All about CBD
All About CBD
1. What is CBD?
CBD (or Cannabidiol) is a natural plant substance found in hemp (or Cannabis Sativa L), and belongs to the family of Cannabinoid molecules. Cultivated on all continents for millennia, hemp is one of the oldest wild and cultivated plants on the planet. Among the hundred Cannabinoids present in hemp, THC and CBD are the two most well-known and also the most active molecules on our bodies. Unlike THC, CBD is not psychoactive (or psychotropic), meaning that consuming CBD does not produce any intoxicating or hallucinogenic effects, and CBD is therefore not considered a narcotic or toxic substance.
The human body has an endocannabinoid system that regulates some of our essential biological functions such as sleep, appetite, anxiety, mood, and physical pain. Cannabidiol has the particularity of stimulating our CB1 and CB2 receptors connected to the nervous system. Consuming CBD would thus allow our body to better regulate these primary biological functions. In France and Europe, CBD is now available in a multitude of formats: Capsules, Flowers, E-liquids (or Vape), Oils, Oil Spray, Pure Crystals, Cosmetics (creams, balms, gels, ...), but also drinks (cold or infusions) or even candies (often called Gummies). There are also CBD oils and candies specially designed for pets (dogs, cats, rabbits, hamsters, horses) to help them fight anxiety, stress, improve their fur or reduce muscle pain.
2. CBD Properties
CBD is an active molecule with many interesting properties for our metabolism, and it is commonly used in various industries, such as cosmetics, food, and medicine. Now, scientists and doctors all over the world are closely studying the many properties of CBD to better understand the molecule's therapeutic potential. The World Health Organization (WHO) has already attributed a long list of potential properties to it: Analgesic, Anti-inflammatory, Antioxidant, Antipsychotic, Antidepressant, Anxiety-reducing, Decongestant, Nerve Protection. (Source: WHO (2018). Critical review report on Cannabidiol (CBD). Expert Committee on Drug Dependence. Fortieth meeting. Geneva, 4-7 June 2018).
According to various recent scientific studies (such as the study conducted by WHO in 2018), Cannabidiol or CBD would have numerous promising properties for medical research (pain reduction, anxiety reduction, cancer risk reduction, mood improvement, immune system support, metabolism balance, sleep disorder reduction, depression reduction, arthritis prevention, and treatment of certain skin diseases). These results need to be confirmed, and many researchers and laboratories continue to explore this molecule that is still relatively unknown in France to better understand and exploit its properties.
3. What are the effects of CBD? Does CBD make you high?
Cannabidiol (CBD) has relaxing and anti-inflammatory properties that interact and stimulate each other to multiply their actions on the body. CBD promotes muscle relaxation and prevents and limits possible inflammations and pains. CBD has no psychoactive effects, so it does not make you high and does not create any addiction. For these reasons, it is not considered a narcotic and is perfectly legal throughout the European Union.
4. What dosage should be consumed?
It depends on your needs, your feelings, and your morphology. We recommend following some simple principles:
- Follow the dosages indicated on the product packaging;
- Start with moderate dosages (25 to 50mg/day), and gradually increase (up to 100 to 130mg/day) if you feel the need.
- If you consume CBD to be more relaxed during the day, consume it in the morning and at lunchtime.
- If you consume CBD for insomnia problems, consume it in the evening and before going to bed.
- If you consume CBD to limit persistent chronic pains, consume it in the morning, at noon, and in the evening, listen to your body, and respect the indicated dosages.
If in doubt, we invite you to seek advice from your doctor.
5. How long after taking it are the effects felt?
The relaxing and calming effects of CBD are felt differently depending on the method of consumption. Smoking CBD or consuming it by vaporization (with an electronic cigarette or vaporizer) will have a more rapid and powerful effect than the consumption of capsules or gummies, with which CBD will be gradually diluted in the digestive system. The consumption of CBD oil sublingually will provide effects more quickly than via the digestive system and less quickly than through vaporization. Allow about 20 minutes for sublingual intake with CBD oil and about 60 minutes for gummies and capsules. This delay varies of course depending on the user's morphology, the CBD content in the product consumed, and the method of consumption of the molecule. Thus, overweight individuals will feel the effects in a slightly longer time than lean or slim people.
