In my journey looking for a healthy alternative for joint pain, I came across CBD oil (cannabidiol). CBD oil comes from the Hemp plant. A plant that is of the same family as the Marijuana plant, however does not contain the levels of THC ( tetrahydrocannabinol), the psychoactive component of cannabis that marijuana contains and thus does not produce the high or stoned effect that alters thinking and perception which is characteristic of marijuana.
CBD (Cannabidiol) oil and Cannabis have been used medicinally by many cultures for thousands of years. The plant used for its CBD content, also known as the hemp plant, was and still is used for its superior fiber, in making cloth, rope and paper.
One of the misconceptions about CBD is that it will make you high, like marijuana does. The truth about CBD oil is that it does not have a psychoactive effect like THC, meaning, it won’t make you high, however, CBD can help a depressed person feel better (as in not depressed) and an anxious person feel calm, according to claims.
According to articles I’ve read, the highest quality CBD oil comes from the flower and stalk of a cannabis, or hemp plant that is bred for high CBD content.
Those plants are low in THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). The cannabis that contains THC in higher concentration, is a different genus of the cannabis plant and is bred specifically to be high in THC. This plant is generally low in CBD.
More Differences between CBD and THC
We’re going to talk a little about the chemistry here. Our body’s receptors that link up to different chemicals, substances, etc., specifically the ones that link up to CBD are different types of receptors in the body (CB2) than the ones that receive THC (CB1).
The receptors that receive CBD (CB2 receptors) are found in the immune system, the gastrointestinal system and the brain (in a lesser quantity).
The receptors that receive THC (CB1 receptors) are found primarily in nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord.
There is a misconception that THC does not have healthful effects and is only used recreationally. The truth is that THC also has healing properties. For the purpose of this post. I will stick to discussing the healing properties of CBD.
A Little More Science
Our body has a system called the endocannabinoid system, meaning an internal cannabinoid system.
Two of the most common endocannabinoids (ECS) are called arachidonoyl glycerol and anandamide that link up to the CB1 and CB2 receptors and are responsible for appetite, mood, pain sensation, memory, protection of the nervous system and is the primary homeostatic (stabilizing) regulatory system of the body, basically regulating over reaction to stimuli.
It also maintains a part of the brain that regulates emotional balance, memory and neuro-excitability and acts to ensure proper function of the digestive, kidney and reproductive systems. CBD can help these systems, according to some research, by linking up to those same receptors, primarily CB2 receptors.
What is CBD oil used for?
My focus in this post is using CBD for the purpose of dealing with pain. In my experience, I started using CBD oil because so much of the literature out there says that it can decrease inflammation and thus decrease pain. I know that I suffer from chronic pain and inflammation. What kind of pain? Arthritis pain, muscle pain, and nerve pain.
Research and claims by users of CBD have shown that it helps with anxiety and depression. I also suffer from anxiety and have found CBD to definitely have a calming effect.
Research has also shown that CBD oil helps decrease the number of seizures in a drug resistant form of childhood epilepsy. A pharmaceutical medication has been created containing CBD to help children with this type of epilepsy.
CBD is potentially neuro-protective (meaning protects the nervous system) from Alzheimers. Parkinsons, and MS. It has shown to be very helpful with MS spasticity according to some of the literature out there.
So far research has been limited to animal studies, cell cultures and limited human trials. However, many users of CBD are reporting to have great results with using it.
Much more research is underway to prove how CBD can help a multitude of different ailments.
The different products containing CBD
There are various potencies in the different products containing CBD oil. It’s always recommended that you try a lower potency product first. Use it consistently for a month so that you can know for sure if it is working for you. It can take a few days to get it into your system to where you can start to feel the positive effects.
For pain, there are creams or balms that you can use topically by massaging into the area of pain. Depending on the brand, you can find a couple of different potencies.
A broad spectrum tincture that includes CBD, CBC, CBG in different potencies is available from Charlottes Web CBD.
CBD isolates are available in various potencies and capsules from Medterra.
How to use CBD oil
It is very individual as everyone’s endocannabinoid system can be different. What was recommended to me by the company rep whose oil I use, for the first 4 days of introducing it to your system, take a full dropper of the tincture in the morning after a meal and another full dropper in the evening after a meal. Place the dropper full of tincture under your tongue for a minute then swallow. Rinse it down with some water.
I tried a couple of different methods as far as quantity and timing to see what worked best. I split the evening dosage into two parts. I took it about 10 hours after the morning dose and then took the last half of the evening dose before bed.
After four days drop the dosage down to 1/2 a dropper in the a.m. and 1/2 a dropper in the p.m.
If you take capsules double up on the recommended dosage when you first start taking it for 4 days and then back off to the recommended dosage after that. Again, you might need to experiment and see what works best for you. As for the topical creams, use as needed.
Ultimately, just follow the instructions by the individual company that you purchase from and then modify as needed.
Supposedly you cannot overdose on this stuff. You can, however waste it if you use too much because more isn’t always better. If the highest potency isn’t helping you with the recommended dosage then only increase it by a quarter dropper at a time to see if more helps you (a quarter dropper per day more than the recommended dosage for a week). I find that small changes work best.
If you use a lower dosage product and you don’t find it helping you, next time you purchase, try the next potency higher.
In my research I have come across a tremendous amount of information about CBD.
What is most recommended for maximum benefit is a broad spectrum product. One that has more than just the CBD isolate since most herbals and food based therapeutic protocols are most effective with all the components of that plant based extract. Our bodies know better what to do with that.
You will find that some companies do offer broad spectrum products with all but the THC component. I have tried a broad spectrum CBD as well as the isolate by Medterra and I find that the isolate by Medterra works best for me.
How do you know which brand is best?
Because Hemp oil CBD is not regulated it can be tricky to choose a brand. I have been using a high potency CBD oil (tincture) by Medterra and am very happy with it. Check out my review on Medterra CBD. There is also one by Charlottes Web CBD that has a great reputation for being very effective.
I reached a point in my every day life that I needed some pain relief without side effects. I am so happy that I allowed myself to get past the stigma of using products that come from the Cannabis family of plants. I feel like my life has been given back to me.
An added positive effect from the CBD oil that I noticed, is that I believe it has strengthened my immune system. As a health care provider I am exposed to people who are sick with a cold or flu all the time and have managed to stay healthy.
If you have any questions about CBD, or anything to add, I would love to hear from you in the comment section below.
In Good Health,