CBD: What to Know and How to Dose

Written by: Aracely Kriete, Owner of Community Acupuncture in Ukiah, California

I spoke with Emily Held from "Mama's Medicinals" in Ukiah, Ca., as I found the available CBD dosing advice highly confusing and controversial. I figured a specialist knows best and approached Emily, who generously shared her knowledge. Read what she recommends below in the Dosing Guidelines section.

What’s the hype?

You might have noticed: CBD products are everywhere and CBD shops are popping up like mushrooms all over. So, what's this about? Why is CBD going mainstream? And, is it safe? One thing that explains its popularity is that CBD hasn't got the mind-altering effects of the THC (for which Cannabis is mainly known). This appeals to many who seek pain-relief, sleep-support, and deep relaxation but don't want the high.

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What is CBD?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a naturally occurring compound found in the resinous flower of cannabis, a plant with a rich history as a medicine going back thousands of years. CBD is not to be confused with hemp oil, which is made from the hemp seeds and is used for cooking and in supplements.

What can you use it for?

People use CBD oil most commonly for the following conditions:

Pain

Seizures

Anxiety

Mild depression

Insomnia (trouble sleeping)

ADD/ADHD

Bipolar disorder

Psychosis

Schizophrenia

Muscular disorders (spasms, tics, and extreme muscle tensions)

Multiple sclerosis

Parkinson's Disease

Alzheimer's

Anorexia

Nausea

Diabetes Type 2 Prevention (blood sugar control)

Some types of cancer (including breast cancer)

AIDS-related illnesses

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How does it work in the body?

The truth is, that in spite of the huge increase in CBD use and research, the mechanisms are not yet well understood. Initially, scientists thought that CBD was occupying cell receptors in the body, similarly to THC, creating a medicinal effect. But now, one working theory is that CBD actually increases the body's own cannabinoid production by encouraging the body to create its own 'CBD'.

Cannabidiol also seems to prevent the breakdown of a chemical in the brain that affects pain, mood, and mental function. There is an additional reason that points toward CBD having an antipsychotic effect, influencing the brain into a more balanced state.

What we do know, is that CBD is not intoxicating, meaning that it doesn't make you feel high as the THC does. That can be a good thing, especially when you are more looking to ease pain and do not wish to get high every single time.

Any side effects?

While CBD doesn't have the strong psycho-effective power that THC has, it is still very strong, so:

  • Be careful while driving.

  • Know that it can increase appetite.

  • It may make you feel tapped out, weak and tired.

  • There is still some debate if CBD is truly NOT psycho-active at all, so keep that in mind.

A few words of caution from a Chinese Medicine perspective:

I am glad that there is a natural alternative to chemical prescription pain-killers. However, be cautious and when in doubt, check-in with your local acupuncturist, herbalist or physician to see if CBD is a good fit for you.

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Why the caution?

The Cannabis plant is called Fire-Hemp (Hua Ma) in Chinese, indicating, that its medicinal and temperature qualities are hot and warming. If you are dealing with inflammation, a high running metabolism, hypertension and other hot sensations, it is wise to monitor your use well or look for less 'hot' alternatives. Observe your body when you start using CBD. Observe your body for 3-5 days to see how it reacts to the CBD, and keep a diary if necessary. Check-in with your trusted practitioner to see if CBD is a good fit for your body and metabolism and please talk to the CBD shop specialists. They usually know a lot. When in doubt: less is more! This is especially true when you feel weak and fatigued or are dealing with complex health issues.

How to use CBD

Hemp CBD oil tincture- take and leave under the tongue (sublingual) for a moment. It enters the bloodstream directly. This means a stronger, immediate effect. Generally speaking, we can conclude, that sublingual tincture will provide stronger and more consistent effects. Capsules, Powders, pills, gummy-bear or chocolate preparations etc: these have to be eaten or swallowed and will go through the digestive tract and from there will be absorbed into the bloodstream. This reduces the amount of active CBD ingredients that reach the blood. The strength of a person's digestion also plays a role as to how much CBD reaches the blood. Is your digestion too slow or too fast that it will affect absorption of CBD?

Dosing Guidelines

By Emily Held (Mama's Medicinals, Ukiah)

Emily Held is the founder of Mama's Medicinals, a local family operated business since 2011. Born and raised in Mendocino County, she now raises her own children here. Emily has opened a brick and mortar CBD store, Mama's Medicinals CBD store at 328 N. State St. in Ukiah, Ca. If you visit the store, Emily would love to help your CBD journey. Here are some thoughts from Emily:

"CBD is only one of at least 113 cannabinoids found in hemp. Each cannabinoid has a different effect on the body, which is why a whole-plant extraction is recommended; in order to feel the full effect on the whole body, it is ideal to obtain the plethora of available cannabinoidIt can be very challenging to know where to start with CBD. What products should I take and how much per day? It doesn't help that every product has its own suggested dose and strength. I recommend doing the math. Be aware of how many milligrams of CBD are in each drop and pay attention to your body. Start low and increase weekly until you find your sweet spot. Here is a website with a great article that gives a nice starting suggestion.”

About the Author: Aracely Kriete is the owner & operator of Community Acupuncture in Ukiah, California. Community Acupuncture offers acupuncture treatments in a serene group setting at sliding scale prices. Aracely and Marie combine 30 years of experience in both Acupuncture, herbal medicine and nutrition and will expertly guide you on your path to better health. Located at 203 S. School Street in Ukiah's beautiful downtown, Community Acupuncture offers high quality, tailor-made treatments at a sliding scale from $30-$50. (+ $10 on first visit). Visit her website here, and get in touch with her either by phone (707) 391-9995 or email info@acupunctureukiah.com.