In addition to acting on the brain, CBD influences many body processes. That’s due to the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which was discovered in the 1990s, after scientists started investigating why pot produces a high. Although much less well-known than the cardiovascular, reproductive, and respiratory systems, the ECS is critical. “The ECS helps us eat, sleep, relax, forget what we don’t need to remember, and protect our bodies from harm,” Marcu says. There are more ECS receptors in the brain than there are for opioids or serotonin, plus others in the intestines, liver, pancreas, ovaries, bone cells, and elsewhere.
Having a medical condition is difficult enough, but if that condition doesn’t respond to medical treatment, life can become a constant battle. Refractory epilepsy is also known as uncontrolled or drug-resistant epilepsy. This means that a person who is suffering from refractory epilepsies is not responding to traditional medicine and thus is unable to effectively manage his or her neurological disorder.
CBD is the major non-euphorigenic component of Cannabis sativa. Some research is beginning to show that CBD is different than other well-studied cannabinoids. All cannabinoids function as ligands, meaning they dock onto the binding site of a protein and have the ability to modulate a receptor’s behavior. CB1 receptors are widely distributed, but are particularly abundant in areas of the brain, including those concerned with movement, coordination, sensory perception, emotion, memory, cognition, autonomic and endocrine functions.
A group of 15 patients who received CBD over a period ranging from one month to one year were surveyed to gather various data. The researchers sought information about the patient and the caregiver, changes observed in the seizures, neuropsychological effects, side effects and the family’s overall perception following the use of cannabidiol. This simple observational study identified some very encouraging findings:
CBD is well tolerated in humans with doses up to 600 mg not resulting in psychotic symptoms (15). In the few small placebo-controlled studies performed, no significant CNS effects were noted. Oral CBD undergoes extensive first-pass metabolism via CYP3A4, with a bioavailability of 6%. Following single doses in humans, the half-life of CBD when taken orally is about 1 to 2 days.1 In vitro studies have shown that CBD is a potent inhibitor of multiple CYP isozymes, including CYP 2C and CYP3A (16, 17). Whether these in vitro observations are relevant at plasma concentrations likely to be seen in patients is unclear. In addition, given its metabolism via CYP3A4, clinical trials of CBD in patients receiving enzyme-inducing AEDs, such as carbamazepine or phenytoin, will require detailed pharmacokinetic studies.
There is a strong sedative quality to CBD hemp oil, making it a popular remedy for people with insomnia, sleeplessness, interrupted sleep, post-traumatic stress disorder, restless leg disorder, and other night-time issues. Dr. Scott Shannon, Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, USA, published a report in the Permanete Journal, in which he recommended either inhaling a small amount of CBD oil, applying it to one’s chest, or even putting a few drops on one’s pillow to help get a good night’s sleep.
Currently, the only CBD product approved by the Food and Drug Administration is a prescription oil called Epidiolex. It's approved to treat two types of epilepsy. Aside from Epidiolex, state laws on the use of CBD vary. While CBD is being studied as a treatment for a wide range of conditions, including Parkinson's disease, schizophrenia, diabetes, multiple sclerosis and anxiety, research supporting the drug's benefits is still limited.
CBD has been touted for a wide variety of health issues, but the strongest scientific evidence is for its effectiveness in treating some of the cruelest childhood epilepsy syndromes, such as Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS), which typically don’t respond to antiseizure medications. In numerous studies, CBD was able to reduce the number of seizures, and in some cases it was able to stop them altogether. Videos of the effects of CBD on these children and their seizures are readily available on the Internet for viewing, and they are quite striking. Recently the FDA approved the first ever cannabis-derived medicine for these conditions, Epidiolex, which contains CBD.
Topical solutions: Topical CBD products include lotions, salves and lip balms. They are meant to benefit skin, joint and muscle health, and work when they are absorbed into the skin and through the dermal layers. CBD patches are also available for topical delivery of the compound. This allows the cannabinoids to be delivered directly to your bloodstream.
