CBD has hit the shelves at health food stores, gyms, yoga studios and vape shops across the city. You can even sip CBD infused cocktails at some Chicago establishments. But is the hemp product worthy of its hype? In short, yes, but there are some things consumers should know.
While the scientific evidence is still lacking, anecdotal evidence to support using CBD is strong. I have many patients who incorporate CBD into their treatment plan to help lower anxiety and reduce chronic pain. CBD has also been shown to play a role in minimizing seizures for epilepsy patients, and may play a role in treating ADHD in the future.
So is the compound found in the cannabis plant a magic bullet for health issues? No. However, the potential health benefits of CBD are many, as it is a natural anti-inflammatory. If you’re considering trying CBD, there are a few things you should know.
- Always read product labels carefully. CBD is not yet regulated by the FDA and there is no standard as to what must be on the label. Look for the amount of CBD in the product, where it originates from and what other ingredients are listed. We recommend using a full spectrum tincture, as it includes not just CBD, but other beneficial cannabinoids found in the hemp plant as well.
- Be willing to experiment with doses, as well as tinctures versus balms, to determine what best suits your individual needs. CBD quality can vary from product to product, so it’s often difficult to do a direct comparison without some level of trial and error. Also, be sure to follow directions when using tinctures and hold the oil under your tongue for 15-20 seconds before swallowing to help with absorption. For 250mg CBD or 500mg CBD tinctures, I recommend starting with ½ a dropper full twice a day, and increase as needed. I would recommend patients use CBD for at least 2 weeks before making any decisions on whether it works or not.
- Carrier oils are used to deliver CBD, as the isolate itself would be difficult to measure in its pure form. Carrier oils can differ from product to product, and may impact CBD absorption into the body. Some, like grape seed oil, are anti-oxidants themselves, which may offer additional health benefits.