Whether found in oil, gummies or topical treatments, Cannabidiol (CBD) is a useful tool with a range of applications and benefits toward health and wellness. This naturally-occurring substance — derived from the plant Cannabis Sativa — is the non-psychoactive cousin to the more commonly known THC. That’s the one that gets you high. Fortunately, CBD has many valuable properties to support overall wellness without the altering effects of cannabis, since CBD has such a low amount of THC at a minimal 3%.
CBD supports a range of benefits like encouraging quality sleep, supporting the signs of stress and anxiety and providing topical support for aches and pains. However, with virtually endless options, diverse products and varying concentrations available, it’s difficult to know which selection is right for your needs. How much should you be taking to start? And, what’s the right concentration to look for?
How CBD works
In order to reap the benefits of CBD, it’s important to first grasp how it works. You can buy CBD in a variety of forms, depending on what you plan to use it for, and it’s most commonly ingested as an oil or edible, or it’s absorbed through the skin when applied as a topical. Once it’s in the body, CBD molecules tend to bind to cannabinoid receptors which are abundant throughout the brain and body, and then you’ll feel the effects.
What to look for when purchasing CBD
As with any product aimed at supporting health and wellness, prioritize quality. It’s best to start by knowing that the CBD was sourced from plants grown right in your backyard, so to speak. Domestically grown hemp — or hemp from plants grown on American farms — is subject to higher quality controls, so you can rest easy knowing that you’re getting better growth quality with limited exposure to pesticides.
Remember, higher price doesn’t always equate to better quality, so approach every product with a critical eye. Look into the specific company’s manufacturing process and verified lab reports to understand and confirm what you’re getting in each batch. You’ll also notice labeling indicating “Full Spectrum CBD” that you’ll want to pay close attention to since it contains all of the cannabinoids that are naturally occurring in the cannabis plant. This means the oil is natural, wholesome and contains the powerful properties derived straight from the hemp plant.
Determining the amount and right concentration
Once you’ve found a reputable company that you’re comfortable with, study the bottle of the oil, edible or topical product. The number on the front — often ranging form 300 mg to 10,000 mg refers to the concentration, also referred to as the strength or potency of the oil. The concentration is measured in milligrams (mg) and indicates the amount of CBD per product, or the entire bottle. This is different than the serving size. For example, if a bottle has a concentration of 1000 mg with 20 ml of drops and a serving size of 1 ml, then you’d be taking 50 mg of CBD in each serving. Like CBD oils, capsules and gummies should also have the milligrams per product and serving clearly marked on the packaging. Topical products will also list the concentration per product as well as the amount of CBD contained in each serving amount.
While the breakdown of milligrams per serving may come down to simple math, determining the right amount and concentration for your specific needs is a bit more complicated. For beginners to CBD, here are a few tips for getting the right mix.
The optimal quantity needed depends on a variety of factors including the condition needing support, severity of symptoms, desired health or wellness goals, body weight and more. Every individual reacts differently to CBD at the start and with continued use over time. With that in mind, it’s generally suggested to start off with smaller amounts and to maintain routine CBD use for at least 30 days. While the measure of CBD per person is subjective, it’s typically recommended to start with a lower measurement and adjust accordingly. From there, gradually increase the amount until you feel the desired effects. Keep in mind that CBD can build up in your system with continued use and your body may react differently over time, so adjustments may be necessary every so often.
Finding the right concentration and quantity of CBD is often a process of trial and error, so be patient. For those needing a little extra assistance to reach the most effective balance, consult a doctor who has experience in hemp and CBD. With a wide, and growing, range of wellness applications, incorporating CBD into your daily routine has potential provide valuable benefits as you find the right amount that works for your goals.