CBD

How to find balance during a pandemic

How to find balance during a pandemic.

As 2020 ushered in a pandemic level of stress, it has forced us to navigate through several unknowns. My wife and I have a senior about to graduate high school and two other kids at home. What’s happening with classes? How will we end the school year? Will we have a graduation? What about our jobs? Money? Relationships? My grandmother was patient #50 in the country on those who lost their battle with Covid-19, so as I write this article when will this virus be gone? Over the last 3-4 months it would be hard pressed to not be at 8 / 10 on the stress level, but we are trying daily to find a new balance with this new world we live in.

Eating right, exercise, connecting on zoom calls to those you haven’t heard from in a while are all ways to support your physical and emotional well being. This is all connected to our own endocannabinoid system (ECS). One important thing to keep in mind is that the ECS is primarily a system for your body to reach balance and homeostasis.

The Endocannabinoid System

When it comes to modulating stress, things go both ways: The ECS both alters and is altered by stress. Endocannabinoid receptors (CB1 & CB2) are found throughout the body’s adrenal axis, as well as in parts of the brain (particularly the limbic system) where the body regulates things like fear, stress, anxiety, emotions, and memory.
A healthy endocannabinoid system helps keep our stress response from becoming too extreme – so we when we experience a stressful event, even if it is very unpleasant, we will not over react to it. A healthy ECS also lets us put unpleasant memories behind us – an important part of emotional well-being.

Both acute and chronic stress can actually weaken the ECS, which makes us more vulnerable to stress – and perhaps more susceptible to developing emotional and physical issues related to an inability to keep our stress response under control. To really return to a state of balance – homeostasis – it is important to nourish the ECS.
One way to supplement your ECS is with cannabidiol (CBD) based products. A nutritional supplement that includes phytocannabinoids from a source like hemp can help nourish the endocannabinoid system so it’s better able to find that physical and mental balance.

Methods to ingest CBD

Luckily there is a lot more processing of CBD happening around the world so that people can make ingestion decisions that fit their lifestyle or medical need.  Here is a breakdown of the most common ingestions methods for CBD.

Oral – Swallowed

Types: CBD oil, tinctures, edibles, capsules, powder

Pathway to targets: When CBD is ingested, it passes through the digestive tract, where it’s absorbed into the bloodstream and travels throughout your body.

Time-frame: This is the slowest route for CBD to reach its targets, but also the longest period of time that it’s active. Peak bloodstream levels are reported anywhere between 1-6 hours. Best for long-term supplementation.

Other considerations:

  • Food. Food affects your body’s ability to absorb CBD, and more cannabinoids are absorbed on a full stomach. CBD is fat-soluble, and consuming with a healthy dose of fats can increase the amount of CBD that reaches your bloodstream 3-fold — which is why Wicked Root contains MCT coconut oil.  
  • Pay attention to THC. Swallowed products are first metabolized by your liver before circulating through your body (first-pass metabolism). If your CBD product contains THC (i.e it’s a “full-spectrum CBD”), it could be converted to 11-hydroxy-THC, which is a strong intoxicant. Many people find that CBD helps counterbalance the “high” associated with THC, but if you are sensitive to THC, look for CBD from a hemp source.
  • Prescription drug interactions. As mentioned earlier, CBD could interfere with the processing of certain drugs by cytochrome p450. Because cytochrome p450 is most concentrated in the liver, ingested CBD is more likely than inhaled CBD to cause drug interactions.
  • Time in your mouth. Everything above applies to CBD that is swallowed immediately. However, while it sits in your mouth, it can be absorbed directly into your bloodstream. See below…

Oral – Sublingual or “Buccal”

Types: CBD oil, tinctures, tablets

Pathway to targets: CBD can be absorbed directly into your bloodstream from capillary-rich areas underneath the tongue, along the gums and cheek. From here, it avoids first-pass metabolism and is sent throughout your body.

Time-frame: This route gets CBD into your bloodstream faster than swallowing. Under the tongue (sublingual) is generally quicker than against the cheek (buccal). However, because most of the CBD will eventually be swallowed, peak bloodstream levels range from 0.5 – 5 hours.

