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.
Unlike THC, CBD will not make you high. That said, this doesn’t mean CBD is not at all psychoactive, as many assert, says Jahan Marcu, PhD, director of experimental pharmacology and behavior at the International Research Center on Cannabis and Mental Health in New York City: “CBD does change cognition. It affects mood, which is why people take it for anxiety. And some find that it makes them more alert.”
Oils: CBD oils are the most potent and unprocessed form of cannabidiol. CBD oil is removed directly from the flowers, stalks and seeds of the hemp plant during the extraction process. The most effective CBD oils are full spectrum, which means that they include all compounds found naturally in the plant, including the cannabinoids (with trace amounts of THC), terpenes and essential oils. You can find CBD oils in a bottle with a dropper. This allows you to ingest the oil by using it by mouth.
THC does typically come with a long list of health benefits, but the clinical use of this cannabis compound is often limited by its unwanted psychoactive side effects in people. For this reason, interest in non-intoxicating phytocannabinoids, such as CBD, has substantially increased in recent years. In fact, CBD is being used in conjunction with THC for more favorable effects.
I woke up seriously looking forward to my morning CBD oil fix … I mean, tonic. Truth be told, I’m an anxious person. Although I do a lot to try and calm my nerves, sometimes anxiety gets the best of me. But regardless of emotional or physical stress (I’m training for a marathon and running quite a bit!), I experienced this week, I felt a lot more in control after drinking my CBD oil tonics. After work, I met up with a friend and felt like I could fully focus on our conversation without distractions. Could it be the CBD?
CBD is the major non-euphorigenic component of Cannabis sativa. Some research is beginning to show that CBD is different than other well-studied cannabinoids. All cannabinoids function as ligands, meaning they dock onto the binding site of a protein and have the ability to modulate a receptor’s behavior. CB1 receptors are widely distributed, but are particularly abundant in areas of the brain, including those concerned with movement, coordination, sensory perception, emotion, memory, cognition, autonomic and endocrine functions.
According to one board-certified dermatologist who specializes in cannabinoids in skin care and treatment, Jeanette Jacknin, as recently published in the Strategist, the way CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system, helps the skin look more “radiant and youthful” slowing down the signs of aging. Furthermore, its anti-inflammatory actions and interactions with the body can help decrease the effects of acne, eczema and psoriasis. (15)
Naturally, the testimonies of these experts were based on a comprehensive literature review, an endeavor which we have also undertaken, albeit in a less official capacity. While many new products have been hailed as a panacea in their times, and many web sources certainly allude to this status for CBD, our objective was more modest – presenting ten possible benefits of cannabidiol where sufficient evidence exists to back up the claims.
Warning: It IS possible to take too much CBD oil. While you cannot fatally overdose on CBD and there are very few negative side effects, too much has been shown to cause drowsiness, lethargy, upset stomach, nausea and diarrhea. The exact amounts that lead to these side effects are unknown, which is why you should start with small amounts and slowly increase the dose over time until you experience your desired result. (1)
17. Deiana S, Watanabe A, Yamasaki Y, Amada N, Arthur M, Fleming S, Woodcock H, Dorward P, Pigliacampo B, Close S, Platt B, Riedel G. Plasma and brain pharmacokinetic profile of cannabidiol (CBD), cannabidivarine (CBDV), 9-tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) and cannabigerol (CBG) in rats and mice following oral and intraperitoneal administration and CBD action on obsessive–compulsive behavior. Psychopharmacology (Berl) 2012;219:859–873. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]
And now, onto the thorny issue of legality. The simple answer to the question is yes — if it is extracted from hemp. The 2014 Farm Bill established guidelines for growing hemp in the U.S. legally. This so-called “industrial hemp” refers to both hemp and hemp products which come from cannabis plants with less than 0.3 percent THC and are grown by a state-licensed farmer.
CBD is well tolerated in humans with doses up to 600 mg not resulting in psychotic symptoms (15). In the few small placebo-controlled studies performed, no significant CNS effects were noted. Oral CBD undergoes extensive first-pass metabolism via CYP3A4, with a bioavailability of 6%. Following single doses in humans, the half-life of CBD when taken orally is about 1 to 2 days.1 In vitro studies have shown that CBD is a potent inhibitor of multiple CYP isozymes, including CYP 2C and CYP3A (16, 17). Whether these in vitro observations are relevant at plasma concentrations likely to be seen in patients is unclear. In addition, given its metabolism via CYP3A4, clinical trials of CBD in patients receiving enzyme-inducing AEDs, such as carbamazepine or phenytoin, will require detailed pharmacokinetic studies.
The science behind CBD is in the relatively early stages. As a cannabinoid, we know that CBD interacts with receptors in your endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system is integrated throughout your body — and this widespread, whole-body interaction creates a broad range of effects. Hence, the long list of possible benefits. We may still be in the early stages of discovery, but there’s plenty of scientific studies and anecdotal evidence that CBD provides relief for an array of ailments. Here’s a non-exhaustive list of some potential benefits of CBD oil: