If you have spent any time looking at cannabis or CBD products online you might find that there is a wide spectrum of information as well as culture that is attached to the field. When you are a patient who is suffering from anxiety, pain, a chronic disease, etc. it is important for your health as well as morale to have access to clear and helpful information that you can trust. I empathize with my clients and anyone who has gone to specialists and professionals in the health field only to find themselves more confused or struggling with side effects from unwanted medication.
Understanding how to use CBD is important as well because some people find that it is ineffective when they first try it. This is because unlike some cannabis products, it can have a subtle effect on the body and it is also dose-dependent. Dose dependence means that one has to find the correct dose for it to work. A study on human subjects for example found that a 300mg dose was effective for reducing anxiety but a 100mg and a 900mg dose was less effective.
Related Post: The difference between cannabis, marijuana, CBD
How specifically to take CBD can depend on what ailment you are struggling with, but my clients who are the most successful with CBD will try what I call, a “course of CBD.” Similar to taking a course of antibiotics, taking a course of CBD will allow your system to absorb its toning effects over time, the CBD action will build in your system, and you may feel its effects more deeply. It also gives one time to go titrate the dose in order to find the dose that works. For example, if a client is trying to regulate sleep, a single dose may not do the trick. Therefore, a daily dose of CBD for two to four weeks is a good way to test whether it will have a sleep-regulating effect. If you are impatient, I encourage you to take your mindset out of the belief that a pill or product is magically going to make you sleep with no side effects. CBD has helped many of my clients sleep, but most of them find they need at least two weeks with my CBD to assess whether it will work on a more sustainable level. (Adding the right formula of THC from cannabis can also aid with sleep.)
The Response Time with CBD
Although the effects of CBD are subtle for many, some can have an immediate response to CBD. I have had clients tell me that within an hour of taking 10-20mg of my CBD olive oil, they felt so calm and relaxed that they took a three-hour nap. Others report that within 24 hours, their aches and pains from fibromyalgia dissipated for the first time in years. These are rare cases but they are inspiring.
With that said, it is important to have hope that a product will work, but I generally try to be as conservative as possible when advising clients; it’s unlikely that any CBD will be a miracle cure, especially if the underlying issue being addressed was years in the making. The reason why some people have immediate, positive responses, and some people need a month or two to feel CBD’s regulating effects is not entirely known. But it may be because each individual has a unique endocannabinoid system—the internal system in place in all vertebrates that makes its own cannabinoids or receives cannabinoids from the plant. My guess is that the endocannabinoid system changes over time as well, which explains why some people didn’t like cannabis in college, but now find that it helps. If you have a friend who has had an experience with CBD, you might find that your experience will be different.
The Different Ways to Ingest CBD
The simplest way to ingest CBD is in infused into an oil, alcohol, or glycerin liquid. This is the most common method, but many find vaporizing concentrated CBD in a vape-pen is also convenient. I had a client determine that her nerve pain was best controlled by taking CBD in a vaporizer after experimenting with taking it as an oil. If the CBD is infused in coconut or olive oil, a good way to think of it is as a slow-release pill. The oil is absorbed more slowly in the system than alcohol or sugar. Because our cells are made of lipids, and the CBD as well as the carrier oil are lipid based, the beneficial CBD can penetrate deep into tissue layers. I believe it is important to understand that our cells need to be replenished and nourished with healthy oils, so delivering nervous and immune system regulating molecules of CBD into the cells can have a deeper, more sustainable effect. I have two CBD oil products; coconut oil and olive oil. For many applications the difference is negligible, but I generally encourage clients to use coconut oil for any inflammatory issue, and olive oil for mood, anxiety, or tumor or cancer issue. There is some evidence that olive oil helps deter cancer in certain instances so that’s why I choose olive oil for those cases.
If users need a more fast-acting effect then something that gets absorbed into the system more quickly such as alcohol or sugar (glycerin) is recommended. I have an alcohol/glycerin tincture that is my ‘fast-acting’ product. I also sell concentrated CBD oil that can be put into a vaporizer. Vaporizing CBD brings it directly from the lungs to the brain so as my client discovered, it can calm pain nerves rapidly. If an ailment is in the GI tract or lower body, sometimes taking the oil directly to that area is more beneficial. Topical applications of CBD can be effective in this instance as well. Aches, pains, neuropathy, regional pain, bruises, etc. can be addressed with a CBD olive or coconut oil. I prefer to have products that are so pure that they can go both in and on the body. My CBD oils serve this purpose.
What Brand of CBD should I use?
Another CBD quandary many people face is what brand of CBD to choose. The vast majority of CBD comes from the European or Israeli hemp producers who grow and process it for American companies. I have heard many stories of low quality CBD or products that are ineffective, but many in the industry have the customer’s health in mind so high quality CBD products are readily available. As they are subtly different sometimes it is good to experiment with different brands and products to discover what works. Regardless of what brand you chose, what I feel is important is working with a practitioner who has firsthand knowledge of what their specific CBD does in the body, what it is good for, when to back off, and when to increase the dose. If you are buying it from a shop that cannot provide this information, it may be difficult to know what steps to take to ensure your CBD is effective. Ineffective CBD is not a major problem since CBD is non-toxic and won’t be psychoactive at low doses. But if you are a patient who is very sensitive to medication, or has very puzzling ailments, then it is important to consult with someone who knows and understands your ailments and also knows their CBD.