Few substances have gotten as much press, or as much social traction, as CBD in recent years. Otherwise known as cannabidiol, CBD has become a household term, for better or worse.
There are perhaps as many opinions about it as there are products available.
While it is related to the THC found in marijuana, CBD is not actually psychoactive. That is to say, it doesn’t alter your consciousness like most substances we think of as ‘drugs.’
So why DO people take CBD, and how do they take it?
There are myriad uses for CBD. People take it to decrease anxiety, alleviate pain and inflammation, improve their sleep, and even to address more serious conditions such as PTSD.
But the waters get murky when it comes to appropriate dosage and methods of ingestion. That is because CBD oil is a new player in the healthcare field, so the research on its effectiveness is still fresh- and occasionally controversial.
In this article, we’re going to demystify these variables, based on the most current scientific data.
Topics of Discussion:
- Common Uses
- Common Products
- Common Dosage Suggestions
- Common Precautions
As stated before, CBD oil is commonly used for many reasons. Here are the main issues it’s been shown to help with.
In recent studies, CBD oil taken either orally or topically can help with pain, specifically inflammatory and nerve-related pain. Inflammatory pain includes anything from a bruise or a sprained ankle, to chronic issues like arthritis. Nerve-related pain includes issues as mild as tendonitis, and as serious as diabetic neuropathy.
While there are several root causes for these types of pain, the reason CBD works for all of them is one and the same. Our bodies respond to injury by releasing a substance caused glutamate, which increases inflammation in an attempt to heal the damaged tissue. Likewise, glutamate is also released in response to nerve pain, and the discomfort arises when this biological response goes into overdrive.
This is where CBD steps in. It has an inhibitory effect on glutamate, which secondarily decreases the resulting pain and swelling. We will discuss more about proper dosage later in the article.
Anxiety and Depression
Research as recent as 2019 indicates that CBD oil is effective in reducing various forms of anxiety. It is believed that this is because it binds to some of the same receptors as serotonin, which is a mood-regulating hormone.
Both lab-based and anecdotal evidence support the idea that CBD decreases feelings of anxiety, both with immediate and long-term use.
There is less evidence available regarding the treatment of clinical depression, but a lot of exciting research is taking place in that area. This even includes the possible use of CBD in the treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Lower doses of CBD seem to provide relaxation, and sometimes even energy, while higher doses can aid with sleep. Again, we will discuss proper dosage shortly.
A study done in 2017 found that, while CBD is more effective for anxiety than for sleep, anxiety-related insomnia does tend to improve with use of the substance. Additionally, a common side effect of CBD is occasional drowsiness. This is advantageous for those looking to treat issues related to sleep onset.
It seems like CBD is available in almost everything these days, from vape juice to frozen yoghurt. We strongly recommend buying pure products with clearly labeled information about the amount of CBD per dose or serving.
This is not yet a regulated substance, meaning that there is no official “recommended daily intake” (RDI) suggested by the FDA. There is some risk in that, so be sure you read labels and understand how much you’re taking.
CBD is available in pure oil, blended tinctures, candies, gummies, vape juices, topical products, and a variety of supplements. The amount available in any given dose of these products varies widely, so “take one drop/capsule per day” is far too vague to account for the variables we mentioned previously (weight, reason for usage, etc).
The preferred method of ingestion depends largely on the outcome you wish to achieve. Let’s take a further look at suggested doses based on multiple factors, including how CBD can be taken.
Common Dosage Suggestions
Finding the right dose of CBD oil can get complicated pretty quickly. The main factors to consider are:
- why you’re taking it
- your weight
- previous substance use history, including prescription drugs
- potency of the product(s) you choose
The default measure for taking CBD, regardless of its form, is 1-6 milligrams for every ten pounds of your weight. So a 150 lb. person would take about 15mg to start.
This holds true regardless of why you’re using it. Experts suggest dosing up very slowly, increasing how much you take every few weeks, as your body gets accustomed to the substance.
On the other hand, it isn’t surprising to learn that higher doses are recommended for sleep, for instance, than for anxiety. Most candies or capsules come in a dose of 15mg, as this seems to be a safe amount for anyone to take. Someone using CBD for anxiety may take 15-30mg once or twice per day, while someone using it for sleep may take as much as 100mg or more at bedtime.
Conversely, studies show that much higher dosages may be needed for the treatment of pain. This is where the method of delivery comes into play. Here are some interesting facts about how various products affect your system:
- Sublingual sprays and tinctures can be felt almost immediately, but may take up to 15 minutes.
- Candies and gummies can take 15-45 minutes to kick in.
- Oral supplements that are swallowed rather than chewed can take 30-60 minutes to hit your blood stream.
- Topical lotions and ointments can set in as quickly as 30 minutes, but may take up to 2 hours.
Many people chose multiple methods of use to treat their conditions, depending on the effect they wish to achieve. For instance, if you can’t sleep due to arthritis pain, it would make sense to use a topical CBD product as well as an oral supplement, to alleviate the pain while promoting the onset of sleep.
Another example would be someone who takes a sublingual tincture twice per day for anxiety, but may also ingest it via vape juice throughout the day, when they are feeling especially distressed. Certain precautions need to be considered when using CBD multiple times per day, which we will further discuss below.
When it comes to using CBD safely, the rule of thumb is to start low and slow. Give your system time to respond to it, and to adjust to its presence. Don’t be too eager to increase your dosage, or to change your method of ingestion, until you have a solid understanding about how this substance affects your system.
Have you ever heard that grapefruit juice can intensify the effects of certain medications? Well, without getting too scientific, that is because it changes the levels of certain liver enzymes. And so does CBD!
If you’re on a medication for blood pressure, heart failure, or mood regulation, you really want to talk to your doctor about how CBD oil might affect the way your body metabolizes those drugs.
As much as we want you to enjoy the numerous benefits this substance has to offer, we also want you to prioritize your health and safety. It is ALWAYS wise to educate yourself about how various medications and supplements interact with each other, and even with your regular dietary habits.
Other considerations with taking CBD include:
- Possible fatigue/drowsiness when first starting;
- Possible irritability;
- Possible dry mouth or dry eyes;
- Lower doses may increase energy, which is good to know if taking in the evening;
- Higher doses are far more likely to aid with sleep, which is good to know if taking multiple times per day;
- Possible liver damage if taken in extremely high doses.
- Click here for additional information about possible side effects of CBD.
There is a wealth of evidence suggesting that CBD oil offers myriad health benefits. We want to help you explore how it can improve your quality of life. We offer several different products, and we are happy to answer any further questions you may have about its uses, dosage, and how it works.