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Quick Hemp Questions & Answers

June 22nd, 2022 by Brandy Palmer

Hemp Questions and Answers

Quick Hemp Questions & Answers

We publish a weekly blog that answers regularly asked questions about the world of hemp. What’s that? You don’t receive our emails?  We can fix that – you’ll find a box to subscribe to our newsletter directly to the right if you’re reading this on a desktop computer or on the bottom of our main shop page.

We’ll also add those weekly hemp questions and answers to this article so that you have one source for all those quick asks! Ready? Let’s talk hemp.

Hemp Questions Covered:

Can CBD Go Bad?

What’s a CBD Booster?

Should I Take CBD in the Morning or at Night?

Does it Matter How I Take CBD?

How Much CBD Should I Take?

Can I Fail a Drug Test?

Can I Add CBD to My Coffee?

Should I Take CBD With Food?

Do I Need THC to Make my CBD Work?

What Does Full Spectrum Mean?

Can I Travel with CBD?

Can I Grow Hemp in the US?

Does CBD Work for Everyone?

How Can I Tell if my CBD is From Hemp or Marijuana?

How Long Do CBD Topicals Last?

Can CBD Help Cats?

Can I Build Up A Tolerance to CBD?

How Much CBD Can I Give My Dog?


Q: Can CBD Go Bad?

A: Sure – Sort Of.

While CBD (cannabidiol) can go bad, it’s more likely to degrade than spoil.  When that happens, the efficacy is reduced as the oil deteriorates.  The other ingredients, like stevia, essential oils, and cannabis oil can spoil and can also increase the rate at which the product deteriorates.

 If there is no expiration date on your package, a good rule of thumb is 18 months from the production date. When it hits that mark, toss it, or at least give it a good sniff to determine your comfort level.

 Always keep your CBD out of heat and direct sunlight.  If the product arrives to you from a hot mailbox, make sure it returns to room temperature before use.  You’re also welcome to store product in the fridge – it may keep a bit longer that way. Some manufacturers state that it can give you 6 more months of efficacy.

Q: What’s a CBD Booster?

A: A CBD supplement that will get to work quickly, but won’t store and keep working for you.

We always say that consistency is key with CBD. Your daily serving will bind to your lipids and keep working for you so that you can continue to see those benefits that you are looking for over a 24-hour period.

When you find that CBD is helping you achieve overall balance and wellness, you’re still going to have bad days. That’s just the world we live in, friend. When those painful or stressful days pop up, you may be tempted to double up on your CBD. We get it. It helps! Don’t do it.

If you occasionally increase that oil-based CBD, you risk building up your tolerance which will cause you to need more all the time. Our goal is for you to feel maximum benefits with minimal additives in your system.

That’s where a booster comes in. Boosters are absorbed through your cheeks or lungs so they can get to work quickly but won’t store and build up a tolerance. This fast-acting CBD comes in the form of gum, mints or even hemp flower for a “boost” when you need it.

Q: CBD – Morning or Night?

A: Yes.

We always say that consistency is key with CBD. Your daily serving will bind to your lipids and keep working for you so you want to take it at roughly the same time every day.

 CBD, when taken in an appropriate serving, does not usually make you sleepy. Some people do find that a whole plant option can make them drowsy, in which case we definitely say take it at night! If the CBD that you take isn’t a sleep product but makes you sleepy, it may be an indicator that you’re taking more than you need.

We carry CBD that is strictly for am or pm use, but that’s due to the other ingredients added. Many of us are looking for better sleep at night and those nighttime products may include CBN, chamomile, and even melatonin to help you get those zzz’s.

 On the other end of the spectrum are morning products with additives like B12 or moringa to help you with sustainable energy. Those are best taken in the morning or to combat that early afternoon slow down.

Q: Does it Matter How I Take CBD?

A: Nope, not really.

We know that we’re a broken record, but, consistency is key with CBD. Your daily serving of any oil-based CBD that travels through your digestive system will bind to your lipids and keep working for you throughout the day. It will work the same way if that CBD is taken as a capsule, gummy or other edible, or liquid.

