In my last article about CBD, I explained what it is, how it may work inside the body, and what it might be used to treat. This article will focus on sourcing CBD for personal use, quality control (artificial ingredients, chemicals, etc.), route of administration and dosage.
For the consumer looking for CBD products, it is the Wild West out there and it can be very confusing on what to choose, based on how they are produced. To keep it simple, I very much recommend a full spectrum, certified organic, non-industrial hemp product. This ensures that you get not only the full spectrum of CBDs, but also other potential helpful aspects of the plant like terpenes (chemicals said to enhance the therapeutic effects of CBD). Avoid CBD isolates, industrial hemp, broad spectrum CBD, and hemp oil as these are typically inferior products that might contain pollutants and industrial contaminates.
CBD comes in many forms, listed from strongest to weakest: tinctures, vape pens, capsules, edibles, salves, and lotions. Route of administration should be based on the problem being treated. For instance, chronic pain or anxiety is better treated with tinctures or capsules. Whereas, acute pain disorders or seizures are more suited to vape pens. In the first case, tincture or capsules provide a measured dose in strengths necessary to keep a therapeutic level in the body. In the second, the acute nature of the problems necessitates rapid administration and vaping quickly gets the CBD into the body. Thus, it is very important to match route of administration with the problem being treated.
With dosage, the potency and frequency are also best determined by the problem being treated. There are multiple factors to consider with dosage. Such as: severity, frequency, concomitant medicines and treatments, sensitivity to CBD, weight, age, and if other illnesses complicate the medical picture. For example, chronic, severe pain in a middle aged woman of average weight will require a more frequent and moderate to high dose throughout the day. Whereas a young person who is slim and has mild insomnia might need one dose of mild to moderate strength right before bed. Try starting with a lower dosage at first and raise it until a therapeutic effect is achieved. It can be difficult to know what might be the right therapeutic dosage. I very much recommend consulting your healthcare practitioner, as this aspect of treatment needs to considered case by case.
CBD can be purchased online, in grocery and supplement stores, and at marijuana dispensaries. Mostly I’d recommend finding a convenient source that has the properties listed above. I personally feel that the products are way overpriced currently, but will come down overtime as more producers get in the market.