Beginner's Guide to CBD
For most of modern history, cannabidiol, commonly known as CBD, has been misunderstood in this country. It is derived from the same class of plants from which THC, the psychoactive compound in the marijuana plant is. However, CBD is very different from THC. CBD has no addictive properties and no psychoactive effects. Disentangling CBD from all the legal restrictions placed on THC has been a headache for the past few decades.
CBD has been known to be very beneficial for people for hundreds, if not thousands of years. This knowledge was kept from Americans due to the legal and regulatory hurdles placed last century. Since the dissemination of the many therapeutic benefits of CBD, it has created a buzz among scientists, health professionals, and vendors in the natural wellness community alike.
CBD products have been effectively utilized to reduce pain and inflammation, relieve anxiety, and in recent years the FDA has even approved a cannabidiol-based epilepsy medication called Epidiolex. The Federal Government actually holds one of the first patents related to the neurological and inflammation-protecting effects of this plant-based medicinal chemical.
CBD engages your body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) to exert its therapeutic effects. This system is what regulates every function in your body – from the pain and inflammation you feel when you bruise your knee, to your sleep quality, anxiety levels, the sensation of hunger, and more.
CBD binds or interacts with our own endocannabinoid receptors to help balance out the ECS. With all the things our bodies are exposed to, such as lack of sleep, pollution, poor diet, stress and more, our endocannabinoid systems are usually struggling to maintain optimal balance.
That’s where CBD comes in. Because of its unique abilities to bind to and/or influence these receptors, it has powerful anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, and other effects – which help the ECS do its job more efficiently.
Since CBD is new to medical science, as of yet there is no standard dosing recommendation. Thankfully, CBD is a forgiving therapeutic supplement that has few, if any, negative side effects. Be aware that the FDA has produced guidelines stating that at very high doses, CBD may increase levels of certain liver enzymes.
Full spectrum contains THC to the level of 0.3% and all the beneficial cannabinoids and terpenes in the entire plant, which act on each other to produce stronger and more long-lasting effects, called the “entourage” effect.
Broad spectrum contains fewer of the same terpenes and cannabinoids, but with only trace amounts of THC, or no THC.
CBD Isolate is the purest form of CBD, and contains no other compounds – just cannabidiol.
Read more: Full Spectrum or Isolate – Which is Better?
Other factors: such as whether or not you’ve used CBD before and have built up tolerance to it, to what other medications you are taking, to the severity of the condition you’re intending to treat, all affect the amount of CBD you will need to take. An effective dose can range from just a few milligrams of CBD Isolate to up to three full droppers of Full Spectrum CBD oil – it just depends on your current needs and what best serves you.
Obviously, if there are any adverse events or side effects that could affect the dosing as well – this is true for all herbal remedies. Here are a few guidelines you can use when starting to use CBD – but only start after you have consulted with a knowledgeable physician, to rule out any possible interactions with any pharmaceuticals you are taking.
- Start off with a small amount of CBD, whether it’s an oil, cream, spray, or vitamin. If you do not begin to see any effects one may add more smaller doses throughout the day Frequent smaller doses instead of a single large dose, will give you a better idea of the amount you need for your specific circumstances.
- Dose in small amounts over several days and keep track of any side effects you experience. Remember: small doses of cannabis tend to stimulate, while larger doses can make you more tired. CBD has no known negative side effects, but a large amount will behave differently from a smaller dose. “Less is more” is a good rule of thumb to utilize while conducting your research. Make sure the CBD is unadulterated.
You also want to make sure that your CBD is pure and free of unnecessary additives. Look at the ingredients to make sure there are no preservatives or thinning agents. Reputable CBD retailers will have 3rd party lab test results readily available for you, the consumer, to download and consult. Look for batch numbers (which indicate quality control) and confirmation that your CBD product was made in an FDA-registered facility.
It is costly and difficult for companies to obtain testing and FDA approval such as cGMP certification, so these factors should be something you look for in each CBD product. Very inexpensive products usually mean that quality, safety and regulatory controls were not utilized.
As more research on this therapeutic compound is conducted, it is likely that standardized dosing recommendations will become more readily available. Until then, rest assured that as CBD is usually safe and free of any reported adverse side effects, you are free to tailor your wellness regimen to your individual needs. As with any herbal remedy, from mint to CBD, we always ask that you include your health care advisor in your decision making process.
Are you ready to start taking steps towards a more natural + intentional wellness regimen? Act now, curate your new healthy lifestyle, and get steady results.
Dr. Meredith Warner is the creator of Well Theory and The Healing Sole. She is a board-certified Orthopedic Surgeon and Air Force Veteran.
She is on a mission to disrupt traditional medicine practices and promote betterment physically, spiritually and mentally to many more people. She advocates for wellness and functional health over big pharma so more people can age vibrantly with more function and less pain.
At Well Theory, Our surgeon-designed products are FDA Registered and formulated to help people:
- Manage the symptoms of musculoskeletal pain
- Recover vibrantly from orthopedic related surgeries
- Fill the gaps in our daily diets
- Manage pain associated with inflammation
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