Although THC is best known for its mind-altering euphoria, it too has important medical benefits. There’s some overlap in what CBD and THC can treat, but THC is particularly effective in relieving nausea, appetite loss, insomnia, among other symptoms. Many patients find that a balance of CBD and THC offers the best symptom relief as the two work together synergistically.
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These dosages are pretty standard in the consumer CBD industry and, per the research available, nowhere near the doses proven to be effective in clinical trials. NuLeaf Naturals, a prominent online CBD seller, sells 240 mg of oil for $38.50. It does not specify dosage but measures its CBD concentration in single drops; there are 100 drops per bottle, each containing 2.4 mg. You would have to take the entire bottle, according to Blessing, to get close to the absolute minimum dose that studies show might be effective for reducing anxiety. A $3 squirt of CBD oil on your ice cream or coffee? Probably right around 10 mg. You’d need 30 times that amount to get to the levels at which researchers have found stress-relieving results.
In the United States, non-FDA approved CBD products are classified as Schedule I drugs under the Controlled Substances Act. This means that production, distribution, and possession of non-FDA approved CBD products is illegal under federal law. In addition, in 2016 the Drug Enforcement Administration added "marijuana extracts" to the list of Schedule I drugs, which it defined as "an extract containing one or more cannabinoids that has been derived from any plant of the genus Cannabis, other than the separated resin (whether crude or purified) obtained from the plant." Previously, CBD had simply been considered "marijuana", which is a Schedule I drug.
I tell several sellers of CBD food and drink what I learned from Blessing and ask what they think. “Return customers who come back, and swear by it and love it, buy two at a time to stock up for the week because they do find it to be very helpful,” says Tavares. Clancy echoes this: “We rely a lot on consumer feedback and testimonial, and generally it’s positive when taking that minimal amount. Now, that very well could be a placebo effect, but either way, people have come back and reported significant benefits when it comes to easing social anxiety.”
Then there’s the issue of vomiting and nausea after chemotherapy. Most people that underwent chemo know that there is proper medication for these side effects. However, these meds often don’t achieve the desired effect. It’s no wonder that people are looking for alternatives like CBD. During one study, 16 participants that had chemo treatment used a CBD-THC combination. This combo was administered through a spray. Nearly all participants agreed that this helped lower vomiting and nausea.
Zuardi, A. W., Crippa, J. A., Hallak, J. E., Bhattacharyya, S., Atakan, Z., Martin-Santos, R., … & Guimarães, F. S. (2012). A critical review of the antipsychotic effects of cannabidiol: 30 years of a translational investigation [Abstract]. Current Pharmaceutical Design, 18(32), 5,131–5,140. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22716160
“Placebo response always needs to be taken into account for any treatment being studied,” says Baron. “Placebo response is actually quite high in many pharmaceutical trials, for example. In fact, there are many treatment trials for various medications and other treatments where benefit responses to placebo are actually higher than the treatment itself being studied.”
High-CBD strains tend to deliver very clear-headed, functional effects without the euphoric high associated with high-THC strains. They’re typically preferred by consumers who are extremely sensitive to the side effects of THC (e.g., anxiety, paranoia, dizziness). A high-CBD strain would also be a great choice for someone needing to medicate throughout the day to control pain, inflammation, anxiety, or other chronic conditions.
CBD has also shown promise to reduce cravings among people addicted to opioids, according to a study published in Neurotherapeutics in 2015. It may fight cancer, too. The authors of a review published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology in 2012 wrote: “evidence is emerging to suggest that CBD is a potent inhibitor of both cancer growth and spread.”
Hemp-derived CBD definitely had an effect on me. At Caffeine Underground, I ordered a CBD oat milk latte—smooth and delicious with no trace of CBD flavor—and toast made with CBD-infused jam. After two hours plugging away on my laptop with full concentration, I was still so completely blissed out, the walk back to the train in 30-degree weather felt like it took no time at all.
As an alternative health regimen, CBD holds particular appeal to women, said Gretchen Lidicker, the health editor of Mindbodygreen, a wellness website based in New York, and the author of “CBD Oil Everyday Secrets.” Noting the preponderance of female-run CBD businesses, Ms. Lidicker, 26, said that it is “no surprise that women are leading the CBD movement.”
Our Editor’s Pick is the tincture from CBDistillery. This tincture is available in five strengths ranging from 250mg to 5,000mg, which accommodates a wide range of THC preferences, as well as 15 and 30 milliliter containers. The tincture has a price-point that is slightly below average, making it a good option for value seekers. The tincture, which is non-flavored, routinely undergoes third-party testing to ensure safety and high quality; the testing results are available on CBDistillery’s product pages.