Due to its potential health benefits, there is a growing interest in CBD products. There are also many different forms and ways people can take CBD, such as oils, gummies, and topical creams.
Cannabidiol, or CBD, refers to one of the many substances, or cannabinoids, found in the cannabis plant. These substances interact with the endocannabinoid system in the body, which is a complex biological system that balances and regulates key bodily functions.
CBD is non-impairing, which means it lacks the psychoactive effects that people may associate with other cannabinoids, such as delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. CBD in many products is typically in the form of hemp oil, which derives from the hemp plant. This is a species of the cannabis plant that is relatively low in THC and high in CBD.
In this article, we will discuss the different formulations of CBD products and how people can use them.
Is CBD legal?The 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp from the legal definition of marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act. This made some hemp-derived CBD products with less than 0.3% THC federally legal. However, CBD products containing more than 0.3% THC still fall under the legal definition of marijuana, making them federally illegal but legal under some state laws. Be sure to check state laws, especially when traveling. Also, keep in mind that the FDA has not approved nonprescription CBD products, and some products may be inaccurately labeled.
CBD describes a cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. Evidence highlights that the cannabis plant contains roughly 540 chemical substances, more than 100 of which are cannabinoids, including THC and CBD. People know some, such as THC, for their mind-altering effects. However, CBD is nonintoxicating, which means it does not cause a person to experience a high. Additionally, evidence notes that CBD could possess many potential health benefits.
Following the 2018 Farm Bill, the United States government considered all CBD products that contain no more than 0.3% THC to be legal. This means that CBD products should not show up on a drug test, as they typically do not screen for CBD. However, as some products may contain traces of THC, they could cause a person to fail a drug test.
If a person decides to use CBD products, there are a few things they should first consider:Types of CBD
There are different extracts of CBD available on the market. Typically, manufacturers will use the following terminology to describe their products:Full-spectrum: These products contain multiple cannabis plant extracts and can include other components of the cannabis plant, including oils, terpenes, and other cannabinoids, such as THC. However, these products cannot contain more than 0.3% THC, which is not strong enough to have significant psychoactive effects. Some evidence suggests that products containing multiple compounds from the cannabis plant may maximize its health benefits.Broad-spectrum: Similar to full-spectrum products, a broad-spectrum CBD product will contain other compounds and cannabinoids present in the cannabis plant. However, the main difference between the two is that broad-spectrum products are typically entirely free of THC, but may contain trace amounts.Isolate: As the name suggests, CBD isolate products only contain CBD with no trace of any other compounds, such as THC. These products may be useful for a person to gauge the effectiveness of the CBD itself without interference from other substances and compounds.
Lab testing and COAs
At present, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate CBD products. As such, a person should look for a certificate of analysis (COA) when purchasing a CBD product. A COA refers to a form of quality control that confirms that the product contains accurate quantities of CBD and other ingredients. It will also include details on potential contaminants, such as pesticides or heavy metals.
To ensure unbiased results, a COA should come from a third-party source, ideally, and not the manufacturer or source. Additionally, the COA should come from a trustworthy lab. If possible, a person can check if the COA is from an ISO 17025-compliant laboratory.Reputable sellers
Similarly, it is important to purchase CBD products from reputable sellers. It is advisable to go through a dispensary if one is available in a person’s state. A dispensary is an establishment that can legally sell cannabis products. These products will feature labels that clearly state the amount of CBD and THC in them. Alternatively, a person may also consider purchasing CBD products in a pharmacy.Bioavailability
Bioavailability is a term that refers to how readily a person can absorb a drug or substance and how quickly it exerts its effect. Different forms and delivery methods of CBD can have different bioavailabilities. Typically, CBD has poor bioavailability as it is fat-soluble, which can make it a challenge for the body to absorb.
