How to Use CBD Oil

More and more people are using CBD products today. For instance, after surveying more than 4,000 Americans in January 2019, one Consumer Reports survey found that more than one in four—which equates to roughly 64 million people in total—have tried CBD within the previous 24 months. One in seven admitted to using CBD products every day. [1]

CBD’s rising popularity is partly because industrial hemp was finally legalized federally in December of 2018 under the Agriculture Improvement Act, also commonly known as the Farm Bill. It is the last section of this bill, Section 12619, which states, in part, that “the term ‘marihuana’ does not include – hemp.” [2]

This is major because, prior to entry of this bill, manufacturers and users alike risked facing steep penalties ranging from fines to confinement if found in possession of CBD and other substances extracted from the hemp plant. Yet, now they are becoming more mainstream.

These details aside, before you can develop a clearer picture of how to use CBD oil and extracts in a way that can actually benefit your health, it is necessary to first understand exactly what CBD is.


CBD stands for cannabidiol, a chemical compound or cannabinoid found within the marijuana plant. In fact, CBD is just one of many cannabinoids in the cannabis plant or hemp plant that is known to provide health benefits, with others being cannabinoids such as cannabinol (CBN) and cannabigerol (CBG).

That said, many people fear that CBD has effects that are similar to the most well-known cannabinoid: tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). However, unlike the THC that you typically find in medical marijuana and marijuana edibles, CBD does not create psychoactive effects. To shine even more clarity on this issue, in order for hemp products to actually be labeled as hemp, they cannot contain more than 0.3 percent THC.

The way CBD works is by interacting with the endocannabinoid system, which is a system that is present in all vertebrates and is responsible for maintaining biological balance and harmony in a multitude of processes. .This includes processes related to pain management, appetite control, stress mediation, healthy sleep patterns, immune system function, and reproductivity. Additionally, although our body already creates its own endocannabinoids, CBD helps by enhancing their effects. [3]


Science has proven that there are numerous health benefits of CBD oils and other products. Among the most notable are:


Several randomized clinical trials have connected CBD oil with relief from difficult to treat pain, thanks largely to its analgesic mechanisms and agents. [4] Animal studies have also found that it helps with arthritis pain specifically by acting as an anti-inflammatory [5], and other healthcare experts suggest that, because CBD works so well for pain, it likely also provides relief from the chronic pain typically associated with medical conditions such as fibromyalgia. [6]


Approximately 40 million adult Americans have anxiety disorders according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. [7] Yet, one study found that 79.2 percent of participants taking CBD reported a decrease in their anxiety levels within the first month of treatment. Approximately 66.7 percent also noted improvements in their sleep. [8]


Not only has CBD been found to help lower blood pressure, both resting and in response to stress, but some studies have also found that this type of positive response can actually be achieved after administration of just one dose of CBD. [9]


Even the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) acknowledges CBD’s positive effects with regard to epileptic seizures as, in June of 2018, this governmental agency issued a press release advising that it had approved the first-ever CBD-containing drug (Epidiolex) to be used for rare, severe forms of epilepsy, namely Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. [10]

Other pieces of research have connected CBD with providing positive effects for a variety of health issues such as diabetes, Huntington’s disease, cancer, colitis, and heart disease. [11]

Now that you have a better idea of what CBD is and how it can potentially help you, let’s look at what type or form of CBD you should take.


CBD products come in a number of different forms. For instance, there are CBD gummies, CBD vapes (also referred to as “vaping” or ingesting the CBD with the help of a vaporizer), CBD tinctures, and more. Which is best?

Tinctures taken sublingually—which involves using a dropper to place the CBD oil under the tongue where it is held for 30 to 90 seconds to be absorbed into the bloodstream—are often a favored option as they tend to have a fast absorption rate.

Plus, when CBD is taken sublingually, you avoid the effects of first-pass metabolism. This is when you lose some of CBD’s potency if you take it orally due to the product being somewhat degraded by the acids and juices in your digestive system.

When looking at form of CBD, it is also necessary to consider whether your CBD oil is an isolate or full-spectrum CBD. If it’s an isolate, this means that it only contains one cannabinoid: CBD. Yet, if it’s full spectrum, the CBD oil also has other cannabinoids that can help enhance your health because it is taken from the entire hemp plant.

In this case, more is definitely better. So, a full spectrum CBD oil is always suggested over a CBD isolate.

Another question many new users have is how much CBD oil to take. Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this as the amount of CBD that one person needs for optimal effects is often different than the amount needed by someone else.

For this reason, it is always recommended that you start with the lowest dosage possible. Try it for a few days and see if you notice any benefits. If not, up the dosage slightly and give it a bit more time.

Keep going through this process until you achieve a dosage that provides positive benefits for you.

Understanding the use of CBD may initially feel pretty overwhelming, especially if you’re unfamiliar with this type of product.

However, as long as you follow these basic guidelines, you’ll be well on your way to using CBD oil in a way that is beneficial for you and your specific health conditions and needs.

 

Sources:

[1] Gill, L. “CBD Goes Mainstream.” Consumer Reports. Apr 11, 2019. https://www.consumerreports.org/cbd/cbd-goes-mainstream/

[2] Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018. House of Representatives. Accessed Jul 24, 2019. https://docs.house.gov/billsthisweek/20181210/CRPT-115hrpt1072.pdf

[3] Human Endocannabinoid System. UCLA Health. Accessed Jul 24, 2019. https://www.uclahealth.org/cannabis/human-endocannabinoid-system

[4] Russo, E. “Cannabinoids in the Management of Difficult to Treat Pain.” Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management. Feb 2008; 4(1): 245-259. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2503660/

[5] Hammell, D, et al. “Transdermal Cannabidiol Reduces Inflammation and Pain-Related Behaviours in a Rat Model of Arthritis.” European Journal of Pain. Jul 1, 2016; 20(6): 936-948. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4851925/

[6] Anthony, K. “CBD for Fibromyalgia.” Healthline. Dec 1, 2017. https://www.healthline.com/health/cbd-for-fibromyalgia

[7] Facts & Statistics. Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Accessed Jul 24, 2019. https://adaa.org/about-adaa/press-room/facts-statistics

[8] Shannon, S, et al. “Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series.” The Permanente Journal. 2019; 23: 18-041. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6326553/

[9] Jadoon, K, Tan, G, & O’Sullivan, S. “A Single Dose of Cannabidiol Reduces Blood Pressure in Healthy Volunteers in a Randomized Crossover Study.” JCI Insight. Jun 15, 2017; 2(12): e93760. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5470879/

[10] “FDA Approves First Drug Comprised of an Active Ingredient Derived from Marijuana to Treat Rare, Severe Forms of Epilepsy.” FDA.gov. Jun 26, 2018. https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/fda-approves-first-drug-comprised-active-ingredient-derived-marijuana-treat-rare-severe-forms

[11] Stanley, C, Hind, W., & O’Sullivan, S. “Is the Cardiovascular System a Therapeutic Target for Cannabidiol?” British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. Feb 2013; 75(2): 313-322. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3579247/