 Liquids may take a little less time to get to work if you pop them under your tongue. That sublingual absorption gives it a head start in your system. As long as you’re taking your supplement consistently, that time to efficacy isn’t usually a game changer.

We do like liquids when you’re getting started with a new CBD regimen, just because it’s easy to take a little more or less to find your best serving size. Once you know what serving works well in your system, you can definitely change it up.

 At the end of the day, the best CBD for you is the one that you will take consistently.

Q: How Much CBD Should I Take?

A: In our experience, people tend to find benefits somewhere between 15-75mg daily. Start small and work up until you find your best fit – then stay at that serving.

We always say that consistency is key with CBD. Your daily serving will bind to your lipids and keep working for you so that you can continue to see those benefits that you are looking for over a 24-hour period.

Start small – if you’re taking a full spectrum (whole plant) product, “small” means 10-15mg daily. If you’re taking an isolated CBD product, you may need a bit more – we would recommend starting at 25mg daily.

Hang out at that serving for 5 days. If you aren’t seeing benefit at that point, double up for the next 5 days. We want you to see benefits in that 10-day period.

 When you find that CBD is helping you achieve overall balance and wellness, you’re still going to have rough days. When those painful or stressful days pop up, you may be tempted to double up on your CBD. Don’t do it.

If you occasionally increase your oil, capsule, or gummy, you risk building up your tolerance which will cause you to need more all the time. Our goal is for you to feel maximum benefits with minimal additives in your system.

Needing a little more some days is not uncommon – try a fast-acting booster that won’t build up to help get you through it.

Q: Can I Fail A Drug Test?

A: Yes

While it’s not likely, it is possible to fail a drug test when taking a full-spectrum CBD product. “Full-spectrum” means that all the compounds in the plant growing in the ground end up in your box or bottle. That does include a small amount of THC. The legal limit, federally, is 0.3% of the harvested hemp on a dry weight basis.

If your job is on the line or if you want to avoid THC altogether for another reason, we would advise sticking to a broad-spectrum or an isolated CBD product.

Broad-spectrum products include all the natural compounds in the hemp plant except THC. Isolate CBD products are just that – the only active ingredient is CBD.

Either of those will be a safe option to avoid THC and the possibility of a failed drug test. 

Q: Can I Add CBD Oil to My Coffee?

A: No

We’ve all heard the adage that oil and water don’t mix. In this case, CBD is the oil and coffee or your beverage of choice (margarita, anyone?) is the water. The oil will likely pool on top of your beverage and could stick to your glass. Additionally, adding CBD oil to a hot beverage could degrade the compounds.

It is possible to buy a water-based CBD. These products have been converted by a process called nano emulsion that forces two typically incompatible substances (oil and our margarita) to mix.

We refer to water-soluble products as “boosters” because they get to work quickly but don’t have the staying power of your oil-based CBD favorite. They’re a great additive, but not ideal as your primary source of CBD.

Q: Should I Take CBD With Food?

A: Yes

I may be a bit biased on this topic, because I’m prone to stomach issues. Nausea and indigestion are common for me, especially when I’m taking supplements or prescription meds. If those are common for you, too, then you get it – take everything with food in your stomach!

CBD oil may not bother you, especially in a gummy or liquid form, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. There’s an added benefit in that any fat in your stomach will help you break down and digest CBD oil more quickly. CBD is a lipid and will bind to another lipid to get to work more quickly for you. There’s no downside to taking it with food.

Q: Do I Need THC (the Whole Plant) for CBD to Work?

A: Not Necessarily

CBD comes in three variations – full spectrum (whole plant), broad spectrum, and isolate. Full spectrum is the only one of these that contain THC. That’s intentional, as many people are looking to avoid it – either because they don’t want the “high” or there are drug test concerns. We do find that full spectrum, or whole plant, products offer the best results for someone looking for benefits around inflammation or discomfort relief.

It is certainly possible to find those benefits from a broad spectrum or an isolated CBD product, but you’ll likely have to increase the starting serving size. We like to start between 10-15mg daily for a full spectrum (remember that consistency is key). When looking for pain relief from a 0 THC product, we would recommend starting at more like 25mg daily and increasing from there, as needed.

