Since medicinal marijuana was (re)-legalized in the US in the late ‘90s, the market for medicinal cannabinoids like CBD and THC has skyrocketed. Reefer madness has been replaced with CBD tinctures, edibles, flower, cosmetics, lotions, pet treats, and more.

CBD can be used to alleviate anxiety, reduce pain, and as a sleep aid. Still, this non-intoxicating cannabinoid is often overshadowed by its infamous cousin, THC or tetrahydrocannabinol, found in marijuana. We break down the basics of cannabidiol (CBD), so you can medicate safely and effectively.

If It Smells Like Weed, Looks Like Weed, It… Still Isn’t Weed?

cannabis plant bud

Nope, it’s not weed—they’re just related. Cannabidiol is one of 114 cannabinoids found in both hemp and marijuana plants (different descendants of the same Cannabis genus). So while CBD flower does look and smell a lot like jazz cabbage, it won’t get you high.

This “lack of high” is due to the concentration of THC, the psychoactive agent that makes Cheech and Chong so… Cheech and Chong-y. CBD is derived from the hemp plant, which contains less than .3% THC. In plain English, CBD is weed without the effects of THC, which can be a paranoid, anxiety-riddled high.

So What’s the Best Way to Take Your CBD? Should You Smoke, Eat, Or Drink It? How About Osmosis?

cbd oil capsules and cannabis leaves

The wide variety of CBD products available allows consumption in pretty much all of the ways above except the osmosis. CBD flower can be rolled or packed in a pipe and smoked like tobacco or marijuana. Cannabinoids and stress-relieving terpenes are also infused into skin and lip repairing balms, cosmetics, or edibles.

Cannabidiol oil is an incredibly versatile way to consume CBD. Some of the most popular forms of CBD oil are tinctures (drops) and vape pens with oil concentrate. CBD oil’s legality varies from state to state, but generally speaking, CBD derived from hemp is considered legal due to the 2018 Farm Bill Law.

CBD Side Effects and Therapeutic Benefits

cannabis plant leaf held by blue gloved hand

So if it doesn’t get you high, what does CBD do? As it turns out, this medicinal plant packs quite the holistic wellness punch. CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties are comparable to 800mg ibuprofen but without the long-term damage to the gastrointestinal tract of an NSAID.

Research suggests that CBD is also a powerful anti-anxiety agent. Cannabidiol organizes the flow of endocannabinoids in your body, stimulating serotonin and dopamine receptors and producing a calming effect via GABA receptors. CBD’s trademark calming effect also helps you achieve deep, restful sleep.

This multi-purpose cannabidiol is currently being researched as a treatment for autoimmune diseases, neurological conditions, metabolic syndromes, gut disorders, cardiovascular dysfunction, neuropsychiatric illnesses, skin diseases, and even cancer.

Though it’s generally well-tolerated, overconsumption or hypersensitivity to cannabidiol can result in dry mouth, reduced appetite, drowsiness, or fatigue. Each form of CBD has a specific recommended dosage, so before we dive into finding the right amount of CBD for you, let’s talk about our favorite way to consume this naturally-derived medicine.

Our Personal Favorite: Cannabidiol Oil—Here’s Why

Recommended CBD Dosage

Cannabidiol enters the body through “routes of delivery.” Ingesting CBD oil through the digestive tract is one of the longest routes of delivery. It’s also one of the most effective.

Unlike topical CBD, which will only produce a localized effect, cannabidiol is more evenly spread throughout the body via the mouth, stomach, and intestines, creating a more substantial full-body effect.

Additionally, ingesting CBD is odor-free, mess-free, and removes the risk to the respiratory system that comes with consumption via combustion (inhaling smoke from burning plant matter).

Full or Broad-Spectrum CBD Oil?

tincture

CBD oil is often marketed as either full or broad-spectrum, and the difference lies in the manufacturing process. Full-spectrum CBD oil is in its most natural state; it includes cannabidiol as well as other cannabinoids, terpenes, and trace amounts of THC found in the cannabis plant.

A broad-spectrum CBD has been processed to remove any trace of THC and many of the naturally-occurring terpenes. Both full and broad-spectrum CBD oil offer many health benefits, both psychological and physiological. However, it’s been argued that full-spectrum is more effective due to the preservation of the plant’s natural composition (more often than not, Mother Nature knows best).

