Research on low levels of CBD is, you guessed it, incredibly limited; just a single paper on the medical research database PubMed specifically looked at CBD in these low doses, as a treatment for Crohn’s disease. (It was not found to have an effect.) As such, it wouldn’t be fair to say that 5 or even 20 mg of CBD oil in your coffee is proven to do nothing; that hasn’t been proven. It’s more accurate to say that 20 mg of CBD oil in your coffee has never been proven to do much of anything, and related research indicates that’s probably way too low of a dose to have any measurable effect.
This is a topic I am asked about all the time, and have been for years: how does cannabis help sleep and health? I’ve heard that the number-two reason why people smoke or use cannabis is for sleep. Considering the recent passing of the recreational use of cannabis in California and other several states I think it is high time (pun intended!) to look at understanding CBD, one of the most active ingredients in medical cannabis.
The topical menthol ointment is our most common product for direct application to sore joints, muscle tissue, and damaged skin areas. Standard CBD oil drops can take up to an hour (or longer) to take effect (since they have to enter into the bloodstream), but with topical creams, effects are typically felt within minutes as the active cannabidiol simply has to diffuse across the dermal layers and to the site of inflammation.
Most CBD oils are available in round-number concentrations such as 250mg, 500mg, and 1,000mg. While these strengths accommodate many CBD users, they may not be sufficient for those with preferences that fall outside round numbers. NuLeaf Naturals offers a less conventional selection of concentrations: 240mg, 725mg, 1,450mg, 2,425mg, and 4,850mg. This range ensures that most users will find a strength that works for them.
In any case, California’s decision to ban CBD oil from hemp seems like it may be informed more by legalistic hair-splitting. And to illustrate how finely that hair is split, recall that CBD is a controlled substance under federal law, regardless of what it is derived from. Yet federal policy is also contradictory. The FDA’s recent approval of the CBD medicine Epidiolex comes despite the fact that the DEA considers CBD a Schedule I substance, with no medical applications. A DEA rescheduling or de-scheduling of CBD would go a long way toward resolving these questions — and is coming in the next three months.
Both CBD oil and CBD cream products have their own unique and significant uses throughout the medical world. They are both highly capable of healing and diminishing pain plus daily discomforts. This all-natural alternative to conventional medications is reasonably affordable and does not produce any of the psychoactive or “high” effects that traditional marijuana flower can, meaning that CBD could be consumed any day of the week at any time of day, leading to its extreme versatility and convenience.
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.
Still, as the saying goes, absence of evidence isn’t necessarily evidence of absence, and there’s a reason we don’t have a ton of solid research on CBDs yet — “to study it, we need a good source, ” said Ziva Cooper, who is an associate professor at Columbia University and was on the National Academies committee. CBD is hard to get because it’s still technically a Schedule I drug, which limits its availability, Cooper said.
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.
Remember: Do not ingest CBD topicals. They should be used externally only. If your skin symptoms have appeared suddenly or if they are very strong and painful, you should first consult your physician before using any supplements or salves. Don't use salves on open, bleeding wounds. Also, do not apply CBD topicals if you are pregnant, lactating, or suffering from a serious illness.
Though a CBD latte might not do much for you — at least not beyond what caffeine and the placebo effect combined can do, which isn’t nothing — it’s also probably harmless in most cases, says Carson, and may even have positive benefits we aren’t yet aware of. “I suspect there’s probably some antioxidant benefit to CBD like there is with coffee,” says Carson. “There’s tons of good things in coffee that we still don’t fully understand, and I think the marijuana plant is much the same way.”