The craze for cannabidiol (CBD) is undeniable. This active substance extracted from hemp has the advantage of not causing the psychoactive effects of THC, which makes it a kind of "light cannabis" and legal. As such, many consumers have already swapped "classic" cannabis for cannabidiol to take advantage of its relaxing properties without suffering adverse effects. Often, the preferred mode of consumption is smoking CBD in flower or resin form. But is this method risky? Is the effectiveness of the "CBD joint" the same as that of oil or herbal teas? Is it legal in France to smoke cannabidiol? Let's do a check-in.
Is smoking CBD like smoking regular cannabis?
The consumption of cannabidiol often responds to a need to find an alternative to the THC joint. Smoking CBD allows consumers to rediscover the taste of cannabis and the pleasure associated with the gestures (joint rolling, inhaling the smoke) without suffering the harmful effects of classic cannabis. It is, in short, a very good placebo, likely to provide valuable assistance in the fight against addictions due to cannabis and nicotine.
Because cannabidiol differs in many respects from its big brother, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), these two active substances derived from hemp, among a hundred others, do not have the same effects. In particular, smoking CBD does not alter the state of consciousness and does not increase the risk of addiction. In fact, for cannabis users, cannabidiol is regularly considered a safer alternative.
Nevertheless, it should be understood that the effects of CBD are much less than those of THC. People who would like to smoke CBD to find the same sensations as classic cannabis should consume very high doses. On the other hand, the properties of cannabidiol turn out to be much more positive: the consumption of CBD-based products can act on anxiety, sleep disorders, appetite disturbance, and pain and inflammations. So the scales lean firmly on the side of cannabidiol.
Smoking CBD: is it bad for your health?
In a 2018 report, the WHO highlighted the virtual absence of toxicity from cannabidiol and since confirmed by several studies, making it a safe substance. ("Near absence," however, as in vitro and animal studies show that CBD is likely to become toxic at very high doses, well beyond the commonly accepted dosage for humans.)
However, smoking CBD is, in itself, a potentially toxic mode of consumption. Especially because cannabidiol in flowers or resin is very often associated with tobacco. However, it is mainly nicotine with harmful consequences for health, by increasing the risk of developing cardiovascular, respiratory, and oncological diseases.
Also, mixing cannabidiol and nicotine is not advisable because the effects of these two substances are opposite. While the first is relaxing, the second is exciting: psychoactive and addictive. It stimulates the heart rate and causes an adrenaline rush in the body. Their simultaneous consumption is therefore contradictory.
Finally, even smoking pure CBD without nicotine is not recommended. Although smoke from cannabidiol is not associated with an increased risk of serious illness, the fact remains that inhalation of any combustion products can have adverse effects on the lungs and bronchial tubes. Therefore, the problem with smoking CBD is not the CBD itself but smoking…
Smoking CBD: is it an effective mode of consumption?
The question of the effectiveness of combustion inhalation also arises. The method of administration plays an important role: each way of consuming cannabidiol influences the time interval required before the substance produces its effects. What about when you choose to smoke CBD?
We know in particular that the ingestion of cannabidiol, in the form of oil, for example, takes time to produce its effects. The substance must be digested and pass through the liver (whose enzymes reduce the concentration) before reaching the blood, which ensures its distribution in the body.
Conversely, inhalation is considered a more efficient mode of consumption. Smoking CBD sends the cannabinoids to the lungs, from where they pass into the bloodstream without stopping through the stomach and liver. The effects can then be felt shortly after the use and more intensely.
Since it is not recommended to smoke CBD in joint form, even pure, a relevant alternative is to inhale the substance by other means. For example, by burning a candle or, even better, by vaping, that is to say, by consuming cannabidiol in the form of e-liquid using an electronic cigarette. It is also in this form that CBD was first authorized in France!
Smoking CBD, is it legal?
The legality of cannabidiol is a complex subject… in the process of being clarified. In essence, CBD is not considered a narcotic in the United States. The 2018 Farm Bill made a huge progress in the legalization of CBD products since it removed hemp from the Controlled Substances Act. Thanks to this hemp can now be legally cultivated in US soil. To make it easy for you, CBD is legal in all 50 states, however the law is different from state to state. However, CBD products must meet certain conditions:
● Be made from hemp plants with a THC content of less than 0.2%;
● Come from an authorized variety of hemp;
● Do not claim therapeutic properties.
