As mentioned in a previous article, research has brought significant evidence regarding the positive effects of CBD oil on all five major types of anxiety disorders.
It is estimated that 1 in 13 suffers from anxiety and depression globally. It seems that it’s a global issue, doesn’t it?
A lot of people have decided to turn to CBD oil for their anxiety problems. Some of them are convinced about it, others are trying to get some relief using an alternative to SSRIs, SNRIs, and other antidepressants or supplementing their antidepressant therapy with CBD oil.
If you are on antidepressant therapy there are some things to remember: A combined treatment is not advisable. CBD has the potential to interact with antidepressants. This can result in an increased amount of antidepressant in your body and consequently in a higher risk of side effects.
So, it would be better for you to be able to stop using your antidepressants altogether. How can you do it? The answer is simple: Ask for advice from your physician, of course. Don’t take any initiative, you are not a doctor, remember? The preparation and the process of the switch from antidepressants to CBD should be guided and monitored by a physician or a qualified psychiatric care provider.
What about the rest of the people who suffer from anxiety disorders, are not on antidepressant therapy and would like to try CBD oil? How to, how often and how much are the most frequently asked questions. Let’s try to answer them
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How to take CBD oil
Before introducing the types of CBD oil products, I think it would be useful to mention the ways our body can absorb it. Why are we interested in the ways our body absorbs CBD?. To answer your question, let me introduce you to bioavailability. I bet you are asking yourself: what the heck is bioavailability? Well, bioavailability is the degree to which or the rate at which a drug or other substance is absorbed or becomes available at the site of physiological activity after administration.
But why is it important?
Simply, because it determines how much of whatever medicine or substance you took is present in your bloodstream and can provide you with the desired effect. And not only for this reason. Keep in mind that your doctor prescribes a medicine and calculates the dosage, he includes bioavailabiity in his calculations to determine standard dosage.
So, what are the ways CBD oil is absorbed?
- Through the digestive system. Bioavailability 4-20%
- Sublingually (under the tongue). Bioavailability 12-35%
- Through lungs. Bioavailability 34-46% (recently reported up to 56%)
- Topical application. Bioavailability 0%
CBD oil comes in different forms or types with different concentration of CBD in each of them. Before choosing the best type that suits our specific needs and our lifestyle let’s see what these are.
- Edibles or ingestibles.
- CBD tinctures or drops. A tincture is a dietary supplement in liquid form with a very potent cannabidiol content. The method of producing a tincture is time-consuming but very simple. CBD-rich cannabis flowers are steeped in high-proof grain alcohol. Even though a tincture can be created using vinegar or glycerin, using alcohol is the best way to produce high-quality tinctures. After the steeping step, the mixture of flowers and alcohol is cooked over low heat for a significant amount of time. The heating step allows the infusion of the active compound of cannabis into the neutral spirit. A tincture has a bitter taste so it is mixed with carrier oils and other complementary ingredients, like peppermint or orange to improve its taste.
- Cbd oil
- CBD capsules or soft gels
- CBD-infused water. Bottle water which contains nano-sized Cannabidiol molecules.
- CBD-infused chewing gum
- CBD-infused edibles like gummies, brownies, cookies
- CBD wax. The dabbing process is needed with this type. In short, you need to heat a small amount of wax by applying it to the heated coil of your dabbing pen. The wax is vaporized by the heat and then you inhale it through an attached mouthpiece on the pen. Use it with caution. Taking the wax involves heating the substance, so it should not be used by children or women who are pregnant or lactating.
- CBD-rich eLiquids and/or vape cartridges. (similar to e-cigaretts). They may produce some side effects like headaches.
- Transdermal patches with CBD (similar to a nicotine patch). As mentioned above, topicals, such as balms, salves, lotions, etc have 0% bioavailability. The only topical CBD products that are able to penetrate the skin and enter the bloodstream are transdermal CBD patches.
- CBD isolate crystals This product comes in the form of a fine white powder containing 99% pure CBD. The pure crystalline contains only the CBD chemical compound, offering CBD in its most concentrated form. I didn’t categorize it, simply, because it can be eaten, dabbed, vaped, rubbed on the skin, smoked, made into a tincture. It’s very versatile in its use.
Which type of CBD products should one use? Well, this is up to you, your needs and your lifestyle. Smokers or people trying to quit smoking usually choose smokeables. They see the ritual of smoking or vaping as a calming exercise. Others choose edibles for their convenience and discretion even though they are a bit slow to take effect.
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How often is a tricky question
To answer it, we should wonder:
How fast does CBD oil work?
Several key factors can influence how long it takes CBD to work after being in our body. Some of them are the exact symptom we are trying to alleviate, the quality of CBD, our body’s weight and metabolic rate, the concentration of the CBD and the dosage.
But, perhaps, the most significant factor that determines how long CBD takes to work and the duration of its effect, is the method you use to take it.
To be precise, the slowest of all is the topicals category. Topicals need around 25 to 45 minutes to impact our body. Capsules, drinks and other edibles need approximately 20 to 30 minutes on an empty stomach (on a full stomach they are much slower), while tinctures and oils, when used sublingually, need about 15 to 20 minutes to take effect. The fastest of all are the products that can be inhaled. The effects will kick in 5 to 20 minutes after use.
