How do I use CBD?

This is a commonly asked question and the answer continues to change as more new CBD products are introduced to the marketplace.  I’ll touch on several methods of use here and I’ll add to the page as I get more questions. Keep in mind that there are CBD products that contain no THC and products that contain a more significant amount of THC. Knowing what your local laws are and knowing what your specific needs are will help you to pick the right product.

The most common way people find CBD is in CBD oil. CBD oil can be extracted from the cannabis plant in several ways. One safe way of extracting CBD oil is through the use of CO2, which won’t leave dangerous chemical residue in the oil. Coconut oil is often used in the extraction process. The resultant CBD oil can be taken directly by mouth or put into capsules and swallowed.  CBD oil is often sold in small bottles with a dropper. The drops of oil can be placed under the tongue for 60-90 seconds so that the CBD can be absorbed. CBD oil can also be put into drinks or foods like candies and baked goods. Foods with CBD in them are often referred to as edibles.

CBD tinctures are cannabis extracts that are usually alcohol or vegetable glycerin based. These often have a lower concentration of CBD than oil.  Like some CBD oils, the tinctures are usually found in dropper bottles. These tinctures are also sold as sublingual sprays that you can spray directly under the tongue.

You can also use CBD oils by vaping, using pre-filled vape cartridges or refillable vape cartridges  using a vaporizer pen. This method has the fastest absorption rate, which allows you to feel the effects more quickly than other methods. Using these vape products allows you to avoid the by-products of smoking.

There are now a variety of topical CBD products. These can be lotions, creams, or salves. Many people rub these creams on the skin to provide pain relief and to decrease inflammation. These products often contain other substances like fragrance or essential oils.  Even if the topical product you buy has THC, it will not have psychoactive properties because it cannot reach the bloodstream through the skin. Despite not reaching the blood, topical creams can reach the cannabinoid receptors. The exception is that some topical patches can penetrate to the bloodstream, so keep that in mind when purchasing.

The last way to use that I’ll mention for now is smoking. There are cannabis plants that are bred now with very little THC and higher concentrations of CBD. These can be smoked or vaped in the same way one uses tobacco or higher-THC cannabis strains.

If you decide CBD is right for you, see our vetted providers page or our accessories page for companies to help you get started.

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Could Cannabis compounds be used to treat colon cancer?

 

A newly-released study in the Journal of Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research shows promise for using the compounds in Cannabis to fight colorectal cancer and polyps. In the study they used Cannabis sativa ethanol extracts on cancer and normal colon cell lines and on dysplastic adenomatous polyp cells. Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosis. It is also the fourth leading cause of cancer-related mortality worldwide.

The researchers used multiple concentrates with different fractions of cannabinoids to treat the cancer and polyp cells. They used concentrates that had been heated and concentrates that had not been heated.  They found that unheated cannabis extract (which they called C2F) and two of the other cannabis concentrates (labeled as F3 and F7) were the most effective in stopping the growth of cancer cells. The F3 fractionate (concentrate) was was found to contain 91.20% CBGA. The F7 fractionate was over 90% THCA. They also found that combination of F3 and F7 also induced cell death in polyp cells. This study provides further evidence that the synergistic effect of using multiple cannabinoids is more effective than using isolates alone.  

Although these results are promising, it is important to remember that many chemicals have looked promising for killing cancer cells in vitro (in a test tube, in a culture dish, or outside a living organism) or in animal studies, but haven’t been effective in human studies. This is why it is so important to continue the study of the Cannabis plant. With enough research, the scientists may indeed find a cure.

The full text of the study referenced can be found HERE.

U.S. Senate Votes to Legalize Hemp

The United States Senate has just passed a bill that would legalize hemp across the nation.

