance of THC:CBD alongside cooling aloe, menthol and chamomile helps to alleviate soreness and tight muscles in minutes.

Care By Design – 1:1 Max Tincture – CBD:THC

An ultra-high potency option, the Care By Design Max tincture contains 1000mg of CBD and 1000 mg of THC in a peppermint-flavored tincture. Simply select the appropriate dose and place it under the tongue for 1 minute to allow full absorption of CBD and THC. Effects can be felt in 15 minutes and should last 3-4 hours.

Feel Good with Flore’s CBD Favorites

We hope this guide to CBD has helped clear up some confusion around CBD. Remember to ask your consultant any questions you may have – we’re always here to help! If you’re feeling stuck, our budtenders are more than happy to recommend CBD wellness products based on your needs. So stop by Flore today and explore our wide selection of CBD products, from THC free products to full spectrum CBD oil!

Terrance Alan
Terrance Alan

Terrance Alan has over 25 years in government advocacy creating both the San Francisco entertainment commission and the cannabis taskforce. He is co-president of the Castro merchant’s and co-chair of CMAC and C2K, both working on cannabis consumption. He designed, constructed and opened a boutique dispensary in the Castro District of San Francisco called Flore dispensary featuring carefully curated cannabis selections with an emphasis on small Humboldt far grown cannabis, social justice brands, equity brands, women owned brands and operates a compassion distribution program with Sweetleaf Joe.

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