Tonight, the news did a special report on the use of marijuana in the United States. As of today, more Americans smoke cannabis than cigarettes. The news anchors were shocked as they discussed the reports proving the growing majority’s preference toward the plant. But for those who’ve been on the CBD train for a while, we’re not shocked.

First of all, the plant's versatility has been nothing short of miraculous. As the cannabis market grows, products like gummies for sleep, CBD roll-on for pain, tinctures for anxiety and dried buds for smoking have taken the health and wellness industry by storm. And for good reason. 

If you’re one of the 60% of American adults who has utilized CBD for its medicinal properties, then this list won’t surprise you. But if you’re just entering the world of cannabis, hopefully, it answers some questions you might be asking yourself. 

How long has CBD been around?

While marijuana has been around for thousands of years, cannabidiol (CBD) was identified in 1940. Out of the 113 known cannabinoids found in cannabis, CBD consists of about 40% of the plant’s makeup. 

Is CBD safe?

Not only is CBD safe, it’s effective. Of course, always consult your physician before starting any new health regimen, but new research is constantly published about CBD’s positive effects. But if you’re hesitant to start consuming cannabis, start with a CBD roll-on for pain. 

CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties make it a safer option for pain management than opiates. In addition, it’s not habit-forming and won’t cause damage to your internal organs. For those with arthritis, finding a CBD roll-on for pain has been a big help in performing tasks that typically cause flare-ups. 

In addition to bringing down inflammation in the body, consuming CBD (edibles, tinctures, smoking) has been shown to decrease anxiety levels, aid sleep, and relieve pain. 

Will CBD get me “high?”

“Reefer Madness,” “This is Your Brain on Drugs,” and “The Devil’s Lettuce,” if you didn’t just recently come of age (like, within the last three years), you know these phrases were what people associated with cannabis. Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is the most well-known cannabinoid because of its psychoactive effects, AKA, getting “high.”

The THC molecules travel through our bloodstream, eventually working themselves through our endocannabinoid system, placing themselves in the endocannabinoid receptors. These receptors typically house endocannabinoids that we all produce naturally. It’s still widely unclear how exactly THC causes a euphoric-like feeling, but as the legalization of the drug grows, it’s expected we will soon know the answer.

The vast majority of people didn’t understand until recently that there are 500 compounds of cannabinoids produced by the C. sativa plant. CBD is one of those cannabinoids and doesn’t produce psychoactive effects. It also doesn’t snuggle into the body’s receptors. Instead, evidence has shown that CBD may negate the psychoactive effects of THC while also increasing the amount of cannabinoids circulating throughout the body. 

Using CBD allows you to enjoy the benefits of cannabis without cognitive changes. While research is still in its infancy, CBD has been shown to help with nerve and muscle pain, weight loss, side effects from chemotherapy, substance abuse disorders, anxiety, depression, chronic pain, inflammatory diseases, heart problems, and more. 

Will CBD show up on a drug test?

The drug test debate is one I expect will soon be ramping up. However, as more and more states legalize medicinal and recreational marijuana, mandated drug tests for cannabis seem to be going by the wayside. But if you live in a state where marijuana laws remain strict, it’s essential to do your due diligence. 

Most companies publish lab results on their products. It will break down the percentage of the various cannabinoids of the strain(s) used to make the product. Depending on your state, the numbers should fall under that range. CBD usually doesn’t trigger a failed test, but depending on the product, there may be trace amounts of THC. Typically this isn’t enough to trigger a positive. 

But if you live in a state with outdated regulations surrounding marijuana and you don’t want to risk it, but you’re experiencing some pain, I recommend trying a CBD roll-on for pain. The CBD doesn’t get into your bloodstream; instead, targeting your skin, seeping in to soothe your aches and pains. 

Are there any risks?

I don’t think anyone can ever say with 100% certainty that something comes with no risks. Currently, there are only a few products with full FDA approval, and due to the prohibition on the plant for so long, research is only recently ramping up. So while anecdotal evidence and a growing number of studies show CBD's positive effects, it’s important to touch base with your doctor on how you might react to it. This is especially important if you take medicine, supplements or have recurring health problems. But largely, CBD has been found to be relatively low regarding its risk level. This is especially true in comparison to pharmaceuticals like opiates and benzodiazepines.