The U.S. Senate has voted to remove industrial hemp from the federal list of controlled substances, which would explicitly legalize it on the federal level. The Senate passed this by a vote of 86 to 11. The provision was introduced as part of a massive farm bill by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

McConnell stated “Consumers across America buy hundreds of millions in retail products every year that contain hemp, but due to outdated federal regulations that do not sufficiently distinguish this industrial crop from its illicit cousin, American farmers have been mostly unable to meet that demand themselves. It’s left consumers with little choice but to buy imported hemp products from foreign-produced hemp.” He continued, “”I have heard from many Kentucky farmers who agree it’s time to remove the federal hurdles and give our state the opportunity to seize its full potential and once again become the national leader for hemp production. That is why I strongly advocated for this measure to be included in the Farm Bill”

The full farm bill will now be considered by the House of Representatives.

McConnell, Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) initially introduced their hemp legislation as a stand-alone bill in April before it was included in the Senate’s farm bill.

Currently, growing hemp exists in a legal gray area. It is on the list of controlled substances, which makes it federally illegal. The 1970 controlled substance act and the 2014 farm bill contradicted each other. This bill removes it from the list of controlled substances and allows it to be sold as an agricultural commodity. The bill, which still needs to be merged with a similar House version before it can be sent to the White House to be signed into law by President Trump,  allows states to regulate hemp, allows hemp researchers to apply for grants from the Agriculture Department,  and makes hemp farmers eligible for crop insurance.

Will CBD make me fail a drug test?

Shortest answer: possibly.

Slightly more elaborate answer: it depends on whether you are using a CBD isolate product  or a full-spectrum product.

Remember: A true CBD isolate has only CBD and no THC. The typical drug screening test is looking for metabolized THC in your urine. If you are using a CBD product from a reputable company with lab testing that shows 0% THC, you will not test positive for marijuana on a typical urinalysis (UA) tests that most employers use.

Many researches and physicians feel that a full-spectrum product is far more beneficial than an isolate product. So if you are using a full-spectrum CBD product, the answer to the drug screening question gets a bit murky. Many CBD products from contain up to .3% THC.  I know a few people who have tested positive using as little as 15mg, three times a day. I’ve read posts of people claiming to have tested positive from an even a few milligrams a day. I’ve also known people who have tested negative while taking far more THC than contained in the average full spectrum CBD product. Everyone metabolizes THC differently. Things like activity level, body composition, general metabolism, and even how hydrated you are when you take the test can affect whether or not you test positive for THC metabolites.

If you need to be 100% certain that you will test negative for marijuana, purchase your CBD only from companies like those in my provider list who will show you third-party lab results showing the exact concentration of THC in each batch of their products, then choose one with 0% THC.

In addition, you may want to perform a self test at home. One of my patients tested positive for the full spectrum CBD she was taking for her chronic pain. She was able to use self tests to modify her CBD dosage and product selection so that she still had adequate pain control with no fear of failing her employer-mandated drug screen. In her case, she started using a much lower dose of full-spectrum CBD and increased her use of CBD isolate. You can find self-test strips ad drugstores like CVS and Walgreen’s. I’ve heard people say they’ve seen them at the dollar stores. THESE were well-reviewed on Amazon and are less than 70 cents if you buy 16 pack.

One additional note is that topical CBD products should never make you test positive for THC. The THC is not absorbed through the skin.

CBD for canine seizures?

I came across this video today and I wanted to share it.

Many people have reported success with CBD stopping their dogs’ seizures. I’m not sure if this dog is suffering from anxiety or if he’s having focal seizures. I don’t know for sure whether the CBD is actually stopping the tremor or if there is something else responsible.

If you decide to use CBD on your pet, follow these two rules:

  1. Talk to your veterinarian before you administer anything to your pup. CBD is an inhibitor of p450 enzymes. These enzymes are important in metabolizing many veterinary medications. They also modulate the activity of p-glycoproteins, which are involved in cellular drug transport. Either of these two effects of CBD can lead to some pretty serious medication interactions if they aren’t taken into account. Your veterinarian can help you treat your pup in the safest way possible.
  2. Make sure that you are getting your CBD from a reputable company. The industry is poorly regulated right now. There are a lot of people looking to make a quick buck and they don’t always make safety a priority. If you need to find CBD, take a look at the list of providers we have here. Some CBD products have additives or carrier oils that can be dangerous to your doggo. Oils like tea tree, cinnamon, citrus, pennyroyal, pine, sweet birch, wintergreen, and ylang ylang can all be harmful. See rule 1.

