Your Guide to CBD Oils & Drops
CBD oil has been in the news a lot of the past few years. This is due in part to a shift in public opinion about the medical benefits of cannabis.
But CDB isn't new. Hemp has been used for medicinal purposes for a few millennia. CBD oil was first extracted in 1940.
The first studies on CDB oil date back to 1946 when Dr. Walter Loewe started conducting tests on lab animals regarding the efficacy of CBD oil for medicinal use.
In the 1960s, Dr. Raphael Mechoulam made strides in CBD and marijuana research in general. He discovered CBDs 3 dimensional structure. He and his team researched CBD and marijuana leading to the first test on primates and CDB oil being released for therapeutic use in the United Kingdom.
In 1980, Mechoulam worked on another CBD study that became a breakthrough for epilepsy treatment that set the groundwork for the drug Epidiolex (although the drug would take 38 years to come to market).
Is CBD Marijuana?
One of the main fears of CBD is that people believe it is marijuana. This isn't exactly the case.
CBD is an extract. It can be extracted from both marijuana and hemp. However, the CBD extracted from marijuana contains higher percentages of THC, the main psychoactive chemical in cannabis.
What Is CBD?
Cannabidiol or CBD is an extract that comes from cannabis and hemp plants. The extract can be turned into oil, capsules, dried cannabis, or as a liquid solution.
Chemically, CBD is one of 85 chemical substances known as cannabinoids, which are all found in the cannabis plant.
Cannabis and hemp come from the same family of plants. The CBD oil that you find online or in stores around the country is derived from hemp and has less than 0.3% THC.
In addition to not having any psychoactive properties, hemp-based CBD oil isn't addictive. It’s also safe, which is why many people have switched from prescription pharmaceuticals to CBD products.
The lack of psychoactive properties and the health benefits that CBD touts has led people to try CBD products in lieu of trying marijuana, which also has been touted as having medical benefits.
In June of 2018, The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first CBD based drug known as Epidiolex. The product made by Greenwich Biosciences is designed to help children with epilepsy.
In September, The FDA moved Epidiolex from the Schedule I narcotics list (dangerous drugs with no medical value) to Schedule V (the least dangerous drugs).
Epidiolex, according to a press released by GW Pharmaceuticals and Greenwich Biosciences has no more than 0.15% (5 times the over the counter amount). http://ir.gwpharm.com/news-releases/news-release-details/gw-pharmaceuticals-announces-receipt-notices-allowance-united
The drawback to prescription Epidiolex is that the annual price tag for a prescription is about $32,000. And because it is a new drug, there's no generic alternative and insurance companies won't pay for the drug.
Is CBD Legal?
To some degree, CBD oil is legal in all 50 states under state law. CBD oils are legal under federal law. Congress approved the 2014 Farm Bill legalized the sale of "non-viable hemp material" with less than 0.3% THC, and the 2018 Farm Bill allowed for interstate commerce of hemp-derived products. The Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 removed hemp from the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). So in this case, CBD derived from hemp is legal, and not considered a controlled substance under the CSA.
States that have fully legalized CBD include:
States that have approved CBD but have placed restrictions on how or whom it can be sold include:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- Washington DC
- West Virginia
States where legal ambiguity exists or have major restrictions include:
- North Dakota
- South Dakota
What is CBD Oil?
When CBD is made, the producers look for hemp plants that have a high CDB and low THC content. This allows for a high yielding as well as a high-quality product. Some producers create unique hemp strains to meet the needs of the customers they cater to.
The hemp plant on average takes about 4 months to grow to full maturity. Once grown, the plant is harvested, and then the CBD can be extracted. Most CBD manufacturers that focus on health use the entire plant in the process. This gives the widest variety of yields from the cannabinoids.
Some manufacturers extract isolates that, as the name suggests, isolates the CBD of terpenes (are aromatic organic compounds found in hemp that attracts pollinators), secondary cannabinoids and fatty acids to interact with to increase the healing properties of CBD. Isolate derived CBD extract isn't as effective as a whole plant CBD extract.
When using the whole plant method, there are many ways that the oil can be extracted.
The first method if the grain alcohol method. This method sees the hemp plant soaked in grain as the plant soaks, the oil and other cannabinoids separate from the plant. Once the alcohol evaporates, all that remains in the CBD oil. At this point, the oil can then be packaged and consumed.
The next method is the use of carbon dioxide or CO2. In this procedure, pressurized carbon dioxide is forced through the hemp plant to extract the oil. This is done through a series of chambers that catch the oils. The carbon dioxide creates chemical reactions that react to the cannabinoids and cause the cannabinoids to separate. This method allows the manufacturer to choose which cannabinoids are used in their products.
