CBD could be the answer to keeping calm throughout lock-down
The Ultimate Guide to CBD
Throughout the last few months of lock-down, many people have been looking to CBD to give them a help with keeping stress-free. CBD products have been on the vegan scene for a while now, due to their natural and generally cruelty-free origins.
But are you unsure about what CBD actually is, and how and when to use it? CBD expert Paul Gurney, founder of vegan CBD product provider, GreenBox tells all…
1. So, what is CBD?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a naturally occurring plant cannabinoid found in abundance in the hemp and cannabis plants. It is able to help the ECS maintain harmony across the human body’s many complex functions.
Contrary to popular opinion, it does not directly bind with the CB1 or CB2 receptors of the ECS like endocannabinoids and other plant derived cannabinoids (such as THC & CBG) do.
It actually effects these receptors indirectly, almost acting as a guide to help other compounds bind to the CB receptors. Additionally, CBD protects the body’s natural endocannabinoids that would otherwise be broken down by enzymes.
The scientific community is carrying out a number of studies to explore how CBD could assist with medical conditions relating to inflammation, chronic pain and anxiety, thanks to its involvement in upholding homeostasis. Much of this important and exciting work is still ongoing, but shows early promise.
For example, many people who take CBD refer to the feeling of calm and relaxation it creates. This could be down to how CBD helps target the causes of anxiety.
CBD and anxiety
There are already pharma solutions to deal with anxiety, such as Xanax and Valium. So, why use CBD over these white coat options?
Well, not only are these drugs often addictive, expensive and inaccessible, but they are not generally intended to be long term solutions. In addition, consumers around the world want natural and vegan solutions to health problems, rather than chemical ones. That’s why it has become a popular product among those with anxiety disorders.
At the end of the treatment period, the results showed it “significantly decreased anxiety”. It’s encouraging to see evidence that it does help people with these mental disorders.
CBD and pain or inflammation
Early clinical studies once again suggest that CBD could have some promising benefits when it comes to combating pain.
Numerous further studies show that CBD can help combat inflammation. It engages with the ECS in many organs throughout the body, helping to reduce inflammation systemically. The therapeutic potential is impressively broad, as a wide range of diseases have inflammation at its core.
What are the other health benefits?
As mentioned, there are many potential benefits of taking CBD. Many consumers find it can help combat anxiety, stress, inflammation and more. However, we do reiterate that the evidence is highly anecdotal today, and there are only a few pre-clinical human studies to rely on.
The reason is because it was only until recently that CBD was a not a controlled substance. So, scientific study of it was highly restricted. Today though, there are many exciting ongoing studies, and the results will be released in the coming years.
GreenBox is unable to make specific claims about what the effects of CBD might be for your health due to the current UK regulatory framework. This is why we suggest consumers carry out further reading to learn more. However, it’s clear this is one promising dietary supplement.
Will it get me high?
It won’t. CBD does not have the ability to create a high. It’s more infamous cousin, D9-THC (delta nine-tetrahydrocannabinol), usually extracted from the cannabis plant, offers the mind altering effects. This is because CBD and THC react differently with the body’s ECS. THC binds directly to the CB1 receptor while CBD does not, and it is this function that causes the ‘high’ associated with cannabis. Interestingly, THC can also increase the feeling of anxiety in some people. What we understand today is that the effect is entirely down to a person’s own body chemistry.
Could it show up in a drugs test?
A drugs test is searching for illegal substances in your bodily fluids. Given CBD is legal there are no concerns here. However, the reason why some people might be concerned about this is because some low quality CBD products contain low levels of THC. The quality issue we mentioned earlier is rearing its head again.
As THC is an illegal substance in the UK, if a consumer has been taking a low quality CBD product that still contains some THC, a drugs test could come back positive. To avoid this small chance entirely, buy only quality products and ask for a certificate of analysis to prove the absence of any illegal content.
Are there any other side effects?
GW Pharma’s clinical trials data is a good place to start as the Company looked at the side effects of dosing at 20mg per kg of body weight per day. So, for an average adult human weighing 62 kg, the Epidiolex dose would be 1240 mg per day. This is an extremely high dose and this is partly because the product is a pure CBD isolate. GreenBox recommends starting off at around 50 mg per day. All the same, we believe it’s important consumers are aware of all the facts.
