CBD USER'S MANUAL

CBD USER’S MANUAL

  • November 16, 2016

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol or CBD is a non­intoxicating component of the cannabis plant with enormous therapeutic potential. Although CBD doesn’t make people feel high like THC does, it’s causing quite a buzz among scientists, health professionals, and medical marijuana patients who are using CBD­ rich products to treat a wide range of conditions ­ chronic pain, cancer, Crohn’s, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, PTSD, cardiovascular disease, anxiety, antibiotic­resistant infections, multiple sclerosis, schizophrenia, and more. Academic research centers in the United States and elsewhere are currently studying the effects of CBD on these and other ailments. Scientists refer to CBD as a “promiscuous” compound because it confers therapeutic benefits in many different ways while tapping into how we function physiologically and biologically on a deep level. Extensive pre-clinical research and some clinical studies have shown that CBD has strong anti­oxidant, anti­inflammatory, anticonvulsant, anti­depressant, anti­psychotic, anti­tumoral, and neuroprotective qualities. Cannabidiol can change gene expression and remove beta-amyloid plaque, the hallmark of Alzheimer’s, from brain cells.

Which is better… CBD or THC?

Cannabidiol and THC (The High Causer) are the power couple of cannabis therapeutics; they work best together. CBD and THC interact synergistically to potentiate each other’s curative qualities. CBD enhances THC’s painkilling and anticancer properties, while lessening THC’s psychoactivity. CBD can also mitigate adverse effects caused by too much THC, such as anxiety and rapid heartbeat. When both compounds are present in sufficient amounts in the same cannabis strain or product, CBD will lower the ceiling on the THC high while prolonging its duration. (“Relaxing but not intoxicating” is how one patient described CBD­rich cannabis.) CBD broadens the range of conditions treatable with cannabis, such as liver, cardiovascular and metabolic disorders, which may be less responsive to THC­dominant remedies. CBD and THC both stimulate neurogenesis, the creation of new brain cells, in adult mammals.

What’s the best way to take CBD?

The most appropriate delivery system for CBD­rich cannabis is one that provides an optimal dose for the desired duration with few unwanted side effects. CBD­rich cannabis flower varietals for smoking or vaping are available in many medical marijuana dispensaries, but most CBD patients prefer non­inhalable products made with cannabis oil concentrates. Although banned by federal law, measurable doses of potent CBD­rich cannabis remedies are available in many non­smokable forms and can be utilized in various ways. The time of onset and duration of effect vary depending on the method of administration.

Is there a difference between CBD derived from hemp and CBD derived from marijuana?

If you live in a state where medical marijuana is legal and available, look for CBD products made from high­resin cannabis (rather than low resin industrial hemp) that are sold in medical marijuana dispensaries. Hemp­derived CBD­infused products of varying quality are also available via dozens of internet storefronts. Compared to whole plant CBD­rich cannabis, industrial hemp is typically low in cannabinoid content. A huge amount of hemp is required to extract a small amount of CBD, thereby raising the risk of contaminants because hemp, a bioaccumulator, draws toxins from the soil. That’s a great feature for restoring a poisoned ecosystem, but it’s not recommended for extracting medicinal oil. Heavily refined CBD paste or terpene­free CBD powder is poor starter material for formulating CBD­rich oil products. The FDA has tested dozens of so­called CBD “hemp oil” products and found that in many cases these products contained little or no CBD. CBD­infused nutraceuticals have not been approved by the FDA as food supplements; nor are these products legal in all 50 U.S. states. By and large, however, interstate CBD commerce is tolerated by federal authorities.

Is it safe to inhale hemp CBD oil fumes from a vape pen?

Many cannabis­ and hemp­derived CBD vape oil products include a thinning agent, which dilutes the oil that is heated and inhaled by vape pen users. Beware of vape pen oil that contains propylene glycol. When overheated, this chemical additive produces formaldehyde, a carcinogen, as a byproduct, according to a 2015 report in the New England Journal of Medicine. Why do so many vape oil products contain this thinning agent? It’s because of the dubious quality of the extracted material from which these unregulated cannabis oil products are made.

Does CBD have any adverse side effects? What about drug interactions?

At sufficient dosages, CBD will temporarily deactivate cytochrome P450 enzymes, thereby altering how we metabolize a wide range of compounds, including THC. Cytochrome P450 enzymes metabolize more than 60 percent of Big Pharma meds. CBD is a more potent inhibitor of cytochrome P450 than the grapefruit compound Bergapten, so ask your doctor if grapefruit interacts with your medication. If grapefruit does, then CBD probably does, too. Patients on a CBD­rich treatment regimen should monitor changes in blood levels of prescription medications and, if need be, adjust dosage.

Will big pharmaceutical companies control the CBD market when cannabis is legalized for adult use?

Only if we let them. Cannabis is a medicinal herb and it should be regulated as an herb, not as a pharmaceutical or a street drug.