A quick reminder... what is CBD?
CBD is the shorthand term for cannabidiol, which is one of the active ingredients in cannabis. More specifically, the cannabis sativa plant.
Unfortunately, many still associate the use of CBD with the use of cannabis, the illegal recreational drug. But this most certainly is not the case.
CBD is not psychoactive and does not get you 'high'. It is the high THC content that causes these effects. Often low amounts of THC can be found in CBD products. Whilst this can most certainly be beneficial, there are often legalities to consider.
CBD - like THC - comes from the cannabis plant, is known as a powerful natural pain reliever, as well as having numerous other benefits. For example, it's anti-inflammatory, and also it's antidepressant-like effects.
CBD interacts with the human body's endocannabinoid system, which affect many different processes in the body. Both CBD and THC work with cannabinoid receptors that release neurotransmitters in your brain. These transmitters can affect processes such as mood, sleep, memory and pain.
But CBD and THC are not the only cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant.
In fact, the hemp plant contains over 100 cannabinoids!
CBD products often contain some of these other cannabinoids, as well as flavonoids and terpenes.
This is because the cannabinoids work together and enhance the effect of the products.
This is known as the entourage effect.
CBD products which have this mix of cannabinoids are referred to as full-spectrum products. Be aware that these can contain THC. Products that contain only trace amounts of THC are called broadspectrum. CBD products that contain zero THC are known as CBD isolate. These are the three types of CBD products you can buy.
CBD oil is never just pure CBD oil, it requires a 'carrier'. A carrier oil helps to carry the CBD into your body. Without the carrier oil, your body would be unable to process the CBD properly. It needs to combine with fat molecules.
Whilst the carrier oil's job is predominantly to help your body process the CBD, the oil itself can offer various health benefits. In addition to this, the combination of the carrier oil also helps to control correct potency, and therefore CBD dosage.
Common carrier oils include coconut oil/MCT (Medium-Chain Triglyceride), Olive oil and hemp seed oil, but there are many others. With many opinions as to which one is the best.
The different forms of taking CBD at a glance
CBD can positively influence the balance of body functions (homeostasis) and has a wide range of uses. Depending on the purpose, CBD can be taken in many forms. These are the best known ways of taking it.
1. Sublingual (under the tongue)
This is the most common method for CBD oil. Here a dose of CBD oil is dripped under the tongue. So it can be measured easily and precisely. Important: The oil should not be swallowed directly, but should remain under the tongue for approx. 30 seconds.
This allows the CBD to pass directly through the membranes into the bloodstream. The oil can have a distinct taste and some people like the slightly earthy, bitter taste of the oil, whilst others not so much.
There are flavoured oils available, but some see the bitterness as a positive. This is because the bitterness boosts the immune system. In order not to alter the effect, it is advisable not to eat for about 30 minutes before and after ingestion.
2. Vaping and smoking
When using a vape pen or smoking, CBD enters almost directly into the blood through the membranes of the lungs and can thus exert its effect.
This form of intake can take place via CBD crystals or vape liquids. As is generally the case, vaping filters toxins better than smoking due to the evaporation of the liquid.
3. Eating and drinking
A milder way to take CBD is through eating or drinking supplements. There are countless products here, such as teas, chocolate or gummy bears .
Many people also prefer the more pleasant taste of these types of products, which are often flavoured. However, CBD capsules and pills are also widely used. The effect usually occurs after a delay, for example after about an hour, because the substance has to be digested and the CBD enter the blood stream via the digestive tract.
4. As a skin cream
CBD topicals can also be applied to the skin in the form of creams or ointments. This allows CBD to exert its anti-inflammatory effect. CBD creams are popular for psoriasis, acne, gingivitis, bite wounds or insect bites.
CBD can also be taken intravenously. Here CBD works immediately because by entering the bloodstream, barriers such as liver metabolism or the intestinal wall are bypassed.
Creams, balms and lotions also often contain other essential oils which can offer further benefits.
How should I dose CBD?
Dosing is always a grey area. There is of course no universally correct dosage for everyone. The effectiveness of CBD oil can vary from person to person.
In addition to the appearance of the actual anxiety disorder or the intensity of the panic attacks, it also depends on the individual's body weight.
Normally, you should start with an oil with a lower CBD content in order to get used to the product. In the event of severe panic attacks, 20 percent oil can also be used.
As a dosage, 3 x 5-10 drops (with 5% or 10% oil) daily is often a suggested starting point, but you could start with low doses at first. You can always adjust the dosage if there is no or little effect. CBD oil normally comes in a tincture with a pipette, which makes it easier to administer.
There is no universally correct dosage for everyone.
When should you take CBD?
CBD can be taken at any time of the day and can also be easily consumed on an empty stomach. It is therefore not necessary to take it before or after eating.
However, to enhance the effect of CBD, it is advisable not to eat for about 30 minutes before and after ingestion. In the case of sleep disorders, it can be helpful to take it shortly before going to bed.
How long does it take for an effect to occur?
CBD oil under the tongue works almost immediately, within a few minutes. It is the next fastest form of administration after intravenous administration. The active ingredients are passed into the bloodstream via the oral mucosa. From there it goes to the brain.
When taken via the stomach, the fullness of the stomach will affect the duration of action. When you ingest CBD through the stomach, the ingredients first have to pass through the intestinal wall and liver metabolism. This slows down the effects.
CBD works a little faster on an empty stomach than on a full stomach. Most users report an effect about 30-60 minutes after ingestion, depending on the fullness of the stomach.
Can you take CBD in the long term?
CBD can be used as a dietary supplement for a longer period of time or temporarily for specific health problems.
There are no known negative consequences of long-term use of CBD in humans. However, according to a study in an animal experiment with rats, there was evidence of an anxiety-promoting effect in the event of continued use. Whether this is also the case with humans is not scientifically proven.
It is particularly important to note that there is no evidence of a risk of dependency.
How should you give CBD to your pet?
For the best effect, you can drop your pet's CBD oil directly into their mouth with a pipette. Although, this could be a challenge for any lively pets! As an alternative, you could add your animal's CBD oil to their food.
The correct dosage is dependent on the body weight of the animal, we have a whole page dedicated to animals if you want to know more.
Please note that it is advisable to discuss the topic of using CBD for your pet with a veterinarian and to accept their advice. Given the newness of the topic, hopefully your veterinarian is up to date and open to alternative treatments.
Can children take CBD?
There is plenty of scientific evidence that CBD can help children with various ailments.
The general tolerance of CBD is good. There is no intoxicating effect and no potential for addiction. The effects of CBD could be a real alternative to conventional drugs, which are often associated with very strong side effects.
Children can also benefit from the health-promoting opportunities of the CBD.
The most common form of intake is in the form of CBD oil or, alternatively, with food.
Teas or gummy bears could be considered here, which might taste better for kids. But as always, consider the amount given that sweets can contain high levels of sugars and additives.
Again, we recommend that you discuss any possible use of CBD with a doctor beforehand.
We've covered the most common ways to take CBD. Whilst it is helpful listen to what works well for others, do work out what works for you. This can sometimes be a bit of a journey, different products offer different benefits, and everyone's needs are so difference.
Some people swear by CBD oil, whilst some dislike the taste and prefer to go for CBD edibles.
Some people need a strong dose of CBD whilst others only need a little.
The most important thing to remember is to get high quality CBD from reputable companies. Look at customer reviews and be wary of any companies who do not open share their third party lab test results.
Good luck on your CBD journey! We think CBD is AMAZING and we genuinely hope it helps you. We would love to hear from you if you have found success with CBD. Don't hesitiate to get in touch at email@example.com