10 Things You Should Know Before Trying CBD for the 1st Time

If you’re reading this article, you’ve probably heard about CBD. If not, then you’ve picked a great place to start learning. CBD is a wonderful compound, but there is heaps of misinformation on the internet.

If you’re preparing to dive into CBD, this article is for you. Even if you’ve already used it, this list will still help you! So, sit back, grab a snack and your Envy Hemp Tincture and let’s learn more about CBD.

1: CBD can be made from both Hemp and Marijuana.

 Technically, Hemp and Marijuana are part of the same genus, Cannabis. To be clear, we’ll be using marijuana for the remainder of this article to refer to the non-legal species of Cannabis.

 The Cannabis genus has 3 species: Cannabis Sativa, Cannabis Indica, and Cannabis Ruderalis. All three species produce over 200 cannabinoids (including CBD and THC). Look below at some of the major cannabinoids.  

Spectrum of Cannabinoids including THC and CBD

Each species of Cannabis has different ratios of cannabinoids. Hemp, for instance has almost no THC, but is otherwise rich in CBD.

Because CBD occurs in all cannabis plants, it can be made from the extract of legal industrial hemp, or illegal marijuana. This is an important distinction, as while CBD derived from Industrial Hemp is legal, CBD derived from marijuana is not.  

Marijuana derived CBD is currently illegal because the plant itself, as well as it’s extracts contain more than .03% CBD. Considering that a review by JAMA found that 21.5% of CBD products tested contained THC, it’s important to make sure that any CBD you buy has testing!

2: CBD on its own will NOT get you high or leave you feeling impaired!

Awhile back I was trying to convince my mom to try CBD to calm her anxiety. While receptive to the idea, she shook her head and sank back into the chair.

“Is it going to get me high? I don’t want to fail a drug test at work”

As a nurse, I expected my mom to be cautious, and if you’re like her, the good news is that CBD will not get you high! I wrote a full article about this here, but the short of it is there are two primary cannabinoids in Hemp/Marijuana. They are THC and CBD.

THC is a psychoactive molecule that causes impairment, memory loss, and can worsen anxiety in some people.

CBD on the other hand, is an antagonist to THC, which means it actively works AGAINST the negative effects of THC. Multiple studies have been done that suggest that CBD works to reduce anxiety caused by THC. The same studies also have suggested that CBD works on different parts of the brain than THC, which may be part of the reason why CBD doesn’t leave you feeling impaired.

If you have background anxiety, CBD may help you feel calm, but otherwise it shouldn’t feel like anything at all! The best way to describe the feeling of taking CBD is an absence of negative feelings, whether that’s pain, anxiety, or stress. In our experience, you just stop feeling the negatives.

If you’re curious to learn more about what taking CBD feels like and why you should read this article to give you a better background!

3: Hemp Derived CBD WILL NOT make you fail a drug test!

My mom’s other worry was that she might fail a drug test at her office. While plenty of stories, exist like a Missouri bus monitor failing a test because of CBD, or Rose Maexy of Indiana losing her temp job, it’s important to understand that they failed because they didn’t educate themselves on what they were taking.

Lorraine Jefferies, the Missouri bus monitor was taking PureKana, a full spectrum-CBD product. While it doesn’t say what Rose Maexy was taking, she was undoubtedly using a full-spectrum product as well. A full-spectrum CBD oil contains THC, which can lead to a positive result on a drug test if you take too much of it.

Even worse, especially with full spectrum, many products are labeled incorrectly and may contain more THC on the label. They may also contain less CBD as well.

Now my intent isn’t to scare you, because not all CBD will cause you to fail a drug test. CBD isolate, which is what Envy Hemp products are made from, contains 0% THC! To be a CBD isolate, all the other cannabinoids we identified in the chart above are filtered out. That means all the THC is removed, and you have nothing to worry about if you must take a drug test.

CBD on its own will not make you fail a drug test, because drug tests are designed to test for a byproduct of your body processing THC, which is known as 9-Carboxy-THC. CBD on the other hand, produces 7-COOH-CBD, which is not screened for on drug tests.

Even the federal government has no provision or drug test to screen its employees for CBD use. They just don’t exist.

If you’re thinking of buying CBD isolate, because you want to stay safe, you’re already on the right track. The only other step you need to take is to make sure whomever you’re buying the CBD from has 3rd party testing, or certificates of analysis that show you exactly what you’re getting in terms of cannabinoids.

Here’s an example of what our 3rd party testing looks like. Our full testing is viewable here.

 Envy Hemp 3rd Party CBD Testing

What you should be looking for is the mass of THC elements. You’re looking for an ND, which means “non-detect”. As you can see from our certificate of analysis, our CBD isolate is 99.417% CBD – and contains 0% THC.

Once you see an ND for THC, you’re good to go. You won’t fail a drug test.

If you want to learn more about why CBD won’t make you fail a drug test, you can check out our article on the topic here.

4: Vaping is the most effective way to take CBD, followed by water-soluble tinctures.

