A Brief Introduction to CBD

What is It? CBD is short for Cannabidiol, one of more than a hundred phytocannabinoids, or chemicals found in the cannabis plant. CBD is taken from the resin found on the flowers of the cannabis plant and extracted into a purified form. 

How does CBD Work? The Endocannabinoid System Researchers have discovered that we naturally have receptors throughout our bodies (including the nervous system and brain) for cannabinoid molecules. These receptors, part of the endocannabinoid system, are CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors are mostly in the brain and central nervous system, while CB2 are in our internal organs and lymphatic system (responsible for much of our immune system activity). Our bodies produce natural (endogenous) cannabinoids which bind to these receptors. THC directly binds to these receptors also, while CBD seems to act indirectly on the same receptors. 

What’s the Difference Between CBD and THC? THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is another phytocannabinoid. It causes the high that we associate with cannabis. CBD, unlike THC, is not intoxicating.To distinguish CBD products from those with THC, most CBD on the market today is from the Hemp plant, a relative of the marijuana plant. Hemp contains less than .3 percent THC, and the 2018 Farm Bill included a provision that legalizes Hemp cultivation. Though passed on the federal level, this law still needs to be approved by each state to allow farmers to grow industrial hemp legally.

How Are CBD’s Effects Different from Those of THC?

Psychoactive – creates “high”Non-psychoactive
Sense of well-beingCombats pain and inflammation
Can increase anxietyReduces anxiety and depression
Increases appetiteReduces seizure activity at high doses
Makes you sleepyDecreases appetite
Relieves pain and inflammationHas been shown to slow cognitive decline (not in human studies) 

 CBD has also been shown to have anti-psychotic and anti-tumor activity. 

How Much CBD Do You Need to Take? Depending on the condition, CBD dosing ranges from 5 milligrams up to literally hundreds of milligrams in some cases of seizure disorders. 

What’s the Best Way to Take CBD? Vaping, or smoking, will get CBD into your system the fastest, but I cannot vouch for the long-term safety of any type of smoking. The next best route for CBD to get into the body is via drops under the tongue (sublingual). Allow the liquid to sit under your tongue for a couple of minutes, then swallow. Anything taken this way enters the bloodstream through veins under the tongue and bypasses the digestive system, where substances can be broken down instead of absorbed. Regular swallowing (capsules or liquid) or creams/lotions applied to the skin don’t work nearly as well. 

What Product Does Dr. G Endorse?  There are several excellent products on the market. Typically look for products that are certified organic and full spectrum, as the “entourage effect” (the additive effect of all constituents in the hemp plant) works better than pure CBD. My private label product is sourced from Colorado and is certified organic and full-spectrum. It is a liquid in a dropper bottle and comes in two strengths: 600 mg per bottle and 1800 mg per bottle. I recommend starting with the 600 unless you have already been using CBD and know you need a higher dose. Start with 7 drops, under the tongue, before bed, for most indications and work up from there. For the 600 mg bottle, 30 drops = 20 mg; for the 1800, 10 drops = 20 mg.  Contact my office with any questions.