Since full-spectrum CBD oil does contain trace amounts of THC, those who are regularly drug tested or particularly sensitive to THC might want to stick with broad-spectrum oil. A comfortable dosage of broad-spectrum CBD oil might differ from a full-spectrum, so be sure to listen to your body and make sure your CBD oil is made by quality manufacturers.

Sorting Through the Static: Finding Safe, Effective, and Affordable CBD

oHHo CBD oils: Colorado, Oregon, New York

With so many CBD options available these days, many of which are online, it can be difficult to determine what’s quality and what’s been algorithmically advertised to you the most. But just like you wouldn’t buy pseudo-Ibuprofen from an unrecognizable website just because it’s a few bucks cheaper, the same caution should be exercised when picking out cannabis medicine.

oHHo is a New England-based, environmentally-minded cannabis company that sources its aromatic CBD buds from upstate New York and Vermont. Every oHHo product is eco-friendly and recyclable except the dropper on their CBD oil (but hey, they’re working on it). With sleek packaging, ultra-fast shipping, and personal touches like a thoughtful note, poster, and a “Sounds of Harvest” playlist included in their packaging, oHHo has elevated CBD consumption to a whole new level. Despite their high-end aesthetics, it’s easy to see the most important aspect of oHHo’s mission is maintaining the natural integrity of a medicinal plant that’s been used for centuries.

oHHo offers four aromatic full-spectrum CBD oil strains. From their sleep-inducing New York Full Spectrum CBD Oil Tincture to a calming strain sourced from Vermont, each strain includes information on where the cannabis was cultivated, specific terpenes, and a recommended CBD dose chart for easy use. Once you have your high-quality CBD oil, you’re ready to start medicating!

Using CBD Oil for Anxiety

oHHo CBD Oil Dosage infographic
Graphic: Melanie Davis/Data: oHHo

Consuming cannabidiol CBD oil is one of several natural, holistic ways to soothe buzzing nerves and stressed-out brains. It’s crucial to avoid overconsumption when treating anxiety, as adverse side effects might worsen preexisting symptoms that prompted you to medicate in the first place. 

The amount of CDB you need can vary based on your body weight. Trial and error is the name of the game when achieving the therapeutic effects you are seeking.

The experts at oHHo recommend starting low and slow. Start with a low to average .25 mL (250 mg) dose, wait one hour, and assess how you’re feeling. If you do not experience any calming effects or negative side effects like dry mouth, dizziness, or fatigue, try increasing your dose by another .25 mL to .50 mL (500 mg).

Continue this slow and steady process until you find the results you’re after. Higher doses up to 1 mL (1,000 mg) can be taken several times a day, but for best results, do not exceed 3 mL (3,00 mg) in 24 hours.

Using CBD Oil for Sleep

gnite in neon sparkler letters hovering over person asleep in bed
Tamar Waskey/Unsplash

The “low and slow” method is the best approach to finding the right CBD oil dose for any reason. However, certain side effects that would be unwanted during the day—like drowsiness or fatigue—are actually what we’re going for when medicating for a restful night’s sleep.

When using CBD oil for sleep, try starting with a slightly larger dosage, around .50 mL (500 mg). If you’re still awake in an hour or so, take the same dosage. Eventually, you’ll be able to discern how many mg of CBD oil you need to drift to dreamland effortlessly. For some, an effective dose of CBD means .50 mL; for others, it might mean 1-1.5 mL (1,000-1,500 mg). 

Using CBD for a Happier, Healthier Life

cannabis leaf being held up to the sun

Medicinal cannabis has become a popular natural alternative to some pharmaceuticals or narcotics, alcohol, or tobacco. If you have chronic health conditions that require daily medication, consult with your physician before taking up a CBD regimen.

Before traveling out of state with a month’s worth of CBD oil, be sure to check the current legalization status of your destination. As we said before, CBD is more widely-accepted due to its derivation from a non-psychoactive hemp plant. However, you should practice caution when traveling to avoid any fines or legal issues.

Otherwise, sit back, relax, and enjoy the medicinal, soothing effects of medicine made from Mother Nature herself.

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