Most of the CBD you take right now is going to waste and not being used by your body. In fact, if you’re taking CBD edibles, or just swallowing pills or using a standard CBD tincture with MCT oil, your body is only absorbing between 4-16% of what you take.

This may come as a surprise but think about it. Your stomach and intestines are designed with powerful acids that break down food and nutrients. Orally administered CBD must pass through the stomach and intestinal wall, before it’s absorbed into your bloodstream. A lot of CBD is metabolized along the way, which results in low concentrations in the blood plasma.

A hot topic in CBD, the ratio of CBD that makes its way into your bloodstream is known as the bioavailability ratio. Combined with the therapeutic index, which is a measure of how much of a given drug is needed in the bloodstream in order to be effective – you can determine what a good dose is for you.

While research is still underway to determine the therapeutic index for CBD, you can observe this effect yourself by using different delivery methods of CBD.

Based on the current science, vaporization is the most effective way to get CBD into your bloodstream. Vaporization completely bypasses the digestive system and allows your lungs to directly absorb CBD into your bloodstream. Studies on vaporization bioavailability have it pegged at somewhere between 34-56%. That means at least 1/3rd of the CBD you’re taking is making it into your bloodstream, where it can begin working.

In contrast, if you’re consuming CBD orally, you’re looking at a range between 4-16% bioavailability, with the 16% most likely being a very optimistic figure that isn’t shared by much of the population. Even in the most optimistic scenario, you’re still losing 84% of your CBD to your digestive tract.

One of the best ways in pharmacokinetics to make a drug more bioavailable is to increase its water-solubility. This can be done by reducing the particle size, binding it to a salt, or use of surfactant, among others. On its own, CBD is poorly water-soluble, which leads to low bioavailability when taken orally.

We use water-soluble CBD to combat this problem. Water-soluble CBD reduces the particle size drastically, which increases the surface area to volume ratio. This allows the CBD to interact with the solvent (in this case, water) and dissolve more quickly, and more completely. While science is still studying the exact numbers behind water-soluble CBD, current tests have estimated the bioavailability ratio to be between 5-10x that of standard oral use.

In short, if you’re looking to get the most bang for your buck, choose vaping or water-soluble CBD oil. You’ll get more from less, and in the end,  we don’t think you should be spending more money for less CBD.

5: Be wary of unsubstantiated scientific sounding claims being made by CBD manufacturers.

Right now, the CBD industry is NOT regulated by the FDA like most consumer drugs are. The FDA only regulates extreme claims made by CBD manufacturers, but even then, it’s reach is limited.

While this may be changing, many of the claims you will read about CBD are completely unsubstantiated by any science. With so many companies entering the CBD market, these claims are being used a deceptive marketing angle.

For instance, the FDA recently took aim at a trio of companies and sent them warning letters for some of the following claims:

  • “CBD successfully stopped cancer cells in multiple different cervical cancer varieties.”
  • “CBD also decreased human glioma cell growth and invasion, thus suggesting a possible role of CBD as an antitumor agent.”
  • “For Alzheimer’s patients, CBD is one treatment option that is slowing the progression of that disease.”
  • “Fibromyalgia is conceived as a central sensitization state with secondary hyperalgesia. CBD has demonstrated the ability to block spinal, peripheral and gastrointestinal mechanisms responsible for the pain associated with migraines, fibromyalgia, IBS and other related disorders.”
  • “Cannabidiol May be Effective for Treating Substance Use Disorders.”
  • “CBD reduced the rewarding effects of morphine and reduced drug seeking of heroin.”
  • “CBD may be used to avoid or reduce withdrawal symptoms.”

Quite frankly, we view these claims as extremely deceptive. Not only do they give the CBD industry a bad name, but they make your job as a consumer harder.

Unfortunately, CBD still lacks a high concentration of double-blind, randomized trials to demonstrate its effects. Because this science isn’t here, we urge you to be cautious and never use CBD in place of an FDA approved medication.

This doesn’t mean CBD doesn’t work – it just means more research needs to be done. For instance, there are a few CBD claims that are at least probable, based on the scientific research that we currently have, along with numerous anecdotal experiences.  

Some claims on our radar that have some scientific backing and strong anecdotal results:

You should even be wary of these claims – even though it seems very possible that in fact CBD can help. Our suggestion is to always test how you feel! Don’t take my word, or someone else’s. Try it yourself and see if it helps. Ultimately, you will be the judge!

6: You should start with a small dose first, and then work your way up as needed.

Weight, genetics, metabolism, and even hydration level can affect how much CBD you need for a positive effect. As a general rule, the larger you are as a person, the more CBD you’ll need. This isn’t a hard and fast rule however – which is why we suggest starting small and scaling up.

If it’s your first-time trying CBD, take only the recommended serving size and see how you feel. While the effects won’t readily be apparent, especially if you’re taking CBD orally, in our experience you will notice a difference when it starts to work.

As a rule, vaporization will work the fastest, followed by water-soluble CBD. Again, this goes back to the bioavailability ratio, as CBD with a higher bioavailability ratio is absorbed into the bloodstream faster.

