What is CBD?
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a non-intoxicating component of the cannabis plant with enormous therapeutic potential. Researchers are currently studying the effects of CBD on a wide range of conditions including chronic pain, insomnia, PTSD, anxiety, epilepsy, dementia and more.
Extensive preclinical research and some clinical studies have shown that CBD has strong anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticonvulsant, anti-depressant, anti-psychotic, anti-tumoral, and neuroprotective qualities.
Will CBD make me feel high?
Cannabidiol (CBD) has many health benefits, without producing the psychoactive, "euphoric" effects of THC. “Relaxing but not intoxicating” is how some of my patients have described the effect.
Is it safe?
- CBD exhibits no effects on humans indicative of any abuse or dependence potential.
- To date, there is no evidence of recreational use of CBD or any public health-related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.
- Chronic use and high doses up to 1,500 mg/day of CBD are reportedly well tolerated in humans.
Are CBD products legal in all 50 states?
Yes, as long as they are derived from hemp, not marijuana, and contain less than 0.3% THC. No medical marijuana card is required to buy or use hemp-derived CBD products.
Are whole plant extracts better than CBD isolate?
Products infused with a crystalline CBD isolate, derived and extensively refined from industrial hemp, are available. But single-molecule CBD is thought to be less effective therapeutically than whole plant CBD-rich oil extract. The rich recipe of compounds in medicinal plants exerts healing effects through complementary action. This supports the idea of the "entourage effect", where mixtures of cannabinoids, their co-occurring terpenes, and perhaps other molecules such as flavonoids and stilbenoids, have a greater positive effect than just CBD or THC alone.
Will CBD extract influence results of a drug test?
Most drug tests screen for the psychoactive compound THC, not cannabidiol (CBD). However, full-spectrum hemp extracts may contain trace amounts of THC, so could cause a positive result when screening urine and blood specimens, especially when taken at high doses. I recommend a prudent and cautious approach to taking CBD rich hemp extracts in the context of urine drug screens.
Will CBD interact with my other medications?
At low doses of CBD, less than 150mg total per day, it is unlikely that significant drug-herb interactions will occur. However it is always possible that drug-herb interactions can occur, and this is more likely the higher the dose. CBD and other plant cannabinoids can potentially interact with many pharmaceuticals by inhibiting the activity of cytochrome P450, a family of liver enzymes. If you are taking a medication where maintaining a certain blood level is critical- such as anti-seizure, anti-viral, blood-thinning medications- talk with your health care provider or pharmacist before trying CBD.
What is the right dosage of CBD?
An effective dosage can range from as little as a 5mg of CBD per day up to 150mg per day. Make sure to start low and go slow. Take a few small doses over the course of the day rather than one big dose. Use the same dose for several days. Observe the effects and if necessary adjust the amount. Don’t overdo it.
How does CBD interact with the endocannabinoid system? And what the heck is the endocannabinoid system, anyway?
The "endocannabinoid" system is an integral part of our neuro-immuno-endocrine network. This is the system of organ and tissue signaling in the human body that sends and receives chemical messages and is affects for many aspects of human health including mood, pain, inflammation, stress response and immune function.
Our bodies produce their own cannabinoids—endocannabinoids—primarily anandamide, and 2-AG (2-arachidonoylglycerol). A “phytocannabinoid” or plant-derived cannabinoid like CBD or THC can activate the same receptors in the body and have similar or stronger effects than our endocannabinoids. This is similar to how morphine derived from the poppy plant can reduce pain by activating the body’s endorphin receptors.
We know the very specific receptors that THC activates in the body, primarily CB1 and CB2 receptors in the brain, but are still learning all the different rectors CBD interact with- one research article estimated CBD may interact with 65 different receptors in the human body, leading scientists refer to CBD as a “promiscuous” compound.