Other targets for CBD include transient receptor potential (TRP) channels that are involved with the modulation of intracellular calcium (1, 6). Cannabinoids are highly lipophilic, allowing access to intracellular sites of action, resulting in increases in calcium in a variety of cell types including hippocampal neurons. CBD actions on calcium homeostasis may provide a basis for CBD neuroprotective properties.
If your intention is to help treat chronic pain, then you may want to start out with a lower dose, and then proceed from there. If you notice effective results, you can downsize the dose, or likewise you can always up the dose until positive results are achieved. The key is to only increase your dosage in small increments so that you are able to pinpoint exactly how much CBD oil it takes to treat your condition. Be advised, though, that you should not exceed the recommended daily doses that are listed on the bottle and you should consult with a physician.
However, switching to CBD oil from a conventional medication is far from a random stab in the dark. In fact, there was a large scale (and very well-documented) survey carried out less than two years ago that looked at precisely what percentage of patients were able to “swap” their side effect-inducing meds for a 100% natural, cannabis-based therapy.
Transparency: Receptra Naturals’ website has a database where you can look up lab reports for their products. The first time we checked, we got some 404 errors for a couple of the lab reports, but these glitches seem to have been fixed since then. We were able to see third-party lab reports for all their tinctures (though, apparently not for their topicals).
John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, and publisher who earned his English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign, Urbana (USA). He is the co-founder of a literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and calls the most beautiful places in the world his office. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.
I have read about studies from Europe (not very specific I know) that suggest CBD might work better for some people if combined with some level of THC. Also, the getting high part can be helpful, although not for everybody, of course. A second point – I don’t hear very much about CBD eliminating or almost eliminating pain for people with severe pain. Helpful, but, so far at least, it doesn’t seem that CBDs can replace opioids or substantially reduce pain for all chronic pain patients. Maybe someday.
The science behind CBD is in the relatively early stages. As a cannabinoid, we know that CBD interacts with receptors in your endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system is integrated throughout your body — and this widespread, whole-body interaction creates a broad range of effects. Hence, the long list of possible benefits. We may still be in the early stages of discovery, but there’s plenty of scientific studies and anecdotal evidence that CBD provides relief for an array of ailments. Here’s a non-exhaustive list of some potential benefits of CBD oil:
However, if it was sourced from actual marijuana (i.e. cannabis that contains more than 2% THC by volume), then it is technically illegal. Most of the best CBD oils for pain that you find in dispensaries in states like Colorado, California, and Washington (as well as other states where weed is legal) will have been extracted from marijuana plants — not industrial hemp plants. Unfortunately, this means that these products are not allowed to be sold online and shipped across state lines to “non-legal” states.
Buying online is less reliable still because there’s no regulation or standardization. What you see on the label may not be what you are getting. A 2017 study in JAMA found that of the 84 CBD products researchers bought online, 43 percent had more CBD than indicated, while 26 percent had less, and some had unexpected THC.“There’s a 75 percent chance of getting a product where the CBD is mislabeled,” says Marcu, one of the study’s coauthors.
A survey of patients seen in a tertiary epilepsy center found that 21% of patients admitted to using marijuana in the last year, and 24% of patients believed marijuana to be effective for their seizures (10). While interesting, this anecdotal observation does not rise to the level of evidence needed to evaluate a potential new therapeutic modality.
I have to agree with Tanya. The higher the mg in the bottle, the fewer drops you take to equal the smaller dose from a lower mg bottle. Right? I actually clicked this article hoping to find info about actual CBD content. I read a COA report for a brand out of CO that said it is .6% CBD. That seems way low. But I know nothing about this stuff yet. I used to just smoke regular ole weed back when a quarter ounce cost $25 and based my choice on smell and appearance… or availability…. I feel like I need to be a little more scientific now.
The amount of milligrams of CBD you should take depends on your specific reason for taking CBD. If you are using CBD to treat chronic pain, you might take a much higher dose than someone who would be using CBD for general wellness reasons. Google search for your specific condition or reason for taking CBD to find the dose that is appropriate for you. You can take CBD in high qualities, so feel free to test out different dosages and see how your body reacts. A standard dose of CBD is 10 mg once a day, but this varies so widely because each individual is different so this can’t be taken as a recommendation for you.