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Five things to know before trying CBD



CBD oil
CBD can have a range of physical benefits, from pain relief to helping you relax

Whether you suffer with stress and anxiety or chronic pain – or even if you’re just looking for a new way to relax – cannabidiol may well be on your radar – but where to start?

As with anything new, there’s a lot to consider before trying CBD – here are five things you should know before taking the plunge.

What is CBD?

CBD is the second most commonly-used active ingredient of cannabis, and is an essential component of medical marijuana. However, it is derived directly from the hemp plant, a cousin of the marijuana plant, and, while CBD is a component of marijuana, in isolation it does not cause a high.

Hemp has been used for thousands of years and has extremely low levels of THC, the psychoactive component in the cannabis plant.

How does it work?

In the 90s, the human endocannabinoid system was discovered, where naturally produced cannabinoids bind to cannabinoid receptors throughout the body.

There are two main Endocannabinoids – Anandamide and 2-AG – which are involved with appetite, memory, mood, as well as being identified as the source of euphoria we feel after doing intense exercise.

CBD has been found to play a key role in the workings of anandamide levels within our body.

Is it safe?

Yes. While CBD may cause mild side effects such as diarrhea, nausea or tiredness, it is a natural product and has been used safely for thousands of years.

However, if you currently take any medications that carry a grapefruit warning, such as statins or certain immunosuppressants, then CBD is not suitable, as it is thought to have a similar effect. 

Furthermore, pregnant or breastfeeding women are also discouraged from using it.

What can I use it for?

CBD has a multitude of uses. Many people use it to alleviate chronic pain conditions, such as arthritis and fibromyalgia, while some women find it helps to ease the symptoms of endometriosis.

Others still find it helps to treat mental health issues such as depression, anxiety or PTSD, and research suggests it may also be beneficial to treat insomnia.

Of course, plenty of people also simply chose CBD as a way to relax at the end of the day; as a safer and less addictive option than alcohol, it can be a real alternative to a G&T.

How do I take it?

There are a wide range of ways to take CBD, both edible and topical. Edible methods include gummies, drinks, tinctures and taking the oil directly. Topically, balms, creams, gels and even candles are all a way to benefit without having to ingest something.

If you do decide to go for an edible option, it’s vital to get the dosing right – start low and go slow 

While some people are tempted to jump straight in with large doses, this isn’t recommended. Many users find that a small amount can have a big impact, so it’s a good idea to start off with small, regular amount, increasing gradually over several days until you find what works for you. 

However you’re using it and whatever you’re using it for, you CBD journey starts here.

Sarah Sinclair is a respected cannabis journalist writing on subjects related to science, medicine, research, health and wellness. She is managing editor of Cannabis Health, the UK’s leading title covering medical cannabis and CBD, and sister titles, Cannabis Wealth and Psychedelic Health. Sarah has an NCTJ journalism qualification and an MA in Journalism from the University of Sunderland. Sarah has over six years experience working on newspapers, magazines and digital-first titles, the last two of which have been in the cannabis sector. She has also completed training through the Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society securing a certificate in Medical Cannabis Explained. She is a member of PLEA’s (Patient-Led Engagement for Access) advisory board, has hosted several webinars on cannabis and women's health and has moderated at industry events such as Cannabis Europa. Sarah Sinclair is the editor of Cannabis Health. Got a story? Email / Follow us on Twitter: @CannabisHNews / Instagram: @cannabishealthmag


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