“CBD inhibits the cytochrome P450 enzymes that break down important psychiatric drugs,” says Blessing. CBD isn’t the only substance that messes with the body’s ability to metabolize these drugs — both St. John’s wort and the humble grapefruit are unfriendly — but CBD is comparatively poorly studied. The way CBD inhibits those enzymes could dramatically raise the levels of SSRIs or opioids in the system, potentially leading to an overdose.
Anyone who tells you anything definitive about what CBD — or THC, for that matter — does to your body is lying. Nobody knows. The legitimate research out there is extremely limited, and the slow drip of legalization — medical use, then personal use, federally illegal but permitted by certain states and cities — has made it incredibly hard for researchers to do their jobs.
Unlike with THC, CBD’s effects aren’t limited to that single receptor. These effects are not precisely known, though CBD certainly has some impact on CB1’s sister receptor (CB2) as well as a receptor called 5-HT1A. When the 5-HT1A receptor comes into contact with a material that agonizes it, the effects can include reduced anxiety and increased calmness.
Meanwhile, so-called wellness drinks infused with CBD are gaining traction. The UK’s first has been launched by Botanic Lab, promoted as “Dutch courage with a difference”. Drinks giants Coca-Cola, Molson Coors Brewing Company and Diageo are all considering launching their own versions, while UK craft breweries such as Green Times Brewing (formerly Cloud 9 Brewing) and Stockton Brewing Company are offering cannabis-oil laced beers, and mixologists are spiking their cocktails with CBD mellowness. The fancy marshmallow maker, The Marshmallowist, has added CBD-oil flavour to its menu, promising that “you feel the effects immediately upon eating”, without specifying what those effects might be.
Though unflavored and priced higher than competitors, Green Roads CBD oils are made by a trusted manufacturer and use organically grown hemp. Following the CO2 supercritical fluid extraction process, board-certified pharmacists formulate the tincture by hand. Green Roads only sells CBD isolates, so if you’re looking for broad-spectrum products look to some of our other recommendations.
Although CBD seems destined to play an important role as a therapeutic agent for a growing number of medical indications, we should seriously ask ourselves if the current unregulated production and sale of CBD oils is done responsibly. Despite the fact that CBD is mainly sold as “just” a food supplement, it is often used by severely ill people with the intention of improving their body functions in a way that their standard medication could not. This obviously puts CBD uncomfortably close to the realm of medicines. Interestingly, the WHO, based on a review of available scientific data and input from international experts, recently concluded that CBD does not immediately require rescheduling as a drug , although a fuller review on the risks and benefits of CBD is still being planned. Nevertheless, perhaps the use of CBD products should be assessed in a broader perspective, to cover all ingredients used in the preparation, as well as any contaminants that are already known to be common in recreational cannabis.
As noted in the previous section, CBD oil prices vary significantly by brand. The best practice for most is to determine a per-milligram budget for CBD oil, as well as a maximum price for the entire bottle. For example, you might decide that 10 cents per milligram or less is a reasonable budget; and that $45 (for a 450-mg concentration, based on the budget) is a maximum bottle price. Also, if ordering online, be sure to include potential shipping costs.
CBD concentrates typically contain the strongest dosage of CBD compared to any other CBD products. It can contain up to 10 times the average CBD products. Concentrates are also convenient in that it only takes a few seconds to consume. Overall, CBD concentrates seem to be most popular among customers who are extremely busy, yet seek high potency CBD.
Right now, there’s a good chance that you don’t really know what you’re getting from any source. Testing and labeling rules vary by state, but many states that allow legal cannabis also require some kind of testing to verify that the THC and CBD levels listed on the label are accurate. However, this testing is controversial, and results can vary widely between labs, Jikomes said. A study published in March found measurable variations in test results, with some labs consistently reporting higher or lower levels of cannabinoids than others. There are no guarantees that the label accurately reflects what’s in the product. For a 2015 study published in JAMA, researchers tested 75 products purchased in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Seattle and found that only 17 percent were accurately labeled. More than half of the products contained significantly lower levels of cannabinoids than the label promised, and some of them contained only negligible amounts of the compounds. “We need to come up with ways to confidently verify the composition of cannabis products and make this information available to consumers,” Jikomes said.
“The standard dosage, I would say, is around 20 mg per serving,” says Joshua Tavares, the general manager of Clover Grocery, which sells a wide variety of CBD products including gummies, tinctures, and topical lotions. (Tavares describes the shop, which also sells artisanal potato chips, as a “bougie bodega.”) “The main benefits that we touch upon when selling the products are that CBD is helpful for anxiety and providing you with a sense of calm. I would say it’s our top seller since we brought it in. The CBD category in general is really booming right now for us.”
Other studies have been done in lab animals, or in vitro (meaning in a test tube, using animal brain tissue). Those studies have found anxiety-reducing effects but only at midlevel dosages, in the range of 10 to 20 mg per kg. As an example, one study found that CBD can, in rats, be an effective anti-inflammatory painkiller — at 20 mg per kg. It’s not a direct translation, but that dosage would be somewhere in the range of several hundred milligrams for an adult human.