Over the years, the evolution of cannabis has changed and what was has been used predominantly for getting high, is now being used for so much more. It’s available to more Californians than ever before, and we’re starting to frequently hear, “What exactly is CBD?” Cannabis plants produce more than 400 different compounds, and of those, more than 60 of them are specific to the cannabis plant. Scientists call these specific compounds “cannabinoids.” One of these cannabinoids, in particular, is believed to help with a wide variety of medicinal issues. This compound is known as cannabidiol, or CBD.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol or CBD is a non-psychotropic cannabinoid compound found in cannabis and hemp. CBD is believe to have strong anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-spasm, and anti-convulsant properties. CBD also directly activates serotonin receptors, which suggests an anti-depressant effect, as well. Preclinical and clinical studies have shown that CBD may be therapeutic for many conditions, including chronic pain, cancer, anxiety, diabetes, epilepsy, rheumatoid arthritis, PTSD, sleep disorders, alcoholism, cardiovascular disease, antibiotic-resistant infections, and neurological ailments. Academic research centers in the United States and elsewhere are currently studying the effects of CBD on these and other health problems.
- Decide how you want to take cannabis. CBD oil is available in sublingual drops and sprays, in capsule form, as an edibles, and in a vape cartridge.
- Find your ratio. Cannabis products are formulated with varying amounts of CBD and THC. A CBD-only product is typically inferior to a product with a balanced of CBD and THC. Find the proper combination to optimize your therapeutic use of cannabis.
- Begin with a low dose. Especially if you have little or no experience with cannabis!
- Take a few small doses. Spread it out over the course of the day rather than taking one big dose.
- Use the same dose and ratio for several days. Observe the effects and, if necessary, adjust the ratio or amount.
- Don’t overdo it. “Less is more” is often the case with cannabis therapies.
- Be aware of possible side effects. Cannabis is a safe and forgiving medicine. But depending upon delivery method and individual tolerance, it can cause dysphoria, dry mouth, dizziness, and faintness.
- Consult your health counselor. Proceed cautiously, especially if you have a history of alcohol or drug abuse, mental illness, are pregnant or breastfeeding, or are taking other medications.
What method should I use?
There are many different ways of consuming cannabis. Some of them include:
- Extracts: For a more specific concentrated dose. Potent cannabis concentrates with high THC/CBD content. Can be vaporized or consumed directly.
- Edibles: Long-lasting effects. Food or beverages infused with cannabis can have different effects than other consumption methods. Utilize caution.
- Topicals: Excellent for joint pain. Cannabis-infused lotions, creams, and balms. Topicals are typically not considered to be psychoactive.
- Inhalables: Best option for immediate relief. CBD is commonly consumed by inhalation of smoke or vapor.
Which CBD ratio is right for me?
There’s no single ratio that’s right for everyone or every condition. You’ll want to find the balance of CBD and THC that works for you. At Care By Design, we offer five CBD:THC ratios to meet patients’ needs and comfort:
- The 18:1 and 8:1 are high CBD, low THC, and rarely psychoactive. These ratios are ideal for novice cannabis users or people who don’t want to get high. Some patients find CBD-dominant medicine particularly helpful for stress, mood elevation, and other mood disorders.
- The 8:1 and 4:1 are considered mid-range ratios. These are best for people who have some tolerance for THC and/or people whose symptoms respond better to more THC. Some patients find mid-range CBD:THC ratios particularly helpful for pain and spasms.
- The 2:1 and 1:1 are more balanced ratios. For some people they are psychoactive at moderate doses. Many people report find mid-range ratios helpful for treating pain, inflammation and sleep problems, in particular.