Are you still among those who haven't tried CBD? Or perhaps you tried it but didn't get the expected results.
It can be canna-confusing!
In this blog, I will clarify what CBD oil is, how it can help you, and what dosage is recommended for each type of health challenge you may be experiencing.
Quick fun fact!
Did you know that Queen Victoria is reported to have taken an alcoholic extract of cannabis as relief for her pre-menstrual syndrome and childbirth pains? (1)
For thousands of years, the cannabis plant has been recognized for its medicinal properties, the first documented case of its use goes back to 2800 BC, when listed in the pharmacopoeia of Emperor Shen Nung, regarded as the father of Chinese medicine. (2)
CBD stands for Cannabidiol, the second most abundant compound found in the Cannabis plant species.
It isn't addictive and it doesn't produce any intoxicating effects, unlike the THC compound, which is the principal psychoactive constituent.
All cannabinoids act like special keys that fit into a lock on a protein and they can change how the lock works.
One important lock is called the CB1 receptor, and it's found all over the body, especially in the brain, where it affects things like movement, coordination, senses, emotions, memory, thinking, and other important functions.
CB2 receptors are like little helpers mostly found in the immune system. Even though all cannabinoids look similar, they do different things when they interact with these receptors.
When it comes to CBD, it doesn't affect CB1 and CB2 receptors much. That's why it doesn't make you feel "high" like THC does, which works with CB1 receptors.
That's also why recreational cannabis usually has more THC and less CBD.
THC has some good health effects, but it can also make people feel weird or spacey. That's why many people are interested in CBD, which doesn't have those strange effects.
Worried about the legalities of CBD?
Under European law, CBD isn't considered a narcotic drug and the Court of Justice of the European Union (CEJEU) approved its sale.
There is also no specific regulation governing CBD production, consumption, or sale in Spain (3).
As long as the THC levels are below 0,2% in CBD, it's not a problem.
Let's now take a look at how CBD can help us with a broad spectrum of mental, emotional and physical health complaints.
According to the Brazilian Journal of Psychiatry, the anxiety-reducing effects of CBD are similar to those of approved drugs to treat anxiety.
Researchers use a test called the simulated public speaking (SPS) model to measure anxiety levels when people have to speak in front of a video camera, as one of the biggest fears that people have is speaking in public.
Approximately 5% to 10% of people around the world have Social anxiety disorder (SAD) (4).
Researchers tested 24 patients with SAD using the SPS model. Half of the patients took CBD, and the other half took a placebo (fake medicine). The results showed that the CBD group had lower anxiety levels and felt better compared to the placebo group (5).
Healthy sleep is essential for your physical, mental and emotional health and a lot of people suffer from not sleeping enough.
It can be very debilitating and can affect your ability to perform at work, at home and in your relationships.
From my research, as of 2023, there is little evidence to support the improvement of sleep from taking CBD, however, if you can't sleep well due to stress, anxiety or pain, then this is where CBD can be a valuable remedy to help improve sleep.
As a side note, be sure to check out my free e-book and checklist with tips and techniques to help you sleep better: Free E-Book And Checklist: The Perfect Slumber Guide
Chronic pain is a big problem worldwide and people usually take painkillers just to manage and get through the day. The problem is that it usually comes with harmful side effects, such as blurred vision, constipation, headaches and mood changes.
In a 2019 study, 97 patients with chronic pain who had been taking opioids received CBD (6). Over half of the patients were able to reduce or stop taking opioids altogether. 94% of them reported that their quality of life got better.
A study published in 2022 reports promising effects in managing cancer in lab studies and some human trials. There is evidence to show that it may help with cancer pain and reduce the side effects of chemotherapy.
Researchers in the study looked at how CBD fights cancer (7). It seems to use different mechanisms, like activating certain receptors and causing cancer cell death, also known as apoptosis.
It can also stop tumours from spreading (metastasis) and make chemotherapy work better.
If you experience abdominal pain, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn's disease, constipation, bloating, malabsorption, diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite then you may find that CBD is helpful for you.
