Cannabidiol is the major nonpsychoactive component of Cannabis sativa. Over the centuries, a number of medicinal preparations derived from C. sativa have been employed for a variety of disorders, including gout, rheumatism, malaria, pain, and fever. These preparations were widely employed as analgesics by Western medical practitioners in the 19th century (1). More recently, there is clinical evidence suggesting efficacy in HIV-associated neuropathic pain, as well as spasms associated with multiple sclerosis (1).
CBD hemp oil has a huge range of potential health benefits and uses, including reducing pain, soothing anxiety, fighting chronic diseases, improving mood, eliminating depression, preventing inflammatory arthritis, protecting the immune system, balancing the metabolism, aiding sleep disorders, and healing the skin, among others. CBD oil can also be used in many different ways and has a variety of applications for natural health.
While it is still classed illegal on a Federal level, individual U.S. states have adopted a more lenient policy towards this plant and some states now allow it for recreational use. The easing up of state laws has also allowed researchers to explore this miraculous plant and only recently has it been found to be an effective treatment for a variety of medical problems due to its CBD oil benefits. From cancer, anorexia, pain and inflammation management it seems like medical marijuana is placing a strong footing within the medical industry.
Over the past few years, increasing public and political pressure has supported legalization of medical marijuana. One of the main thrusts in this effort has related to the treatment of refractory epilepsy—especially in children with Dravet syndrome—using cannabidiol (CBD). Despite initiatives in numerous states to at least legalize possession of CBD oil for treating epilepsy, little published evidence is available to prove or disprove the efficacy and safety of CBD in patients with epilepsy. This review highlights some of the basic science theory behind the use of CBD, summarizes published data on clinical use of CBD for epilepsy, and highlights issues related to the use of currently available CBD products.
The reason so many people are interested in cannabis products that don’t make them high, proponents say, is that CBD helps with everything from pain and nausea to rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, Crohn’s disease, and dementia. CBD is anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, antibacterial, immunosuppressive, and more, says Joseph Cohen, DO, a cannabis doctor in Boulder, CO.
Dr. Cohen has found that chronic conditions including autoimmune diseases and pain syndromes can be helped with a 6-mg under-the-tongue tincture (the fastest delivery system) or a 25-mg capsule taken twice a day. Dosages for topical products like lotions are especially hard to determine—there’s no clarity on how much CBD gets into the system through the skin.
Gloss and Vickrey conducted a Cochrane systematic review of the use of CBD in the treatment of epilepsy (11). Their methodology included only those trials that were randomized and controlled and excluded case series, case reports, and expert opinion. They were able to identify only 4 randomized controlled studies reported in the literature, and they included a letter to the editor and an abstract. The total number of subjects enrolled in these studies was 48 (11–14). While only four studies and a letter to the editor were in the actual analysis, the authors included a complete reference listing of all articles reviewed for inclusion.
To be clear, there is no one specific test, scan, or anything else of the sort that you can do to determine whether or not you need CBD oil for pain. Also, since cannabis is not yet recognized by the FDA, you unfortunately can’t really go to your doctor either and have them recommend it; until marijuana is FDA-approved, it cannot be prescribed by physicians.
Lisa Hamilton, a jeweler and doula in Brooklyn, NY, knows about the side effects. She recently tried CBD for the shoulder pain that plagued her five years after an accident. Her doctor certified that she was in chronic pain, which under New York State law allowed her to buy from a state dispensary. One Friday, she swallowed two 10-mg capsules, the amount recommended at the dispensary, then took another two on Saturday. “By Sunday, it felt like I’d gotten hit by a truck. Every muscle and joint ached,” Hamilton says. She cut back to one pill a day the following week, but still felt hungover. She stopped after that.
Author Gerhard Nahler found it most surprising that an entire group of authors were “tempted to over-interpret results.” However, he felt that misinterpretations are not entirely uncommon, stating “People overlook quite frequently that “in vitro” results may differ significantly from conditions “in vivo”, particularly in man. In vitro results are suggestions, not proofs for processes in real life.”
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.