Q: What Does Full Spectrum Mean?

A: Whole Plant

Simply put, full-spectrum means that everything that is naturally occurring in that plant in the ground ends up in your box or bottle. That includes more than 100 different cannabinoids or compounds. CBD and THC are the two that we know the most about but are far from the only ones. This is a new science and we are learning more about its potential benefits every day.

It also includes plant matter and terpenes. Terpenes are responsible for that grassy, earthy flavor that is part of the hemp plant.

If you are someone who lives with a lot of outdoor allergies, that plant matter may be something to be mindful of. It is possible to have an allergy to hemp just as you could to any other grass or tree. If that’s a concern for you, trying a broad spectrum or isolated CBD product may be a better fit.

Q: Can I Travel with CBD?

A: Yes, within the US

If the question was limited to the United States, it’s a clear yes, as hemp is federally legal in this country. If you’re traveling out of the country, however, you would need to research those laws. Hemp is not fully legal in every country and if you’re not sure, leave it at home. You don’t want to risk breaking any laws.

While hemp is fully federally legal, marijuana is not (yet.) It’s a good idea to have a printed or electronic copy of any lab results for your CBD so that the THC content is not questioned. You also still have to follow TSA rules for liquid carry-on quantity (leave the 8-ounce bottle of hemp lotion in your checked bag or at home.) Some products are easier to travel with than others. I wouldn’t get on a plane without CBD patches for the sore back and knees that come with vacation or my CBD gum for any travel worries.

Q: Can I Grow Hemp?

A: Yes, within the US

In a nutshell, it is legal to grow industrial hemp (with not more than 0.3% THC on a dry weight basis) in the United States. The 2018 Farm Bill reclassified hemp as fully federally legal and by 2021, every state had implemented a process by way of the USDA to allow for cultivation.

Growing your own hemp is as simple as growing any other herb or vegetable. You’ll need soil, water and plenty of sunshine. Hemp plants can get pretty big (think bamboo) so you’ll also need space for them. Hemp can be ready to harvest 4-6 months after planting.

Be sure to check into your state and local requirements before getting started as there may be an approval process in your area, as well as limits on plant quantity and location.

Q: Does CBD Work for Everyone?

A: Not Necessarily

All of us have an Endocannabinoid System (ECS) – that system is how CBD can travel and bind, working to keep all of us neutral. Additionally, our bodies all create endocannabinoids, which look a lot like CBD. So, we all have a system that is ready for CBD and other cannabinoids, but all of those systems are unique. Some respond more readily to CBD than others and that can mean a drastically different serving size. We have many customers that see benefits at 10mg daily and others need at least 100mg to find any benefit.

Additionally, while CBD works to keep your body in homeostasis, it’s not a “cure-all,” no matter what others claim. It also may not be a great fit if you’re taking certain prescription medications that require access to those same ECS receptors or take a heavy toll on your liver. While CBD and other cannabinoids can be a great help to many people, it isn’t a “cure everything” compound. If your CBD store is telling you something different, it may be time to find a new one!

Q: How Can I Tell if my CBD is from Hemp or Marijuana?

A: You Can’t.

Cannabidiol is the same compound, whether it comes from hemp or a marijuana plant. There are actually more than 100 known compounds found in both hemp and marijuana plants. And they’re the exact same compounds – they just occur in different quantities.

There are differences in the way that hemp and marijuana are grown. Hemp may be tall and reedy like bamboo, while marijuana is grown shorty and bushy to maximize buds. The legal difference is the amount of THC in the plant. In order for hemp products to be sold outside of a dispensary, they cannot contain more than .3% THC on a dry-weight basis. So, while differences do exist – the compounds themselves are the same.

Take a peek at that label for the THC content that is in your box or bottle. That’s what can tell you which plant your CBD came from.

Q: How Long Do CBD Topicals Last?

A: 4-6 Hours, With Some Exceptions.