A study published in 2013 highlighted the significance of treating inflammation in the gut using CBD (8)
A condition that results in issues in communication, social interaction, lack of interest and repetitive behaviours.
A study in 2021 reported a 2-year study of 33 children diagnosed with autism, who took an average daily dosage of 0.7 mg/kg/day of CBD for a median duration of 6.5 months.
The results found CBD helpful in managing autism-related behavioural problems without any significant side effects (9).
The above list is not exhaustive and CBD has the capacity to reduce complaints from a wide variety of symptoms.
Before taking any CBD, make sure that it is organic, without the use of herbicides or chemical fertilisers, such as the one from MELS.
This company makes organic CBD, and the crops are harvested once a year using ancient principles used by traditional herbalists.
Their CO2 extraction method means it's much gentler to extract and preserve the medicinal benefits.
An organic base oil of MCT (fractionated coconut) increases the absorption uptake making sure you achieve the most benefit.
The two strain bottle holds two different varieties of cannabis and the five strains hold five different varieties of the plant.
To begin, use 1-4 drops per dose for the first few weeks. You can take it 2-3 times during the day, or just in the evening, depending on what you want to achieve. It's essential to increase the dose gradually, so your body's cannabinoid receptors have time to activate and fully benefit from the cannabinoids.
As a general guide, there are three different dosages for symptoms:
Microdose: 5 – 30 mg CBD per day. Can be effective for sleep, headaches, mood swings, nausea, PTSD, stress and metabolic syndrome.
Standard dose: 40 – 100 mg CBD per day. CBD has shown effectiveness for chronic pain, inflammation, autoimmune disorders, Borrelia, anxiety, depression, arthritis, some mental disorders, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease and autism.
Macrodose: 50 – 800 mg CBD per day. People often use doses at this level for cancer, epilepsy, liver disease and other serious life-threatening conditions.
You'll notice different percentages: 5%, 10%, 20% and 40%
CBD oil's percentage can be figured out by dividing the amount of the product (like 10ml) by the CBD quantity (say 1000mg). 1000mg CBD equals 1ml. So, a 10ml CBD bottle with 1000mg CBD is 10% CBD (1ml is 10% of 10ml).
It's helpful when the product shows both the percentage and CBD quantity in mg, so you don't need to do the math. In the example above, a 10ml bottle holds about 240 drops. This means roughly 4mg CBD per drop (if it's 10% CBD). To reach the max recommended CBD dose, you'd need around 17 drops.
Just to give you an idea, 5% CBD is low strength, 10% is medium, and 20%+ is high dose. Prices of CBD products vary accordingly, so when you're comparing prices, make sure to check how much CBD is in it.
So, as an example, if you're interested in alleviating chronic pain with the standard dosage, the guide above recommends taking between 40 - 100mg per day. So you could take the 40% TWO STRAIN or FIVE STRAIN and take 2 drops a day to meet the lowest recommended amount. This way, it will last you much longer than buying CBD oil with lower concentration.
10% contains 5mg CBD per drop (also suitable for pets)
20% contains 10mg CBD per drop
40% contains 20mg CBD per drop
CBD is not a substitute for a varied diet. To maintain proper health, you should follow a varied diet and lead a healthy lifestyle.
Do not use in children under 12 years of age, in pregnant women and nursing mothers. CBD should not be used simultaneously with antidepressants [SSRIs, SNRIs, MAO inhibitors], antiviral drugs in the case of HIV/AIDS infection or used as part of therapy after organ transplantation.
I hope you have found this article helpful and enjoyable!
(8) Esposito G, Filippis DD, Cirillo C, Iuvone T, Capoccia E, Scuderi C, Steardo A, Cuomo R, Steardo L. Cannabidiol in inflammatory bowel diseases: a brief overview. Phytother Res. 2013 May;27(5):633-6. doi: 10.1002/ptr.4781. Epub 2012 Jul 20. PMID: 22815234.
(9) Bilge, S., Ekici, B. CBD-enriched cannabis for autism spectrum disorder: an experience of a single center in Turkey and reviews of the literature. J Cannabis Res 3, 53 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1186/s42238-021-00108-7