Cannabidiol (CBD) is a compound that is one of over 540 different chemicals found in Cannabis sativa. Marijuana and hemp are both different cultivars of the Cannabis sativa species, and CBD can be extracted from both of them. These varieties are distinguished by their levels of the psychoactive constituent of marijuana, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is understood to produce a state of euphoria.
As cannabis is becoming more and more accepted in the United States, its derivative, cannabidiol (CBD), is also gaining popularity. These days, CBD-containing products such as lotions, gummies, soaps, and dietary supplements can be found everywhere, from convenience stores to retail stores. Many businesses use CBD as a key ingredient in their food, beverage, and cosmetic products, which are usually sold in oil, extract capsule, or vapor forms.
Companies offering CBD products claim they have a calming effect, reduce nervousness, and have anti-inflammatory features. But what about safe usage? With that in mind, this article will explain how you can safely use CBD to take advantage of its benefits.
Table of Contents
1) Buy From a Reputable Dispensary
A wide variety of exceptional cannabis-related wellness products are available in the market. However, CBD is relatively new and unregulated.
So, companies do not have strict regulations to comply with when producing, identifying, and selling their cannabis products. Hence, purchasing from an organic dispensary will be your best bet.
Organic CBD products typically contain 95% pure ingredients. Furthermore, organic CBD cannot contain synthetic pesticides, radiation, or other unnatural methods of eliminating pests and sterilizing. Hence, these products are typically safe to use.
Organic CBD is as beneficial and potent as other varieties. Moreover, it also has advantageous health and safety aspects. Some of these include a heightened flavor, less environmental impact, and a lower risk of contamination by hazardous toxins and heavy metals.
2) Be Extra Cautious if You are Pregnant
Although CBD is known to have little chance of causing addiction and usually has minor side effects, there is not much research done on its safety when used by pregnant or nursing women.
A study published in the August 2018 edition of Pediatrics discovered that cannabinoids could be passed from a pregnant woman to her baby. Consequently, scientists are very careful when it comes to marijuana, not only CBD, for pregnant and lactating women, which is becoming a more frequent occurrence.
At the end of the day, there is still a considerable amount of information we don’t understand when it comes to the effect of marijuana on an infant’s growing brain. Cannabis may be detrimental to a baby’s well-being and could raise the possibility of developmental issues. Considering what specialists know currently, they advise expecting or nursing moms to stay away from marijuana to ensure their child’s safety.
3) Use CBD Products As a Supplement to Conventional Care
Healthcare professionals don’t suggest that people use CBD to treat serious illnesses like cancer, MS, or Parkinson’s in place of prescribed medicines. Rather, it can be used as complementary therapy with your physician’s consent. Most of the time, patients are incapable or not advised to replace their prescription medications with only CBD. This is because the benefits or downsides of substituting a proven traditional treatment with an unproven alternative like CBD have not yet been investigated.
Nonetheless, there are certain ailments, such as stress or pain, where CBD might be beneficial as an alternative to certain prescription drugs. Therefore, if you and your doctor decide to use CBD instead of prescribed medications, you should do it cautiously and under your doctor’s supervision. This will protect you from withdrawal symptoms and ensure your medical condition is maintained properly.
4) Look Out for Harmful Drug Interactions
Various studies indicate that CBD could lower the effectiveness of some medications, mainly in high doses. Tinctures with high CBD levels may impede the liver enzyme that metabolizes a lot of drugs, including cholesterol-lowering statins like atorvastatin (Lipitor), antidepressants like fluoxetine (Prozac), and blood thinners like warfarin (Coumadin).
Additionally, cannabis plants comprise other compounds (sometimes termed cannabinoids) which could be present in your CBD product. The most noteworthy one is THC, which can influence your cognition and produce long-term effects on learning and memory, per the American Academy of Neurology. Thus, search for a product that specifies that it only contains CBD rather than “cannabinoids.” Ultimately, CBD-only products should contain no THC or very small amounts.
5) Always Consult with Your Doctor Before Using CBD
It is important to inform your healthcare provider of any drugs and supplements you take, CBD included. This will allow you to get the best possible care, determine the right treatment for your issue, and prevent potential drug interactions or other dangers.
For example, cancer patients may hesitate to tell their oncologists about alternative therapies they use, like CBD. But they should still share this information regardless. That being said, In some states, you need a doctor’s recommendation to get CBD. Of course, physicians can’t actually prescribe CBD since it is unlawful at the federal level. However, they can suggest it. If your primary healthcare provider is not knowledgeable about CBD, they may be able to refer you to someone who is.
6) Don’t Expect Miracles to Happen
Early studies on CBD indicate that it might provide some medical advantages, particularly in terms of managing epilepsy. In fact, the FDA recently approved the prescription medicine Epidiolex, which is based on CBD, to treat two rare forms of epilepsy.
Further research also suggests that CBD could assist with other health issues, including multiple sclerosis, pain, and anxiety. However, what physicians know about CBD today is largely based on stories and reports, and evidence of its advantages for treating health issues is mainly speculative in nature. Ultimately, it’s best to keep realistic expectations of what CBD can do for you.
The Final Words
CBD can be used for many purposes, especially as a complementary treatment for traditional medication-based therapy. However, for it to be effective, you need to follow the CBD usage safety guidelines shared above. If you don’t, chances are you won’t experience its benefits. Plus, it might start interfering with your everyday life as well. So, always manage your expectations and consult your doctor before using CBD products.