What is CBD, Illinois? Here’s what you need to know.

So, what is CBD, Illinois? Here’s what you need to know, as we in Illinois prepare for the legalization of marijuana in January: Cannabidiol, otherwise known as CBD, is known for relieving a number of ailments, from pain to epilepsy to multiple sclerosis. Now, while CBD comes from marijuana or hemp, CBD does NOT get you high. The compound that gets us stoned, that pot is known for, is called tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC.

As you probably know by now, the CBD market is exploding, expected to hit $2.2 billion by 2022, up from roughly $292 million in 2016. As a result, thousands of CBD products—oils, tinctures, vaporization liquids, pills—are now widely available in stores and online. While CBD becomes more and more mainstream, more and more professional athletes are now turning to it for pain relief. Researchers from major educational institutions are studying CBD’s potential uses. CBD is now even widely speculated to potentially help in treating opioid addiction.

That said, CBD is controversial How effective ARE all of these products, we all want to know? Hard to say, a lot of experts claim. So, as a result, confusion reigns, as consumers try to figure out whether the products work, are safe, or even contain the ingredients listed. And as more and more states legalize marijuana for both medicinal and recreational usage, people want to know the answer: How effective is this CBD stuff? Can it really improve your health and treat illness?

So what is it?

Like we said earlier, Cannabidiol comes from the cannabis plant: either from marijuana or hemp. Better known as CBD, it is one of the 104 chemical compounds known as cannabinoids found in the cannabis or marijuana plant, Cannabis sativa.

The main difference between the two is that marijuana has a TON more THC than hemp, and often more CBD. It’s also way harder to get CBD from hemp than pot. But the CBD itself is the same, regardless of which part of the cannabis plant it comes from, according to medical and industry experts, so its effect on the body is the same.

Both THC and CBD come from the leaves, resin, or the flowers on the plants. While anything that has THC in it also has CBD, CBD can be extracted, sold and used on its own. Most notably, CBD does not get you high. As a result, this makes CBD an appealing solution to those who are looking for relief from pain and other symptoms without the mind-altering effects of marijuana or certain pharmaceutical drugs.

CBD oil, a popular way of utilizing CBD, is made by extracting CBD from the cannabis plant, then diluting it with a carrier oil like coconut or hemp seed oil.

What is CBD, Illinois? How does it benefit your health?

A few main points. Check these out:

1. CBD can relieve pain

Folks have used marijuana to treat pain as far back as 2737 B.C. But more recently, scientists have discovered that certain components of marijuana, including CBD, are indeed responsible for its pain-relieving effects.

Several studies have found that a combination of CBD and THC is effective in treating pain related to multiple sclerosis and arthritis.

Sativex, which is a combination of THC and CBD, is approved in several countries to treat pain related to multiple sclerosis.

2. CBD can treat spasicity as it relates to MS and Epilepsy

CBD can help treat epilepsy, as evidenced by the approval of Epidiolex. This treatment is highly successful in treating the symptoms of the disease, and seizures in general.

CBD helps reduce symptoms related to cancer and side effects related to treatment, like nausea, vomiting and pain. Specifically, it reduces chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, which are among the most common chemo side effects for those with cancer.

4. CBD can help with opioid addiction

Yes, more and more studies are coming out indicating that CBD can help with opioid addiction. More and more evidence that CBD can help treat that and other forms of substance abuse.

Ok, but is CBD safe?

Few risks seem to be associated with CBD. Additionally, CBD seems more safe than THC. That said, know that the side effects of ingesting CBD include fatigue, diarrhea, changes in appetite, and as a result, weight.

Additionally, do your research if you are taking prescription medication, because you want to be aware of how CBD may interact with different kinds of meds. It’s also worth looking for products that specifically say they contain CBD, not just “cannabinoids.” Look for products that also list the amount of CBD per serving, not just per bottle, so that you can make an informed decision prior to ingesting.

Bottom line, if you do want to try CBD, ALWAYS talk with your doctor first, especially if you take any prescription drugs or are pregnant or breastfeeding.

The short answer is, it depends, if we’re talking state laws. If we’re talking according to federal laws, the answer is no.

So as far as state laws are concerned, details vary from state to state, with many states suggesting that you get a doctor’s recommendation. In addition, the CBD treatment recommendations for certain health problems differ from state to state as well. So like everything else related to all things cannabis, do your research.

How can that be, you ask? Confused about what decisions to make? You’re not alone.

“As long as there is conflict between federal and state law, there will continue to be confusion over the legal status of CBD,” says Amanda Reiman, Ph.D., a cannabis policy and public health expert based in California who also works for Flow Kana, a cannabis company.

So all you can do is stay on top of the laws as they develop, and make sure you’re covered. Be smart and be safe.

What about buying it?

From a federal perspective, watch out when buying CBD online, as shipping CBD across state lines could violate federal law. Also, look out for CBD products that claim to do magic things for your health… Research, research, research. While dietary supplements, such as vitamins and minerals, can say a lot of things, CBD can’t, yet. So let the buyer beware.

How do you know if your CBD product is legit?

Most of the states that have legalized both the recreational and medical use of cannabis do a considerable amount of testing of products before they can legally be sold. All of these tests often include checking for THC, CBD and their respective levels. Other tests include mold, pesticides, and other contaminants. However, there is little standardization, so testing varies widely, especially from state to state. Particularly when we’re talking about online products, it’s still a bit of a wild west out there.

According to a November 2017 study in JAMA, only 26 of 84 samples of CBD products purchased online contained the amount of CBD claimed on their labels. Furthermore, 18 of them had THC levels high enough to result in intoxication – not good if kids accidentally get a hold of those kinds of products. Lastly, a quarter of the products had less CBD than advertised.

On a related note, FDA testing has regularly found several CBD products containing no CBD at all.

Bottom line: You, as a consumer, need to be aware that this is still an unregulated industry, and that you need to do your due diligence.

How? Before anything else, look for companies located in states that have legalized recreational and medical use of cannabis. Also make sure to purchase from companies that also contract with third-party testers to do additional analysis. Lastly, ask to see the Certificate of Analysis to show the results of company testing; if they don’t, consider that a possible red flag.

Where can I actually go with my CBD, can I fly?

The U.S. Transportation Safety Administration says that while its agents don’t specifically search for cannabis products, if they find any—including CBD-only ones—it’s murky. The law is convoluted. If you exceed the allowed amounts, TSA is supposed to refer you to law enforcement.

Even if you don’t land in hot water, your travel can get delayed, and you can possibly get on some kind of TSA security watch list… Who needs that, right?

Bottom Line

So Illinois, it’s pretty clear by now that CBD offers clear cut health benefits, and is going mainstream by the day. That said, it’s also equally apparent that the industry is still in flux, and in need of regulation. Until that time, we all need to do our due diligence and take responsibility for what we are purchasing and using. As long as we’re doing that, the future looks bright for CBD. Onward and upwards!