Evidence suggests that inhalation and sublingual delivery, methods that bypass the digestive process, typically absorb better than oral methods.Strength and dosage
The potency of CBD products can vary and a person may require different strengths and dosages depending on various factors, such as why they are using CBD, the delivery method, and their metabolism. Although research highlights that CBD lacks psychoactive effects, has a good safety profile, and may provide a wide range of therapeutic effects, more research is necessary to understand suitable dosages.
As such, health experts advise that people should follow packaging instructions and start with lower doses that they slowly increase to find the minimum effective dose they need with minimal side effects.Safety
While research suggests that CBD is typically safe, other evidence notes that it may be harmful to some individuals. For example, the FDA notes that CBD could interact with other medications. Taking CBD with other medications may result in side effects or alter the effects of other drugs. As such, a person should consult with a healthcare provider before using any CBD products.
Click here for a guide on how to shop for CBD.
Oral forms of CBD, such as edible options, refer to CBD products that a person ingests and digests. These options are often easy and convenient ways for a person to take CBD and are available in a variety of flavors that may mask the early flavor of the cannabinoid.
It is worth noting that taking CBD orally may be subject to the first pass effect. This is when the liver metabolizes a drug allowing only a small fraction to enter circulation. This may reduce the potency and take longer for a person to notice the effects of CBD. As such, people should use caution so they don’t ingest too much CBD too quickly.
Oral options for CBD can include:
The term sublingual refers to administering a substance by placing it under the tongue. The chemicals in CBD diffuse into the blood vessels beneath the tongue. As such, the sublingual route bypasses the first pass metabolism of the liver, and the body rapidly absorbs the drug into circulation.
Evidence suggests that using CBD sublingually produces superior bioavailability than oral forms of CBD. Sublingual options of CBD can include:
Topical options refer to CBD products that a person can apply directly to their skin. This option also bypasses the first pass effect and may be useful for treating localized symptoms, such as skin conditions or arthritis. However, some of these options may irritate the skin, as the permeability of the skin is relatively poor compared to mucous membranes, such as sublingual tissue.
Topical forms of CBD include:
This method refers to inhaling a form of CBD that a person quickly absorbs into their bloodstream via the mucous membranes in their lungs. Smoking dried hemp flower, vaporizing CBD oil, or inhaling CBD concentrates with a vape pen offers a rapid way to absorb high bioavailability CBD. However, using this method may expose a person to carcinogens, or other harmful chemicals that may irritate or damage the lungs.
Forms of CBD that people can inhale include:CBD cigarettesvaporizing CBD oilCBD vape pens
Cannabidiol is a cannabinoid that may possess health benefits and is available in a variety of products. A person can use several different methods to administer CBD, depending on their needs and preferences. It is typically available in many forms, such as oils, gummies, sprays, creams, and cigarettes. When choosing CBD products, a person should consider different factors, such as ingredients, dosages, and safety certificates.
4 ways you could be earning more from your bank
There are easy ways to earn more from your bank. Getty Images
Your bank isn’t just a place to store your money; it’s a hub of financial opportunities that can help you make the most of your hard-earned cash. And, while the financial tools your bank offers are helpful in nearly any economy, they may be even more useful right now. After all, inflation is still negatively impacting many people’s budgets, so it’s important to put your money to work if you can.
But while you may think you’re getting the most out of your current bank, the truth is that you may not be. In fact, you may be overlooking a few ways to earn more. Luckily, there are simple ways to remedy that issue.
Find out how much you could earn on a top savings account right now.4 ways you could be earning more from your bank
If you’re ready to maximize the returns you earn on your money, here are a few ways to earn more from your bank:Put your money in a CD account with a high APY
Certificates of deposit (CDs) are a great way to earn interest on your savings while locking in a fixed rate for a specific period. And, right now, numerous banks are offering rates higher than 4.50% on CDs with a range of terms, so if you haven’t deposited some or all of your savings into a CD with a top rate, you aren’t getting the most out of your bank.