Once extracted, the oil is diluted to meet the needs of the manufacturer’s customers and flavored to make the raw oil product palatable.
What Uses Does Hemp Oil Have?
Hemp has been cultivated for thousands of years. The plant is one of the most versatile agricultural products ever grown. Hemp can be used for food, clothing, paper, medicine, and much more.
The US government was known to plant hemp along rivers in farming communities in the early 1900s to prevent soil erosion.
Hemp oil is commonly used to treat ailments in both animals and humans.
Starting in the 1960s, scientists have studied the effects that hemp oils have on animals and humans.
In the last decade, the stigma of hemp’s association with marijuana has been lowered. As has the stigma of marijuana itself.
Part of the reason is that animals and human produce cannabinoids internally. This is known as the endocannabinoid system.
The endocannabinoid system is the system that keeps the digestive, nervous, and circulatory systems in the body in check.
Direct and indirect research for a number of maladies has been shown to improve or be completely eliminated with the use of CDB oils.
CBD has been known the help with such disorders as:
- Multiple sclerosis
- Parkinson's disease
- Huntington's disease
- Tourette's syndrome
- Alzheimer's disease
- Bipolar disorder
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Cardiovascular disorders
And that's just to name a few. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3202504/
As with any over the counter treatment, figuring out how to take the CBD oil can cause some confusion. This is amplified by the fact that the industry is in its infancy and the information some people put out is conflicting at times.
While many websites tackle the benefits of CBD oil (and there are many), not many of these sites explain how much you should take.
And because the FDA has not come out and designated CBD as a supplement, they have not created a guide as to how much a person should take each day. This means there is not a "serving size" that CBD businesses can use as a benchmark.
The result is consumers like you and me having to depend on what manufacturers claim the correct dosage is or take the advice of friends or acquaintances who have used the product.
The correct dosage of CBD, much like any other supplement or prescription depends on a number of factors. These include:
- The potency of CBD oil
- The person's weight
- The person’s body chemistry
- The condition the person is treating
- How severe the condition is
- If the person is affected by other conditions
- How long the person has been taking CBD oil
So the dosages that you take is going to be different than that of another person.
And as time goes on, your body adjusts to the dosage, so you will need to adjust your dosage accordingly.
This being said, there are no dosages that are universal for everyone. You have to experiment with what works best for you.
That being said, there are ways to determine how much to start off with. You can use these recommendations to determine how much to take:
- Body weight and condition severity: Many substances that a person ingests affect the person by their size. For example, a heavier person can usually drink more alcohol than a lighter person and be less intoxicated.The same is true with CBD oil. Depending on the severity of your condition, CBD oil dosages of 1 milligram to 5 milligrams for every 10 pounds of weight you carry.
- Lower is Better: As with any substance that enters your body, there will be a reaction. For substances that are new, you have no idea what the reaction will be. CBD has been proven safe to the human body. But that's not to say there aren't side effects. One of the most common side effects is fatigue. If you hit your body with 100 milligrams of CBD in a day without ever having done so before, you will likely have to sleep most of the day. While this may be your intention if you are an insomniac, most people want to take CBD to function properly throughout the day. So start low and ramp up. Get your body used to it. As time goes on you will be able to hit that "sweet spot" where your pain or condition has subsided but you are able to function without the fatigue.
- Talk to your doctor: This should be a no-brainer anyway. Anytime you start any health regimen, you should consult your doctor. Keep in mind, some doctors don’t have much experience with CBD and some may discourage you from it based on old stigmas, so you may need to find another doctor if that's the case.
- The Mayo Clinic: The Mayo Clinic is a world-renown medical research center. They have recommendations on CBD usage based on research, publications, and expert opinion. They've some of the following suggestions:
- Chronic Pain: 2.5-20mg of CBD daily.
- Epilepsy: 200-300mg of CBD (orally) daily.
- Movement Problems Due to Huntington’s Disease: 10mg of CBD per kg of body weight daily for six weeks.
- Sleep Disorders: 40mg-160mg of CBD.
- Schizophrenia: 40-1,280mg oral CBD daily.
- Glaucoma: A single sublingual CBD dosage of 20-40mg (>40 mg may increase eye pressure).
CBD oil is a safe and effective tool in fighting many diseases and conditions as well as a way to maintain your overall health.
The market for CBD oil has exploded in the last 2 years and the lack of direction from organizations like the FDA have caused confusion about which works best and how to use CBD oil properly.
However, many sources outside of the US government’s agencies such as the Mayo Clinic and the Centers for Disease Control have provided helpful input into what conditions CBD oil can help and how to use them.
Still, as with any product, you're going to need to do some research and see what works best for you.