How to use CBD oil is a question many people have when they begin their CBD journey. We must begin by considering the benefits of CBD, the pros and cons of a CBD regimen, and what our goals are.
This article will explore:
- What CBD is
- How CBD is different than marijuana
- How CBD affects your body
- What types of CBD products are available
- What the best CBD dosage for you is
- How you know you’re buying quality CBD
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a cannabinoid found in the family of cannabis plants. Today, we’ll talk about 2 strains of the cannabis plant, hemp (also known by its scientific classification, Cannabis sativa), and marijuana (Cannabis sativa indica).
Cannabidiol is found in both hemp and marijuana, causing much confusion over the two plants, how they relate to one another, and what exactly is meant by CBD. To understand this relationship, it’s we need to further define ‘cannabinoid.’
Cannabinoids are compounds that are only found within the Cannabis family of plants. Both hemp and marijuana contain over 100 different cannabinoids. THC and CBD are both classified as cannabinoids.
THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the cannabinoid that is responsible for producing the high marijuana users get when they smoke or ingest marijuana products. We will discuss marijuana further into this article.
While CBD is found in marijuana and hemp, it is much more numerous in the latter. And even though marijuana contains trace amount of CBD, hemp contains plenty of CBD, making hemp the more logical choice when harvesting CBD oil. Conversely, marijuana contains plenty of THC and hemp contains less than 0.3%.
While CBD and THC are the most commonly discussed and researched cannabinoids, there are over 100 more, each seemingly with their own set of health benefits. Some other cannabinoids growing in popularity are:
How is CBD Different than Marijuana?
We know that CBD and THC are cannabinoids. But marijuana is a plant. While many people equate CBD and marijuana, they are not the same thing.
To make an easy-to-understand comparison, Marijana and hemp can be likened to the lavender plant, and CBD and THC can be likened to lavender essential oil. When we discuss marijuana, it’s important to remember that the THC in the marijuana product is what is providing the ‘high.’ The psychoactive effect is only possible if the marijuana plant contains more than 0.4% THC. Most marijuana contains around 3.5% tetrahydrocannabinol.
The difference between marijuana, also called recreational marijuana, and medical marijuana is simply the use. For the most part, they are the same product. But it’s very important to remember that the FDA has not approved marijuana as a medicine.
One major difference between recreational and medical marijuana, however, is that the therapeutic version typically contains additional CBD.
Why is that important? Because it leads us to question whether the added CBD is what creates the therapeutic effect, or if the effect is significantly heightened because of it.
How Does CBD Affect Your Body?
Let’s acknowledge that the FDA has not approved CBD and it is not considered a pharmaceutical drug or medication. However, clinical studies, experimentation, and growing anecdotal evidence are proving that it has significant effects on many illnesses and conditions.
Some of the most common potential medical conditions cannabidiol seems to help are:
- Anxiety and stress
- Eating disorders
- Pain and inflammation
- Migraines and headaches
- Chronic pain
- Parkinson’s disease
- Bipolar disorder
- Chemotherapy discomfort
- Muscle and joint pain
- and many more
While the study phase of CBD is still in its preliminary stages, the evidence seems to point to CBD as being a good option for many people who want a natural way to try to treat their medical conditions.
So How Does Cannabidiol Work?
Mammals (including animals) all have a body system called the endocannabinoid system, often shortened to ECS. This amazing system is made up of endogenous cannabinoids and receptors.
Endogenous cannabinoids are cannabinoids our body naturally makes. Yes, you read that correctly. We actually make cannabinoid molecules ourselves. These molecules bind to receptors as a way to signal the body it needs to take action.
What is the Function of the ECS?
According to Healthline.com, the ECS is complicated, and experts haven’t yet determined exactly how it works or all of its potential functions.
ResearchTrusted Source has linked the ECS to the following processes:
- digestive system function
- chronic pain
- inflammation and other immune system responses
- learning and memory
- motor control
- cardiovascular system function
- muscle formation
- bone remodeling and growth
- liver function
- reproductive system function
- skin and nerve function
Experts believe that the ECS may play a major roll in maintaining body homeostasis, meaning it helps control the stability of our internal environment. For example, if you injure your body and develop inflammation, or become ill and develop a fever, the ECS begins to work to return your body to its ideal climate.
The Endocannabinoid system has been difficult to study because it seems the body produces endogenous cannabinoids only when it requires them.
If our Body Makes CBD, Why do we Need to Take It?