CBD can work from the inside out as well as from the outside in. Topical CBD is often a starting point for people and can come in many different forms – from creams and lotions to patches and bath bombs. 
Many of these products contain other ingredients to soothe skin or give you an aromatherapy experience, but in all cases, CBD works to have the same impact. It’s binding to your cells and working to neutralize anything that’s not in balance. That balance can lead to a number of benefits like loosening muscles and calming irritated skin.
Topical CBD can only penetrate tissue deep, so it’s not a great fit for internal pain. With that said, it gets to work quickly so it’s a great add-on, or booster, to that longer-lasting CBD taken internally, like gummies or softgels.
The exception to that 4-6 hours of relief are CBD patches. Patches tend to use smaller molecules that may get a little deeper than a cream or lotion. Some even contain time-release properties that can let them keep working for you for as long as 72 hours.

Q: Can CBD Help Cats?

A: Yes!

CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of the more than 120 compounds found in the hemp plant. While we are not doctors and cannot make medical claims, we can tell you that there are boatloads of studies showing that CBD can provide numerous benefits that all center on working with our endocannabinoid system and keeping our bodies in a neutral state.
You likely already knew that. What you may not have known is that all mammals have an endocannabinoid system. That means that those benefits from soothing frayed nerves to sore muscles can also be enjoyed by our furry family members.
While dogs can consume most things that humans can (with a few exceptions) cats are true carnivores. That means that they may not be able to digest all the carrier oils that humans and canines canCats do well with olive oil, fish oil, or hemp seed oil as a carrier – steer clear of MCT oil. 1-2mg of CBD per 10 lbs of body weight taken daily is a great starting point. We know that kitties are finicky, so you may need to try a couple of different options to find their best fit.

Q: Can I Build Up a Tolerance to CBD?

A: Yes

We often say that “consistency is key.” That means more than taking your CBD every day. It also means that the same amount of CBD should be taken daily. Our goal is always to see maximum benefits with a minimal amount of stuff in your system. We also say “start small and work up only if you have to.” Apparently, we have a lot of sayings around here…
When you dramatically change your oil-based CBD intake from one day to the next, your body gets a taste of what it feels like with a larger supplement and it will want that higher serving for you to feel benefits. If that happens, you’ll stop seeing the benefits that you are accustomed to at your “normal” lower serving. We’d recommend stopping that CBD serving altogether for 3-5 days and then starting again at the lower serving to get your system back on track.
The exception here is water-based CBD, or boosters, as we like to call them. That’s the way to get a bit more CBD into your system when you need it most without the risk of building a tolerance.

Q: How Much CBD Can I Give My Dog?

A: 1-2mg per 10lbs of Body Weight is a Good Start

Just like humans and those fussy felines, dogs have an endocannabinoid system. CBD can work within that system and bring neutralizing benefits for dogs. CBD may assist with anxiety and inflammation, making everything from vet visits to climbing stairs, a little easier.
1-2mg of CBD per 10 lbs. of body weight is a great starting point.  As an example, a 50lb dog would start with 5-10mg daily. Consistency is key as those compounds need some time to build up and get to work. Ideally, you’ll start seeing benefits within 3-5 days. If you hit that 5-day mark and your pup does not seem to be seeing those results, double the intake for the next 5 days.
Most dogs, like most people, do well taking CBD just once daily but those with super speedy metabolisms (looking at you chihuahuas) may need to take it twice daily.

Hemp Questions Answered

Now that you are an expert on hemp, it’s your turn to apply all of your knowledge to get the most out of your hemp products. We are always happy to answer any additional hemp questions you may have and you can reach out to us at 616-275-1039 locally or 888-772-7875 toll-free and by email at support@greenwellnesslife.com.

About Brandy Palmer

Brandy PalmerAfter years in banking and manufacturing management, Brandy went to work for a hemp manufacturer in West Michigan. What was intended to be a fun summer gig turned into a passion for hemp. Brandy founded GWL in 2015 and is still excited every day to share that passion. Brandy has Bachelor's Degree in Public Relations and a Master's Degree in Management from Grand Valley State University. Go Lakers! Her journey as an entrepreneur has been featured in Revue magazine and on investcourier.com, among others. When she's not talking hemp, you can find her playing chauffer to her two kids or cuddling at home with her husband, Jim, and their 4 (yes, 4) cats.

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