However, not all banks offer the same CD interest rates. While it’s possible to find CDs with high APYs, the average rates for 1-year, 3-year and 5-year CDs are well under 2% as of August 21, 2023, so you’ll have to shop around to find the top earning opportunities for your money.
In general, online banks or credit unions typically offer the highest rates on interest-bearing accounts, which includes CDs. Online banks don’t have as much overhead to pay as big banks with brick-and-mortar locations, so these savings tend to be passed on to customers in the form of higher APYs on their savings.
Explore the top options for earning interest on your savings right now.Put your savings in a high-yield account
If you’re keeping your money in a regular savings account, you’re not earning as much as you could be. A high-yield savings account can help your money grow at a faster rate than a traditional savings account — and contrary to popular belief, these accounts don’t always come with high fees or maintenance costs.
In fact, there are banks offering high-yield savings rates of 5% or higher on your money. By opening one of these accounts, you have the opportunity to earn a lot more than you would with a regular savings account — which offers an average rate of just 0.42% right now.
And, different banks offer different interest rates on their high-yield savings accounts, so do your research and find accounts with competitive rates. Just be aware of any account requirements and ensure that the potential interest you earn outweighs any associated costs.Take advantage of cash bonuses
Some banks offer cash bonuses as an incentive for opening a new account or meeting certain requirements. This is an easy way to earn more from your bank — and while you typically won’t earn these bonuses for the accounts you currently have open, there may be opportunities to earn them on other types of accounts, or by upgrading your accounts to new ones with the same bank.
But you can also consider opening accounts with the banks that are offering these cash bonuses to earn more on your money. After all, you could get a few hundred dollars in return for simply opening an account at a new bank at the right time.
No matter how you approach it, though, just be sure to read the fine print so you understand what’s required. In some cases, this might include depositing a certain amount in the account or maintaining a minimum balance for a specific period.Switch to a no-fee account
Paying unnecessary fees can erode what’s in your bank account over time. And, if you’re paying for fees or other charges on your savings, you won’t earn as much interest on your money as you otherwise could have.
To maximize your earnings, opt for high-earning accounts that have minimal or no fees — or offer fee waivers based on certain conditions, such as maintaining a minimum balance or signing up for direct deposit. Many online and mobile-only banks offer fee-free accounts, so it may be worth exploring these options to avoid unnecessary monthly charges.The bottom line
Your bank has more to offer than just a safe place to stash your money. By being proactive and informed, you can earn more from your bank, whether it’s by taking advantage of higher CD interest rates, earning more with high-yield savings accounts, getting cash bonuses or keeping your banking experience fee-free. Just remember to do your homework and make sure you understand the requirements. Otherwise, you could pay out more than you’re earning in interest each month.MoneyWatch: Managing Your Money More More
Can I use AI to interior design my home? The rise of artificial intelligence design tools, explained
It’s impossible to notice that AI has, seemingly all of a sudden, become a part of our everyday lives, and it’s not without its controversy. The reaction to AI’s emergence in the creative sector particularly seems to split the camp: half viewing it as an opportunity, the other half as a threat.
And it’s not an unfounded concern. We’ve already seen high profile instances where AI design has been used to replace the need for digital artists – Disney using AI for the opening credits of its series Alien Invasion is a big one – but whether these have been as a exploratory idea or a cost-cutting measure it’s not so clear.
It’s easy to categorize AI as a replacement for, and a way of undervaluing, creatives in the design industry, but some of the world’s biggest studios are reveling in using AI as part of their interior design process.
‘AI modelling tools provide interior designers amazing creative freedom and efficiency,’ says Juan Sandiego, an interiors consultant who offers a guide for how to use AI as part of your design process on his website Happy Home Clinic. ‘With AI, designers and interiors-lovers can instantly visualize spaces and experiment with wild, unconventional ideas that would be unrealistic or difficult to create manually. This removes creative limitations, sparking new inspiration.’
‘AI also significantly cuts down on tedious design tasks, freeing up more time for higher-level creative thinking—the fun part,’ he adds.
