The most popular way to consume CBD in the form of CBD drops. CBD drops come from CBD tinctures that have a dropper attached to the lid that allows a person to ingest the CBD by placing the CBD drops under the tongue.
What Is CBD?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of 113 known compounds that’s found in the cannabis plant as well as in the human body known as cannabinoids.
The most famous cannabinoid is THC, which is the active ingredient in marijuana that causes an intoxicating high. It is because of this, many assume that CBD will also create that same feeling and not use it, however, this isn’t the case. CBD has actually been found to counteract THC is clinical studies and has no intoxicating effects.
This is because most CBD is derived hemp. Hemp comprises 2 of the 3 species of cannabis and only has trace amounts of THC in most cases. The 3 species of cannabis are:
- Indica – Indica is the plant traditionally associated with marijuana. The THC content in these plants can range from 5% to 35%. Indica does have CBD, but the quantities can vary. Indica was originally indigenous to India and in addition to marijuana, it is used in the hashish. Hashish is the resin made from cannabis.
- Sativa – This is a cannabis species with low THC content (less than 0.3%) and higher CBD content. This is this the traditional species that’s been known as hemp. It was originally native to Asia but has spread across the world. These plants can grow up to 20 feet tall. Sativa can prosper in many different types of climates and can be used for a number of things including food, rope, clothing, medicine, building supplies, paper, and as a way to fight erosion along rivers.
- Ruderalis– Ruderalis is another strain of hemp that’s indigenous to Russia. The plant rarely grows to more than 2 feet tall. For millennia, Russians have used it for medicinal purposes and food. In recent years, Ruderalis has been a popular plant to cross breed with Indica and Sativa as Ruderalis is a heartier plant and has an “auto-flowering” stage that’s based on the age of the plant, while other cannabis strains are based on light cycles. This allows quicker cultivation when crossbred. Ruderalis has the lowest THC content of the 3 species of cannabis. On its own, Ruderalis’ potential for other uses than medicinal purposes is limited due to the size of the plant.
Here is a side-by-side comparison of the 3 species of cannabis:
|Cannabis Sativa||Cannabis Indica||Cannabis Ruderalis|
|Commonly Known As||Hemp||Marijuana||Russian Hemp|
|THC Content||Less than 0.3%||Up to 35%||Less than 0.1%|
|CBD Content||15% to 20%||5% to 10%||Up to 25%|
|Average Plant Height||Up to 20 feet||3 to 6 feet||2 feet|
|Legal for Medical Use||Legal for medical use in most states. Federal law only recognizes 1 CBD product by prescription.||Legal for medical use in 33 states. Not legal under federal law, however, the justice department is prohibited by law from using funds to prosecute medical cannabis users and suppliers||Legal for medical use in most states. Federal law only recognizes 1 CBD product by prescription.|
|Legal for Personal Use||Ambiguous under federal law||No||Ambiguous under federal law|
|Area of Origin||Eastern Asia||India||Russia, Mongolia|
|Uses||Medical, Food, Clothing, Rope, Construction Materials, Plastics, Bio Fuel||Medicine, Recreational use, Hashish||Medical, Food, Crossbreeding plant for both Sativa and Indica|
The development of CBD as a health supplement started with the use of cannabis as a medicine. The first modern studies of the effect of cannabis on disease started in the 1830s with the studies of cannabis by William Brooke O’Shaughnessy. O’Shaughnessy was an Irish doctor and scientist working in India when he was introduced to Indica.
He wanted to study local folk remedies and came across one particular remedy that was used more than others. This became known as cannabis Indica. During his initial studies, O’Shaughnessy was able to stop the pain of rheumatism in one patient and still the convulsions (epilepsy) of an infant using Indica. This led to the first research papers on the use of cannabis as a treatment for illness.