 

I do know this: The dog is cute and the video has a happy ending. Enjoy!

CBD for schizophrenia?

ResearcResearch shows that CBD, a non-intoxicating cannabinoid present in the Cannabis plant, can be beneficial for many different conditions. Some studies have shown that CBD has antipsychotic properties.

Photo by Michael Fischer from Pexels
Photo by Michael Fischer (Pexels)

Schizophrenia is a chronic and severe mental disorder that can affect how a person thinks, feels, and behaves. People with schizophrenia may seem like they have lost touch with reality. Although schizophrenia is not as common as other mental disorders, the symptoms can be very disabling. These symptoms can include hallucinations, delusions, reduced feelings of pleasure in everyday life, reduced speaking, trouble focusing, and problems with executive function.

Photo by Serkan Göktay from Pexels
Photo by Serkan Göktay (Pexels)

Recently, a group led by Philip McGuire, a Professor of Psychiatry & Cognitive Neuroscience, and head of the Department of Psychosis Studies at King’s College of London conducted research on the benefits of CBD in people with schizophrenia. Their study was a multicenter randomized control trial of 88 subjects. In the trial the patients continued to take their existing antipsychotic medications. One half of the subjects had a placebo and the other half took 1000mg of CBD a day. After 6 weeks of treatment, compared with the placebo group, the CBD group had lower levels of positive psychotic symptoms and were more likely to have been rated as improved and as not severely unwell by the treating clinician. Patients who received CBD also showed greater improvements that fell short of statistical significance in cognitive performance and in overall functioning. The CBD was well tolerated, and rates of adverse events were similar between the CBD and placebo groups. The most common side effect noted in both groups was upset stomach. 

Their findings suggest that CBD has beneficial effects in patients with schizophrenia. As CBD’s effects don’t appear to depend on dopamine receptor antagonism, it may represent a new class of treatment for the disorder. Read more at the American Journal of Psychiatry

For more news and information about CBD, click HERE.

For a list of our vetted providers, click HERE.

 

 

 

 

CBD Oil Scam!!

A CBD Oil Scam

I had been talking to one of my patients recently about the potential benefits of CBD. She had heard a lot of positive things from friends and she wanted my opinion. In my quest to provide the best CBD education in an easy-to-understand format, I asked her to take a look at CBDinfo.net and see if she had any questions that weren’t answered here.

The following week she came back to the clinic very excited. She stated that she had gotten selected for a “FREE TRIAL BOTTLE of CBD!!” She said she received an email the day after we had last spoken. The email told her that for only the cost of shipping, she would get two bottles of CBD oils to try. She entered her credit card and she got two packages of CBD oil within a week. She was confused because they came from two different companies. Neither shared a name with the company that had originally emailed her.

She knew something seemed fishy, so she brought in the CBD and printed off the email offer for me to inspect.  After a little bit of internet sleuthing and some reading of the companies literature, I spotted the scam. Deep in the terms and conditions, in the tiniest of fine prints, I saw the catch: a monthly subscription.My patient had unknowingly signed up for a recurrent order to the tune of $200 a month. The company was going to start charging her card for this CBD that she knew nothing about. Where did the hemp the CBD came from originate? Was it organically grown? Were there independent third-party lab results attesting to the strength and safety of the CBD? Was it full-spectrum or made from isolate? There was no way to know. I advised her to call them and cancel her “subscription” as soon as she got home. According to the terms in her agreement, she should be able to since she called so soon after receiving her products, but we’ll soon see how well that works out. I’ve heard horror stories about the kinds of companies that offer these scam subscriptions. Time will tell.Since then I learned that at least a dozen companies operate this way. They use many different names, but they all offer the “free bottle” of CBD for a small shipping charge. Don’t fall for these scams. There are many outstanding CBD vendors out there. None of them rely on scams to get you to try their products. Unfortunately there are a lot of shady companies out there looking to prey upon the people who are often desperate for relief.If you want to find CBD from a trustworthy company, do your research. Ask questions and make sure you get the answers you need. You can also see our list of vetted CBD providers HERE. There is no reason to spend your money on an inferior product with uncertain origins. Stay safe!

