3 Important Things to Know to Get Started with CBD Oil

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Picture of CBD Oil

As you probably know, CBD (cannabidiol) is a cannabinoid derived from the cannabis plant. There are over 100 other cannabinoids found in the plant, and apart from maybe THC, none have received as much attention as this one. This is because increased research over the last decade has revealed that CBD potentially holds a number of therapeutic benefits, such as combating chronic pain, inflammation, anxiety and epilepsy.

However, getting started with CBD oil can seem like a bit of a daunting task, given that it is currently unregulated in the US. However, given CBD’s extensive list of health benefits it is a task that many people should undertake. I use the word task here but getting started with CBD is actually really easy. To make things even easier, here’s 3 important facts about CBD oil to help you get on your way.

1. CBD is legal in all 50 states

While cannabis is legal for medical use in only 33 states, and for recreational use in just 10, CBD itself is legal in all 50 states provided it is derived from hemp. This last bit is important as marijuana derived CBD is federally illegal. Hemp is essentially any cannabis plant that contains less than 0.3% THC, while marijuana is any plant that contains more than this, according to the federal government. CBD products from marijuana are obviously legal if marijuana itself is legal in the state it is being sold.

The reason CBD products with a higher THC content are illegal (in some states) is because THC is psychoactive, meaning it is the part of the plant that makes a person high. As previously mentioned, THC does some have potential in regard to medical benefits and seems to be able to boost the therapeutic effects of CBD in some cases (2010). However, in no case has THC been deemed necessary for CBD to work.

2. There are many ways to consume CBD

A good thing to know about CBD oil is that there is more than one way to dose it. This is beneficial to know, especially for first time users, as certain methods of consumption can be more useful than others for different situations.

Tinctures

Tinctures provide one of the purest ways of consuming CBD, and so are the most popular form of CBD oil on the market. The method of dosing provided by tinctures involves applying drops of cannabidiol under the tongue, as this allows it to be absorbed very quickly. This could be beneficial for those who need immediate relief from pain, for example. Tinctures of CBD can be bought with doses ranging from 100mg to 1500mg, and may also contain alcohol, a glycerin solution, or medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil. They may also be flavored to make the experience more enjoyable.

Concentrates

Concentrates also provide a pure form of CBD, and they are in ingested in the same way as CBD from tinctures are. However, they are arguably easier to use as the most common form of concentrated oils come in syringes for oral use. Other forms of concentrate include wax and crumble, but people usually prefer syringes as these forms of CBD must be smoked.

Capsules

Capsules arguably provide the easiest method of consuming CBD, as the user does not have to dose themselves and it is very easy to keep track of how much has been consumed. They usually contain between 10mg to 25mg of CBD, but obviously more can be taken to get a higher dose. The only issue with capsules is that it can be difficult to tweak the dose precisely enough to fit personal preferences.

Topicals

Tropicals such as lotions, lip balms and salves provide different benefits to the forms of CBD previously mentioned. This is because they are applied directly to the skin, making them particularly effective for combating issues such as inflammation and joint pain. However, CBD in this form is quite a bit harder to dose, so some experimentation may be needed to find the right amount needed for each new problem. CBD has also been found to be effective at protecting the skin (2017) and preventing acne (2014), so this method may also benefit people using it for these purposes.

Vaping

While some people consider vaping CBD to be less effective than oral forms, it does allow the CBD to enter the system very quickly. This is because it is absorbed through the bloodstream as opposed to through the digestive system, or the skin. As a result, CBD in this form can be very useful for alleviating an anxiety attack or a painful flare-up. Arguably the most effective use of CBD vapes however, is reducing cigarette consumption among those addicted to nicotine (2013). It is also easier to adjust the dose by small increments, making it a more convenient way for some people to medicate.

3. Dosage is very important

When it comes to medicating with CBD, users should not underestimate the importance of dosing. This is because CBD is bisaphic, meaning different doses can have different effects, and so how much a person is dosing should depend on what they are using CBD for.

It should be stated however, that there is no lethal dose of CBD. In other words, you cannot overdose on cannabidiol. In one experiment, people were actually administered 1500mg of CBD and it was well tolerated with no substantial adverse side effects.

That being said, it is important to not consume too much as at high levels, it can be sedating. People should also consider the concentration of CBD, their weight, and the severity of the condition being treated when dosing. Due to how CBD reacts with our endocannabinoid system, an individual’s optimal dose of CBD will change, probably many times, during their lifetime.

How do you dose?

It is estimated that the best way to dose CBD when starting off is to take between 1 and 6 micrograms for every 10 pounds of body weight. When deciding how much to take from this range, a first time user should consider how severe their problem is, obviously taking closer to 1 for a minor issue and closer to 6 only if it is something more major.

For example, person weighing 180lbs just starting off with CBD would take a dose between 18mg and 30mg.

How do you measure?

Measuring CBD, especially from tinctures, can be difficult, however it isn’t something that can’t be learned quite quickly. To start with, a dropper holds 1 ML of liquid, and if you know how many milliliters are in your CBD tincture, you can use this simple formula to figure out how much CBD is in its dropper:

Total CBD in Bottle ÷ Number of Milliliters in Bottle = Micrograms of CBD in a Dropper

For instance, let’s say you have a 25ml CBD tincture that has 1000MG of CBD:

1000 ÷ 25 = 40mg of CBD per dropper

When vaping CBD you’d measure it in a similar fashion, although it is near impossible to gauge a completely accurate dose when consuming CBD by inhaling it. You would start by estimating how much CBD is in a dropper of whatever e-liquid you are using (with the same formula above) and use this to figure out how much to put into the tank. Then as you vape throughout the day, just keep an eye on when the tank needs to be refilled.

Tropicals are also very hard to accurately dose, so somebody looking for a precise dose of CBD every time should stick to capsules as opposed to tropicals, tinctures or vapes.

Final Thoughts

These are more or less the obvious facts regarding CBD that every user should know. More extensive information on the cannabinoid can be found here. If you are still unaware of the benefits of CBD, there is a wealth of information online regarding what it can do, so it may be beneficial to do some research even if you don’t suffer from the more known health issues, like chronic pain or epilepsy, that CBD is known to be able to treat.

References

Bergemaschi M, Queiroz R, Zuardi Z (2011) Safety and Side Effects of Cannabidiol, a Cannabis sativa Constituent . Current Drug Safety, 1;6(4):237-49.

Johnson J R, Burnell-Nugent M, Lossignol D, et al. (2010) Multicenter, Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Parallel-Group Study of the Efficacy, Safety, and Tolerability of THC:CBD Extract and THC Extract in Patients with Intractable Cancer-Related Pain. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 39(2): 167-179.

Morgn CJ, Das RK, et al. (2013) Cannabidiol reduces cigarette consumption in tobacco smokers: preliminary findings. Addict Behavior 38(9): 2433-6.

Oláh, A., Tóth, B. I., Borbíró, I., Sugawara, K., Szöllõsi, A. G., Czifra, G., Pál, B., Ambrus, L., Kloepper, J., Camera, E., Ludovici, M., Picardo, M., Voets, T., Zouboulis, C. C., Paus, R., … Bíró, T. (2014). Cannabidiol exerts sebostatic and anti-inflammatory effects on human sebocytes.The Journal of clinical investigation, 124(9): 3713-24.

Whang Y. S., Kim Y, et al. (2017) Cannabidiol upregulates melanogenesis through CB1 dependent pathway by activating p38 MAPK and p42/44 MAPK, Chemico-Biological Interactions, 273: 107-114.

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