Because so many of my rheumatology patients are trying CBD oil, I wanted to better understand this medical trend. In Part 1 of this series, I discussed the downsides to CBD, and Part 2 covers the history, differences between CBD and THC, and the current proposed benefits of CBD. Now in Part 3, I want to talk a little about dosing, quality, and questions you should ask before buying a CBD product.
What is the Correct Dosage for CBD Oil?
There are several forms of CBD available: some of the most common include the tincture (for sublingual use—under the tongue), creams, and gummies. But everyone has the same question: What is the right CBD dosage for me?
Unfortunately, there is not a standard yet. However, this isn’t all that surprising to me. Two things I’ve learned as a doc after nearly twenty years:
First: Not everyone will respond to the same treatment (regardless of what the studies say. A good example is the biologics for RA, such as Humira, Enbrel, Xeljanz, Cimxia, etc.; the studies show that only about 60% will respond to the first one we try.)
Second: The dose of medication required by one person will be different than anyone else.
To this day I can’t tell you why some people have a significant reduction of pain and stiffness with one anti-inflammatory but not with another. The same is even true for Tylenol. Some patients tell me it really helps, while others consider it as ineffective as water.
So, it appears CBD is following this same path . . . without a standard, the effective amount will vary from one individual to the next (if a response is even achieved, as some simply won’t respond at all).
Factors that differentiate one person’s dose from another’s include:
- the quality of CBD
- what condition it is being used for
- the weight of the person taking it
- the body chemistry / metabolic breakdown
According to those at CBDorigin, 1-6 mg of CBD for every 10 pounds of body weight (dependent upon the factors listed above), appears to be the most common way to find the correct dosage. Ultimately, each individual will need to experiment and adjust to find the correct amount for themselves.
HOW TO RECOGNIZE A QUALITY CBD PRODUCT?
Anytime we buy a non-regulated supplement, we all have the same questions: Am I really buying what they’re telling me is in the bottle? Is it worth the money?
From a medical standpoint, because CBD is not regulated, the quality of CBD products can be highly variable. Currently, I found almost no “medical” publications that defined and differentiated a high quality (or high grade) CBD from one of poorer quality. All legal CBD sold in the United States must contain less than 0.3% THC (in Europe, the standard is less than 0.2%. There are, however, shared opinions regarding what makes one CBD product better or higher grade and quality than another.
After researching, it seems there are five basic concerns about differentiating a higher quality CBD product from one that’s not so great.
5 QUESTIONS BEFORE BUYING CBD PRODUCTS:
1) Where was the hemp plant grown and what surrounds the farms?
2) Has the product been tested by an independent third party?
3) Is the CBD from a “whole-plant hemp” extraction, which includes the seeds, stem, and stalk, or from the hemp stalk only (“isolated hemp”)?
4) What method of extraction is used to get the products from the hemp plant. . . CO2? Chemicals?
Finally, a question I still haven’t found a solid answer to:
5) What exactly IS the active / effective ingredient??
Is it just the CBD?
Is it the CBD / THC combination?
Is it the CBD / THC AND the other cannabinoids that are extracted?
My first thought is that it is most likely the combined products and not simply the CBD alone, but I haven’t found the study that makes me confident enough to know for sure. So for now my answer remains: “I don’t know yet.”
So that wraps up my CBD series. For some additional reading, check out:
And remember to live your value, one choice at a time!