There are a number of theories as to why ingesting cannabidiol helps our body, even though we already generate our own version of them. One is that it helps our endogenous CBD from breaking down. Another is that it floods our receptors, essentially working like a vitamin C supplement: it floods our system us providing us additional support. While the science isn’t clear, what is becoming more and more difficult to deny is that the ingestion of CBD is beneficial to our bodies.
What Types of CBD Products are Available?
CBD comes in a variety of methods of consumption. Each has it’s own benefits, and one is not necessarily a more effective way than another, as long as you are buying from a reputable company.
CBD Tinctures are made by steeping hemp flowers or isolates in high-proof grain alcohol, then heating them for a significant period of time. The alcohol is then mostly boiled off, and the CBD oil is infused into the liquid. Often, a carrier oil like coconut, MCT, or orange extract is added to provide a better taste.
A common method of ingestion for first time CBD users, tinctures are often taken using sublingual administration. Typically, they are sold in a small bottle with a measuring dropper. Simply fill the dropper with your ideal dosage and place the tincture under your tongue. Allow the liquid to sit under your tongue for 1 minute, then swallow.
This method allows excellent absorption of the tincture. It is one of the quickest ways for CBD to move into the bloodstream, so you will feel the effects sooner than with some of the other available methods. Tinctures are especially beneficial for pain relief, or acute situations when intervention is needed quickly.
CBD Tinctures are best to help with these conditions:
- Hyperglycemia (high blood sugar levels)
- Nervous system degeneration
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Artery blockage
- Bone degeneration
- Muscle spasms
- Seizures and Convulsions
- Chronic pain and Inflammation
- Nausea and vomiting
- Low appetite
It’s worth noting that Epidiolex, the only FDA approved CBD-based medication (used to treat seizures in those suffering from epilepsy) is a tincture.
Edibles are a popular choice for many who don’t enjoy the flavor of natural CBD oil. However, before you buy that bottle of gummy bears, keep in mind this may not be the best way to ingest an accurate dosage. If you’re buying edibles, be sure you are purchasing from a company that is highly reputable, and who individually doses each serving.
Edible CBD products include gummies, baked goods, caramels, water, coffee, and tea. But with edible products, it can be difficult to know how much CBD is in each serving. Reputable companies are infusing their products fully with extract. But some are simply spraying their products, leaving consumers to wonder how much CBD oil they are actually receiving.
If you purchase CBD edibles, look for the number of mgs of cbd per serving, not just a total number in the whole package.
CBD edibles (especially CBD gummies) are often used to relieve:
- Pain and Inflammation
- Anxiety and Stress
Vaping refers to the process of inhaling CBD oil, or CBD e-liquid, through electronic vape pens. The battery operated vape pen heats the oil or e-liquid and turns it into a vapor. But, unlike other methods, vaped CBD is inhaled into the lungs.
While it is a beloved method for many users, especially teens and young adults, there are serious health concerns surrounding the inhalation of oil. According to Consumer Reports, risky solvents could be the culprit of a number of serious health-related incidents.
The problem stems back to a lack of FDA approval in the industry as a whole. Not only is CBD unregulated, but so are the additives in the various products. CBD itself may not be to blame for the many incidents of illness caused by vape pens. It may, however, be caused by additives or solvents used when producing the cartridge.
If you plan to vape CBD oil, do so with caution. Start slowly, and see how you feel. Consult your doctor if you have any respiratory or other health conditions before you begin, or if you feel any adverse effects.
Vapes are not typically the recommended delivery method since their effects tend to wear off 2-4 hours faster than capsules and tinctures. Those who use them are typically seeking relaxation or anxiety relief, or are hoping to improve their sleep quality.
CBD capsules, also called GelCaps or SoftGels are a liquid filled gel capsule designed for oral administration. This method of consumption is one of the most common ways of ingestion. You can simply swallow the capsule with water. In this effective method of delivery, the digestive system is responsible for breaking down the capsule and delivering the CBD to the body; it enters the capillaries through the digestive tract, much the same way as vitamins are used by the body.
For many people, capsules are the best method of consuming CBD. It’s very convenient and exceptionally easy to take the right dosage.
CBD capsules are available in strengths from 10mg to as much as 85mg per dosage.
Capsules are used to treat the symptoms of many conditions, especially those where a slow release are best, such as:
- Chronic pain relief
- Sore muscles
Capsules are a great option if you don’t like the taste of CBD or don’t want to vape or take edibles.
CBD topicals are salves, creams, lotions, balms, or rubs that are applied directly to the skin. Topical products are typically used for acute conditions such as muscle and joint pain and headaches.
They are usually made with a base of coconut, almond, MCT, or other natural-based oil. They’re also often infused with essential oils or other additives like menthol, lavender, arnica flower, and magnesium.