6. How to consume CBD
There are plenty of CBD products on the market and the administration method you choose will depend on your consumption habits of certain products (are you a smoker or not, for example) and the effects you are looking for. Here is a summary of the 3 most popular ways to enjoy the benefits of CBD:
This method is the fastest acting, as CBD enters your bloodstream in a few seconds through your lungs. You will quickly feel relief and relaxation effects. Inhalation is also an excellent solution for those who want to wean off THC joints by replacing them with CBD flowers. You can also consume the flowers in vaporization (without tobacco) thanks to electronic vaporizers. Finally, there are cartridges and e-liquids containing CBD for those who are used to electronic cigarettes.
2. Sublingual (under the tongue)
You can consume CBD by putting a few drops of CBD oil under your tongue, letting it sit for 60 to 90 seconds before swallowing. This method allows the CBD to be absorbed through the mucous membranes under the tongue with an effect felt in about 15 to 30 minutes. CBD oils have the advantage of being easy to dose, effective, and discreet. CBD oil is a product that is favored by people suffering from stress or anxiety (and who do not smoke or vape) because the relaxation effects are quite quick.
3. Orally (capsules, drinks, gummies...)
When you take your CBD orally, it must first pass through your digestive system before finding its way into your bloodstream, which slows down its effect. You can count on 60 to 90 minutes depending on the person. This is a method that allows for lasting effects throughout the day and is very easy to consume and discreet. Capsules and gummies are often the favored way to consume CBD by athletes and people who suffer from chronic illnesses and need relief effects throughout the day. In addition, you can precisely measure the amount of CBD you consume since you know the CBD dosage for each Gummy or Capsule.
You will have understood that each method has its advantages and disadvantages, but everyone can find what they need and prefer.
7. Broad Spectrum and Full Spectrum
The terms Broad Spectrum and Full Spectrum represent the different cannabinoids present in a CBD oil.
Broad Spectrum CBD oils are composed solely of raw CBD oil extract and contain a high number of cannabinoids such as CBD, CBDa, CBG, CBN, and CBC. Broad Spectrum CBD oils contain 0% THC. The spectrum can be widened through the process of decarboxylation of the oil, which is possible after extraction of the raw oil. Decarboxylation involves heating the raw CBD oil extract at low temperature to make it more "bioavailable". Reheating the active components present in the oil (cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids) makes them more easily absorbable by the body, and heat can also transform some inactive molecules into additional active components.
Full Spectrum CBD oils, also known as Full Spectrum, are made up of all the naturally occurring molecules in hemp. Thus, all cannabinoid molecules, including CBD as well as CBDa, CBV, CBG, CBN, and CBC, as well as terpenes and flavonoids, are present in Full Spectrum oils. Full Spectrum CBD oils allow you to benefit from all the active ingredients present in hemp and thus increase the entourage effect phenomenon. They are available in France and the European Union with an insignificant percentage of THC (less than 0.2%).
Cannabidiol products are booming in France and Europe following its recent legalization. Among the multitude of products now available, the taste and flavor of the final product is a very important criterion for consumers when making their choice. Thus, terpenes, naturally present in hemp, are an essential asset because they have the particularity of enhancing the action of cannabinoids and developing the present aromas.
What is Terpene?
Terpene is an organic compound naturally present in plants and some insects. The flavor and natural odor of fruits, herbs, or flowers are due to the presence of these famous terpenoids. Essential oils are thus often composed of several terpenes. Terpene production is multiplied by the extraction and distillation of a plant's oil.
Hemp is characterized by its high concentration of terpenes, composed of more than 200 varieties. Many other plants also naturally produce terpenes. Mint, lavender, and rosemary, for example, contain them in large quantities.
What are Terpenes Used For?
Some studies have shown the benefits of terpenes mixed with Cannabidiol. Terpenes would optimize the effectiveness of products composed of CBD. Their interaction with Cannabidiol would present various benefits on the body. They would reinforce the actions of the active ingredients of most cannabinoid molecules. It is also known that terpenes are responsible for the aroma and odor of aromatic plants and hemp. Thus, terpenes would allow identifying the variety and quality of hemp, knowing that the aromas of this plant can have an influence on its effects. If the musky flavor favors relaxation, the action of the citrus flavor affects morale, while the resinous flavor focuses on the mind. The properties specific to each terpene thus act on the action of Cannabidiol on the body. Some terpenoids are powerful anti-inflammatories, while others develop a sense of well-being.
What Are the Main Terpenes Found in Hemp?
