With the massive publicity surrounding hemp-based CBD (Cannabidiol), you may be tempted to try it.
What is the best way to use CBD, what symptoms does it treat, what dosage you should try to start with, and above all else – is it safe?
If you are wondering about the options available to you, we will outline eight of the easiest ways to try CBD, with details of what each different method delivers for you and what the safest dosage to start with could be.
The starting point has to be why you are considering using CBD. There are many claims about its efficacy with a wide range of ailments, some of which are supported by research and evidence, but much of it is anecdotal as there isn’t sufficient data to support all of the claims.
CBD (Cannabidiol) Can Help These Medical Issues.
- Chronic Pain Relief.
- Anxiety and Depression.
Let's look briefly at each of these in turn.
Research in this area has been optimistic. CBD (Cannabidiol) has fewer side effects compared with over the counter (OTC) sleep aid drugs which is a huge benefit. CBD doesn’t affect the normal sleeping structure; it doesn’t lengthen sleeping time at the cost of the quality of your sleep. A big benefit is it won’t make you drowsy the following day, provided you stick to the minimum dosage.
A further benefit is, CBD is as effective as some prescribed sleep aids which are often hard to get from your Doctor on a regular basis.
Chronic Pain Relief
There is a lot of anecdotal evidence that CBD helps with chronic pain relief. Unfortunately there is little scientific research to support it. This could be because most of the research has involved animals or small numbers of human participants, so the results are not conclusive.
However one analysis published in 2017, reported that CBD is effective in reducing chronic neuropathic pain.
Anxiety & Depression
Reduced levels of the nerve transmitter serotonin is the primary cause of depression.
Researchers found by combining a lower than the minimum effective dose of CBD (Cannabidiol) with a serotonin re-uptake inhibitor (SSRI), they achieved a substantial antidepressant effect. A combined CBD and SSRI therapy could offer the benefits of current antidepressants, with much lesser side effects.
Again, most of the research on CBD for depression used animals. What has been found is CBD has a secondary effect on chronic inflammation.
CBD – Eight Ways to Take It
Let's review each of the eight ways by using the following four benchmarks.
BIOAVAILABILITY - What does this mean? Well the Dictionary definition states - “The extent to which a nutrient or medication can be used by the body.”
What affects bioavailability? If you inject a medication directly into the bloodstream, its bioavailability is 100%. If, on the other hand, you administer medication by another method, for example orally, its bioavailability decreases and will vary from patient to patient.
ONSET TIME – The onset of effects varies widely depending on the form of CBD used. When you eat CBD it is effective within 30 to 90 minutes. If you inhale it or spray it under the tongue it takes effect within 1 or 2 minutes.
DURATION OF EFFECT – Once you take CBD, it can remain in your system and affect you for days. The effective life of CBD where you will feel the effects of the drug, is shorter.
If inhaled, CBD has a functional life of around two hours, while when eaten it can last for more than four hours. Ingested CBD takes much longer to get into the bloodstream, so it can take several hours to completely digest.
Depends on a number of factors:
- Body weight. *(See Chart Below)
- Is this your first time using CBD?
- Are you taking any prescription medication or OTC medicines?
- Start with lower doses linked to your body weight and work up.
- Take a break regularly to make sure you don’t need an increasing dose to achieve a result.
- Be fully aware of side-effects.
The daytime initial dose should be the first dose you take each day up until dinner time. CBD can cause grogginess which is not ideal during the day, especially of you are working or caring for children.
The evening initial dose will be your first dose of the day, after work or dinner but before bedtime.
Before-bed dose: This is always higher to assist sleep and you should only take it immediately before bed. It’s a higher dose, to make sure it won’t wear off during the night.
The top-up dose: This is a lower dose and only use it if you need to top up when the effects of CBD wear off . Bear in mind the CBD will remain in your system for up to 30 hours.
Gradually Adjust Your Dose Up or Down
After a few days of using CBD (Cannabidiol), assess how well it’s working for you. If the initial dose is fine for you, you may be able to reduce it by 20 percent to see if it still works.
On the other hand, if you feel your initial dose isn’t enough to do the job, increase it by about 20 percent. Try the revised dosage for a few days before you consider raising it again.
Remember, it stays in your system for up to 30 hours.
Side effects are rare when you use pure CBD it will be free of THC. There can occasionally be side effects when you combine it with caffeine, alcohol or over the counter medications. However if you experience side-effects, stop taking CBD immediately and contact your medical professional.
If the brand you are using contains THC it can cause side effects. It is preferable to use only THC-free CBD and only from suppliers you can trust, with a supporting Certificate of Authenticity (COA).
Remember the golden rule: discuss everything with your physician FIRST. Some combinations work safely, but some medicines can have complicated contraindications.
CBD (Cannabidiol) – Essential Information
CBD Capsules are more expensive but have the advantage of accurate dosing as you know exactly how much is in each capsule. These are
absorbed more slowly, usually in about an hour. They are ideal especially if you are combining CBD with other drugs.
on the tongue. Tinctures will be absorbed faster than edibles or capsules
and will be effective within 15 minutes. You must be careful with dosing.
the bloodstream to combat inflammation which is the underlying source of pain.
bloodstream quickly. The effects are rapid at around 2 to 5 minutes.
Some of each spray is absorbed while some is swallowed.
it will go into the system much more quickly.
you hold each ‘hit in your lungs.
There is no reason why you shouldn’t try CBD, but always check with your Doctor before starting it, especially if you are also taking any medication, prescription or over the counter.
Monitor your dosages accurately and adjust as necessary to achieve the results that work for you best and always buy from a reputable source and ask to see their COA.