Your Complete Guide to CBD
CBD oil or the Cannabidiol has been exploding in the mainstream world today. Though it has only been gaining the hype it deserves now, the CBD already has a rich history and background. Dr. Trish Murray guides us in understanding this innovative supplement. She discusses what CBD oil is along with its history. Dr. Liz then further shares many of its research-proven benefits, the different types of CBD products you should be aware of, and the contraindications to using it.
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Your Complete Guide to CBD
The Rich History Of CBD
I am so excited to have the chance to share the great benefits of CBD oil with you. The use of CBD oil has exploded. It seems to be everywhere you look, but the CBD lives up to the hype. I’ll let you decide for yourself, but what I want to do is start by taking a look at the history of CBD. I’ll explain what CBD oil is and I’ll end by sharing some of the benefits associated with CBD oil. Many people assume that CBD is a new and innovative supplement. However, CBD has a rich history. Roger Adams, a Chemistry Professor at the University of Illinois first discovered CBD in the 1940s. Adam separated CBD oil from the hemp plant to study its properties and found it had many benefits.
Modern CBD history began in 1946 when Dr. Walter S. Lowe conducted the first CBD test on lab animals. The tests were performed to prove that CBD does not cause an altered mental state. Further research continued in the 1960s on primates and finally, the first CBD oil meant for therapeutic use was released by the British Pharmacopoeia. The research continued over the next few decades and another discovery was made in 1980 by Dr. Mechoulam who ran a study that showed cannabidiol could be a critical factor in treating epilepsy. The stigma surrounding CBD is starting to disappear as the benefits are finally beginning to be understood. CBD supplements made from industrial hemp are legal in all 50 states, the United Kingdom and many other countries around the world.
Hemp Versus Marijuana
Scientists are still researching CBD and conducting experiments that reveal their beneficial uses. This is how I got intrigued by CBD. I’ve had many patients that were starting to come in on either CBD alone or on medicinal marijuana, but I was seeing such benefit in people that I was so intrigued in wanting to understand that I dove into the research and that’s what’s led me to want to do this for you. One question many people often ask is, what’s the difference between hemp and marijuana? To understand the difference between hemp and marijuana, I’ll start by discussing cannabis.
Cannabis is a plant family that includes many species such as both hemp and marijuana. Although they come from the same plant family, they have distinctly different purposes and uses. Here’s an example. Cabbage and turnips are both different vegetables, different tastes, different fields and different looks, however, they both belong to the plant family called the Brassicaceaes or the cruciferous family. Hemp and industrial hemp refer to the strain of cannabis plant that is grown for agricultural products such as textiles, seeds and oils. Industrial regulation restricts THC yields greater than 0.3%. Marijuana, on the other hand, is known for its flowering plant tops. The flowers are bred to contain high THC content.
The average content of THC contained in marijuana is about 10% and plants are illegal to grow without proper licensing in the participating states that allow it. There are two simple distinctions between hemp and marijuana. First of all, hemp is a non-psychoactive plant primarily for use in clothing, paper, biofuels, bioplastics, dietary supplements, cosmetics and personal care products as well as in foods. Hemp is cultivated outdoors as a large crop with both male and female plants being present to foster pollination and increase seed production. Marijuana also, the scientific name, Cannabis Sativa is specially cultivated to enhance its THC content to be used for medicinal or recreational purposes.
Marijuana plants are typically grown indoors under very controlled conditions. Growers remove all the male plants from the crop to prevent fertilization since fertilization actually lowers the plant’s THC level. Cannabinoids are chemical compounds which include Cannabinol and the active constituents of Cannabis. There are at least 113 different cannabinoids that have been isolated from the cannabis plant. The best study of cannabinoids includes Tetrahydrocannabinol, which is THC, Cannabidiol, which is CBD and Cannabinol, which is CBN. Let’s look at the differences between these three. First of all, THC is the psychoactive cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. Some of the therapeutic qualities of THC include pain relief, relaxation, appetite stimulation and insomnia. CBD may inhibit tumor growth, making chemotherapy more effective without harming healthy cells and tissues.
Secondly, CBD or Cannabidiol is present in many strains of cannabis at lower levels. Some of the popular uses of CBD include relief from chronic muscle pain, convulsions and inflammation. Thirdly, CBN or Cannabinol is usually formed when THC is exposed to UV light and oxygen over a prolonged time. CBN has some psychoactive properties but not nearly the same level as THC. You may be very surprised to learn that there is a system in each of our bodies comprised of receptors that interact exclusively with cannabinoids like CBD. It’s known as and called the endocannabinoid system. It is the reason we benefit from CBD. The endocannabinoid system is made up of a network of receptors and was discovered in the late 1990s. CBD bonds with our own body’s CB1 and CB2 receptors, helping to maintain vital health functions and restore the homeostasis or balance within the body.
