The first step to finding your correct CBD dosage is getting as much information as you can about the product you’re using. What is the concentration of CBD? Are there third-party lab tests that can confirm that? The CBD industry is still mainly a grassroots therapeutic movement, and as such, largely unregulated. Concentration and purity levels can differ greatly depending on the manufacturing process.
In fact, numerous studies have looked at the relationship between CBD and pain, and the results are promising. Researchers have looked at various kinds of pain – from joint pain to cancer pain. One finding is that CBD increases levels of glutamate and serotonin – both neurotransmitters that play a role in pain regulation. And CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties help by tackling the root cause of much chronic pain.
Finally, in a 2016 review conducted by oncologist Dr. Donald Abrams studying cannabis’ role in cancer care, the authors state, “preclinical data suggest that cannabinoids could have direct antitumor activity, possibly most impressive in central nervous system malignancies. Clinical data about the effects of cannabis concentrates on cancer are as yet unavailable. Oncologists could find cannabis and cannabinoids to be effective tools in their care of patients living with and beyond cancer”. The review also notes that 82 percent of oncologists believe their cancer patients should have legal access to cannabis, according to a 2014 WebMD poll.
CBD oil is similar to other products in that it is capable of being “watered down.” Some companies will try to eke out a higher profit margin by fooling their customers into thinking they’re getting more for less. It is important to pay attention to the concentration level of the CBD oil you’re buying in order to ensure you’re getting what you’re paying for. Although concentrations of CBD can vary quite a bit across the broad range of CBD products, a quality product will start off having somewhere between 250mg to 1,000mg per fluid ounce. This matters because if you were to purchase a 4 ounce bottle that contained 250mg of CBD, your concentration would be a mere 62.5 mg of CBD per ounce – hardly enough to reap the full benefits of CBD. It’s always important to look at the concentration level of the CBD you’re buying.
There is a lot to be hopeful for as legalization marches forward and as cannabis becomes more widely accepted for its medicinal purposes. Unfortunately, with cannabis and CBD still listed as schedule one substances, research is limited and many medical professionals still remain in fear to discuss or endorse medical cannabis for something like cancer. As of March 2015, over 15,000 patients in the state of Colorado reported severe nausea or cancer as their reporting condition for their medical card. Organizations like Project CBD, Realm of Caring, and CannaKids provide resources and connect families who seek cannabinoid therapy for their illnesses. According to a 2016 estimate by procon.org, there are over 2.5 million medical marijuana users in the United States. This number grows every year as more states legalize access to medical cannabis and it’s becoming harder for the mainstream medical community to ignore this growing group of people.
In addition to assisting with internal health and well being, cannabinoids are used for skin care as well. The raw oils can be used directly on the skin, but there are specifically formulated topicals that use carrier compounds and ingredients that will allow the cannabinoids to soak into the skin more quickly and they may add a great scent or smoother texture.
And now, onto the thorny issue of legality. The simple answer to the question is yes – if it is extracted from hemp. The 2014 Farm Bill established guidelines for growing hemp in the U.S. legally. This so-called “industrial hemp” refers to both hemp and hemp products which come from cannabis plants with less than 0.3 percent THC and are grown by a state-licensed farmer.
That’s why, when it comes to purchasing CBD products, you need to know what to look out for before you start browsing. Do you know which companies have a reputation for producing low-quality versus high-quality CBD products? Do you know which lab results you should ask to see? Or which manufacturing certifications point to quality practices being adhered to?
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Another quality of a good CBD oil is that it is manufactured using the whole plant. CBD Isolates are becoming increasingly popular, but in reality, it is a cheaper material than whole plant extracts. Using the whole plant, rather than using only one part, ensures that the oil contains not just CBD, but also the full range of primary and secondary constituents of the hemp plant. These include terpenes, flavonoids, and other cannabinoids that are generally believed to work synergistically with CBD, making the benefits exponentially higher than CBD alone.
One of the more visible cases of using CBD to treat cancer was done by Tommy Chong. Famous for his comedy albums, Cheech and Chong, Tommy is a vocal cannabis activist and user. In 2012, Chong was diagnosed with prostate cancer and used CBD oil and a natural diet to treat his condition, opting out of expensive and aggressive medical procedures. Chong was quoted saying he was,“cancer-free thanks to a disciplined diet … and the use of hemp (hash) oil.”
It is a strict violation of the Food and Drug Administration DSHEA guidelines to make medical claims about the efficacy of CBD products in the treatment of any medical condition or symptom. Although preliminary research has shown tremendous promise of CBD oil helping people in pretty remarkable ways, legitimate CBD companies will refrain from making any direct medical claims. Be very wary of companies that defy this guideline, because if they disregard this particular rule, what other rules are they willing to ignore?