CBD has become incredibly popular — and the more we learn about it, the more we begin to understand why. Once upon a time, cannabis had a stigma and stereotype, and now, those walls have been shattered as this industry progresses further into the lifestyle and health and wellness markets. Registered dietician and nutritionist, Carlene Thomas, is a leader we admire in the space — whipping up cocktails, smoothies, juices, and more with CBD oil that speak to us in her new book, CBD Drinks for Health. While we all have heard that CBD can reduce stress, anxiety, pain, and inflammation, and its effects can be felt immediately, you may be lacking the clarity you crave on the simple basics. To help, here's an excerpt from Carlene’s book you definitely want to read for confidence and peace of mind when using CBD oil.
What is CBD oil?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of nearly one hundred cannabinoids found in both the hemp and marijuana plants. Cannabinoids are natural compounds found in plants and produced within the human body, where they’re called endocannabinoids. While there are lots of cannabinoids, the most well-known are THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol (the one that gets you high), and CBD, or cannabidiol (the one that doesn’t).
CBD oil is one method for delivering the benefits of the CBD compound to the body. It is consumed in liquid form orally, which makes it a versatile tool in your kitchen. It can be added to food or drinks or applied with a dropper under the tongue. While CBD can also be consumed in food form (think gummies) or inhaled, taking CBD oil is a convenient, efficient way to get the benefits of the compound. CBD oil is sold in an oil base or as a nano-emulsified product to enhance bioavailability. Many nano-emulsified products claim to offer the best bioavailability, but often at a much more expensive price point with sometimes unconvincing data. Whichever you decide to use, both an oil-based or nano-emulsified CBD oil will work with the recipes in the book and, no matter which type you choose, it’s important that you find a reputable, trustworthy CBD company that provides high-quality products.
What are the health benefits of CBD oil? How does it work?
Cannabinoids like CBD work by interacting with receptors in the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). Those receptors then work to relay instructions all over your body, from your heart and brain to your gastrointestinal system and pain receptors. As a result of these instructions, CBD works as an anti-inflammatory, helps with anxiety relief, boosts mood, protects against chronic stress, helps with gastrointestinal issues, decreases pain, improves sleep, and more. And because CBD oil is fast acting in comparison to many adaptogens (a variety of natural compounds that help the body return to a more normalized, relaxed state of balance) which can require weeks to start working, its effects can be felt quickly. is, of course, means that you get the emotional or physical relief you need, ASAP.
Let’s take a look at the different ways in which CBD can help:
How do I know which CBD oil product to buy?
Hemp, which is the base for all the CBD oils used in this book, is a bioaccumulation plant. That means good or bad, anything in the soil or sprayed on the plant will be in your product. In general, be cautious. Since CBD is not a regulated product, like everything else in the supplement world, you’ll need to go to companies you trust instead of looking for the least expensive item. A trustworthy company should show you third-party testing information to ensure what’s advertised is actually in the product. (See the Resources appendix at the back of the book for more information on sourcing.)
Additionally, remember that different plant varieties will have different compound profiles. Hemp growers could select specific strains (types) of hemp to grow based on their known health benefits and properties. A brand might use only a specific variety of hemp because they believe it has the right combination of naturally occurring compounds they think their customers will love. So if you try one brand and don’t feel it’s a good fit, try a different brand.
How do I know how much CBD to take?
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t have an official Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) value for CBD. You’ll recognize the RDI from the back of some packages of food and supplements that contain things like vitamin C or iron. Without an RDI, there’s no officially regulated serving size for CBD.
Some companies do list a vague recommended dosage. A bottle of CBD oil could say “take 2 droppers” or “take 1 teaspoon.” Throughout the book you’ll find measurements in milligrams instead of teaspoons to make sure you’re getting the amount of CBD you need regardless of brand. But since not all brands recommend the same dosage or measuring system for dosing CBD, it’s up to you to calculate how many milligrams are in each dropper so you can easily make the recipes in this book even if you change brands. A teaspoon of the first kind of CBD might contain significantly less CBD than the new kind of CBD you’re taking. So by using milligrams, you’ll get the most accurate dosage of CBD. To do this, take the total CBD milligrams listed on the bottle and divide by total milliliters in the bottle. Since most droppers hold 1 milliliter of fluid, you can assume the resulting number will tell you how many milligrams are in each dropper. For example, a 300mg CBD bottle divided by 30mL equals 10 milligrams per dropper. See? It’s easy!
That said, just because a specific number on a package is considered a dosage, doesn’t mean it’s the right dose for you. CBD works differently for everyone depending on weight, focus for usage (anxiety, sleep, pain, etc.), your sex, and just how your body reacts to things. CBD is also known to be biphasic. That means at different dosages, CBD can both increase your focus or alertness, and also help with your sleep. There’s a sweet spot that works for what you’re looking for, and it’s likely going to take trial and error to find your correct dosage.
The general starting point recommendation for CBD dosages is between 1–6 milligrams of CBD per 10 pounds of body weight and taking into account pain level or other ailment severity. For example, a 160-pound person might start at a dosage of 16 milligrams but could need 96 milligrams. That’s a pretty big range. No two people are the same and the more you know yourself, the more CBD will work for you.
To figure out your personalized CBD dose, start low and adjust incrementally. So don’t move from a CBD dosage of 15 milligrams to 60 milligrams overnight. Take your time to find out what’s just right. Keep going. Keep records. You can figure this out.
You may find it helpful to keep a journal of sorts. Track the date, your dosage, and what time of day you’re taking the CBD. On each day, take notes on your overall mood, pain levels, digestion, and how well you’ve slept. The great part of keeping a journal like this is that you can look back to day one two weeks later and see a big change you didn’t realize as it happened. Remember, if you’re aware on a daily level how your body feels, how your mood feels, and how you’re sleeping, you’ll be able to observe more finite changes than someone else. If you’re in touch with your body, you’ll figure your dose out more quickly. And remember, no matter how much your daily dosage of CBD is, studies show you don’t build up a tolerance to CBD, requiring you to take more and more.
That said, over the course of your life your CBD needs may change due to biological changes. Your endocannabinoid system receptors change as you age, so what worked for you at twenty-five might be more or less than what you need at age forty-five. If you feel like your CBD routine isn’t working the way it used to, go back to square one and begin at a starting dose, tracking how you feel over several weeks as you slowly increase the amount of CBD you’re taking. You can always find your new sweet spot with a little tracking.
The majority of recipes throughout this book contain 15 milligrams of CBD per serving, but you should feel free to adjust that amount and use what works best for your body. And, if you find that you miscalculated and you’re not getting what you need from your CBD drink, you can always adjust your CBD amount with a supplemental dose taken under your tongue!Excerpted from CBD Drinks for Health by Carlene Thomas. Copyright © 2020 by Simon & Schuster, Inc. Used by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.
Now that you've read the above, we hope you're feeling like you have a better understanding of CBD and how to use it for you. Check back soon for must-try drink recipes from Carlene’s book CBD Drinks for Health!
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100 CBD oil-infused smoothies, tonics, juices, and more for total mind and body wellness.