Benefits Of CBD
Many of us are actually depleted of cannabinoids because hemp has gotten a bad rap over the years. We need to replenish the endocannabinoid system in our body and that’s one of the major reasons why many people do benefit from taking CBD. What are the benefits and what has research shown are the benefits of CBD? Researchers still have a lot to learn about the benefits of using CBD oil. So far, preliminary studies have indicated that CBD may one, inhibit tumor growth, making chemotherapy more effective without harming healthy cells and tissues. It has been used complementary or in combination with chemotherapy for different types of cancers. Two, it may relieve pain and inflammation including chronic pain and cancer pain.
Three, it reduces nausea and vomiting. These top three you’ll notice will be used quite a bit in benefit, in oncology and cancer treatment. Number four, it is known to lessen anxiety. Number five, it improves the quality of sleep. Six is it fights viruses and viral infections. Seven, it relieves the muscle spasms in people suffering from multiple sclerosis. CBD has shown remarkable potential in research studies for its ability to do also the following: lower convulsions, anxiety, inflammation and nausea. It lessens the psychotic symptoms of schizophrenia and reduce or prevent metastasis in breast cancer and other types of cancers.
Let’s take a look of what the research has to say more specifically. I’ll start with the facts. Number one, CBD will not get you high. Two, CBD can provide a natural method to care for a wide range of ailments. Three, CBD has become very popular in the medical community. Researchers from around the world have conducted countless clinical trials and medical studies. Four, researchers have discovered that due to its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antipsychotic, anticonvulsant, and antidepressant properties, CBD benefits a wide range of many conditions. Five, research shows CBD benefits over 50 different conditions.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety disorders affect more than 18% of the population. According to the World Health Organization, depression is the single most significant contributor to disability worldwide, while anxiety disorders rank six. More and more people are turning to CBD as a natural alternative to prescribed medications which caused adverse side effects. According to a survey published in cannabis and cannabinoid research in 2018, almost 62% of cannabidiol users reported that they use CBD to treat a medical condition. The top three conditions being pain, anxiety and depression.
A report published in the journal Neurotherapeutics in 2015, scientists analyze this preliminary research and found that CBD oil shows promise in the acute treatment of conditions like generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and posttraumatic stress disorder. Another small study published in Neuropsychopharmacology back in 2011 determined that CBD may help alleviate social anxiety. Researchers also believe that CBD’s ability to act on the endocannabinoid system and other brain signaling systems may provide benefits for those with neurological disorders. One of the most studied uses of CBD is in treating neurological disorders, particularly epilepsy and multiple sclerosis. Those were some of the earliest and most abundant studies done.
CBD has also been researched for its potential effectiveness in treating other neurological diseases. For example, several studies have shown that treatment with CBD improved the quality of life and sleep quality for people with Parkinson’s disease. In one long-term study, researchers gave CBD to mice genetically predisposed to Alzheimer’s disease, finding that it helped prevent cognitive decline. High blood pressure is linked to higher risks of many health conditions including stroke, heart attack and metabolic syndrome. Research has linked CBD with several benefits for the heart and circulatory system, including the ability to lower high blood pressure. Researchers have suggested that the stress and anxiety-reducing properties of CBD are responsible for its ability to help lower blood pressure.
Pain, chronic conditions such as fibromyalgia and arthritis have been the subject of many studies regarding CBD and pain relief. CBD oil has steadily gained popularity as a natural approach to pain relief. It’s thought that CBD oil might help ease chronic pain in part by reducing inflammation. Some of the common types of chronic pain that CBD has shown benefit for include cancer pain, fibromyalgia, headaches, irritable bowel syndrome, low back pain, migraines, multiple sclerosis pain and neuropathic pain, which is pretty much any disease process that causes of the pain being neurological irritation and disruption. Osteoarthritis and of course, TMJ or Temporomandibular Joint disorder.
Different Types Of CBD Products
While THC increases appetite, CBD has the opposite effect. In 2017 review of scientific literature regarding CBD found that weight loss was a common side effect when it was used to treat seizures in people and reduced food intake and weight gain in rats. More research is needed to understand the weight loss benefits of CBD. However, this is an exciting potential use as weight gain and obesity are considered the cause of many different chronic diseases. Let’s talk about the different types of CBD products and there are many different types of CBD products out there available. Determining how to use CBD oil first starts with choosing your route of administration. There are three basic categories of CBD oil products. Number one would be ingestibles, things you take and eat. Smokables, which of course speaks for itself. Third would be topicals like creams and ointments. Ingestibles offer the most variety. There is liquid hemp oil like CBD tinctures or CBD drops. CBD concentrated into a thick paste.
