Scott Shannon, MD, assistant clinical professor at the University of Colorado, recently sifted through patient charts from his four-doctor practice to document CBD’s effects on anxiety. His study, as yet unpublished, found “a fairly rapid decrease in anxiety scores that appears to persist for months,” he says. But he says he can’t discount a placebo effect, especially since “there’s a lot of hype right now.”
Deciding to use CBD oil as a natural therapy is one thing – figuring out which brand to use, what strength/concentration to use, and how much CBD to actually take is another thing altogether. Plus, with all of the products out there to choose from and their confusing mL/mg labels, it can be a nightmare trying to determine which one is best for you, or which one you should be taking for your specific condition.
Tinctures – Typically tinctures are small glass or plastic “dropper” bottles that have cannabidiol oil mixed with a preserving solution such as alcohol. Tinctures were very a very common way to ingest botanical oils prior to the industrial revolution and are experiencing a resurgence in popularity as more people are looking for natural remedies. Tinctures with droppers allow you to put a few drops in your tea, under your tongue, or to bake the oil directly into your food.
Several weeks after a hysterectomy last spring, Bo Roth was suffering from exhaustion and pain that kept her on the couch much of the day. The 58-year-old Seattle speech coach didn’t want to take opioid pain-killers, but Tylenol wasn’t helping enough. Roth was intrigued when women in her online chat group enthused about a cannabis-derived oil called cannabidiol (CBD) that they said relieved pain without making them high. So Roth, who hadn’t smoked weed since college but lived in a state where cannabis was legal, walked into a dispensary and bought a CBD tincture.
There are likely very complex relationships also occurring between various Cannabinoids in Cannabis that may lead to certain medical efficacy. That is important to remember when considering the consumption of products that contain Cannabinoids. There is an attractiveness to isolating a specific chemical, researching it, patenting synthetic derivatives, and marketing specific drugs. That said, the relationships are complex, will likely take years to understand, and many patients I’ve met appear to find the most medical benefit from a diverse group of Cannabinoids whose interactions are not particularly well understand, but the results are hard to argue with.
A group of 15 patients who received CBD over a period ranging from one month to one year were surveyed to gather various data. The researchers sought information about the patient and the caregiver, changes observed in the seizures, neuropsychological effects, side effects and the family’s overall perception following the use of cannabidiol. This simple observational study identified some very encouraging findings:
The effects of CBD on receptors in the immune system may help reduce overall inflammation in the body. In turn, CBD oil may offer benefits for acne management. A human study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigationfound that the oil prevented activity in sebaceous glands. These glands are responsible for producing sebum, a natural oily substance that hydrates the skin. Too much sebum, however, can lead to acne.
Squeeze the dropper top to fill the pipette with oil and dispense the oil under your tongue. You can swish it around a little, but most people like to just let it sit (that way you avoid some of the hemp taste — albeit Tasty Drops actually tastes great if you choose a flavored version). You can add as many droppers full as needed; don’t feel you need to restrict yourself to the recommended serving size. The phytocannabinoids in our proprietary blend is non-psychoactive. However, many people have noted a slight sedative effect at larger quantities. This may be beneficial if you have trouble sleeping, so consider using it before bed.
In your internet travels, you may also come across products called “terpsolates.” The manufacturers of these products infuse CBD Isolate with terpenes (but not cannabinoids like THC). These terpenes may enhance the effectiveness of CBD — or maybe they just make it smell good. This may be a good place to point out that not all CBD products are created equal. The industry is still largely unregulated, and the quality and quantity of CBD in a given product will vary wildly. Third-party testing definitely helps to monitor companies’ claims, but it’s still up to you as the consumer to do your homework on the best CBD products.
Chronic Pain: The body’s ECS plays a role in alleviating and managing pain, so CBD oil can work as a supplement for individuals with medical conditions that cause chronic pain, such as arthritis and multiple sclerosis. CBD oil also increases levels of adenosine in the brain; adenosine is a neurotransmitter that aids cardiovascular function and eases painful inflammation.
Lisa Hamilton, a jeweler and doula in Brooklyn, NY, knows about the side effects. She recently tried CBD for the shoulder pain that plagued her five years after an accident. Her doctor certified that she was in chronic pain, which under New York State law allowed her to buy from a state dispensary. One Friday, she swallowed two 10-mg capsules, the amount recommended at the dispensary, then took another two on Saturday. “By Sunday, it felt like I’d gotten hit by a truck. Every muscle and joint ached,” Hamilton says. She cut back to one pill a day the following week, but still felt hungover. She stopped after that.
I have read about studies from Europe (not very specific I know) that suggest CBD might work better for some people if combined with some level of THC. Also, the getting high part can be helpful, although not for everybody, of course. A second point – I don’t hear very much about CBD eliminating or almost eliminating pain for people with severe pain. Helpful, but, so far at least, it doesn’t seem that CBDs can replace opioids or substantially reduce pain for all chronic pain patients. Maybe someday.
Hemp Bombs offers high-strength CBD in the following concentrations: 1000mg, 2000mg, and an *insane* 4000mg. This is in addition to their regular strength products (75mg, 250mg, 300mg). These high-strength CBD oils are available as either flavored e-liquid or a flavorless tank additive if you already have an e-juice flavor that you love. If you’re the type of person who needs a high strength product to feel the effects, the 4000mg bottle of e-liquid will be perfect for you. It costs a pretty penny but it lasts an incredibly long time.
CBD derived from marijuana is a different story, and the law varies from state to state. But as long as you’re using CBD oil that contains less than 0.3 percent THC, you have nothing to be concerned about anywhere in the United States. On the other hand, if you want to take your CBD on a trip outside the country, definitely look into local laws to avoid getting into awkward situations while you’re away.
Dry Mouth: As is the case with many other hemp- and marijuana-based products, CBD oil often leads to a condition known as dry mouth (or cottonmouth). This is likely due to cannabinoids altering receptors in the lower jaw that trigger salivation. In most cases, mild discomfort and stronger-than-average thirst are the only issues associated with dry mouth.
Fab CBD offers full refunds for all products returned within 30 days of the original purchase. Inexpensive shipping rates are also available; most customers receive their delivery within seven or fewer business days. Customers can contact Fab CBD by phone or email if they have questions or concerns about their delivery. Those who join the brand’s online community qualify for product discounts, as well.
CBD oil alleviates physical pain and anxiety – both of which can have a negative impact on sleep. Additionally, CBD oil can actually prolong sleep for some, leading to more rest from night to night. Most medical experts agree that marijuana is not particularly beneficial for individuals with medical conditions and/or mental health disorders, as the THC can increase their symptoms; this makes CBD oil a good alternative option for people with the following sleep disorders and medical conditions.
Customer Service: It’s difficult to find contact information on Calm by Wellness’s website, and their email address is listed incorrectly in two places (we tried sending them an email but it was not delivered). We were, however, able to get a response through Facebook, and the company does offer free shipping and a generous 30-day return policy on all orders.
Like we said, once you start using CBD oil more frequently and are able to gauge how much you need to find relief or therapy, then you can jump up to the more high-potency products as needed. For reference, doses will typically range anywhere from 5 mg to 100+ mg in a single day. And for epilepsy patients, they may take anywhere between 300 mg to an entire gram (1,000 mg) per dose — or more!