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Get the facts about recreational CBD in this helpful guide!

What exactly is CBD? 

Overall awareness of cannabinoids is growing in mainstream society, with a particular interest in Cannabidiol (CBD). CBD is one of 113 compounds found in cannabis, and unlike its popular companion delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD is non-intoxicating and known for its versatility. Almost as if it’s the decaffeinated version of cannabis! While it is not possible to completely eliminate THC from our CBD products, the trace levels of THC are low (less than 1% in some strains). CBD works best when combined with all the other components in cannabis – this is referred to as the entourage effect. 

But how is CBD used recreationally? 

Technically speaking, CBD dominant products can be used both internally and externally, with a variety of available formats. Used predominantly for its wellness aspects and self-care.  Typically, recreational CBD products are good for new consumers, for those with a lower tolerance and those who choose it for lifestyle reasons.  If you are looking for a more balanced experience, select a strain with an equal or higher amount of CBD than THC. 

Why should consumers care about CBD? 

CBD is a popular choice for adult consumers, from all sectors of society.  It is gaining popularity due to its overall versatility and because of its non-intoxicating reputation, making it easy for consumers to incorporate into their day-to-day lifestyle.  Secondly, this compound is essential to reduce the overall stigma of cannabis use and for its use in such a wide variety of wellness products. 

What are the benefits of consuming CBD? 

Research suggests that consumers can experience a wide range of health benefits when using CBD-dominant products, from helping to modulate mood to aiding in other functions of the body. Without making health claims, the non-intoxicating effects of CBD are perfect for consumers who have a lower tolerance or for those who want the benefits of cannabis without feeling the intoxicating effects.

How does CBD work in the body? 

The cannabinoids found in cannabis activate receptors located throughout the human body, producing certain effects.  These receptors (CB1 and CB2) are found predominantly in the brain and nervous system as well as in peripheral organs and tissues. These receptors regulate a range of biological functions, referred to as the Endocannabinoid System (ECS).  It is thought that CBD helps to increase levels of the endocannabinoid anandamide, boosting the system’s overall functionality.  There is some anecdotal evidence that consuming a CBD dominant product can reduce the undesirable effects of THC, but more research is needed to qualify this. 

What to know when purchasing CBD products. 

How much CBD should I take? 

Everyone reacts differently to cannabis and there are many factors to consider when dosing. Bodyweight and individual body chemistry play an important role. CBD dominant products come in a range of potencies, containing lower or equal THC levels.  For those who consume oils or capsules, several publications recommend taking 2.5 milligrams to start and increase slowly until you experience the desired effect. Basic guidelines for first-time flower use include selecting a product that is CBD dominant. Always start low and increase the potency slowly, even when using CBD dominant products.   

* Please consult your physician for medical advice; this information is to educate consumers about recreational consumption. 

How can I consume it? 

It all depends on your personal preferences.  There are many different ways consumers can use cannabis products currently, in formats which are both inhaled and smoke-less. These include dried-flower, sub-lingual products, capsules, oils and sprays, edibles, beverages and topicals. With a variety of different applications and features, offering convivence and predictability, these products include: 

  • Veryvell Exhale Drops water-soluble drops. 
  • Redecan CBD Reign Drops, Blissco Sugarleaf 1:5 Oil, Dosecann Orange 1:1 Oil or Solei Free Oil and Redecan CBD Gems capsules. 
  • Aurora Drift Peach Serene Gummies or soft chews.
  • Chowie Wowie THC/CBD Solid Milk Chocolate and FORAY 1:1 Salted Caramel Chocolate Square. 
  • Quatreau Passionfruit + Guava Sparkling Water, Basecamp CBD Iced Tea and Everie Peach Ginger Tea. 
  • Tidal Riva Eucalyptus CBD lotion. 
  • Ace Valley CBD Pre-Roll, dried-flower. 
  • Ace Valley 2:1 CBD Vape Pen. 
  • Latitude Night Shift 1:1 Bath Salts.

How will CBD make me feel? 

