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.
In general, the majority of people end up using higher-strength products for pain than they would for things like anxiety, stress, or depression. The majority of today’s best CBD oil manufacturers offer tinctures in three different “potencies,” usually in 100, 300, or 600 mg options. Many people start on a middle ground with a 300 mg option, and work your way up from there, but it is extremely important to consult with the brand you are purchasing from before consumption.
Many people are tempted to believe that products that contain CBD only are the best, thinking that using just CBD alone is a more effective treatment. While products that contain single-molecule CBD, meaning that you won’t find any other compounds, are already provided as medicines, they are not exactly more efficient than whole plant extract CBD oil, when it comes to therapeutic effects.
Authors: Leinwand, Kristina L. DO; Gerich, Mark E. MD; Hoffenberg, Edward J. MD; Collins, Colm B. PhD; National Institutes of Health T32 Institutional Training Grant in Pediatric Gastroenterology; National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases at the National Institutes of Health; Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
But because all these products are illegal according to the federal government, cannabis advocates are cautious. “By and large, the federal government is looking the other way,” says Paul Armentano, deputy director of the Washington, DC–based National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), but until federal laws are changed, “this administration or a future one could crack down on people who produce, manufacture, or use CBD, and the law would be on its side.”
Tinctures: Tinctures are another popular way to use CBD, likely because you can easily gauge exactly how much cannabidiol you are ingesting, like CBD oil. A tincture is usually extracted with alcohol or another solvent. With a tincture, you use a dropper and place the drops in the mouth. Sometimes, manufacturers will use carrier oils, natural flavors or fatty oils in their tinctures.
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And we have a long way to go before we fully understand the relationship between CBD and pain regulation. But strong anecdotal evidence, combined with multiple lab tests and even some clinical trials, have established that CBD holds a lot of promise for pain relief. Or in science-speak, CBD “represents a novel class of therapeutic agents for the treatment of chronic pain.”
While animal experimental data clearly suggest a potential benefit, supportive clinical data are quite sparse. In a case-control study of 308 cases of new onset seizures, Brust and colleagues found that marijuana use was significantly less prevalent among men who had unprovoked seizures compared to case controls (9). This difference was not significant in women. The authors suggest a potential protective effect against seizures with marijuana use; however, this should be considered speculative.
A number of difficulties exist in evaluating published data on CBD or marijuana use for epilepsy. The extremely limited published studies were small, poorly described, and not well designed. Contributing to the difficulty of interpreting published studies, CBD products are not produced under the guidance of good manufacturing practices (GMP) and are not subject to regulations governing labeling, purity, and reliability. In other words, currently, there is no guarantee of consistency between products, or even differing lots produced by the same manufacturer. Without independent testing (e.g. USP certification) of CBD products for content and purity, as well as bioavailability testing of specific products, uncertainty surrounds the use of available CBD products in routine clinical settings.
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.
Thanks to research and modern technology the cannabis plant is now being processed in numerous ways to help patients from across the world. Patients are able to benefit of it’s cannabinoids CBD and THC in the form of oils. One of those ways is in the form of CBD Oil. To create CBD oil, solvents, such as CO2 are used to separate the cannabinoids (in the form of oils) from the plant material, creating the highly concentrated product.
There’s still a lot of unknown territory, but early evidence for CBD’s efficacy is more than enough to justify further large-scale clinical studies — some of which are already in the works. These studies also point to the variety of effective ways to take CBD. This is an important point to keep in mind if you find yourself shopping for CBD products and wondering if the best CBD for pain is a topical, a tincture, or a vape product.
We’ve linked to the best, most reputable source for each one of these products (most frequently the manufacturer’s site). While you may want to shop around (and we encourage it!), we recommend that you buy from one of our preferred sites. That way you’ll know that you’re getting an authentic product at a reasonable price, from a company that actually stands behind their product.
To make matters more confusing, nine states (including California, Washington, and Colorado) let residents buy cannabis-based products with or without THC. Nearly two dozen other “medical marijuana states” allow the sale of cannabis, including capsules, tinctures, and other items containing CBD or THC, at licensed dispensaries to people whose doctors have certified that they have an approved condition (the list varies by state but includes chronic pain, PTSD, cancer, autism, Crohn’s disease, and multiple sclerosis). Sixteen more states legalized CBD for certain diseases.
It’s safe to say that Charlotte’s Web is probably the most recognized CBD brand out there — and it’s not all hype. This company pioneered the CBD industry and made it their mission to de-stigmatize CBD by setting the bar high for transparency. They produce and oversee their organic CBD products from seed to sale, standing behind them with a solid return policy.