Topical application is effective because you apply the CBD directly to the area that is acutely affected by pain, stiffness, or arthritis. For chronic conditions, topicals can be very effective, but they are also a great choice when dealing with an acute injury like a sprained ankle, or chronic health issue like migraine disorder.
It’s important to know how much cbd oil is in the product you buy. You need to be careful you don’t buy a cream with high levels of CBD if you haven’t used the extract before. Like any new or different product you are trying, start slow and increase until you find the right dose for you.
A number of new beverages containing CBD extract have recently hit the market, offering a different delivery method than we’ve seen previously. Some of these beverages are:
- Sparkling soda
While beverages offer a new and different way to experience the effects of CBD, the jury is still out as to whether or not they are effective. Young American, a bar
in Chicago, is infusing cocktails with CBD, but they have had to overcome a major hurdle: CBD is not water soluble. This means, infusing it into juice, soda, or other beverages is like trying to mix oil and water: they don’t.
The other common problem with CBD beverages is that, because they are often sipped on over time, users may never experience the full effects of the extract, as the bloodstream may not be flooded with enough at one time to be effective.
Other Less Common CBD Products
Dissolvable strips are discreet and easy to take. They are easy to slip under the tongue and they dissolve without water. They are absorbed into the bloodstream through the tissues in the mouth.
Because butter is a fat, CBD oil will be easily absorbed, and you will be able to use it in any of your favorite recipes. High temperature will destroy the effectiveness of the CBD so be sure to use at low temps, or just spread on bread or muffins. You can purchase infused butter or simply make your own.
CBD patches work like nicotine patches. Great for effective slow release, patches deliver a consistent dose directly into blood vessels.
CBD gum is an excellent choice as it is absorbed quickly and effectively into the bloodstream. It’s often infused with mint or other flavors.
What is the Best CBD Dosage?
First, it’s important to decide what you want to target when considering how much CBD to take. Doses are as little as 5mg and as much as 85mgs. Instead of guessing, ask yourself these questions:
What do you want to improve?
Do you need emotional support?
Do you have pain?
Are you just curious if CBD can help your life?
When you have narrowed down your goals, you will be better prepared to search for products that will help you, and the best way for you to ingest CBD.
Decide if you need a slow release product, a fast acting one, or a topical ointment. Even if you’re a new user, your CBD use shouldn’t be taken lightly.
While CBD is generally considered very safe, it can have side effects, and the likelihood of an adverse reaction is exacerbated by taking too much CBD or by taking CBD without medical guidance.
If you use prescription medications, it’s important to seek medical advice, especially if you have a serious medical condition.
Hemp products, including pure CBD oil have undergone countless clinical trials to determine their effectiveness. But there is still so much we don’t know. So start slowly.
We recommend new users begin with a dose of 25 mg of CBD for most conditions. Using a tincture will allow you to slowly increase this dose by 10 mg of CBD at a time until you find an amount that works best for you. For some people, a 25 mg dose both morning and night are extremely effective.
To understand how much CBD is in your product, simply look at the bottle. If there is no amount listed, you should consider purchasing from a different company. The mg of CBD should be clearly labeled. Follow the instructions on your product for safe dosing.
Is My CBD Good Quality?
This is an excellent question, and one every consumer should ask before purchasing from any CBD company.
First, hemp products are not all equal. Buying hemp extracted and hemp seed products are not the same as buying CBD oil. Things to look for when buying CBD products:
Look for hemp grown and harvested in the USA. It’s not just good for our farming sector. Cannabinoids breakdown over time, so it’s best to buy products that haven’t been shipped across the coean.
Reputable suppliers will manufacture in the USA and use a CGMP certified facility. Current Good Manufacturing Practice (CGMP) regulations are enforced by the Food and Drug Administration. Although they don’t regulate the entire industry, you can be sure you will experience less side effects and allergies from products manufactured in CGMP facilities.
Look for products that have been C02 extracted. This will ensure you are receiving the most potent, pure product on the market today.
Look for Terpenes
Terpenes are natural additives that are sometimes added to products to enhance their effectiveness and add pleasant tastes and smells. Terpenes are found in many products, but are especially beneficial in CBD-infused products, and can be extracted from cannabis flowers.
Look for a Supplier’s COA
A COA, or Certificate of Analysis, tells you how much of each active ingredient is in each product. It also alerts you if there are any unwanted chemicals present. It should be easily accessible on a company’s website.
At Bespoke, we are proud of the products we offer. We want you to feel good, knowing you are taking the highest quality products available. We welcome your questions and feedback.