What is the best way to take CBD?
Right dose for the right duration with minimal unwanted side effects is the optimal way to consume any supplement or medication. Timing of onset and duration of effect vary depending on the method of administration. CBD-rich cannabis oil products can be taken sublingually (under the tongue), orally (as edibles, lozenges, beverages, tinctures, and gel caps), or applied topically. Concentrated cannabis oil extracts can also be heated and inhaled with a vape pen.
For fastest effect and treatment of acute symptoms inhalation is ideal as the effects can be felt within a minute or two (typically lasting a few hours). The effect of orally administered CBD-rich cannabis oil can last for four hours or more, however the onset of is much slower (30-90 minutes).
What is the optimal dosage of CBD?
An effective dosage can range from as little as a few milligrams of CBD-enriched cannabis oil to more than gram. Begin with a small dose of high CBD/low THC oil, especially if you have little or no experience with cannabis. Smaller doses should be spaced out over the course of the day rather than taken as one larger dose. Use the same dose and CBD:THC ratio for several days. Observe the effects and if necessary adjust the ratio or amount. Don’t overdo it. Small doses of cannabis tend to stimulate; large doses sedate. Too much THC, while not lethal, can amplify anxiety and mood disorders. CBD has no known adverse side effects but an excessive amount of CBD could be less effective therapeutically than a moderate dose. “Less is more” is often the case with respect to cannabis therapy.
Does CBD have any adverse side effects? What about drug interactions?
CBD is a very safe substance. Patients taking other medications should check with their health care provider about potential drug interactions. At certain dosages, CBD will temporarily deactivate cytochrome P450 enzymes, thereby altering how we metabolize a wide range of compounds. Cytochrome P450 enzymes metabolize more than 60 percent of pharmaceutical medications. CBD is a more potent inhibitor of cytochrome P450 than the grapefruit compound Bergapten. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if grapefruit interacts with your medication; if yes it is likely that CBD does, too. Patients on a CBD treatment regimen should work with their health providers to monitor changes in blood levels of prescription medications so that doses may be adjusted as needed.
CBD and the Adenosine Receptor
Adenosine receptors play a significant role in cardiovascular function, regulating myocardial oxygen consumption and coronary blood flow. The adenosine receptor also has broad anti-inflammatory effects throughout the body. Adenosine receptors also play a significant role in the brain reducing the release of other neurotransmitters such as dopamine and glutamate. CBD’s anti-anxiety properties may be attributable to its activation of the adenosine receptor.
CBD and the GPR55 receptor
Some studies indicate that CBD functions as an antagonist that blocks, or deactivates, another G protein-coupled receptor known as GPR55. GPR55 is found to be widely expressed in the brain, especially in the cerebellum. It is involved in modulating blood pressure and bone density, among other physiological processes.
GPR55 encourages osteoclast cell function, which facilitates bone reabsorption. Overactive GPR55 receptor signalling has been associated with osteoporosis. Thus the ability of CBD to block GPR55 can directly counteract processes leading to certain degenerative bone diseases.
According to a 2010 study by researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Shanghai activated GPR55 has been found to promote cancer cell proliferation in a variety of cancers. By blocking GPR55 signals CBD may act to decrease cancer growth.
CBD’s anti-cancer benefits also include activating PPARs [peroxisome proliferator activated receptors] which are found on the surface of the cell’s nucleus. Activation of a receptor known as PPAR-gamma has an anti-cancer growth effect as well inducing tumour regression (in human lung cancer cell lines).
Additionally, PPAR-gamma activation degrades amyloid-beta plaque, a key molecule linked to the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
PPAR receptors also regulate processes involved in energy homeostasis, lipid uptake, insulin sensitivity, and other metabolic functions. It is therefore felt that some CBD-rich treatment regimens would benefit individuals with diabetes.