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CBD is new and confusing. Not everyone is trying to be honest and tell you what's what. We are.

CBD101

CBD (cannabidiol) is the second most abundant cannabinoid after THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) in the cannabis plant and is also found in Hemp. CBD is non-intoxicating (it won’t get you high), and possesses non-psychotropic therapeutic qualities. CBD can be isolated and infused into a variety of topical solutions and products.

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Benefits of CBD

CBD is most commonly used to help with anxiety, pain, and sleep. Ongoing research has uncovered dozens of potential medical uses; its versatility is due to how it interacts with the endocannabinoid system - a network of receptors and neurotransmitters that regulate processes throughout the body.

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Choosing a CBD Product

CBD comes in a variety of product formats and potencies. Some examples are tinctures, edibles, topicals, and vaporizers. Each format offers different bioavailability, or the percentage of ingested CBD absorbed into the bloodstream. The onset time, or how long it takes after application for the effect to be noticed, is also different between products, as is the duration of these effects on the individual.

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Dosing CBD

Everyone responds differently to CBD. We use the same products for different things, prefer certain types of products more than others, and use them to enhance our lives in very different ways. Every person is unique, which means there will always be a variety of options available to recommend. With an informed approach, it is fairly easy to discover your own optimal use of this miraculous product.

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Not All CBD is Created Equally

As regulation catches up to skyrocketing demand for CBD , the market has been flooded with products - not all of them high quality or safe.

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Is CBD Legal

CBD extracted from hemp has been legal to produce and consume nationwide since the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill. The FDA is still deliberating on its status as a food ingredient, supplement or otherwise. CBD extracted from cannabis plants is still illegal on a federal level, though legal in certain states. All products on Ivyside are hemp-based.

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CBD Myths and Misconceptions

CBD has created a lot of excitement - and also a lot of noise. Let’s break down the most common misconceptions about CBD.

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Benefits of CBD

CBD is most commonly used to help relieve anxiety, pain, inflammation, and sleep problems - though ongoing research has discovered dozens of potential applications. Now that CBD concentrated products are publicly available for the first time, a large body of evidence supporting its use is forming, though more definitive scientific investigation is needed. That being said, here are some of the potential benefits of CBD with significant testimonial support:

Anxiety

Pre-clinical evidence strongly supports the use of CBD as a potential treatment for anxiety. CBD is shown to activate 5-HT1A and CB1 receptors in the brain. These receptors help regulate anxiety, panic, compulsion, and fear. Clinical studies are scarce (there are many ongoing) but have shown promising results. One study showed that CBD reduces anxiety related to public speaking in both healthy adults and adults with Social Anxiety Disorder. Other studies show that CBD supports fear extinction, a natural learning process our brain uses to suppress memories of trauma-related fear.

Pain & Inflammation

Pre-clinical studies show that CBD suppresses inflammatory pain and chronic neuropathic pain in both mice and rats. One study found that CBD applied to the skin could help lower pain and inflammation due to arthritis. Another study demonstrated the mechanism by which CBD inhibits inflammatory and neuropathic pain, two of the most difficult types of chronic pain to treat. Human evidence isolating CBD’s effect on pain is scarce, and more is needed to fully understand CBD’s effect on pain and inflammation. Two small studies, however, have shown promise. CBD reduced pain in both girls who suffered adverse effects after an HPV vaccine, and in patients suffering from pain after kidney transplants.

Sleep

In a recent survey, 10% of respondents reported using CBD as a sleep aid. The majority of them said it worked, but so far the returned evidence is anecdotal and lacks scientific stricture. Human trials examining CBD’s effect on sleep have only looked at CBD in combination with THC, and more clinical trials need to occur before any definitive statements can be made about the effect of isolated CBD on sleep deprivation. When both CBD and THC were administered in medium and high doses, however, notable sedative effects were observed.

Epilepsy

The most conclusive evidence of CBD’s effectiveness so far has been observed for two rare forms of epilepsy: Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome. Three clinical trials have shown that daily administration of pure CBD significantly reduces the frequency of seizures in Lennox-Gastaut and Dravet patients. This evidence led the FDA to recommend Epidiolex, the first plant-based CBD pharmaceutical, as an approved treatment for these rare forms of epilepsy.

