Hemp CBD has become one of the fastest growing industries in recent years, worth $967.2 million as of 2020 and expectations of it reaching $5.3 billion by 2025 despite the Covid-19 pandemic. With that much money involved, you know there’s going to be a LOT of people throwing their hats into the ring.
Wild claims are being made across the industry with a big suggestion that “more is better”. You can find CBD products claiming up to 10,000 mg of CBD. As it’s a natural product, more HAS to be better, right?
Well… not necessarily.
The Basics of How CBD Works
Let me give you a quick breakdown on how CBD works. If you already know, please feel free to skip ahead to the next part…
Cannabinoids are the active chemical compounds found in the close plant cousins, hemp and cannabis. While there are well over a hundred cannabinoids, scientists have only identified a small handful. Arguably, the most famous one is THC, the psychoactive cannabinoid that gets you high. However, CBD has quickly become the cannabinoid du jour, touted as the cure-all panacea we’ve been waiting for.
Our body has receptors throughout for these cannabinoids, called an endocannabinoid system. While a variety of plants are a source for these cannabinoids, I think you can guess the one with the most available. I’ll give you a hint… the system is called the endoCANNAbinoid system. This means our body is supposed to be getting a steady intake of cannabinoids to maintain homeostasis (or balance) within the body.
Anyone else say, “wow” when they first learned this?
When CBD and other cannabinoids reach our endocannabinoid system, they trigger a wide variety of reactions in the body. Some of the biggest reactions people report from the use of hemp and cannabis of course, are pain and inflammation relief. In fact, it is one the main reasons users report they seek out cannabis or hemp.
The Best Way to Get CBD
You can get these cannabinoids in several ways, specifically because endocannabinoid receptors are located throughout the body. The most common ways are topical creams and salves, smoking, vaping, eating, and tinctures. In other words, there is no one way to do it.
It also doesn’t mean you have to get high to get your cannabinoids- hemp derived has just as many health benefits as standard cannabis. Keep in mind before you reach for that joint or vape pen however, the majority of doctors and scientists agree that no kind of smoke is good for your lungs. If health benefits are your main priority when looking at ways to use cannabis and hemp, smoking or vaping should be at the bottom of your list.
I am of the belief that the intake of CBD and other cannabinoids is best done in a multi-prong approach. Personally, I take a sublingual hemp CBD tincture every day in addition to using it topically. I look at it from the standpoint of the internal tincture is for the health of my entire body, while my topical salve is used to target certain points that are impeding my everyday life. It can take a little experimentation to find what works best for you. You can find more information here on choosing the best CBD salve.
If I need cannabinoids like CBD, than more must be better!
It sure seems like that would be the logical conclusion, right? Like so many things in this world though, finding a balance is generally better than overloading ourselves. We don’t know exactly what an “ideal” amount is, but by listening to your body you can find the right amount for you.
Can I overdose on CBD?
Technically, yes. You can get too much if it’s taken internally, but the side-effects are minimal. Upwards of 1,500 mg taken every single day might result in relatively mild side-effects like tiredness, nausea, appetite changes, low blood pressure and dry mouth. But while the effects of too much CBD are mild, it does prove that we don’t need as much as we can possibly get.
Topically, which means applied to the skin like relEASE 250 is, it is a LOT more difficult to get too much. Our skin receptors cannot process as much as other receptors in the body, so the odds of getting too much are greatly reduced.
So how much do I need then?
Well… the truth is, we don’t know yet exactly. I know that isn’t the answer you’re looking for, but it’s the truth. Cannabis and hemp studies have been largely illegal for much of the last century, so modern scientific studies are still limited. With globally changing laws however, we will hopefully find out sooner rather than later.
Anecdotal evidence suggests how much we need could depend on the person and the situation. While you’re recovering from an injury for example, you may need more cannabinoids overall than when you’re in good health. The amount needed also changes over time with age and other related conditions. So the perfect amount for you today could be entirely different in 10 years.
Tolerance of cannabinoids is not entirely understood yet either. Scientists have shown cannabis users who use THC develop a tolerance when the brain’s receptors are constantly exposed to it, meaning it takes more THC to get high then before. This tolerance can be reversed however, by taking a break from using it. Does this tolerance develop with other cannabinoids like CBD though? We don’t know exactly yet, but its possible and even likely.
So then, what do I do?
For anyone paying attention, they’ll notice CBD products aren’t cheap. I know for my manufacturing process, it’s the most expensive ingredient in relEASE 250. When I was finally able to purchase the hemp CBD tincture I use at wholesale prices, it drastically reduced my overall costs (which in turn lowered what customer paid). So if you don’t need the maximum amount possible, why try?
Start small. The best rule of thumb is to try out lesser amounts of CBD first, before moving on to larger amounts. If you plan on taking CBD internally, amounts are typically determined by your weight. I’m including a link to a handy chart that helps you determine your starting dose.
Natural products can take time to reach their full potential. You might notice a difference quickly, but you might not. I always tell people in person, there is a reason pharmaceuticals were invented- they act quickly. It can take time to build up enough cannabinoids in your body to make a real difference. Be patient and give it a few months before deciding on whether it’s working for you or not.
Why does relEASE 250 only have 250 mg?
When I first made relEASE 250 Hemp CBD Salve, I had big plans of offering MUCH higher amounts of CBD. As I finalized the recipe and had people trying it however, I found it wasn’t necessary. It just worked. But why?
First, I use full-spectrum hemp CBD. Having a variety of cannabinoids and terpenes available means you’re getting the benefits of the ENTIRE plant. This combination creates an entourage effect, where the cannabinoids and terpenes act differently when kept together.
Second, I’ve added 12 essential and infused oils to the salve. When I used this combination of oils by themselves, they kind of made a difference. When I used the CBD by itself, it kind of made a difference. But when I put them all together? BAM. It created an entirely new impact that went well beyond the effects of any of the individual ingredients.
Third, the amount of CBD is guaranteed. So many products are hokey and don’t have anywhere near the amount of CBD claimed. Even products that are tested may still not have the amounts claimed. Instead, relEASE 250 is randomly tested on a regular basis to prove the amounts are correct and what is claimed. I’m proud of that.
The truth is I have a number of customers that have switched from a product claiming higher amounts of CBD, to relEASE 250. This wouldn’t happen if the answer was always, “use more”.
I’m curious what you think about all this. Have you tried products with higher amounts? What are the different ways you’ve tried CBD? Let me know in the comments!