This is often referred to as Rick Simpson Oil or RSO. Encapsulated CBD oil, so you take a pill. Another would be phytocannabinoid-rich sprays or spritzers generally designed for application beneath the tongue. Another is bottled water containing nano-size CBD particles. Another is CBD infused chewing gum. Another would be on-the-go dissolvable powders containing CBD frequently blended with other adaptogenic herbs. Another is that they’re starting to add cannabinoids to cooking oils such as coconut oil or olive oil. Finally, CBD infused edibles like gummies, brownies or cookies.
Some methods don’t require an explanation of how to use them. For example, with edible products, you eat and enjoy, but CBD oil tinctures and extracts work best using the following tips. Drops or tinctures should have a suggested serving size and the total milligrams of the CBD listed on the packaging. Once you determined the dosage you want to take of the CBD, you can determine the amount of CBD you would like to ingest to meet that dose. Simply place the correct quantity of drops under your tongue using the dropper and hold the CBD oil in place for a minimum of 60 seconds before swallowing. This allows for absorption via the blood vessels underneath your tongue. Figuring out how much CBD oil to take can feel trying to navigate through a complicated maze. It’s not easy to do. When you’re trying to determine how much oil to take, there are certain factors to consider. CBD can provide a natural method to care for a wide range of ailments.
First of all, what is the concentration of the CBD that you have and you’ve purchased? Two, what is your weight or the weight of the individual planning on taking it? Next, the individual’s body chemistry will play into what dose should be used and fourth, the severity of the condition trying to be treated. Even when taking the above factors into account, there is no one size fits all dosage. Some degree of trial and error may be needed before finding the correct amount for your needs. I have had numerous people come in and say to me, “I’ve tried CBD and it didn’t work.” I would read that statement again then. Some degree of trial and error may be needed for finding the correct amount for your needs. The thing about dosaging with CBD can get confusing.
Let’s talk and start with the product concentration. The concentration amount per dose may not be listed and can vary quite a bit from product-to-product. The product should have a total amount of CBD listed. When you see a dose on a bottle of CBD or on the packaging of a CBD product you’re purchasing, that actually equals the total dose of the entire bottle or the entire tube. To determine the concentration, you need to do some math. You’re going to have to divide the total amount of CBD in milligrams by the volume of the container in ounces. For example, to determine the concentration of a four-ounce bottle of CBD that has a total of 1,500 milligrams of CBD in it.
You’re going to need to divide the 1,500 by 4 in order to come up with 375. This bottle in this example of a four-ounce bottle of 1,500 milligrams that’s four ounces in size, has a concentration of 375 milligrams per ounce. You notice it’s different than buying other supplements that tell you or what the dosage per pill is or a prescription medicine that tells you this is the dose per pill or for the size of what you’re taking or the cream you’re using. You have to do some math to figure out the concentration of CBD.
What are some suggestions on where to start with the dosage? Option one, a good rule of thumb to determine your proper CBD dosage use to take anywhere from 1 to 6 milligrams of CBD for every ten pounds of body weight based on the individual’s level of pain or what they’re complaining of. Consider your pain level using start out with 1 to 2 milligrams from mild pain, 3 to 4 milligrams for medium pain and 5 to 6 milligrams for severe pain. Someone could be taking upwards per ten pounds of body weight then you’re going to want to be taking significant amounts of CBD in that option. Option two, another suggested dose is 25 milligrams as a flat dose twice a day and then increasing the amount of CBD you take every 3 or 4 weeks by another 25 milligrams until you attained symptom relief or determine whether you think it’s working for you or not.
The Mayo Clinic suggests CBD dosages based on scientific research, publications, traditional use and expert opinion. The following suggested dosage recommendations from the Mayo Clinic for various illnesses include some of the following examples. Chronic pain, their recommendation is anywhere from 2.5 milligrams up to 20 milligrams of CBD per day. Epilepsy, it’s going to be quite different. You may use as much as 200 to 300 milligrams of CBD daily. Sleep disorders, a recommendation of 40 milligrams to up high as 160 milligrams of CBD and that would typically be at bedtime. Multiple sclerosis symptoms, there are cannabis plant extracts containing anywhere from 2.5 up to 120 milligrams of CBD daily. Schizophrenia, suggestions could range anywhere from 40 milligrams up to 1,200 milligrams orally per day. Another item they list on the Mayo Clinic is glaucoma and a single sublingual CBD dosage of anywhere from 20 to 40 milligrams could be tried for glaucoma.
