There’s certainly a lot of buzz surrounding CBD lately, from the FDA passing Epidiolex to Indiana’s specific CBD labeling requirements. Maybe you’ve even tried CBD products for yourself. We’ve all heard the benefits, but are there any downsides?
What is CBD?
First things first, what exactly is CBD?
CBD is a molecule found in cannabis plants that has many therapeutic applications. Cannabis plants are made up of many different compounds, with the most predominant of these being cannabinoids. For a while, THC was the most well know cannabinoid due to its euphoria-producing effects, or the feeling of being high that most associated with cannabis. CBD, or cannabidiol, is the second most recognized cannabinoid in cannabis. CBD has been shown to have remarkable health benefits due to the way it works with our internal Endocannabinoid System.
While medical cannabis is typically manipulated and grown to produce higher concentrations of THC, hemp is naturally very high in CBD, therefore making industrial hemp-derived CBD products more accessible due to specific legalities in the US and other countries.
How does CBD work?
Our bodies all have an intrinsic system working to maintain overall balance called the Endocannabinoid System. This system is made of receptors called CB1 and CB2 receptors. Our CB1 receptors are mainly found in the brain and nervous system, while CB2 receptors are primarily in the gut and immune system. Our Endocannabinoid System, or ECS, and its receptors interact with compounds that we naturally produce, called endocannabinoids. This system also works with phytocannabinoids, or cannabinoids from plants, to modulate the body and maintain homeostasis.
Initially it was believed that CBD, a phytocannabinoid from cannabis, would directly bind to our CB1 and CB2 receptors. However recent studies have shown that CBD actually helps our ECS to utilize more of our own internal endocannabinoids to regulate all systems in the body.
What are the benefits of CBD?
With CBD showing these unique courses of action, more and more benefits continue to be uncovered. Our ECS intertwines itself within all systems of the body, so the possibilities are truly endless.
CBD has shown promise for things like epilepsy, mood disorders, Parkinson’s, anxiety, inflammation, nerve pain, tremors, migraines, chronic pain, arthritis, obesity, insomnia, and digestive disorders, to name a few.
What are the potential side effects of CBD?
The only reported side effects of cannabidiol are dry mouth, low blood pressure, lightheadedness, and drowsiness. CBD is considered possibly safe by WebMD when taken in “appropriate amounts” by adults.
Another common side effect from taking too much CBD is lethargy, which seems like a small price to pay when weighed against all the extensive benefits of the supplement.
While studies on CBD are still emerging, it has proven to be much safer than most medications available by prescription or even over the counter.
How do I know how much CBD to take?
So after learning the pros and cons, you may want to try CBD for yourself. That’s where the majority of questions begin. How much should I take? And how do I know what will work best for me?
CBD supplements can be a little tricky when determining an ideal dosage. First, always consult with your physician before starting a new supplement regimen. We recommend starting with a small amount and increase slowly, as this is the most beneficial and cost-effective method for determining your individualized serving size. Keep in mind that lower doses of CBD, anywhere from 10-20 milligrams a day, are shown to have a positive impact on the Endocannabinoid System for some people, while others may need more.
As for what products will work best for you, that’s where a little more experimentation may be needed. Though we normally go through the trial and error process with the assistance of a doctor, doing it on your own can seem a little daunting. We suggest keeping a health journal when starting out with cannabinoid therapy, as this is the best way to determine positive or negative changes in your body that you may not notice otherwise. Make sure you take your supplement at the same time every day, then check in with your body and jot down how you feel. It is also important to be mindful that just like medical cannabis, hemp plants vary greatly in their internal components, which is why one brand of hemp extract products may work better for you than another.
Have you tried CBD products and experienced any side effects? How has CBD impacted your life for the better or worse? Let us know!