7 Things to know before buying CBD
How do I take CBD is the most common question I receive from my patients. But there is more to the answer than just placing some CBD tincture under your tongue and hoping for good results. The most common reasons why people take CBD is for pain, anxiety, and sleep. If you don’t fit in this category, it’s ok! Feel free to reach out to me if you have complications such as prescription medications (drug interactions can occur) or advanced disease states (such as diabetes or arthritis). The CBD Pharmacist is here to help no matter the issue!
Keep reading below to find out the most important topics to consider when deciding if CBD is right for you. You can also check out my YouTube channel for a video format with lots of pretty pictures as well!
- CBD actually does something in your body, it works!
CBD works on the ECS which is an actual system in the body similar to pulmonary, digestive, endocrine, etc. This system, in a way, rules over all the other systems in an attempt to bring your body back to homeostasis. CBD is one of the main components in the ECS and plays a key role in helping us feel better. The question to ask is, will CBD make a difference in your life? We know that CBD does something but it’s a matter of how much and is it worth your time. With countless encouraging stories and little to no side effects, I think it is worth a try.
- Learn how to read your COA.
CBD comes from the hemp plant and is therefore subject to what is in the soil where it is grown. The FDA has yet to regulate how your CBD is made so this is really the most crucial point to this white paper. The COA, or Certificate of Analysis, is a lab report that measures what is in your CBD oil. This report not only tells you if there are harmful toxins in your CBD but also the amount of CBD present in your product. And most importantly it measures the amount of THC which is the component from Marijuana that makes you high. The hemp has to contain less than 0.3% THC to be legal, but that doesn’t mean that tainted product won’t make its way to the market. So know what is in your CBD oil and proceed with confidence.
- CBD is more than just Cannabidiol.
When we say CBD we don’t just mean Cannabidiol. You can get CBD all by itself and that is called the isolate, but I don’t recommend that formulation. What we usually mean is CBD oil, which contains 113 different kinds of cannabinoids (aka CBD) plus terpenes and flavonoids. When all the components of the hemp plant are kept together we call that the “entourage effect” which just really means they all work better together than alone. The decision you must make for your CBD is if you want to have the legal amount of THC (called full-spectrum) or zero THC (called broad spectrum). The jury is still out on which formulation is better but I prefer my products to be full spectrum as it takes full advantage of all parts of the plant.
- CBD will not make you high.
THC is the ingredient in marijuana that will make you high, not CBD. They are closely related, and marijiuana and hemp are from the same family, so there are similarities. But CBD does cross the blood-brain barrier the same as THC, so it can affect how we think and act, but just in different ways. When CBD is given with marijiuana, it actually decreases the high that THC can give you, so there you go. CBD is the anti-THC cannabinoid.
- There are drug interactions, so work closely with your doctor and pharmacist if deciding to give it a try.
I go into more detail on this topic in my book and online course. You can also find a shorter version on my YouTube channel which you can find here. But CBD does interact with one of the most common enzymes in your liver, Cytochrome P450. This enzyme is responsible for metabolizing many of our prescription drugs, especially blood thinners, anti-seizure, and anti-rejection medications. The most common effect would be an increase in potency and side effects of your prescription drug, so proceed with caution in this area. If your prescription drug cautions on taking with grapefruit juice then I would advise not taking CBD or getting further counseling.
- Make sure to take the correct amount.
CBD is extremely safe and has a very high toxicity profile, meaning you can take a lot without many side effects. What makes CBD unique are its biphasic properties, which means that CBD has different effects at normal doses and sometimes opposite effects at high doses (and we see the same thing with THC). For example, CBD has a direct effect on our immune system. A normal dose helps your immune system work better, while a high dose can weaken your system and lead to infections. So your question of how much to take can be a complicated question. But there does seem to be a general consensus amongst most reasonable people in the industry (like how I qualified that statement??). Most people will fall within the range of 0.25-0.5mg CBD per pound of body weight. For example, a 200 pound male would range from 50-100mg of CBD per day. Most people I know don’t go much above 100mg per day but some conditions may require higher dosing of 150-200mg per day but I don’t recommend much more than that. The general rule of thumb is to start low and slow and build up to a regular dosage. This also helps to reduce potential side effects such as stomach upset, drowsiness, and vivid dreams.
- Know what you are using it for.
The most common uses for CBD are for pain, anxiety, and sleep. While some people report miraculous results, I recommend keeping a more rational mindset. Make sure you buy a quality product and take it at the right dosage with the right formulation. Treat CBD like a daily supplement for your ECS to gain the maximum benefit out of this cannabinoid. Be observant with the effects that you feel internally and be realistic with expectations. I have heard some crazy stories with the things that CBD can do but that won’t happen for everyone. Know the difference between the tincture and oral formulations and know when to use the topical. These are all areas the CBD Pharmacist is glad to teach, counsel, and give guidance in your quest to master the world of CBD.
Sean Gale, The CBD Pharmacist
YouTube Channel here
The CBD Pharmacist wishes you nothing but the best of luck in your CBD journey. All points of view and statements in this document are strictly the opinion of Sean Gale, and should not be taken as medical advice. The FDA has not approved CBD to treat, heal, or mitigate any health conditions. Consume CBD at your own risk and be sure to consult with your physician first.