How The Body Detoxifies And Metabolizes Medications
Something that we must understand is that all medications and supplements, once you take them into your body, must be broken down, metabolized, detoxified and then eliminated from your body. How does our body do this? There are many enzymes that are involved in these processes and the system of your body of enzymes that usually detoxifies or metabolizes, medications or supplements is called the Cytochrome P450 Enzyme System. THC and CBD can have interactions with these enzymes and therefore can affect how you metabolize some prescription medications you’re on.
This is an important point to be made during this and for people to realize. For example, THC, if someone’s on medical marijuana induces a certain enzyme called the aCYP1A2. If you induce this enzyme, therefore it’s going to decrease and break down other medications in one’s bloodstream faster because it’s inducing the enzyme. CBD is a potent inhibitor of other enzymes. Therefore, if you inhibit those enzymes and the medication does not get broken down as quickly, CBD may increase the concentration of many drugs in the bloodstream.
If you or someone you know is on, for example, a medicine called Warfarin or Coumadin, which is a blood thinner. People are on that if they have very specific reasons to be on it, but both THC and CBD can increase Warfarin levels in the body. For example, if someone is on Warfarin, you really need to talk with your medical provider if you’re going to consider taking any medicinal marijuana or CBD over-the-counter. You don’t want to take it and not understand that it could be interacting with prescription medicines.
Alcohol may increase THC levels. Therefore if they are utilizing THC as medicine or THC recreationally, alcohol may increase its levels. Another example is not so common, a medicine called Theophylline. If someone has respiratory disease and they’re on a medicine called Theophylline, smoked cannabis can decrease the Theophylline levels in the bloodstream. There are many others and there are many more common medicines too, but Clobazam, which is actually a seizure medicine used in children a lot. CBD can increase the level of this medicine in the bloodstream. It’s very important to make this point that people need to be aware that CBD bought over-the-counter is essentially safe, but it can interact with other medications. You would not want to take CBD at the same time that you are taking any of your prescription medicines.
For example, if you take your prescription medicines in the morning, I will take CBD only at night. If you take prescription medicines both morning and night, then if you’re going to try CBD, I would only take it at noontime. If you obviously are on numerous prescription medicines and you are considering trying CBD, which can be purchased over-the-counter, you should be talking to your medical provider. If you are on approved medical marijuana, then you would be talking to your provider who has approved you for that.
Contraindications To Using CBD
What are some contraindications to using a CBD? In the world of contraindications, there are different categories. One is an Absolute Contraindication, meaning you should absolutely not be taking CBD in the following situations and there’s not a lot. If someone is having an acute psychotic episode, they should not be using CBD or any other unstable psychiatric condition, meaning a person is feeling very unstable and they’re thinking that CBD is going to cause an acute relief of that situation. That’s probably not realistic. The next would be relative contraindications. Relative contraindications would be any severe metabolic conditions such as a severe cardiovascular, immunological, liver or kidney disease where you are in an acute situation. We belong in the closest emergency room, not taking over-the-counter CBD or any other over the counter medication. Cannabis may exacerbate arrhythmia. If someone has a history of arrhythmia such as atrial fibrillation, then you definitely want to be talking to a medical provider and not considering taking CBD.
Some final notes, know that there is no established lethal dose of CBD and chronic use has been repeatedly shown to be well-tolerated in humans. The risks of taking CBD are extremely low. As with any natural product, it is essential to speak with your physician before beginning use. Before you start taking CBD, please speak with your doctor about drug interactions. That’s probably the biggest caution I would give to anyone about CBD. You can rest easy knowing CBD oil is not physically addictive but being active and eating a diet rich in DHA. People are probably familiar with EPA and DHA as Omega-3 fatty acids. DHA might increase the effects of CBD.
If you’re trying to maximize the effect of CBD and it maybe get away with a lower dose, then you do want to make sure you’re taking fish oil that has EPA and DHA in it. Those under high levels of chronic stress would potentially need higher CBD oil dosage to achieve the same effects obtained by people who are not chronically stressed. Remember that you may need to start out at a higher dose of CBD and replenish the receptors of your endocannabinoid system. After a week or two or three, you may not need the same dose. We will post many resources that were utilized to create this in our Discover Health Facebook group.
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