How to Use CBD
CBD is available in three different levels of processed refinement:
- Full-spectrum CBD
- Broad-spectrum CBD
- Isolate CBD
Full Spectrum CBD
Full spectrum CBD is also referred to as whole-plant CBD because it contains additional properties found in cannabis plants. Full spectrum CBD retains the plant’s terpenes, flavonoids, and other cannabinoids, including up to .3% THC. Fatty acids, vitamins, minerals and other compounds from the plant are also included in full spectrum CBD. These naturally-occurring elements are believed to enhance the overall effect of CBD through something called the “entourage effect.”
Broad Spectrum CBD
Broad spectrum CBD is quite similar to full spectrum in that it contains an array of flavonoids, terpenes, and cannabinoids…but no THC. The THC has been removed through additional processing of the hemp extract. Broad Spectrum CBD products are the choice of consumers who may be subject to random drug testing by their employers, since even trace amounts of THC in full spectrum CBD could raise a flag in a drug test. Broad Spectrum CBD should raise no such flags.
As the name implies, isolate CBD is a product which contains 99% CBD with no terpenes, flavonoids, or other cannabinoids. Isolates are the purest form of CBD, with 0% THC as well.
Terpenes and the Entourage Effect
Terpenes are aromatic hydrocarbons found in plants which give them a special aroma and flavors. There are over 120 terpenes in cannabis and not only do they lend cannabis strains their unique taste and smell, but they also provide a set of therapeutic benefits which serve to heighten the effect of CBD on the human body. Below are a few examples of terpenes and their individual characteristics.
- Present in coniferous trees like pine as well as cannabis, olive, eucalyptus, sage, rosemary, olive, hops, and cumin.
- Helps to counteract effects of THC in the body
- Found in lavender, mint, cinnamon, and rosewood
- Sedative properties
- Found in hops, coriander, basil, clove.
- Found in some citrus fruits as well as apple, cumin, and oregano.
- Sedative effects
- Found in rinds of citrus fruits, peppermint, and juniper.
- Stimulates the immune system
The Entourage Effect
This is a scientific phenomenon which explains the interaction between cannabinoids, terpenes and other naturally occurring substances in cannabis plants which when combined, provide a heightened effect that cannot be replicated by just one of the compounds. Full spectrum CBD can provide this entourage effect when consumed, and to a certain extent, broad spectrum products will also have some entourage effect.
How to Take CBD and Dosing
The fact that CBD comes in different forms, each with a different concentration, poses a challenge for determining a singular and all-inclusive dosing prescription. Each individual is different, and how your body reacts to CBD is unique to you. No matter what kind of CBD you choose to consume, one rule of thumb covers them all – Start Low and Go Slow.
CBD can be taken as;
- Oils and Tinctures: This is probably the most common type of CBD. It can be ingested by placing drops of the extract underneath the tongue with the aid of a dropper. The soft tissue under the tongue allows for quicker absorption and more direct effects.
- Edibles: This includes chocolates and caramels, gummy bears, honey, drinks, and even pastries infused with CBD. Edibles go through the digestive system so the effect may be delayed for 30 minutes to an hour. But the advantage of edibles is that the effects of CBD may last longer.
- Softgels, Capsules and Tablets: This type of CBD product is easy to consume and dosages easier to control. The amount of CBD in the product is clearly stated, so you know what you’re getting. But since these also go through the digestive system, the full dose may not be delivered to the endocannabinoid system. Some softgels, however, are absorbed through the stomach lining, releasing their CBD faster than other edibles.
- Topicals: CBD topical treatments include lotion, creams, balms, salves, roll-ons and sprays. These topicals, applied directly to the afflicted area, can quickly dispel the pain from aching muscles and joints, with relief lasting for several hours. We’ve used topicals for back pain, tennis elbow, muscle spasms, arthritic pain, and muscle cramps, just to name a few. CBD is a natural anti-inflammatory, so topical treatments can go to work quickly with little side effect.
- E-Liquid or Vapes: This form of CBD is ingested by heating the extract and inhaling the vapor with the aid of a vaporizer. While it’s a fast and effective delivery system for CBD, we do not offer inhaled CBD products at Kentucky Greenleaf.
What About Dosage?
Remember our adage from above – Start Low and Go Slow. More is not always better. CBD dosage and effects follow a bell-shaped curve. When dosage reaches an optimum level (your desired results), increasing beyond that dosage can actually have a negative effect. You may feel anxiety, or lethargic, if the dose is too high.
If taking oils and tinctures, for example, a starting dose might be 10mg twice a day. After a week, increase the dose to 20 or 25mg twice a day. If your desired results have yet to be achieved, increase the dosage again in about a week. Keep gradually increasing the dose until you reach your “Sweet Spot,” as Kentucky Greenleaf owner Dawn Wellman describes it.
CBD is also cumulative in your body so a regular regimen is best, to build up a level of CBD. As a personal reference, I consume about 25mg of CBD twice a day for general, age-related aches and pains. After a particularly strenuous day (heavy yard work is often a culprit), my back starts to ache and it’s impossible to even sit in comfort. When that happens, a full dropper with 85mg of CBD does the trick. In about 30 minutes, the pain is gone.
A friend with chronic back pain takes a similar amount of CBD every night, sleeps comfortably, and wakes up without the fogginess that usually comes from taking prescription pain meds.
Again, every person is different. There is no magic dosing formula. Start low and go slow.
Depending on your individual situation, a therapeutic dose (for chronic pain, for example) might be as much as 200mg per day. But maybe not, depending on your circumstances. Another friend who has trouble sleeping at night takes a 10mg gummy about 30 minutes before bedtime and sleeps the night through. That’s her “Sweet Spot” for a good night’s sleep.
Factors that can affect your optimal dose are many:
- Body weight
- Form of CBD product (oils vs. edibles vs. softgels, etc.)
- Your metabolism
- The severity of your health issues
We recommend you consult your doctor if there is any question about whether you should take CBD, since it may react with other medications, particularly those that also react adversely to grapefruit.
And our disclaimer: “These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent and disease. Consult your physician before starting a new dietary supplement program.”