O’Shaughnessy eventually returned to England and brought Indica with him. While there he was able to successfully stop the wrenching muscle spasm of tetanus and rabies using Indica resin (hashish). While he didn’t cure tetanus, he observed that the cannabis mixture reduced their symptoms of involuntary muscle spasms as well as their suffering.
Word of his success and the benefits of Indica spread across Europe, and within the next decade, Indica made its way to North America.
Cannabis became a medically recognized remedy for a number of illnesses in both Europe and North America. By 1850, the United States Pharmacopeia had listed cannabis as a treatment for nearly 2 dozen conditions and was considered an over-the-counter medicine that could be purchased from any local pharmacy.
The book cited cannabis as a treatment for the following:
- Convulsive disorders
- Excessive menstrual bleeding
- Neuralgia (nerve pain)
- Opiate addiction
- Uterine bleeding
The use of cannabis for these and other issues was popular until the end of the 1800s. Part of the reason was that the plant was easy for pharmaceutical companies to cultivate, as such, it became widely available for people to buy at local stores. Prescriptions for cannabis were not required and the cost of it was much cheaper than other pharmacological options of the time.
By the 1930s, propaganda led to a widespread banning of cannabis and its eventual removal from the United States Pharmacopeia as well as its later classification as a Schedule I drug, meaning it had no medicinal value.
However, this started changing in the 1990s. In the time that cannabis was banned, scientists had isolated the cannabinoids THC and CBD and were able to determine their functions.
CBD is known to have many healing properties. Among these properties are:
These properties are as a result of the way CBD works with the body’s endocannabinoid system.
How CBD Drops Work with Endocannabinoid System
In the early 1990s, it was discovered that animals and humans have natural receptors in their bodies that process cannabinoids. This became known as the endocannabinoid system (ECS).
The ECS is a system of neurotransmitters the bind to neuroreceptors in the brain, central nervous system, and peripheral nervous system that are specifically designed to process cannabinoids like CBD.
The ECS is involved in regulating and modulating cognitive and physiological functions such as:
- Pain sensation
- Postnatal development
- Prenatal development
- Processing the absorption of cannabinoids like CBD and THC
The ECS is comprised of a system of endogenous (originating from within an organism) lipid-based (fatty acids) retrograde neurotransmitters (brain signals that travel “backward” form normal flow) that bind to cannabinoid receptors, and cannabinoid receptor proteins that are expressed throughout the brain, the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system.
In a nutshell, the ECS is comprised of 3 main parts:
- The cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1) and cannabinoid receptor type 2 (CB2) that couple with guanine nucleotide-binding proteins (G-proteins) located throughout the brain, central nervous system, and the peripheral nervous system
- The lipids anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG). These lipids are called endocannabinoids and are physiological ligands (molecules which produce a signal by binding to a target protein) for cannabinoid receptors
- The proteins (enzymes) that create and reduce the endocannabinoids
Clinical studies over the past few decades have revealed that CBD acts as a neuromodulator within the ECS that serves such functions as:
- Motor learning
- Pain sensation
The properties have been proven in the last few decades with the discovery of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the body. The ECS is comprised of neuroreceptors and neurotransmitters throughout the brain, central nervous system, and the peripheral nervous system in the body.
The focus of the ECS is primarily on CB1 and CB2 neuroreceptors. CB1 receptors far outnumber the C2 receptors in the ECS. Among other parts of the body, they can be found in:
- Adrenal glands
- Digestive tract
- Endothelial cells
- Fat cells
- Kupffer cells
- Leydig cells
- Liver cells
- Muscle cells
- Oviducts myometrium
- Pituitary gland
- Stellate cells
- Thyroid gland
The CB1 receptors are known to affect:
- Cardiovascular activity
- Drug and behavioral addictions
- Gastrointestinal activity
- Motor control
- Olfaction (sense of smell)
- Plasticity (adaptation to change)
While there are less CB2 receptors in the ECS (more are being found as new studies are conducted), the regions that these receptors affect are just as important. These include:
- Gastrointestinal system
- Immune system
- Peripheral nervous system
The CB2 receptors affect some of the following biological processes and responses within the body:
- Bone health
- Cancer inhibition
- Cardiovascular processes
- Gastrointestinal processes
- Kidney function
- Liver function
- Lung function
- Pain responses
- Skin reactions
The CB1 and CB2 receive signals from neurotransmitters throughout the body. Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers which transmits signals across chemical synapses, such as a neuromuscular junction, from one nerve cell to another nerve cell, muscle cell, or gland cell.