What’s the difference between hemp and marijuana?

Cannabis sativa is the name of the plant that most people know as marijuana. The natural cannabinoid makeup of each cannabis plant varies depending on the variety and strain of each particular plant. The most common cannabinoid in most strains of cannabis is THC. The second most common cannabinoid is CBD.

The varieties of Cannabis that most people use for medicinal and recreational purposes generally contain higher levels of THC. Other varieties of Cannabis are generally used for industrial purposes in dietary supplements, clothing, and skin products. These varieties have a very low THC content. Low-THC content Cannabis is usually referred to as HEMP. Federally, hemp is classified as legal if it contains less than .3% THC content. Remember: THC is the psychoactive cannabinoid in Cannabis. Most CBD products for sale right now are made from hemp so that they contain less than .3% THC and contain higher levels of CBD. CBD is non-psychoactive and for many people, very therapeutic for a multitude of health problems.

Read more about the ways people are using CBD HERE  or check out my trusted providers list HERE.   

What is CBD?

What is CBD? This is the question I hear most often, so I’ll post the answer here and in my permanent menu links HERE .

 

What is CBD?

 

Understanding what CBD is can be a little confusing. I’ll break it down to make it a bit easier!

CBD is the abbreviation for cannabidiol. Cannabidiol is one of the 113 known cannabinoids found in the the marijuana plant. The marijuana plant is also known as cannabis. One cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant is Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. THC is the main psychoactive cannabinoid in the marijuana plant. CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant.

A cannabinoid is a chemical compound  that acts on receptors found throughout the body. These receptors are involved in a variety of physiological processes including appetite, pain sensation, mood, and memory. These cannabinoids can be generated naturally by the body (endocannabinoids) or can be introduced into the body from cannabis or a synthetic cannabis compound.

Cannabis plants can exhibit wide variation in the quantity and type of cannabinoids they produce. Selective breeding is used to modify the cannabinoid profile of the cannabis plant. Some modified strains of marijuana used to produce hemp fiber are very low in psychoactive cannabinoids like THC.  The industrial hemp plant used for fiber and for most of the CBD production today is a varietal of Cannabis sativa that contains very low levels of THC and grows to look more like bamboo. It’s still Cannabis, but it looks very different and has a different cannabinoid profile. Strains used for recreational purposes are usually bred for higher THC content or for a specific chemical balance. The strains used in medicine are generally bred for high CBD content. 

CBD has been studied for its potential to aid in a wide variety of conditions. There are studies and anecdotal reports of CBD being used for acne, ADHD, addiction, AIDS, ALS, Alzheimer’s disease, anorexia, anxiety, atherosclerosis, arthritis, asthma, autism, bipolar disorder, cerebrovascular accidents (CVA or stroke), cancer, digestive issues, depression, diabetes, endocrine disorders, epilepsy/seizures, fibromyalgia, glaucoma, heart disease, Huntington’s disease, infection, inflammation, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), kidney disease, liver disease, metabolic syndromes, migraines, mood disorders, motion sickness, multiple sclerosis (MS), nausea, neurodegenerative disease, neuropathic pain, obesity, OCD, osteoporosis, Parkinson’s disease, prion disease (Mad Cow), PTSD, rheumatism, schizophrenia, sickle cell anemia, skin conditions, sleep disorders, spinal cord injuries, stress, traumatic brain injuries (TBI), and more. Although there are more reports of people successfully using CBD each day, CBD is not FDA approved to treat any specific condition. Do not trust any site that claims their products are designed to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent any disease or affliction. 

If you have decided that CBD is something you’d like to try, please visit our vetted providers page. Each of the companies listed there has been willing to share their third-party lab-tested results to ensure that their products have been tested for safety and reliability.

 

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