With all of the hoopla in the media these days surrounding cannabidiol, you may be wondering what CBD is, its benefits, how to read labels and the correct amount to consume.

So, what is CBD?

Let’s look under the hood to discover more.

What Is CBD And What Are The Health Benefits? 

Derived from hemp plants, CBD triggers particular receptors in the brain and nervous system, resulting in serotonin release. This release can reduce anxiety, depression, muscle soreness and more in both humans and canines.

One of the most significant benefits of CBD is combatting insomnia. As Portland-based startup Mendi states, “The common benefit people notice with CBD is better sleep, because if you have less pain, stress, anxiousness and reduced inflammation, you’re likely in a more calm state and less likely to have disrupted sleep.”

Understanding CBD Labels

Let’s break down what to look for on CBD labels, some of which may include THC information:

  • The products: Do you prefer mints, Starburst-like candies, chocolate bars, or even sodas? CBD labels will tell you things like flavors and ingredients.
  • Milligrams: This is your starting point. Most labels will encourage microdosing, so you don’t take too much (more on that in a bit).
  • Suggested Use: Unless you’re told otherwise by your doctor, follow all suggested use information.
  • Time: Many labels will tell you how long it takes for the product to kick in, which can be anywhere from 15 minutes to 90.
  • Nutritional Facts: Like grocery store items, total fat, sodium, carbs and more are typically listed.
  • CBD to THC Ratio: This is critical because THC may be illegal or require a medical card depending on what state you live in. Know your state’s laws and those you may be visiting. The last thing you want is to bring illegal substances across state lines unknowingly. And because THC is the psychoactive agent of the plant, consuming it is a very different experience than CBD-only items.

CBD Dosage: How Much Is Too Much (Or Too Little)

There’s a hilarious saying in the cannabis world when it comes to products possessing THC: “You can always have more, but you can never have less.” If you’ve ever scarfed down an entire THC-loaded brownie, you probably learned this lesson the hard way.

This axiom should always be respected, but do understand that because CBD does not contain the psychoactive agent found in THC, you don’t need to be afraid of a “bad trip.”

However, there’s no reason to take more CBD than required. If you don’t know how many milligrams to take, dispensaries are known for providing expert advice via email, online chats, phone, and inside brick and mortar stores. Explaining your pain points, what you’re looking to achieve, and, if you’re comfortable, physical attributes like gender, height and weight can help the experts determine the ideal dosage for you.