The recorded side effects at this dose included sleepiness, reduced appetite, increased liver enzymes and others. Note, however, that the dosage was around 25 times higher than the level regular consumers might take CBD for the discussed wellness benefits we have also discussed.
Is CBD legal?
GreenBox can confidently confirm that it is a legal substance and GreenBox conducts testing to confirm we stock only legal brands. However, many products in the marketplace do contain some levels of THC and this is the source of the legality issue. THC is an illegal substance, and if it is found above a threshold level in a CBD product, then the product is illegal.
The HM Government is clear about what makes a product legal in this factsheet.
Is CBD safe?
According to the World Health Organization, it is entirely safe to consume and non-addictive. As mentioned earlier, it is safe even if taken at hundreds of milligrams daily, according to the few trials done so far.
Regulatory bodies around the world and large consumer products companies are sitting on their hands. They’re waiting to see how the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) chooses to regulate this impressive ingredient. Until that time, it’s likely the Coca Cola’s of this world don’t participate. This leaves the market open for smaller brands to establish themselves.
2. How to take CBD
We can consume CBD in many different forms, but what is the best way? From oils and sprays to creams and balms, and many more. The choices can be overwhelming!
We’ve put together this guide to help you find the ideal product form to introduce CBD into the daily routine.
The variety of product types
Different product types offer variations in convenience,but also effectiveness. The most important factor is the latter, which is all about bioavailability.
The same dosage taken in two different product forms will result in different absorption levels in the body. For example, taking the CBD dose through an intravenous (IV) drip would give 100 per cent absorption. This is because the entire dose hits the bloodstream.
That’s great, but it’s not very convenient! Ingesting it, however, means it passes through the digestive system. As a result, the bloodstream only receives a small percentage of the CBD.
Taking it under the tongue
To support a daily wellness routine, GreenBox recommends dropping CBD oil under the tongue. This delivers a high absorption rate and a reliable onset of around 60 to 90 minutes. It’s also fairly quick and easy to do. Product forms like oil droppers and sprays are perfect for this. They’re also among the most cost effective ways to consume regularly.
The benefits of edibles
To give yourself a mid-day boost, a wide range of edibles are available. These include chocolates, drinks, gummies and other common edible products.
Edibles do offer a lower level of absorption as it must pass through the digestive system, but the benefit is longer onset and true convenience.
Skin and body products
To target a specific area on the body or face, topicals such as balms, lotions, serums and creams are very effective. The advantage of skin application is it can be administered exactly where the discomfort is, so it is possible to get a high level of CBD right on the target area. That’s why skin products are also a popular option.
3. What’s the right dosage?
Our bodies are all unique. So the way our endocannabinoid system (ECS) reacts when taking CBD is unique to us too. That’s why GreenBox advises that consumers find their ideal CBD dosage by careful trial and error.
Where to start
It can be hard to figure out how much CBD to begin with, but we are here to help. Many brands provide a daily dose with the product, and this is a fine place to start. For example, German pharma brand Ayucana advises healthy adults take 50 mg of CBD per day. For children aged between 14-18 years, Ayucana advises 40 mg per day.
Recall that CBD is entirely safe according to the WHO, even at very high doses. So, it’s important that new CBD consumers find their ideal dose by trial and error to find what is right for them. We are all different on the inside and out!
Raise CBD dose slowly
Begin by taking a low initial daily dose or a brand’s advised dose. Then, slowly increase it by 10 mg CBD per day until you begin to feel its effect, if you don’t already.
It’s important to explore and find out what works for you. When you are happy with the effect you are feeling, hold that level of dosage from there on.
An easy way to accurately dose is to either use CBD capsules which have a specific concentration of CBD per pill, or use a bottle of CBD oil with a dropper.
CBD on the skin and body
GreenBox offers similar advice when using skin & body CBD products. Apply the product liberally on the problem area as part of your daily routine. Increase the number of times you apply the product per day to increase its effect. CBD is understood to have great anti-inflammatory properties so applying on the skin is an effective method.
The UK’s Food Standards Agency (FSA) has stepped in to advise that consumers take no more than 70 mg daily. GreenBox feels it is important to highlight this.
Speak to your doctor
Cannabidiol CBD is a natural plant based ingredient from either the hemp or cannabis plant, so it is safe to consume. However, it’s important for a first-time consumer’s peace of mind to speak with their doctor if there are medical conditions to consider. This is because drug interactions can take place if you are already taking a prescription. This may effect what CBD serving sizes may be appropriate to proceed with.