CBD is one of those things that everyone’s been talking about recently, but what is it exactly? And why should you care about it?
To put it simply, CBD is the primary extract from a plant called Hemp. Hemp and Hemp extracts were legalized in the USA on a national level in the 2018 Farm Bill, and many companies have taken advantage of this new legal status to create a variety of tinctures, lotions, and even candies.
That being said, CBD has been around for a long time, and it’s been used for a variety of ailments. Some of these uses have been researched and verified, and others have not. We’re going to go through some of the legitimate uses of CBD, how to figure out how much you should take, and how to avoid taking too much.
The Benefits of CBD
CBD has is one of those things that people claim is a miracle drug, curing everything from cancer to diabetes. As much as we wish this were true, it’s simply not the case. On the other hand, it does give you a good indicator on who knows what they are talking about and who doesn’t.
Here’s a short list of some of the things that CBD is useful for.
Pain Relief: When properly used, CBD is an incredibly powerful pain reliever. It is useful for everything from aches and pains to more profound pain like arthritis. Some individuals even say it helps with headaches or neuropathic pain. However, keep in mind that it is not a cure-all; while it can help alleviate most pains, it cannot replace stronger pain killers such as opiates. When in doubt, consult your doctor.
Epileptic Seizures: Especially for children who do not respond well to other forms of treatment for epileptic seizures, CBD can be extremely useful for reducing the frequency and severity of epileptic seizures. Not only do 1 in 10 patients who use CBD find themselves completely seizure free, but 7 in 10 had a dramatic reduction in their symptoms. Additionally, where many epilepsy treatments are incredibly invasive or have a large list of dangerous side effects, CBD is generally considered to be safe, with relatively few and mild side effects.
Depression and Anxiety: While not a direct replacement for anti-depressants and anxiolytics, CBD is very useful for helping people control their symptoms and have a higher quality of life. For example, one study indicated that CBD could help reduce an individual’s social anxiety, and another study indicated that it had great potential for helping people control their general anxiety. Another study indicated that, “CBD was shown to have anxiolytic, antipsychotic and neuroprotective properties. … [I]ncluding its potential use in epilepsy, substance abuse and dependence, schizophrenia, social phobia, post-traumatic stress, depression, bipolar disorder, [and] sleep disorders.”
If you have depression or anxiety, consult your doctor before taking a CBD product. If you are taking medication to control your depression or anxiety, do not stop your medication without consulting your doctor first.
Opioid Withdrawal Symptom Control: CBD can be a powerful tool for people suffering from withdrawal symptoms, as it can help reduce or even eliminate some withdrawal symptoms. One 2015 study indicated that it could reduce cravings and decrease anxiety.
Inflammation Control: Inflammation is not only a problem on its own, but it has been connected to a number of other pernicious diseases and symptoms. CBD is one of the most useful readily available anti-inflammatory substances on the market. One study said CBD has “therapeutic potential for relief of arthritis pain-related behaviours and inflammation without evident side-effects.”
How to Dose
How do I know how much to take?
Thankfully, that’s not a hard question to answer. It’s a little complicated, but once you understand the basics, you’ll be able to do it on your own without any trouble.
The first thing you need to understand is how most brands will disclose the amount of CBD in any given bottle of tincture. Most brands, including ours, will simply list how many milligrams (mg) of CBD they have in a 1 oz. bottle. This can range from 750 mg all the way up to 3,000 mg and sometimes more.
However, the best way to figure out how much you’re taking is to know the concentration of your tincture. The best way to do that is to divide how many milligrams (mg) are in the bottle by how many milliliters (ml) are in the bottle.
This sounds very complicated, but it actually isn’t. We’ll show you step by step how to do it for yourself.
A milliliter is a unit of measurement, just like ounces are, and we can easily convert between the two. For simplicity’s sake, we’ll say that 1 oz. = 30 ml.
You can do this with any brand you like. Just remember that you need to divide the milligrams of CBD by the volume of the container, and that 1 oz. = 30 ml. Just keep in mind that some tinctures come in different size bottles, but what matters in the end is the concentration, not the total amount of CBD. For example, if a tincture had 6000 mg of CBD, but came in a 4 oz (120 ml) bottle, it would only have a concentration of 50 mg/ml (6000 mg / 120 ml = 50 mg/ml).
Now that you know how to figure out the concentration of your tincture, you need to figure out how much you need to take. You’ll probably need a calculator for this next step, so have your phone handy.
First, you decide how much CBD you want to take, then you divide it by the concentration of your tincture. For example, if you want to take 25 mg and your tincture has a concentration of 50 mg/ml, then the equation looks like this:
If your tincture has a concentration of 25 mg/ml and you want to take 75 mg, then the equation looks like this:
You can see that the concentration has a very large effect on how much overall tincture you would need to take to reach your target CBD amount. For this reason, we generally suggest that you buy the highest concentration available in your budget, since this will reduce the overall amount of tincture that you’ll have to take.
Here are some handy graphics that you can use that are based off the most common concentrations available:
Most adults need between 25 mg-100 mg per day. If you use more than that, you will start to see diminishing returns. In other words, most people will see a large difference between when they take 25 mg or 50 mg, but they will only see a small difference between taking 100 mg or 200 mg.
When taking a tincture, you should always start with the lowest dose first and gradually increase how much you take until you see the result you want.
For best results, try to take as high a concentration as you can to minimize the amount of total oil you’re consuming. While we take great care to source our base oils ethically and ensure they’re free of contaminants, consuming excess amounts of raw oil can have some negative effects on your digestive system, such as gas and bloating.
How do I know when I’m taking too much?
One of the ways that you can know if you’re taking too much CBD is if you start to feel gassy, bloated, or have diarrhea. A minority of individuals can also experience a slight cough. This is known as “Stoner’s Cough.” This isn’t dangerous, but it can be annoying. Consider cutting back the amount of CBD you’re using until it disappears.
Can I overdose on CBD?
The short answer is, no. You cannot overdose on CBD.
The longer answer is, you can overdose on anything if you try hard enough. For example, you can even overdose on water if you drink too much too quickly. It is much the same with CBD. If you sit down and drink bottle after bottle of high concentration tincture in one sitting, you are going to get sick.
Another way you can overdose is if you take way too much CBD on a daily basis. Like we said above, most adults need no more than 100 mg of CBD per day to see the results that they want. But if someone were to consume an entire bottle of tincture every day for a week, they would definitely see some negative effects, much like what one might see from drinking an entire bottle of liquor every night.