Other considerations:

  • Food. When evaluating an oral spray, researchers discovered that the total amount of absorbed CBD increases 5-fold if the person has recently eaten. Chewing helps increase blood flow to your mouth, which could help increase absorption.
  • Increase surface contact. It’s often suggested to keep CBD oil in your mouth for 1.5 minutes or more before swallowing. During this time, increase absorption by vigorously swishing the oil around your mouth and even between your teeth — this increases the surface contact between the oil and your capillaries. (If you’ve tried oil-pulling as a tooth-and-gums cleanser, this will be familiar.)

Inhalation

Types: Vape pens, dabs, high-CBD cannabis

Pathway to targets: When CBD is inhaled, it passes to the lungs where it rapidly passes into the bloodstream. Inhalation avoids first-pass metabolism.

Time-frame: This is the quickest way to get CBD circulating through your system, but it also is effective for the shortest period of time. Peak bloodstream levels are within 10 minutes.

Other considerations:

  • Inhalation technique. Based on studies with THC, inhalation can get anywhere from 2-56% of this molecule into your bloodstream based on your inhalation technique. Try this: use the vaporizer for the first half of your inhalation, then finish your inhalation with a deep breath of fresh air — get those molecules deep in there! (This technique will also minimize irritation if the vapor is a bit too hot, by mixing in cooler air.) On exhale, any vapor that you can see is lost, so instead of exhaling fully, start a partial exhale until you see vapor — then inhale all the way back in and repeat a few times until you see less vapor on the exhale.
  • Vapor Pen Hardware. Avoid cheap, disposable vape pens, and watch out for any that list “propylene glycol” in the ingredients. Look for higher-quality vape pens with ceramic heating elements, for a cleaner vapor.

Topical

Types: Creams, lotions, salves

Pathway to targets: Topical CBD diffuses across your skin and reaches local targets, like muscles, inflammatory cells, and pain-perceiving nerves. Very little, if any, enters the bloodstream — unless it is designed for transdermal activity.

Time-frame: Varies, depending on the target.

Other considerations:

  • Often paired. Topicals are great for on-the-spot treatment and arousal. But for long-term health goals, people often get the best results when they pair topicals with oral or inhaled CBD products.

Everything we’ve been discussing — the pharmacokinetics of cannabidiol — is a complicated subject that scientists are still actively piecing together. There are no established guidelines for the best way to use CBD to achieve your health goals. Prepare for a truly unique experience that deserves patient and loving experimentation. We wish you success on your journey!

Terpenes and what do they do?

Typically, terpenes are volatile molecules that evaporate easily and readily announce themselves to the nose. Therein lies the basis of aromatherapy, a popular alternative-healing modality. Like their odorless cannabinoid cousins, terpenes are oily compounds secreted in the marijuana plant’s glandular trichomes.

Continue Reading

Clinical Application of Cannabinoids and Terpenes | M. Gordon

“Clinical Application of Cannabinoids and Terpenes for Chronic Illnesses”. Authors: Mara Gordon, Stewart Smith Medical cannabis is used for a wide variety of conditions, but there is little consistent information on what strains and doses of cannabis are effective for different conditions. Aunt Zelda’s has been directly treating patients with cannabis extracts for over five years, while meticulously recording patient responses to different strains. Each strain name is ultimately a representation of a specific blend of cannabinoids and terpenes, which synergistically interact to benefit diseases. Scientific studies over the past several decades have indicated various attributes of cannabinoids and terpenes which can help guide treatment decisions. While optimal dosing has been far less explored in the scientific community, through years of data collection Aunt Zelda’s has determined precise dosing ranges for many diseases in different populations. 

The complexity of medical cannabis stems from the millions of combinations of doses and cannabinoid/terpene profiles. Despite this challenge, a systematic and intelligent approach can lead to informed recommendations that most benefit patients. Over time as more research is gathered, these recommendations will become progressively more robust, leading to higher levels of satisfaction with the first recommendation. 