These are a few common applications of CBD that are supported by human evidence, and CBD is currently being researched for a wide array of potential benefits additionally. The compound is potentially so versatile because it interacts with the Endocannabinoid receptor system, the neural system that regulates everything from appetite to mood, pain, addiction, inflammation, and digestion.

What is the Endocannabinoid System?

The Endocannabinoid System is a network of receptors (CB1 and CB2) throughout the body that are activated by cannabinoids produced by our bodies naturally (endocannabinoids), and also interacts with ingested sustances such as CBD, THC and other cannabinoids. The Endocannabinoid System is vital to maintaining homeostasis, because it helps to keep the body’s nervous and immune systems in balance. It plays a complicated role in regulating stress, anxiety, metabolism, mood, addiction, inflammatory response, and immune health.

CBD doesn’t directly bind to the CB1 and CB2 receptors like THC does. Rather, it compliments our bodies’ natural endocannabinoids, like Anandamide, and helps them to stay in our system for longer without breaking down. CBD interacts with the Endocannabinoid System by supporting levels of the beneficial endocannabinoids already produced by our bodies. These changes in reuptake lead scientists to believe CBD has a potential role in broadly maintaining homeostasis throughout the whole body.

CBD 101

What is CBD?

CBD (cannabidiol) is one of the many cannabinoids that can be found in both cannabis and hemp plants. CBD is the most abundant cannabinoid in hemp and the second most abundant cannabinoid in cannabis, after THC.

Does CBD get you high?

Unlike THC, CBD is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid, so it won’t get you “high”. It does have mild psychoactive effects, however; it tends to positively affect mood, moderate anxiety levels, and helps optimize alertness.

What are cannabinoids?

Cannabinoids are the active constituents of cannabis and hemp plants that act on cannabinoid receptors throughout the immune and nervous systems. ingestion produces effects throughout the body and mind. There are more than 100 cannabinoids found in both cannabis and hemp plants - including THC, CBD, CBN, CBG and CBC.

What is the difference between cannabis CBD and hemp CBD?

Cannabis and hemp are actually two strains of the same plant - Cannabis Sativa. Hemp is legally defined as the varieties of Cannabis Sativa that contain 0.3% THC or less. Both cannabis and hemp contain cannabinoids such as CBD and other compounds said to contribute therapeutic effects, such as terpenes and flavonoids. All of the CBD products carried by Ivyside are derived from hemp, and therefore contain 0.3% or less THC by weight.

CBD Myths

CBD is non-psychoactive

CBD is not an intoxicant, but it would be misleading to describe it as non-psychoactive. Though its effects are not nearly as innebriating as THC, CBD has powerful mood-altering properties and has a typically positive effect on the psyche.

CBD is sedating

CBD is not intrinsically sedating, though its anti-anxiety properties may help promote better sleep. There is evidence to suggest low-to-moderate doses of CBD mildly increase energy and alertness. Very high doses may prove sedative, especially if taken in combination with THC.

Hemp CBD, Cannabis CBD, and CBD Isolate are all the same

While research on the topic is relatively early, CBD is typically more effective when delivered alongside other cannabinoids and terpenes found naturally in the hemp and cannabis plants. Isolated or synthesized CBD can have limited therapeutic potential, specifically when higher doses are required.

CBD works by activating the Endocannabinoid system

THC directly binds to and activates our cannabinoid receptors, and evidence suggests it also triggers relief for pain, spasticity, and nausea. Due to the intoxicating side effects, however, the use of products containing THC requires regulation. Other cannabinoids such as CBD were believed to function similarly, but CBD increases cannabinoid signaling indirectly, slowing the breakdown of our naturally most abundant Endocannabinoid, anandamide, thereby resulting in increased levels of anandamide in our system without intoxicating side effects.

High Doses of CBD work better than low doses

Research has suggested that higher doses of CBD isolate are similarly as therapeutic as lower doses of full spectrum CBD extract. The limited clinical research involving CBD and cannabis promises results for dosages as low as 2.5mg. CBD has also shown to potentially have biphasic properties; an excessive amount of CBD could be less effective than a moderate dose.

