Let’s get one thing straight. CBD is non-psychoactive. It will not get you high. It will, however, interact with something called the Endocannabinoid System (ECS), which is a chain of receptors in the body. Studies show that when stimulated by CBD, the ECS in turn supports bodily functions such as mood, the brain and nervous system.
The ECS is involved in the regulation of a large range of physiological functions in the body, including mood, memory, fertility, pain sensation and appetite. This happens when a cannabinoid like CBD binds to an ECS receptor in the body. It acts as an agonist, which means that it activates the receptor to produce a biological tissue response.
Whether you are a first-time user, or an experienced CBD fan, it can be confusing as to how these products work and how much of them to take. Unfortunately there are no clear guidelines on this as of yet. CBD has not been allocated a Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) by the authorities on healthcare products in the US or UK, so until this happens, there is not much to go on.
This has given way to brands and manufacturers providing potential customers with their own recommended dosages. However these are not always accurate, and could, in some cases, be ineffective or worse.
We asked Dr Richard Cunningham what to watch out for when figuring out how much CBD is the right amount to take.
Here are three simple things to factor in to calculating your desired CBD dosage.
First, check whether the amount of CBD stated on the bottle refers to the quantity of actual CBD in the product, and not the quantity of CBD hemp concentrate or CBD oil used to make the product.
This is where most of the confusion arises. Some people will be misled into believing their 10% CBD oil contains 10% CBD extract, but in some cases, this can refer to the content of hemp oil concentrate added in making the product.
As these CBD pastes and concentrates contain variable concentrations of CBD depending on the level of refinement, your 10% tincture could contain as little as 100-150mg of CBD, which in reality is 1-1.5% CBD.
2. Start low and increase your strengths accordingly.
We cannot tell you how much CBD to take as this would be irresponsible of us. We don’t know you, or whether you are on any medication or what your lifestyle is like. What we can tell you is that once you have chosen a great quality product to start taking, start small. Don’t just start taking 60mg of CBD twice a day because one of your friends of similar build says it works for them. You need to consider each person is different and many factors are in play, such as how the body functions. This may include bodyweight, metabolism, genetics,
and the endocannabinoid system. What we do suggest is to start off small and to increase your dosages gradually and see how your body reacts. It may be useful to keep a log book of how you feel after each dose until you find the optimum amount for you. Again, everyone is different. What worked for your friend may not work for you.
In November 2018, the home secretary Sajid David legalised medical cannabis in the UK, and the media reacted with headlines stating: ‘UK doctors will be able to prescribe cannabis medicine next month.’
However, the reality was far from this fantasy. Since November 2018, there has been a public outcry from patients and the families of patients across the UK who believe accessing whole plant medical cannabis will ease symptoms of serious lifealtering conditions. The NHS imposes strict restrictions on accessing medical cannabis on prescription. Despite the landmark legalisation and subsequent celebration, very few people are thought to have succeeded in obtaining a prescription. GPs cannot currently prescribe medical cannabis, only specialists have this power.
Currently, the NHS says medical cannabis is only likely to be prescribed by a specialist for the following conditions:
• children and adults with rare, severe forms of epilepsy
• adults with vomiting or nausea caused by chemotherapy
The NHS says a hospital specialist might consider prescribing medical cannabis if:
• your child has one of the rare forms of epilepsy that might be helped by medical cannabis
• you have spasticity from MS and treatments for this aren’t helping
• you have vomiting or feel sick from chemotherapy and anti-sickness treatments aren’t helping
The NHS also recognises that medical cannabis products may help to relieve long term pain. The official stance of the public health agency on this is:
“There is some evidence medical cannabis can help certain types of pain, though this evidence is not yet strong enough to recommend it for pain relief.”