But when it comes to smoking CBD, therefore consuming it in the form of flowers or resin, things are a little more complex. The legal framework allows the sale of cannabidiol products only if they are made from the fibers and seeds of the plant, but not the flowers.
By doing so, the purchase and consumption of weed, flowers, or smoking resin are not regulated – which does not mean that they are prohibited either. Resellers cannot offer their customers raw flowers or leaves for smoking. A restriction justified on public health grounds because smoking CBD often amounts to mixing the substance with tobacco.
What are the recommended consumption patterns for CBD?
You must know by now: smoking CBD is not necessarily the best way to consume cannabidiol. In addition to being potentially bad for your health, this method comes up against well-established legal safeguards. Fortunately, there are other healthier ways to eat:
● Vaping e-liquid or inhaling CBD-based candles; to enjoy faster and more intense effects.
● The ingestion of CBD oil, in the form of drops; placed under the tongue or to add to culinary preparations and drinks.
● The use of CBD-based skincare products, such as ointments.
● The absorption of cannabidiol in other forms: capsules, chewing gum, etc.
In any case, it is important to choose your CBD-based products from reputable retailers who will be able to advise and guide you and whose articles fully comply with the legal framework – as is the case with LeaflyWeedNYC.
Can we find CBD in pharmacies?
In theory, yes: anyone can buy CBD in pharmacies. US pharmacies are authorized to market cannabidiol-based products. You can go to your usual pharmacist and ask him for a bottle of CBD oil, capsules, or herbal teas.
However, this authorization is subject to compliance with several rules:
● The establishment must have received authorization from the state to offer CBD in pharmacies. Obtaining the latter requires justifying the legality of the trade. (This is only valid for physical pharmacies, as we will see below.)
● Cannabidiol-based products sold in pharmacies must comply with state recommendations: the hemp plants used in manufacturing must have a THC content of less than 0.2%, their cultivation must have been authorized, and the products must be made from fibers and seeds only.
● Resellers are prohibited from promoting any medical or therapeutic properties of CBD- based products.
● As a health professional, the pharmacist must fully advise customers and respect a code of ethics. Consequently, it is responsible for offering its customers quality CBD-based products that comply with the legislation and giving recommendations for their use (dosage, maximum doses, etc.).
Under these conditions, pharmacies can market CBD oils, ointments, crystals, and other products. It is not always easy to find these products because not all pharmacies offer them.
Can you buy CBD from an online pharmacy?
Things are different when finding CBD in pharmacies on the web: access to these products is easier. To understand why, you should know that online pharmacies are not subject to the same restrictions as physical pharmacies, except when it comes to prescription drugs. In other words, it is easier for an online store to offer CBD because it does not need to justify the legality of its trade.
The counterpart is that the purchase of CBD in a virtual pharmacy is less secure than in a pharmacy. For one simple reason: many web stores that call themselves "pharmacies" aren't really. It is therefore important to pay attention to the quality of the reseller and, as far as possible, to favor physical pharmacies over digital stores.
However, there is no question of confusing CBD in pharmacies, sold freely and without a prescription as a food supplement, with drugs made from cannabidiol because these are reserved for medical prescriptions.
How to buy CBD safely?
Buying CBD in pharmacies guarantees safety, but it is not necessarily the best possible place to do it. For two reasons:
● Not all pharmacies offer cannabidiol products, given the existing restrictions – and if so, the choice is limited;
● Pharmacists and pharmacy assistants are sometimes misinformed about CBD and the quality of the products they offer to the public, these being relegated to the rank of food supplements.
In this respect, it is therefore recommended that you contact a specialized, serious retailer capable of advising you on the choice of products, the dosage, and the dosages to be observed according to the objective sought and your morphology. These stores are perfectly legal and have the advantage of having developed solid expertise in cannabidiol. This is the case, for example, of the LeaflyWeedNYC shop – which thus constitutes an excellent alternative to CBD in pharmacies or for weed delivery in NYC.