There is a significant amount of scientific research on CBD and the ECS system as well as journal entries from pilot studies done by doctors from around the world over the past four decades. However, as this is still a novel area of medicine, do your own research on CBD. There are many online sources of information, but note the internet has a mix of both valid and misleading data. Vet your sources to ensure that they are reputable.
CBD, or canabidiol is an amazingly useful plant compound that is extracted from the cannabis plant. With volumes of medical science now at its back, this compound has been used effectively for a wide range of needs. These particularly wide-ranging applications are the result of its being a part of the “pleiotropic sedate” group. Compounds in this group are especially unique in their ability to affect and travel along many of the typically closed atomic pathways.
This takes us to the next problem: There is no regulation around how much active CBD or THC is in each cream or how much of the compound is needed to see relief. Read: "If you have three products that say 1 percent CBD infused in coconut oil, one could be great and the other two could be crap—that's the reality of cannabis medicine right now," Gerdeman says.
THC, tetrahydrocannabinol, the substance responsible for the psychoactive effects for marijuana we associate with getting high, comes with side effects such as reduced short-term memory, impaired thinking and potential anxiety, while CBD, cannabidiol, possesses therapeutic effects such as relief of pain, stress, depression, Alzheimer’s, epilepsy, as well as protecting those parts of the brain associated with memory and learning. CBD's positive effects are due to its ability to bond with receptors in the brain, hence the anti-anxiety, anti-spasmodic and neuroprotective effects, as well as receptors throughout the body, lending itself to anti-inflammation and pain relief.
Clancy says his dose estimates are based on a book called CBD: A Patient’s Guide to Medicinal Cannabis: Healing Without the High. The co-author of that book is Leonard Leinow, the founder of Synergy Wellness, which calls itself a “hand crafted artisanal CBD cannabis collective.” He is not a doctor or a scientist, but he is a sculptor of erotic bronze pieces, like a yin-yang symbol made up of two interlocking penises.
As with a fermented food like kombucha, slight natural variations are normal and to be expected in a product such as CBD oil because it is made from living plants. Changes in the weather, soil, and water can all impact the biology of the source material. While we verify Certificates of Analysis (and take many other criteria into consideration during our review process), even the most reputable five-star companies have no way to control for every variable in this organic process.
For ingested CBD, that fat solubility is a problem. “[Ingested] CBD has a very low bioavailability, something between 6 and 15 percent, which varies between people,” says Blessing. Because ingested CBD is so inefficient at actually getting to the brain to stimulate CB1 and other receptors, the doses shown to be effective have to be very high. “There’s no evidence that doses below 300 mg of CBD have any effect in any psychiatric measure,” says Blessing. “And in fact, dose-finding studies show that the lowest clinically effective dose of CBD for reducing anxiety is 300 mg.” Blessing is talking about induced anxiety in otherwise healthy patients, which is all we have studies on; studies of CBD’s efficacy in treating clinical anxiety, which would require regular doses, haven’t been published.
High-CBD strains can be smoked or vaporized for immediate effects with little to no high, depending on the strain’s THC content. A strain may contain only trace amounts of THC for clear-headed relief, or it may have balanced levels of THC and CBD, delivering a mild high but potent relief. Explore the menu of your nearby dispensary for a full list of the offerings near you, or browse high-CBD strains on Leafly for an idea of popular varieties to look out for.
Additionally, as many as 26/46 samples (57%) had a THC content > 1%, with one sample peaking at 57.5%. In 18/46 samples (39%) the oil contained virtually only THC (with CBD < 0.1%). Although many of the samples analyzed were purposely made to contain a high THC content, it is unclear whether oil consumers are always aware they are consuming THC, and thereby exposing themselves to the adverse effects of this psychotropic compound, such as intoxication, panic attacks, or disorientation. It should be noted that although the exact legal status of CBD may be debatable, THC-rich extracts are strictly prohibited in virtually all countries.