Cannabidiol (CBD) is found in the flower of cannabis and is a naturally occurring compound. Safe and non-intoxicating, CBD has been shown to provide strong anti-oxidant, anti-depressant, anti-psychotic, and anti-inflammatory therapeutic properties, to name a few. CBD is one of the many “phytocannabinoids,” that are unique to cannabis and is where the therapeutic benefits of the plant come from. Unlike THC, CBD does not cause a feeling of ‘high’ or intoxication common to THC. This is because CBD and THC act in different ways on various receptors in the brain and body. This is ideal for people who are looking to reap the health benefits of cannabis without the high – or with less of a high.
CBD (as well as THC) mimics and augments the effects of the compounds in our bodies called “endogenous cannabinoids”. These “endocannabinoids” are part of a regulatory system referred to as the “endocannabinoid system”
What is CBD?
What is the best way to take CBD?
The ‘best’ way to take CBD will depend on your personal preference, as well as your desired outcome and dosage requirements. Many people prefer non-smoke options such as tinctures, edibles, lozenges, and beverages. Most commonly, individuals who enjoy a smoking aspect, or wish to take both THC and CBD together will opt for vape pens or other inhalable products. Also, keep in mind that inhalation is ideal for acute symptoms where relief is needed immediately, whereas orally administered CBD will take longer to show its affects, but will also last longer. Some may consider combining these treatments as well, depending on one’s needs.
Should I take CBD by itself, or with THC?
Some like to think of taking CBD and THC together as a multivitamin for inflammation; however, it depends what you are looking for. CBD helps to control the psychoactive effects of THC, therefore minimizing feelings of anxiety that may come from certain doses of THC. In addition, CBD has been shown to increase THC’s anti-tumoral effects, thus making the combination more effective in treating cancer when compared to THC or CBD alone. There is still much to be understood about the endocannabinoid system, the receptors these compounds activate and how they all work together, either as an ‘ensemble’ or when acting alone. For those that do not want to experience any ‘high’ or ‘stoned’ feeling, CBD alone would be the best option. However, if you are open to experimenting with different types and doses of THC in combination with CBD, there can be great benefit to that as well. The best course of action is to chat with your local expert regarding what you’re hoping to achieve and they can point you in the right direction.
What is the optimal CBD dosage?
Like other therapeutic substances, it is always good to start out with a small dose and work up to what is effective for you. Some find that taking small doses throughout the day is best, whereas other find the best result from a large dose. We recommend trying out a consistent dose over the course of a few days to measure its effects and to then adjust from there. Cannabis compounds have biphasic properties, meaning that high and low does of the same compound can produce opposite effects. In other words, a moderate dose could be more effective than a large dose, so sometimes, less can be more – and that is often the case with cannabis therapy. Consistency is generally the best way to go about taking CBD.
When buying a CBD product, it is especially important to purchase a high quality product in order to avoid metals (from the soil), chemicals or pesticides, as taking CBD alone is a concentrated product. Because of its concentration, if there were any pesticide residues or chemicals used in growing process, those level of toxicity will increase significantly when concentrated and pose health concerns of their own if taken for any duration of time.
If buying CBD derived from hemp, it’s also important to only buy CBD derived from hemp that is grown in the US. Hemp grown elsewhere does not have to go through state or federal testing. Also, only purchase from reputable buyers that sell clean product – some even do their own testing to certify there are no contaminants present. For cannabis derived CBD a certificate of analysis should always be available. If not, we recommend looking elsewhere. In addition, make sure the CBD product you buy clearly lists the CBD amount, not just for an entire bottle or container, but per dose. If the company selling the product uses testing methods approved by any of the following standard-setting organizations, even better. They include: The Association of Official Agricultural Chemists (AOAC), the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia (AHP), or the U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP).
What SHOULD I LOOK FOR WHEN PURCHASING CBD?
CBD is extremely safe, however, it can interact with various other drugs at sufficient doses. CBD can alter how we metabolize stains, painkillers, insulin, and more. Alternatively, CBD can also work well with some drugs, improving a person’s quality of life by mitigating negative side effects from other medications. For example, cannabinoid-opioid interactions have shown great promise in therapeutic studies. It has also been shown to reduce withdrawals symptoms from certain drugs and decrease dependency. If combining with medications, patients should always check with their doctor and monitor any changes in blood levels. Problematic interactions are generally most likely when taking high dose isolate CBD products.