CBD is fully legal in the United States because hemp is no longer a controlled substance

The legality of CBD is still murky, and the terms of engagement have not yet been defined. Though Congress legalized the production of hemp and hemp-derived CBD nationwide in late 2018, the FDA has yet to develop a regulatory framework for CBD-infused products. This lack of oversight is a loophole for producers to make sub-optimal quality products and make unrealistic health claims. States have taken matters into their own hands, however; some have motioned to fully legalize and regulate CBD-infused food and supplements (as in Colorado) or completely ban over-the-counter CBD products (as in South Dakota). Ivyside maintains that all products we sell are completely legal, produced by trusted suppliers, and verified through third-party testing. This process informs our ability to present accurately labeled, clean, safe, and effective products.

Choosing a CBD Product

There are many viable ways to use CBD - here we break down the unique properties of each.

Product Formats

CBD can be infused into a variety of solutions, and each has its own unique bioavailability, time-to-onset, and duration dependant on the way it is consumed.

Bioavailability

Bioavailability refers to the amount of a substance that effectively enters the bloodstream once consumed. In other words, bioavailability is the term used to describe the potential of your body to absorb nutrients or other supplements.

Time-to-onset

Time-to-onset refers to the duration of time it takes for a substance’s effects to start taking place after consumption.

Effect DurationThe duration of action is the length of time that particular substances retain their observable effects.

Tinctures

Tinctures are made by dissolving a concentrated CBD whole-plant extract, or isolate, into a food-grade oil, sometimes with added flavors or functional ingredients. Tinctures are applied sublingually (under the tongue) using a dropper. Oral ingestion is necessary for high concentrations of the extract to enter the bloodstream quickly . Tinctures are ideal for people who want a relatively rapid onset and high bioavailability.

Bioavailability: 20-35%
Time-to-onset: 5-20 minutes
Effect Duration: 2-4 hours
Dosage: Personal Preference

Ingestibles

Ingestibles consist of any product infused with CBD that is ingested and then digested. This could include infused candy, chocolate, snack foods, pantry items, and beverages. This category extends to pills and capsules as well. Ingestibles typically have lower bioavailability, longer time-to-onset, and an extended duration. This is because Ingestibles incrementally break down as they travel through the entirety of the digestive system.

Bioavailability: 3-19%
Time-to-onset: 30-90 minutes
Effect Duration: 4-6 hours
Dosage: Pre-dosed

Topicals

Topicals are lotions, salves, balms, creams or serums infused with CBD. These are absorbed by the skin but don’t enter the bloodstream. Topicals are best for isolated relief of pain or inflammation, applied directly to the affected area of the body.

Bioavailability: N/A
Time-to-onset: N/A
Effect Duration: N/A
Dosage: Personal Preference

Transdermals

Transdermals are an advanced form of patch applications that transmits CBD directly through the skin and into the bloodstream over a sustained period of time. They are applied to a venous area, such the inner arm or ankle. High quality transdermal patches will release a controlled amount of CBD incrementally over time, delivering up to 100% of the dosage into the bloodstream.

Bioavailability: 80-100%
Time-to-onset: 20-60 minutes
Effect Duration: 8-12 hours
Dosage: Pre-dosed

Inhalables

Inhalable CBD exists primarily in the form of vaporizers. These vaporizers are available as either disposable or cartridge-based products. CBD distillate, or concentrate, is heated up and inhaled through a vaporizer device, and offers the fastest time-to-onset with high bioavailability. Vaporizers require consuming the CBD through the respiratory tract, however, and the long-term effects of this form of exposure remains relatively under-researched.

Bioavailability: 40-60%
Time-to-onset: Instant
Effect Duration: 45-90 min
Dosage: Personal Preference

Full Spectrum vs. Broad Spectrum vs. Isolate

CBD products can be infused with either a whole plant extract or a purified isolate. Every variety of CBD has its own unique properties.

Full Spectrum

A whole plant extract that captures the full cannabinoid, terpene, flavonoid, and lipid profile of the plant (including trace amounts of THC).

Broad Spectrum

An extract that captures the majority of the profile of the plant, all except for isolated chemicals that are intentionally removed, like THC.

Isolate

Purified CBD that is processed in a way that allows removal of all residual parts of the plant such as other cannabinoids, oils, plant materials, waxes and nutrients. This is also referred to as lab-synthesized CBD.

Which is best?

It depends on the needs of the consumer. Isolate and Broad Spectrum extracts have the benefit of being entirely THC-free, for those who want to completely avoid the psychoactive elements of hemp or cannabis. Isolates offer highly standardized potencies, and also have no taste or smell, whereas whole plant extracts have a distinctive hemp flavor.

Recent research suggests that Full Spectrum CBD extract provides more effective relief than isolates. When administered to mice to relieve pain and inflammation, isolates produce a bell-shaped dose-response curve, meaning too high or too little a dose produced no perceivable effect. When the Full Spectrum extract was administered, there was a dose-dependent response, meaning that pain and inflammation relief increased proportionally with the dose. It is also worth noting that a much lower dose of full spectrum extract was needed in order to provide the same level of relief as isolates. These findings suggest that the other cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids are complementary to the CBD when presented in full-spectrum or broad-spectrum extracts, and they potentially provide more benefit than isolated CBD alone.

Dosing CBD

Everyone responds differently to CBD. The desired relief we use it for, what product formats we use, how often we use it, and how much we take varies a lot between individuals. Ongoing research is in the process of uncovering patterns in therapeutic use of CBD for a variety of purposes. For now, there is no one-size-fits-all recommendation, but here are some tips to help you find your ideal dose:

Tracking responses

Journaling or taking notes on how you feel after each use of CBD should help you compare experiences and find your ideal balance. Experiment with different product formats and dosages, and be sure to keep track of what you learn along the way.

Start with a low dose

Start with a very small dose. Typically this means 1-2 drops of a tincture, a fraction of an edible, or a small puff of a vaporizer. As you continue to use CBD, steadily increase the dosage until you achieve an optimal experience.

Increase dosage slowly

Repeat each dose for 5-7 days before you implement dosage increases. If and when you do consume more, do so in small increments of 2-4mg at a time.

Be consistent

Use CBD regularly to fully understand how a specific dosage works for you and how desired effects change with exposure over time.

Be patient

It can take anywhere from a week to a month for your body to begin responding to CBD.

Consult your doctor

Consult a medical professional about any health concerns as well as drug and supplement interactions related to CBD.

Not All CBD is Created Equal

As regulation catches up with demand, the market has become flooded with CBD products. Not all of these products are safe or high quality. It’s important to know what to look for in a clean, safe, and effective CBD product. Studies have shown that up to 70% of CBD products on the market contain a different amount of CBD than what is shown on the product label, and some products - especially value brands sold in convenience stores or online - have also tested for toxic solvent residues, pesticides, heavy metals, preservatives and artificial ingredients.

Source of Hemp

Hemp is a bioaccumulator; it absorbs everything in the soil it grows from, including toxins. If the hemp is grown in contaminated soil, or soil that has been tainted with pesticides, the hemp CBD extract may contain unsafe contaminants.

CBD products derived from US or Europe-grown hemp are typically less likely to be contaminated. This is due to emerging organic and eco-farming practices that are practiced in these regions.

Extraction Method

CBD extracted using Ethanol or Supercritical CO2 is typically safe and free of residual toxins. These two solvents have their pros and cons for producers, but ultimately deliver comparable products and effects.

Low-quality CBD products should be avoided altogether, because they often use dangerous solvents like Hexane or Butane for extraction.

Label

Some products contain no CBD at all, but are misleadingly labeled as “Hemp Extract” or “Hemp Oil” compounds. Other CBD-dominant products are cannabis distillates and therefore contain significant quantities of THC (to be sold in a licensed cannabis dispensary). Consumers should carefully read labels to understand the claimed cannabinoid content of a product.

Third-Party Testing Results

All CBD products should be tested at a third-party lab to validate potency, purity, and ingredient fidelity. It is important to confirm that there are no residual solvents, pesticides, heavy materials, bacteria, or other toxins present. Consumers should always check the Certificate of Analysis for the specific batch of product they are purchasing before consumption. If not already provided by the supplier, this information should be easily provided upon request.