No less than fifty terpenoids can be present in a hemp plant, but not all in the same proportions. Myrcene is the most dominant in hemp; it is known for its calming and relaxing effects. This terpene emits an odor of earth and more or less spicy herbs, close to clove and similar to cannabis flowers. This terpene also has analgesic and antibacterial virtues. Limonene is usually found in citrus fruits. It is appreciated for its immunostimulant and antidepressant properties. This terpene, mixed with CBD, could effectively act against stress and depression. It has a positive effect on the mood of the consumer. Pinene is very popular in traditional Chinese medicine because it is known for its therapeutic benefits. Its compound stimulates memory, is a powerful antibacterial, and an effective anti-inflammatory. Its resinous taste and odor are reminiscent of conifers.
If some CBD products already contain terpenes, it is also possible to add them. It is recommended to add 0.2mg of terpenes per gram of CBD oil. A dropper can be useful for precise dosing. For e-liquids, plan on one drop of terpenes per milliliter of e-liquid. Let the mixture rest for two days to achieve the ideal result. Terpenes could also relieve and reduce pain, but they mainly provide flavors to your CBD products for a pleasant consumption experience. Choose the terpenes according to your needs and desired effects, based on their properties, to derive maximum benefit.
Terpenes used in cooking
Terpenes can also become very useful allies in cooking. In fact, these organic compounds are very interesting ingredients for cooking all types of food. They naturally enhance the flavors and aromas of your dishes with great finesse. It is not uncommon to integrate them into food for a tasty experience. Adding terpenes to your dishes also allows you to enjoy the properties of both compounds. This can optimize the quality of your sleep, reduce pain, and limit stress, anxiety, and depression. As you may have guessed, terpenes are just as beneficial as CBD.
Terpenes would therefore reinforce the actions of cannabinoids derived from CBD on the body, while providing delicious natural flavors and aromas. You can integrate them into your favorite recipes, add them to your e-liquids or oils. CBD is a natural product but is not a medicine. It is essential to respect the prescribed dosages, and it is always advisable to consult your doctor before consuming it.
9. The Entourage Effect
The entourage effect represents the interactions of different cannabinoids and terpenes present in hemp.
The cannabinoids and terpenes present in hemp interact and are more effective together. Their properties are complementary and more pronounced when these molecules are together, rather than each taken individually. It is a true team effort, hence the term "entourage effect" given to this natural process.
Thus, the effects of a broad-spectrum (Broad Spectrum) or full-spectrum (Full Spectrum) CBD oil are more effective than those of a raw CBD oil. That's why most French and European manufacturers offer CBD oils made from whole plant extracts to benefit from all the cannabinoids and terpenes present in the plant.
Another example of the entourage effect is CBD, which has anti-psychotropic properties and significantly reduces the psychotropic effects of another well-known cannabinoid, THC.
10. CBD legislation in France
Production, importation, and commercialization of hemp are authorized in France and throughout the European Union. France is one of the world's leading producers and exporters of hemp. CBD does not have a psychotropic effect and is not considered a narcotic, unlike THC. The Interministerial Mission for Combating Drugs and Addictive Behaviors (Mildeca) drafted a decree in December 2018 that stipulates the following prohibitions:
- "it can only be marketed in France under the following cumulative conditions: the varieties of hemp cultivated must appear on the exhaustive list in article 2 of the decree of August 22, 1990"
- "the cannabis plant must have a THC content of less than 0.2% only its seeds and fibers can be used".
- "the finished product (oils, creams, biscuits, etc.) must not contain any trace of THC, regardless of the level."
Case law in France: During the year 2018, many CBD enthusiasts decided to open "CBD shops" and had to close administratively. The Pot Company was even prosecuted that year. The young entrepreneur was prosecuted for drug trafficking. However, he was acquitted because his lawyer, Gilles BOIN, relied on the current European legislation: "products based on sativa L hemp containing less than 0.2% THC (the psychotropic substance in cannabis) are authorized in Europe."
Since this difficult period for entrepreneurs, no company has been criminally prosecuted. The opinion of the European Commission on CBD: "In the framework of the EU's Common Agricultural Policy, hemp is regulated by European law." This means that European law prevails over French law in terms of agricultural policy. "European legislation authorizes the cultivation, importation, exportation, and industrial and commercial use of varieties of Cannabis Sativa L." Authorized varieties of hemp are registered in the European catalogue. The only condition for marketing or using hemp is that it must not have a THC content greater than 0.3%. Moreover, no restrictions have been given regarding the parts of the hemp plant that must be used. This authorization is well reflected in French law in the decree dated August 22, 1990. The European Court of Justice declared the ban on CBD marketing in France illegal in its article of November 19, 2020, and relies on the following point: CBD is not considered a narcotic.