CBD oil is a trending topic and popping up everywhere. And that makes us wonder if it’s something we should be supplementing with. But when it comes to trending supplements, many health and fitness companies and influencers often share biased reviews, making it difficult to know if they’re as amazing as they say they are. This post dives into the topic of CBD oil from an unbiased point of view and addresses all your unanswered questions.
What is CBD oil and what is it used for?
CBD (cannabidiol) is a compound extracted from the cannabis plant. While cannabis plants contain a variety of different compounds, CBD has gained the most popularity.
CBD was first used as a treatment for epilepsy, and as it proved to be successful, its popularity grew. Now people are using CBD to treat a wide range of conditions, such as inflammation, chronic pain, stress, anxiety, acne, cancer and diabetes. People also use it to increase their focus, improve their sleep quality and boost their overall health.
While the list of benefits sounds amazing, there are a few important considerations to note. First, there is no substantial scientific research to back up the health claims of CBD oil. Second, you cannot rely solely on CBD oil for treatment. If you struggle with anxiety or chronic pain, CBD oil will not cure these ailments. It is one tool in the toolbox and can be a great aid, but it cannot cure your symptoms on its own.
Should you be using CBD oil?
CBD oil is one of the hottest trending supplements in the health industry today, so you are probably asking yourself, “Should I being using CBD?” Despite the hype, just because everyone is using it, doesn’t necessarily mean it is the supplement you need.
“I do use it from time to time, but it’s not something that I swear by,” says Rachelle Robinett, a well-known herbalist and wellness practitioner in New York City. “I use it with my clients if it is the right supplement for what they need, just as I would recommend any other herb or supplement. If it is the right supplement someone needs, then great, we will use it. But not everyone needs it, and not everyone always needs it. It is just one medicine in my medicine cabinet and I don’t find it to be of a higher value than others.”
Is it safe?
Because it is extracted from the cannabis plant, the most popular question surrounding CBD oil is “Will this make me high?”
CBD oil on its own will not get you high. CBD is a non-psychoactive extract and is the part of the cannabis plant that gives you the “relaxed” feeling. On the other hand, THC is a psychoactive extract from the cannabis plant that provides you with the “high” feeling. “Most CBD oils contains below 0.3% of THC in the oil, which is the legal limit. In that small amount, it will just make you feel calm, which is one of the most popular benefits of CBD oil,” says Rachelle. So it is important to be aware of the many different strengths of CBD oil on the market containing more or less THC.
What should you look for when buying CBD oil and what’s the right dosage?
When buying CBD, consider it the same way you would when buying food. If you generally choose foods that are high in quality, minimally processed, organic or local, you’ll want to buy your CBD oil the same way. It’s also important to look for synthetic CBD oil products, as these won’t be absorbed as well in your body and do not contain the same amount of health benefits. The same goes for purchasing a CBD isolate. Just as eating an orange provides you with a better source of vitamin C than taking a vitamin C tablet on its own, when CDB contains a few other compounds from the cannabis plant, you will gain more of the benefits. Rachelle recommends looking for something that is full spectrum for your CBD oil to be most effective.
As for the right dosage, Rachelle believes this to still be a gray area. “There is not a lot of scientific evidence to prove a certain dosage gives you certain benefits, and it also gives different effects to each person,” she says. Rachelle believes the best practice is to start at a 15mg dosage, see how it works for you and slowly increase.
“Some people find it to be energizing, and some people seem to find it to be relaxing depending on the dosages they take,” she explains. “You have to listen to your own body and find the right dosage for you and what benefit you are looking for. If you are looking for calming benefits, take a higher dosage, especially at night, and if you are looking for stimulating benefits, stay at a lower dosage. But it’s still a lot of uncharted territory and you need to experiment until you find your sweet spot.” A higher dosage can be between 20 to 80mg, depending on the person.
“The risk of overdosage is not severe, although it may make you dizzy, tired or really relaxed,” says Rachelle. While it is extremely safe, you still need to be careful of its side effects.
What’s the best way to take CBD oil?
While there are many different forms of CBD on the market, the most effective way besides inhaling it is taking it sublingually. Sublingual CBD oil is found in a small bottle with a dropper. Depending on the strength of your CBD, you put a few drops underneath your tongue and allow it to absorb.
When you take CBD oil sublingually, your body is better able to fully absorb it. When your body has to digest the CBD, you lose some of the CBD’s effectiveness in the process. So if you take a 15mg capsule, you most likely won’t be absorbing 15mg of CBD. “Look for a broken or fraction coconut, MCT or hemp oil. Fraction or broken oils are best for absorbing CBD oil because they bypass your digestion, where some of the CBD will be lost,” says Rachelle.
Topical CBD can beneficial, depending on your need. “If you are using CBD in a certain area on your skin, it will stay fairly localized in its effects,” Rachelle says. “If you apply it to your knee, it will do its job there.” So if you have an area of your body that is experiencing pain or inflammation, using it topically on the specific area can be beneficial.
Rachelle’s top recommendations:
- – Get a high-quality oil
- – Start at 15mg, see how you feel and work your way up
- – Determine how different dosages make you feel
- – Ignore the hype
To hear more from Rachelle about CBD oil, as well as other trending supplements, check out her episode on the Coffee & Kettlebells podcast!