CB1 receptors interact with CBD works as an antagonist. This means that CBD activates it to it but doesn’t bind to the receptor. This allows CBD to regulate the neurotransmitters to keep them from being quickly absorbed. This allows the neurotransmitter to build to proper levels to allow for regular activity within the ECS.
CB2 receptors actually bind with CBD as CBD acts as an agonist. By binding to the CB2 receptors, CBD allows neurotransmitters to pass through without any restrictions.
The CB1 and CB2 react to neurotransmitters in the body. Examples of major neurotransmitters include:
- Adenosine triphosphate
- Carbon monoxide
- CART (cocaine and amphetamine regulated transcript)
- Gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA)
- Hydrogen sulfide
- Nitric oxide
- Opioid peptides
- Substance P
CBD Drop Dosage
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
There’s no CBD drop dosage that’s universal for everyone. But, there are ways to determine how much to start off with. The following is a guide 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 drops. Depending on the severity of the condition, CBD oil dosages of 1 milligram to 6 milligrams for every 10 pounds a person weighs.
- Starting low –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. Due to this a person should start out with a lower dose and increase the amount until they start to feel fatigued. Once the fatigue is felt, they should reduce until no fatigue is felt. This process may take several weeks and may need to be repeated as the body develops a tolerance for CBD drops.
- Consult a physician – When starting any health regimen, a doctor should be consulted. It should be kept in mind that many doctors don’t have much experience with CBD. Some may discourage the use of it based on old stigmas, so another doctor may need to be consulted that understand CBD drops.
- 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 to 20 milligrams of CBD daily.
- Epilepsy: 200 to 300 milligrams of CBD (orally) daily.
- Huntington’s Disease: 10 milligrams of CBD per kg of body weight daily for six weeks.
- Sleep Disorders: 40 to 160 milligrams of CBD.
- Schizophrenia: 40 to 1,280 milligrams oral CBD daily.
Where to Buy CBD Drops
CBD drops are available in a number of places including retail stores, grocery stores, and CBD specialty stores as well as online.
The best places to buy CBD drops are stores that specialize in CBD products. These stores know how CBD drops work and can help customers with questions regarding which CBD drops would work best for them. These stores spend lots of time working with suppliers and manufacturers to get the highest quality products.
When buying online, many will look towards big online retailers such as Walmart or Amazon, but the quality of the product may be questionable. Also, there are no experts to ask about the products.
Many of the best online CBD stores will have experts who’re ready to chat, email, or even take a phone call regarding their products. They will also have the latest independent third party test results online or readily available to send upon request if they’re a direct-to-consumer manufacturer of CBD.
When purchasing online, it’s important to review the ingredients of items from stores that are located in one of the 10 states that have legalized marijuana for recreational use before purchasing anything to make sure that the product has less than 0.3% THC content to meet the federal legal standards for hemp products to be shipped across state lines. Anything over that amount can get a purchased arrested in a state that doesn’t have recreational marijuana laws or by federal authorities for the product being sent over state lines.
People are realizing the health benefits of CBD and CBD drops more and more each day. The ease of use of CBD drops makes it the most popular choice among CBD users.
CBD drops come in many flavors, concentrations, and sizes, so for a person new to CBD, it may be best to not only consult a doctor before starting a course of CBD in their daily health routine but to discuss the use with a CBD expert at a store in person or online.