While there’s a lot of support for smoking weed these days, that support for smoking tobacco ran out long ago. Tobacco has been called out as a cancer-causing, carcinogen-packed substance, and no matter which way you swing it, it’s not something that you could ever call ‘good for you’.
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But when it comes to smoking marijuana, the ‘good for you’ debate is much more complex. There are so many potential health benefits to marijuana thanks to the chemical compounds contained within it, like CBD.
CBD, short for cannabidiol, has gotten a lot of support over the years as a compound that can potentially help with a variety of mental and physical health conditions, like Parkinson’s Disease, epilepsy, anxiety, insomnia, and more. So, now the question is, what’s the verdict on combining CBD with smoking?
Many people will refer to CBD cigarettes as the ‘middle ground’ connecting tobacco and marijuana, but is it really? Find out everything you need to know about CBD cigarettes, like what they are, how to use them and how they compare to traditional tobacco cigs.
What are CBD cigarettes?
The official definition of CBD cigarette is pretty simple: ‘A CBD cigarette is a cigarette made with hemp instead of purely tobacco, containing cannabidiol (CBD) but a negligible amount of psychoactive tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).’
That definition means nothing, though, if you don’t know what hemp or tetrahydrocannabinol are. Hemp is a plant that is grown specifically for industrial use to produce things like hemp-based fabric, hemp seed oil and, you guessed it, CBD products. Hemp never contains more than 0.3 percent THC, which is a minuscule amount compared to the 20 percent or higher in THC-heavy strains.
Speaking of THC, let’s cover that quickly. THC, short for tetrahydrocannabinol, is the other major chemical compound found in marijuana. The chemical makeup of THC is similar to that of CBD, but there’s one big difference. THC gets you high, while CBD does not.
Keeping the definitions of hemp and THC in mind, it’s now a lot easier to understand what CBD cigarettes actually are. Since CBD cigarettes are made from hemp and they contain very little THC, they don’t get you high. They don’t have the same negative effects since they don’t contain cancer-causing tobacco, either.
How are CBD cigarettes made?
CBD cigarettes are made similarly to any joint or cigarette you’d smoke. The key takeaway about how they’re made is that tobacco is left out and that the THC levels don’t reach over 0.3 percent (although some sources say less than 1 percent) since they’re made with hemp.
Is smoking CBD even legal?
The answer to that question depends entirely on who’s asking. The legality of CBD is complex, and just like in real estate, it has everything to do with location, location, location. Ask someone in Canada and the answer is always yes since CBD is recreationally legal on a federal level there. But ask Americans and the answer will vary since CBD laws are different state-by-state.
The good news about CBD’s legal status is that it’s constantly changing and becoming more accepted. That’s why you’re probably starting to notice all those CBD billboards along the highway, banner ads as you browse the internet and even CBD displays at your local gas stations.
However, PBS says that ‘even if you make sure that your CBD is pure, some federal agencies and state laws still forbid it — even in places where medical or recreational weed is legal.’ So, if you’re not sure, always try to err on the side of caution.
Why even smoke CBD cigarettes?
There are plenty of reasons to start smoking CBD, and, unlike with tobacco, there aren’t many reasons to stay away from CBD. CBD actually has the opposite effect of tobacco; rather than being a cancer-causing agent, science is pointing to its potentially cancer-curing properties.
More and more research is piling up suggesting the many health benefits of CBD, like the fact that it’s a proven treatment route for epileptics hoping to reduce (or even eliminate altogether) the frequency of seizures. There’s even an FDA-approved drug containing high doses of CBD for this very reason.
Related: FDA and WHO Statements on Safety of CBD — Featuring Dr. Scott Shannon
Epileptics aren’t the only ones who can benefit from smoking CBD cigarettes, though. CBD is also great for reducing nerves and promoting calm, it helps many individuals to get a better night’s rest, and it can help to alleviate pain in some situations.
How do CBD cigs compare to tobacco cigarettes?
To be completely honest, the only real similarity between a CBD cigarette and one containing tobacco is the fact that you light it up and smoke it. The commonality stops there, and that’s because one contains tobacco while the other contains hemp.
Even though it’s been red-flagged as a cancer-causing agent, many people still smoke tobacco cigarettes to this day, and a big reason for that is that they’re highly addictive. CBD isn’t — it can actually help to treat substance additions — so, if you decide that it’s not the health-boosting habit for you, it’ll be a lot easier to stop when you want to.
So, is this the new middle ground between tobacco and marijuana?
Let’s get back on track to the original question; is this the new middle ground?
The answer is yes and no. Many people will argue ‘Yes’ because CBD is a much healthier alternative to tobacco smoking, and it’s a great choice for someone who wants to keep the habit of smoking going strong while also cutting out tobacco.
However, you could also say ‘No’ for exactly the same reason — because CBD is a much healthier alternative to tobacco smoking. Sure, you inhale a CBD cig just like you would a Marlboro Red, but the fact that the potential health effects are positive instead of negative makes it difficult for some to see the middle ground.