Unlike THC, CBD is considered to be non-intoxicating and is well-tolerated by most consumers. While everyone experiences the effects of CBD differently, as a responsible retailer, we cannot make claims of positive or negative impacts as a result of using CBD. If you are new to CBD, we recommend that you start with a low dose and work your way up. 

Can CBD counteract the effects of THC?  

Yes, CBD can counteract any undesirable physical effects of THC. As mentioned, THC is a psychoactive cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. CBD is non-intoxicating. CBD raises the level of endocannabinoids, including anandamide (sometimes referred to as the “Bliss” molecule) which binds to native cannabinoid receptors. CBD can help individuals when they are over-stimulated from consuming too much THC. The presence of both cannabinoids in a cannabis product contributes to the entourage effect. 

Why are some products more expensive and others are less expensive?  

There are many price points reflected in the market currently.  Premium product, from a craft cannabis producer, will be more costly because they invest in procedures such as hand-trimming and hydroponics, which is reflected in the price.   Alternatively, many producers have begun to bring competitive products to the market priced well below the current average for budget-conscious consumers. The benefit of purchasing cannabis through legal retailers is that the product is regulated and is safer than the alternative. 

What are the differences between full-spectrum vs broad-spectrum vs. isolate? 

The term full-spectrum refers to a product containing a range of cannabinoids and terpenes.  All working together like an orchestra, this is also in reference to the entourage effect.  Broad-spectrum products are made by removing the THC which is present in a particular strain but leaves all the remaining components like CBD, whereas isolate is made with CBD (or THC) only and is void of any other compounds. 

Why is the entourage effect important? 

Each of the components found in cannabis has unique properties and benefits, producing different effects in the presence of other compounds, compared to being consumed alone.  THC and CBD, along with all the other 100 plus cannabinoids found in cannabis work better together. 

Some terms used when classifying cannabis products and their potency include: 

Ratio 1:0 means it is a high THC product or is THC dominant.  Some examples of this include this dried-flower from CANACA ALIEN DAWG, with 24.6% THC and 0% CBD. 

Ratio 0:1 means it is a high CBD product or is CBD dominant.  One example of this type of product is Ripple x TGOD Dissolvable CBD Powder with 1 mg of THC and 10 mg of CBD. 

Ratio 1:1 means both compounds are equal, meaning it is a balanced strain.  The best example of this is the Foray Salted Caramel Chocolate Squares, containing 10 mg of THC and 10 mg of CBD. 

This reference makes it easier for the consumer to select and evaluate products, at a glance!  *Typically, these ratios are displayed with the THC potency first.  However, this can be dependent on the producer. 

Predictions for CBD products for 2021 and beyond. 

The overall potential for the future of the CBD market is difficult to predict but would surely include more product innovations, as the market in Canada is still new and growing. The obvious trend for the future would potentially include regulated CBD products for pets, another big market sector with sales over $9.4 million in the US, according to this Forbes feature earlier this year. 

Interest in another compound called CBN is also growing. This cannabinoid, with little to no intoxicating effects, develops as a result of the breakdown of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). It is a naturally occurring cannabinoid and can be found in aging cannabis. It is too soon to know the applications of this molecule but there are a couple of Canadian producers who offer this already, including Solei’s Renew CBN Oil and Blissco’s Reserve CBD Shark Shock.  

Talk with a Spiritleaf concierge for more information by visiting a location nearest you, click here.  *Must be of legal age. 

This article was written by Kelly Gibson, copycontractor.com.

References: Healthline Media, Healthline Media, marijuanadoctors.com, Leafly, Wikipedia, Wikipedia, National Center for Biotechnology Information, Forbes, Weedmaps, Lift&Co, CNW Group Ltd., Leafly, Leafly, Merriam-Webster, Healthline Media, pureencapsulations.com, Weedmaps, Healthline Media UK Ltd, greatist.com, Scientific American, National Center for Biotechnology Information, LoudCloudHealth.com, Wikipedia, Healthline Media, Verywell Mind, WHO, Harvard University.

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