How to Start Using CBD
When people first begin to delve into the world of cannabidiol, or CBD, the first response is a sense of being overwhelmed. There are so many options to choose from – from vitamins to oils, creams to vape concentrates, it’s difficult to know exactly what product to look for, and what concentration is needed.
On top of that, consumers have to be mindful from where they are sourcing their CBD products. At this time, as with all supplements and over-the-counter pharmaceuticals, it is up to the consumer to determine dosage amount, risk, and other factors related to consumption. Recent studies have shown that many vitamins and supplements are not actually what they are labeled to be – and many CBD products are no exception.
Another factor to be mindful of is that endocannabinology, or the study of the endocannabinoid system and the substances that affect it (such as CBD) is a relatively new medical science. Few physicians are knowledgeable about this new therapeutic agent, and shy away from prescribing it as they are uncertain of what dosage to recommend. Many western-trained physicians are instinctively against any natural or herbal remedy. Seek a health care advisor with the ability to utilize the best of the traditional and western medicinal worlds.
“Start low and go slow” is the typical rule of thumb for utilizing therapeutic CBD and THC either alone or together. But if you are wary of trying THC (as THC is not yet legal in most parts of the country,) CBD is still something you can utilize.
Unlike THC, CBD does not have any psychoactive effects, which means that no matter the dosage or concentration amount, you will not get high. Even though some CBD products can contain trace amounts of THC, they are only legal if they contain less than .3% THC. And some formulations, such as CBD isolates, do not contain THC at all.
- Full Spectrum contains all the phytochemicals naturally found in the industrial hemp plant. CBD, other trace cannabinoids, terpenes, and essential oils all work together to create something called the entourage effect. Each of the cannabinoids and terpenes are beneficial in their own right, but in the presence of other cannabinoids and plant compounds, they exert or even amplify each of those health benefits. This extraction type does have the most THC content of any other, however, it still has to be compliant with USDA and FDA regulations: less than 0.3% THC content.
- Broad Spectrum contains CBD and all other compounds of the industrial hemp plant – but without THC, or with only trace amounts. In this process, almost all of the 0.3%THC is isolated and removed during extraction.
- CBD Isolate is the purest form of CBD and does not contain any other plant compound. This is useful for those who want to see the health benefits that occur when CBD is taken by itself, but it may be slightly less potent than full or broad spectrum extracts, due to the lack of entourage effect. CBD isolates have the highest concentration of CBD per dose, and are usually 99% pure.
In most cases, the dosage and type of CBD is determined on a case-by-case basis. Many factors impact this decision, such as the condition you’re intending to modify, your overall health and diet, sleep patterns, and stress levels. As with all therapeutic medicines, CBD is best used within an already healthy lifestyle, as a supplement, not a cure-all.
Here are a few lifestyle factors to consider:
- Dosage Type: What works best for your lifestyle? If you are experiencing superficial or muscular and tendinous aches, a CBD cream or spray may be most suitable for your condition. This is well-suited for intermittent joint pain as well. Most medical professionals cannot recommend vaping, so while vaping does deliver a more concentrated dose than any other application, you may want to consider a multivitamin or an ingestible oil instead. The oil-based or oral powder forms found in multivitamins is a safer way to receive the power of CBD than inhaling heated oils into the lung.
- Experience: Have you already used CBD? If so, you may need a higher dose than someone who has never used CBD before. This is not true across the board; again a health advisor’s advice is helpful.
- Medication Interactions: While CBD does not have many negative effects or interactions (like so many FDA-approved drugs do,) it can interact with a few drugs. Utilize the “grapefruit test -” if you are taking a medication that advises you to not eat grapefruits during the duration of your prescription, CBD may interact with it – and always consult your prescribing physician before trying CBD. If that physician does not know anything about CBD and herbal medicine, seek additional input from other health advisors.
Always consult with your physician before starting CBD, and start with a low dose before working your way to larger doses.
By working with your physician you will not only be ensuring the best personal dosage, but the information the physician gains from observing your outcomes will help others.
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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