So what can AI do to really help design your home? And is it friend or foe? I aim to find out.What AI tools are there?
On the most basic level, there are a number of beginner-friendly “visualizers” that can be used to generate AI images of your home. Interior AI is just one example of a user-friendly AI site, which you use by uploading an image of your room, and picking an interior design style. The generator then creates several examples of your room trained on that style.
When using AI generators like Interior AI, there’s a clear uncanniness in the resulting images – in the ‘Interior Design’ lines blur, the furniture rendered can be abstract and freeform, seemingly random architectural details added and, in some instances, the design is based on what’s already in the room, just reworked into something new. I tried it on an image of my bedroom, which has a black-and-white striped bed frame, and those stripes were incorporated in different ways. In the ‘Virtual Staging’ mode, the architecture remains more fixed, and despite the graphics produced feeling somewhat like a surrealist artwork, you can get an idea of different ways to dress your space.
Image 1 of 2
an ai designed room scheme
This room was generated by Interior AI based on an image of an existing bedroom and the prompt “Minimalism”
Image 2 of 2
an ai designed room scheme
This bedroom was generated with the same reference image, using the prompt “Maximalism”. The stripes on the source image’s existing bed frame have been pulled through for the bed dressing in both instances.
‘Of course the tool isn’t perfect yet.’ Pieter Levels, the founder of Interior AI tells me. ‘Generative AI can be quite unpredictable and still produce artefacts in images, like chairs with three legs, but that unpredictability is also what makes it great at coming up with different ideas. In the near future, the AI models will keep improving to get better quality and fewer artefacts. We’re starting to experiment with generating full 3D interiors with a technology called NeRF,’ he adds.
This is, of course, not the limit of AI’s capabilities. “AI designers” are using platforms like Midjourney, Stable Diffusion and DALL-E 2 to experiment with creating highly detailed imagery with in-depth references to guide AI in the right direction. That’s not to say that the AI isn’t still taking creative licence here, and the same prompt can yield vastly different results within the same image generation.
‘Midjourney is an AI-powered platform that generates highly realistic visuals simply using text prompts,’ Juan Sandiego, explains. ‘It uses advanced generative AI models trained on millions of images to “imagine” new creations based on your descriptive prompts. Midjourney makes it easy for anyone to bring their creative visions to life, without needing artistic skills. Whether you’re an interior designer or just creatively curious, AI tools like this one offer an incredible tool to visualize your ideas.’What is prompt-engineering?
I think if you asked the everyday interior designer or architect, AI wouldn’t necessarily be something on their radar at all, let alone something they would say they wanted to use. However, when Zaha Hadid, one of the world’s biggest architecture firms, says that they’re actively using AI in almost all of their projects, you can’t help but take this technology a little more seriously. At a round table event held in April, the studio’s principal Patrick Schumacher explained that: “I’m encouraging everybody who’s working on competitions and early ideation to see what comes up, and just to have a larger repertoire.”
This includes using text-to-image AI generators, such as Midjourney or DALL-E, where complex prompts can yield incredibly specific results, compared to the more scattergun approach of simpler AI-image programmes. ‘Any of what comes out of this, I claim authorship for it in terms of validating, selecting, elaborating,’ Patrick says. ‘So I feel very kind of empowered by all this possibility.’
The power that AI offers an interior designer, over an AI-user who isn’t so fluent in the ‘language’ of interior design is through the process of ‘prompt engineering’ – but what exactly is that?
‘Prompt engineering is the art of carefully crafting your text prompts to guide the AI in generating precisely the visual you have in mind Juan explains. ‘A well-engineered prompt provides key details that accurately describe your idea. Prompt engineering is crucial for achieving your desired outcome, as the AI relies heavily on your text description. Mastering this craft enables you to consistently create tailored, high-quality images that match your creative vision,’ he explains.
a bathroom created using ai
Knowing the interior styles or references you want to pull is one thing, but achieving high-quality images relies on understanding how these prompts create visuals, too. ‘The secret lies in two essential elements: specifying what you want to see and how you want to see it,’ Juan tells me. ‘Effective prompts clearly describe the “what” with subject, decor style, lighting, colors, textures, etc. But also provide information on the “how” with perspective, composition and medium.’
