CBD oil is a hot topic right now; it is all over social media and even making its way into trendy coffee shops. So what the heck is it? Many are concerned they’ll get high off it and others are worried they have to purchase it illegally. The shorts answers? No and no.
There is a lot of science and biochemistry that can be discussed, but University of Google can offer you plenty of reading material on that.
Cannabidiol, or CBD for short, is a naturally occurring chemical compound (‘cannabinoid’) found in cannabis (Cannabis sativa) plants. Along with CBD, the cannabis plant contains over 100 other cannabinoids. Most people have heard of THC (Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol) which is the psychoactive cannabinoid that gets people high. CBD is the second-most abundant cannabinoid after THC, which means that it shares many of the beneficial health effects of THC without any of the mind-altering, intoxicating effects.
CBD oil is increasingly being used to help people with depression, anxiety, epilepsy, insomnia, IBS, arthritis, neurological disorders, and other conditions marked by chronic pain and inflammation. In addition, it has been shown to help individuals with drug and alcohol withdrawal. Despite people making claims about CBD oil and cancer, there have been no clinical trials (lots of interesting reading on Dr Google though).
Most CBD oils contain small amounts of minor cannabinoids such as CBC and CBG, as well as terpenes and flavonoids. Because of this you will often see them described as ‘whole plant CBD oil’ or ‘full spectrum CBD oil.’ Just like whole-plant supplements, whole-plant CBD oil is thought to be preferable because of the synergy of action between different molecules in the plant which means the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
Is CBD legal where you live? It is legal or tolerated in many, if not most countries, but places like Australia, New Zealand, Belgium, Philippines and Norway it is currently illegal. You may be fined or parcels will be held at customs. For more information about your country, please do your own research first.
How to choose a CBD oil:
- Make sure it’s CERTIFIED ORGANIC. Hemp is often grown to clean up the soil in certain areas because it absorbs chemicals from the soil, leaving the soil chemical-free.
- Choose Supercritical CO2 extraction – this ensures there are no residues from alcohol or harmful chemicals used in extraction.
- Look for lab tests, to ensure there are no harmful chemicals, moulds or heavy metals.
- Higher dosage is not always better. This is truly where to have to learn about YOU. If you are new to CBD products, look for a product that ticks all of the above boxes AND is good value for money. Check out peer-reviewed websites. Do your research.
- But don’t necessarily go for the cheapest.
There is no exact science to CBD dosing. Start low and gradually, until an effect is noticed. Start with a very low dose and continue for 3-5 days. In the beginning, you may feel nothing, as the initial dose can take time to trigger the body's own endocannabinoid system into action. It may be the second or third time before you start to feel anything or you may notice it immediately. Gradually, increase the dose over time as you become used to taking CBD until you reach the point where you have no noticeable benefits, start to feel adverse reactions or the benefits start to decline. Adverse reactions could be feeling overtired or overstimulated. CBD affects the adenosine receptors similar to caffeine but at high doses (50 mg and over) many people report feeling drowsy. Your body will tell you when it has reached its limit. At this point, reduce the dose slightly for a few days and see if things change; reduce or increase dose until you find your sweet spot. This method is a tried and tested way to hone-in on an optimal CBD dose for YOU. There is a sweet spot that each person has to discover for themselves. Adjusting to a more moderate dose may give a better response.
When someone has taken too much cannabinoids over a longer period of time, their receptors get overstimulated, making them unavailable for further interaction; they have become desensitized and downregulated which means the benefits of CBD will diminish. Keep a diary to monitor your CBD intake and its effects over time. If you have taken too much CBD and desensitized your receptors you may notice :
- CBD tolerance has increased.
- CBD usage has increased as you try to get the same effects as you used to.
- The effects you are getting now are not the same as 3 or 6 months ago.
- You may even think CBD has entirely stopped working for you
If this happens, take a 48 hour break to give receptors a chance to recover. Begin taking CBD again but with a much smaller dose, gradually increasing until you get the effects you want. This way of increasing sensitivity and taking regular breaks every few months to rebalance will help greatly reduce the amount of CBD you have to take.
Each person has to discover for themselves the best time of day and the number of times they need to take CBD; you may get a full day's effect from a single morning dose or may need to take it multiple times throughout the day.
I have been using both oral and topical CBD products for pain relief and anxiety relief for about a year and a half. I do not use them daily, which keeps it more cost-effective. I have used many different brands and found that all of them help to some degree. For pain relief, I am finding more and more that I prefer a topical product, as it is more targeted.
If you have additional questions please comment below. If you would like to set up an appointment, please contact me.