The presentation will provide an overview of the endocannabinoid system and how cannabis interacts with it. There will be particular emphasis on cannabis for the treatment of cancer, as well as epilepsy, nerve pain, insomnia, hypertension, Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, PTSD, ADHD, and Tourette’s syndrome. Don’t miss the next Cannafest conference, 1st- 3rd November 2019 in Prague. All lectures are held in Czech or English and are simultaneously translated. Information: http://www.cannafest.com

Understanding therapeutic levels of CBD

If you’re overwhelmed by the wide variety of CBD products, you are not alone. Each method delivers CBD to your body in a different way, which affects what it can be used for and how often you’ll want to take it. Adding to that confusion is the fact that each of our bodies responds differently to CBD, meaning there is no one-size-fits-all recommendation. That’s why we’ve put together a guide to help you design a cannabinoid treatment plan that fits your individual health goals — whether you’re choosing your first CBD product, or just optimizing your current routine.

Clarify Your Goals

With more than 65 different targets throughout your body, CBD has a staggering variety of therapeutic properties. Focusing on just one or two or those properties will help you find the best product and dosage quicker.

Ask yourself what you want CBD to improve. Do you want emotional support? Do you have a lot of arthritic pain? Are you just curious to see if life is somehow “better” with it?

Many people benefit from tracking their progress. You could use a score to rate your symptoms or try journaling about your current experience. Creating a baseline record will help you judge the effectiveness of your CBD treatment.

Where Does the CBD Need to Reach?

In order for this little molecule to be effective, it must get to where it’s needed. For most health goals, figuring out the location of CBD’s target will be straightforward.

If your target is located anywhere close to your skin or a mucous membrane (ie vagina), you could first try a localized product like a topical or suppository. This delivers the highest concentration of CBD exactly where you want it.

Otherwise, CBD needs to travel through your bloodstream to reach its target — whether that’s to your brain, immune system, or other locations. Vaporizers and oral products are best for this purpose.

How quick do you want it to take effect?

How long CBD works in your body is a balance between how you ingest it and how quickly your body eliminates it. Some methods deliver a sharp, quick peak of CBD, while others offer a slow, steadier concentration.

If you’re looking for immediate, short-term relief, then inhaled products like a vaporizer might be ideal. On the other hand, if you want to maintain steady levels of CBD throughout the day, then an oral product would be more appropriate.

Finding Your Dose

How well each method works varies from person to person, and is influenced by many factors (covered in more detail below) so dosing is a highly individual process.

It’s always recommended to start with a very low dose to make sure you don’t react poorly to any of the product’s ingredients. Try one or two drops of an oral formulation, or a tiny puff off a vaporizer… this will be well below the recommended serving size listed on the product.

Then, wait until after the CBD has peaked and is leaving your system before trying a slightly higher dose. Wait at least an hour for vaporizers, and 6+ hours for an oral formula. You can take more sooner, but any effects you feel will be the cumulative result of both doses.

Improving Absorption

Even if you know how much CBD is in each serving, that value only represents the maximum amount that could be entering your body — most of that CBD will never reach your bloodstream or its targets.

But there are tricks that can help increase the amount of CBD your body absorbs.

  • Before increasing how much you vape, experiment with different inhalation techniques.
  • If you’re taking an oral formulation, try holding it under your tongue or swishing it around your mouth before swallowing.

For more tips and considerations, read about each ingestion method below.

CBD: Can You Take Too Much?

If you’re worried about taking too much, just know that clinical trials have prescribed CBD doses up to 1,200 mg daily for months without observing any serious side effects. That’s more CBD than an entire bottle of Wicked Root AUXILIUM, or 60+ suggested servings per day!

That said, we recommend speaking with a trusted medical professional before embarking on your CBD journey.

Although CBD is generally considered safe, it could lower your blood pressure. CBD can also interfere with your body’s ability to process certain pharmaceutical drugs. Both CBD and grapefruits inhibit cytochrome p450, so take extra precautions if you are on a medication that comes with a warning not to consume with grapefruit. Topical or inhaled products could help minimize this interaction.

Therapeutic Level of CBD

As you can see here there are many factors that play a part in reaching a therapeutic level of CBD.  A one size fits all approach can not be done here.  Once you have started on the recommended dosing it is up to you to find the ingestion method and speed of onset that is right for you.