What if there was a plant that could help you bust stress and anxiety without the risk of dependence or withdrawal? With cannabinol, or CBD — a compound found in cannabis that won’t make you paranoid or give you the munchies — that hope can be a reality for some.
To reap these potential benefits, you’ll need to do your homework, says Dr. Alex Capano, chief science officer at Ananda Hemp and the first person in the United States to get a doctorate in the field of hemp studies.
First, understand how CBD works. CBD can help the body optimize its endocannabinoid system, which is comprised of receptors that regulate everything from our sleep-wake cycle to our immune system. Taking CBD can help restore lost endocannabanoids, which your body makes on its own to keep your systems in balance. “[CBD] is kind of just helping us harness the power of our own bodies better through plants,” says Capano. She adds that these effects suggest CBD may make a good alternative to addictive pain relievers and help treat neurodegenerative diseases, among other benefits.
Getting started with CBD
But, when it comes to CBD, “more is not always better,” Capano says. Her advice is to start with 10 milligrams of CBD oil under the tongue — for the best absorption — one to two hours before bed in order to determine how the substance affects you. Increase your dosage by 5-milligram increments every three days, she says, but if you get the same result as you did with a prior dose, use less to avoid wasting money or taxing your liver. Since the delivery method isn’t as direct for pills or soft gels, she recommends starting with 15 milligrams per dose for these forms of CBD.
Learn where your product is coming from, too, says Capano, adding that November 2017 research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests that the labels of 70 percent of CBD products sold online are inaccurate. “You’ve got to be a careful and informed consumer,” she says.
As a consumer, you can help propel efforts for more transparency. “I think that’s on us as consumers to demand it because I think the market will respond if we demand it,” Capano says.