Providing plenty of detail is key, but it’s a process that can be used to experiment to achieve the desired results. ‘Experimentation and multiple iterations may be required to further refine prompts until you find the perfect image,’ Juan says.
The Midjourney User Manual
Price: $11Format: PaperbackIs it ethical to use AI?
In design, whether architecture, product or interiors, AI hasn’t been received with the same pushback as in sectors like digital design and illustration. For example, at this year’s London Design Biennale, a collection of AI-generated, 3D printed decor pieces were displayed, designed without human input by AI “artist” Ai-Da Robot.
It might be that AI isn’t perceived as such a threat to the livelihood of these designers yet, compared to the digital designers and illustrators that have been at the forefront of the culture wars surrounding AI. Graphic artists have found that AI text-to-image generators are pulling their images as references without permission, and that users can ask these programmes to make artworks using their style. All the while, it still remain unclear who the copyright of artwork generated using AI actually belongs to.
a vase created by ai
It’s a question I had to levy to Pieter Levels, the founder of Interior AI. ‘Interior AI runs on an AI model which is trained on almost 6 billion images,’ Pieter explains. ‘There is a misconception that generative AI imaging pulls images from elsewhere. Instead, it’s more like we’ve shown it billions of images which it has studied and then started to understand what interior design means including what the different styles are, while mixing it with other disciplines as it’s not just trained on interior, but on any type of photo.’
Before you even consider seriously using AI for interior design, in whatever guise it comes to inhabit, it’s worth considering the moral implications of generative AI, too. Whether you believe that AI does or doesn’t have value as a creative tool is a moot point when it comes to what it means for people in creative industries such as interior design. In a world where the majority of people need to work in order to live their lives, does the ‘efficiency’ of AI and the idea of making design more accessible to all sit at odds with creative workers being able to actually make a living? It’s a question that haunts AI’s use as a tool in creative industries.
a kitchen created using ai
For interiors experts like Juan, there’s a point of difference in AI’s use for interior design over something like illustration, however. ‘Despite concerns about AI’s impact on creative fields, its role in interior design is different,’ he says. ‘AI acts as a helper, not a replacement. It speeds up design work and allows experimentation, but the essence of design still comes from human creativity and skills. Designers contribute their expertise, unique methods, and personal touch to create meaningful interiors.’
There are some potential problems with this approach, too. It’s an process that’s inherently referential, for one. Interestingly, nearly all the prompts Zaha Hadid use for their generative AI work contained ‘Zaha Hadid’ in them, drawing on the studio’s signature architectural aesthetic.
If you don’t have a instantaneously recognizable aesthetic in the way that Zaha Hadid does, for example, there’s not shortcut to keeping these ideas cohesive. For a designer or homeowner trying to finetune an aesthetic, or try something new, this provides a problem, too. For designers who want to use AI but rely on references to interior designers they admire, you run the risk of losing the nuance in difference, creating a pastiche to other designers rather than your own unique work.
There’s a chance that using AI will lead designers down a completely different path than traditional methods of design would – whether that’s for better or worse remains to be seen.How can I use Midjourney for interior design?
If you want to explore generative AI further, start with visualizers like Interior AI before moving onto platforms like Midjourney.
‘Midjourney operates through Discord, a community chat platform,’ Juan explains. ‘You simply join their Discord channel and subscribe to the paid plan you want. There are options like a monthly basic plan for casual users, up to advanced plans with more features and generation time for professionals. You then interact through text prompts in your own private Discord server. As Discord has a mobile app, it’s a convenient way to unlock Midjourney’s capabilities from anywhere.’