How should you take it?
It is so hard to find information that actually tells you EVERYTHING that you want to know as a consumer – i.e. not just what the effects are but how much CBD you’d need to take in order to get that effect. Although this is definitely not a resource that is meant for us regular people and it is not exactly short, the best resource I found about cannabis overall was the outline for healthcare professionals that Health Canada provided, which is available here.
CBD can be consumed orally (usually in oils), inhaled (either smoked or vaporized), or applied topically. There are several other ways to administer it but those are the 3 most common since they’re pretty non-invasive and easy to acquire.
CBD has lower bioavailability when consumed orally than when inhaled. But if you’re inhaling your CBD, then I would highly encourage you to vaporize it instead of smoking it: the risk that come with smoking it is essentially the biggest health risk that comes with any cannabis consumption.
Topical application would be recommended only for effects that are localized to the skin: so for instance this study on acne specifically mentions that it would be difficult for an oral dose of CBD to have a high enough concentration to exert an effect all the way at the skin, so they mention that topical application would be necessary.
Is CBD safe?
One of the things that I wanted to know was: is CBD safe? And it turns out that the generally agreed upon answer is yes – CBD is safe, in fact it’s seen as being much safer than THC! But that doesn’t mean that everyone should take it.
CBD is not addictive
Just thought I would put that out there. Overall, cannabis is not a very addictive drug, but cannabis addiction does happen (there’s just arguments about what cannabis dependence really means). However dependence is associated with the THC content. There is absolutely no evidence of CBD being addictive. In fact, it is being investigated as a treatment for addiction to various other substances, including THC, alcohol, tobacco, and more.
Yes, CBD could interact with other medications you’re taking.
One thing that I was surprised to realize (maybe because of how we think about 'natural' products or medications) was that there DEFINITELY may be drug interactions to think about, for both THC and CBD. CBD affects an enzyme that is involved in the metabolism of 25% of all medications. If those enzymes are significantly affected by CBD, then you’re going to end up with WAYY higher levels of drugs in your system, because they’re not breaking down. That means that if you are taking or plan on taking CBD regularly, and you take other medications, you should talk to your doctor about it because you might actually need to lower your dose of your other meds. Otherwise you could get negative side effects from too-high doses of your regular medications (hopefully this is obvious: don’t just lower your meds based on what I’m saying here… TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR!). If you want to learn more about that, I found this set of slides by the D.C. government to be really helpful in explaining all this stuff about interactions and the bad stuff that no one really wants to hear about but that everybody really needs to know.
If you’re pregnant, trying to get pregnant, or breastfeeding, Health Canada recommends avoiding the use of cannabis products. See here for a bit more information on this and how the endocannabinoid system plays a role in egg fertilization and pregnancy.
Will I get high?
Even though I had heard that CBD was non-psychoactive, I still felt a bit nervous! I took it for the first time on a night when I knew I didn’t have to go anywhere or teach. I was nervous in part because I saw this on the bottle:
25.7 mg/mL CBD
Although it obviously seemed like there was less THC than CBD - I realistically didn’t have any idea of how many mg would get me high! For all I knew, that could be a lot of THC.
Well, I am here to solve your worries: I did not get high from it and you won’t either (if the ratios are similar to what is above). Because of the fact that CBD is known to counteract the effects of THC, if the ratio of CBD to THC is 1:1 or has higher levels of CBD than THC, you likely won’t feel much of a high.
Note: you still shouldn’t drive afterwards, just in case (especially if it’s your first time).
So should you take it?
Trick question! I don’t know. I can’t tell you whether you should take it or not. But I hope this gave you more information so that you can make a more informed decision on your own! Comment below though if you’ve tried CBD or if you’re curious or with any other comments!
In case you’re wondering: what I bought was a bottle of CBD drops by brand Aurora from OCS. It’s now sold out, along with almost all the high CBD ratio oils/capsules, but you can check in to see what they have here.