Having said that, both the benefits of a highly functioning endocannabinoid system and the immediate effects on a particular symptom are not experienced right away. CBD is build up in the body over time and can lead to an increase of cannabinoid receptors. The endocannabinoid system is activated and becomes more sensitive to stimulation by cannabinoids. Daily consumption of CBD oil helps maintain a sustained level of CBD in your body and results in an effective endocannabinoid system.
Most CBD oil users claim that CBD oil needs to be taken twice a day. They simply take a dose in the morning, and then another one about 12 hours later in the evening. Others report that taking a serving of CBD oil 2-3 times a day is ideal. Some others use CBD four times a day. Users who vape or smoke say that up to 3 times a day are more than enough to get the desired results.
In general, It is very difficult to establish how often you should take CBD oil since there are many variables to be taken into consideration, method of use and type of anxiety disorder being the most important. People who suffer from GAD and panic attacks have different needs from others suffering from more complex anxiety disorders.
Having said that, it is clear that frequency of use is a personal decision. Take into consideration the symptoms that need to be treated, think of the method of taking CBD that suits your lifestyle and personal preferences and don’t be afraid to experiment to find the best for you!
The dosage issue: How much CBD should I take?
Everybody’s endocannabinoid system is unique, so CBD dosage can vary. Some will have the desired effects taking 3mg twice a day, while others need 200mg four times a day or higher! A study about social anxiety and public speaking, mentioned in a previous article, reports that a 600mg dose of CBD was effective in reducing anxiety. In other studies, though, scientists claim that doses as low as 40mg can be effective in lowering the symptoms of anxiety.
So what is the right dosage?
There are some important factors that you should take into consideration when deciding your dosage:
- your physiology; specifically our weight
- your body chemistry; we are unique. The history of your body is unique too. The use of medications, supplements, even substances you make use of, are responsible for your unique body chemistry, which can affect the way your body can react to CBD
- the concentration of CBD in the product you bought
- the severity of the disorder you suffer from
Having this in mind, it is clear that there is not a dosage that fits all. All you can do is decide what your dose will be, having in mind the following:
- Start building up your dosage based on your weight. A general rule is that 1-6 mg of CBD for every 10 lb (5 kg) is a good starter dose. Adjust it taking into consideration the severity of the condition you need to treat.
- “Start low, go-slow and keep adjusting”. Those of you who are new to cannabidiols should take a relatively low dose (1-5mg) once a day for a week. This way, your body has enough time to adapt and you can see if your anxiety improves. It can help to divide your dosage into smaller doses throughout the day. So if you decide to take multiple but smaller doses during the first day, you can increase the dosage and note any possible changes in effect. If you need to, continue adjusting and continue monitoring your body’s reactions until you find the dosage that works for your situation.
- Be patient. People react differently to the same dosage patterns. It may take you time to find the proper dosage that will give the desired effects. Some effects may be experienced immediately, while others take a while to “build up”. (particularly when looking for relief from more complex anxiety disorders like OCD or PTSD ).
- Monitor how long the CBD effects really last. If they don’t last as long as you wish, change from the once-a-day dose to multiple-doses-daily maintaining the mg quantity that suits you.
- You can’t overdose on CBD. Cannabidiol is non-toxic and won’t give you a “high”. As a matter of fact, ‘no signs of toxicity or serious side effects have been observed following chronic administration of cannabidiol to healthy volunteers (Cunha et al.,), even in large acute doses of 700 mg/day (Consroe et al.)
Writers say that characters decide the plot. CBD oil is a really complicated character. It won’t let me finish the article here as planned. There is another question that demands to be answered.
How to measure your CBD dosage
I have already mentioned that one of the factors that you should take into consideration when deciding your dosage is the concentration of CBD in the product you bought.
So, you have bought a CBD tincture or a vaporizer. You read the numbers on the products referring to ml, mg and haven’t got a clue about them. How much CBD is there in 1ml of your tincture (a dropper contains 1ml of liquid or approximately 20-24 drops). How much CBD does every puff from your vaporizer contain?
Here comes maths again!
Tinctures are liquid and are measured in ml. To find out how much CBD is in 1 ml of your tincture, you use the following algorithm (nope, it’s not a simple calculation for a maths hater like me. It’s an algorithm:-))
mg /ml =CBD mg in 1 ml
Be patient. Algorithms are complicated, I know! An example will make the situation clearer. You have a 100 ml tincture that has 500 mg of CBD. You calculate :
500mg/100ml= 5 mg of CBD in 1ml or in a full dropper. Now if your dose is 10 mg you take 2 full droppers and so on.
The same algorithm should be used when vaping. You fill the tank of your vaporizer using a dropper. Having done your maths homework you know how much CBD your tank contains. Remember to monitor how many times a day you need to refill your tank.
No math is needed when taking capsules of course! With CBD capsules things are simple. Your dosage is 20 mg? You buy a 20mg bottle of capsules and off you go!
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That’s all folks! I hope that the article was helpful.
If you have any questions or want to share your personal experience with CBD, leave a comment below.
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DISCLAIMER: The content of this article is for informational purposes only. It is not meant to substitute professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.The information provided is not meant to alleviate or cure any disease or disorder. Always seek the advice of a qualified health provider for any medical condition.