If after a couple hours have passed and you feel nothing, we recommend upping the dose slightly and observing the results. By continuously testing how your body reacts, you will be able to find an appropriate dose for you.

7: If you don’t notice results immediately, that’s okay! Keep taking your CBD for 1-2 weeks!

The half-life of CBD is about 1-2 days when taken orally. This means it takes your body between 1-2 days to remove half of it from your system. The remaining CBD continues to be excreted from your body at the same rate until none is left in your system.

While this might not mean anything to you yet – it’s the main reason why we believe it’s important to take CBD regularly before judging its efficacy.

Considering the CBD, you take stays in your system, by taking it daily you’ll be increasing the concentration in your blood, to the point where you’ll be able to achieve your therapeutic index threshold where your CBD starts to act for you.

When you first take CBD, especially if you’re taking it orally, it may be the case where it takes several days to build up enough of a concentration of CBD to where it works, so we suggest you exercise patience with your CBD!

For those of you who use creatine, the uptake mechanism for CBD may be similar, where you require a loading phase before your bloodstream and cells reach a concentration where the effects start to take place.

Each individual experience will vary – in my personal experience it took me several days of using a water-soluble tincture before I started to realize I felt noticeably different.

8: CBD is safe to use, and you can’t overdose – but that doesn’t mean you should go overboard!

Good news – this is one thing the science has been clear on! CBD is well tolerated in humans and animals and is considered to generally be safe! One study back in 1978 gave a participant 600mg of CBD – and there were no issues. The placebo-controlled studies we’ve seen have also demonstrated no significant CNS effects.

However, this isn’t your cart blanche to load up on CBD! There are a few important considerations.

For one, if you’re taking a full-spectrum CBD you could get high. While the low concentrations of THC in federally legal CBD aren’t enough to get you high on a small dose, taking an entire bottle at once may result in impairment, depending on the size of the person and the size of the dose. Especially in children, this could be an issue.

As mentioned above, this is likely what got the two women in trouble while they were taking CBD. Full-Spectrum CBD + too high of a dose = drug test fail

Your dose may also be smaller than you think – which is why we advocate starting slowly and ramping your way up. If 100mg of CBD and 500mg of CBD make you feel the same – why would you take 500mg?

You also need to consider that some of the medications you’re taking may have an adverse reaction to CBD – which is why we always recommend talking to your trusted medical professional prior to consuming CBD.

9: When buying CBD online, make sure you’re getting CBD and NOT Hemp Seed Oil!

We all love Amazon. Jeff Bezos has probably received more of my money than my landlord did last month. While having an Amazon addiction might not come back to bite you immediately, buying CBD off Amazon and similar platforms can.

The fact of the matter is- most of the products claiming to be CBD on these sites are NOT CBD. They’re Hemp Seed Oil. To show you, these are the first 14 results on Amazon for CBD.

Amazon 1st page search for "CBD"

Guess what? None of these are CBD. They’re made with Hemp Seed Oil, which is great for plenty of other things.

Hemp seed oil contains next to no CBD or THC, however. If you’re shopping for CBD, you’ll want to avoid it.

The truth is, real CBD is going to be expensive. For instance, the top left result claims it’s made with 15,000 mg of Hemp. 15,000 mg of CBD would cost almost $100 dollars for the raw material alone – with the best pricing in the industry.

Using this standard, it becomes clear that most of what is being marketed as CBD isn’t CBD. It’s either some knock off Hemp Oil, or Hemp Seed Oil. These manufacturers are preying on your lack of knowledge, and it’s important that you educate yourself so their deceptive business practices will fail out of the marketplace.

If you’re not sure whether a product is CBD or Hemp Seed, there’s a couple of quick ways you can tell:

  • The price. As a benchmark, 500mg of CBD oil in MCT is around $30-40 dollars. If you see a manufacturer claiming to have 3000mg of CBD for $20 dollars, you’re buying Hemp Seed Oil.
  • The claims being made. Reputable CBD manufacturers are beholden to the FDA – who can shut us down for making outrageous claims. Dishonest manufacturers will tell you anything they need to in order to make the sale.

Its up to you to make sure you make a smart buying decision! If you do want to buy CBD from Amazon – we do have a store there.


The best thing you can do before taking CBD for the first time is to either find or ask for the third-party testing results. This will save you hours of confusion, and potentially thousands of wasted dollars. Reputable manufacturers have no problem providing testing!

By knowing what’s in your CBD, you won’t have to worry about failing a drug test. You won’t have to worry about buying marijuana derived hemp. You won’t get high. You won’t buy Hemp Seed Oil thinking it’s CBD. Basically, you’ll be as awesome as any human being could possibly be.

Make sure your CBD has testing. If this is the only tip you take from this article, then I will go to sleep a happy man.

If you have any questions about this article, feel free to email us at help@envyhemp.com if you need any further clarification! We’d be glad to answer your questions, whether you plan on buying from us or not. It’s our job!

Part of buying your CBD is not being afraid to ask questions. So, don’t be! Ask us!

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