It seems that everywhere you turn these days a restaurant or shop is selling something that has CBD oil in it for a jacked up price. They claim the CBD can help with everything from seizures to cancer to basic pain. But are the 3 drops of CBD oil in your coffee really going to help with anything?
Unfortunately, probably not.
What is CBD Oil?
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a cannabinoid that is found in the cannabis (marijuana) plant, and the hemp plant. It has been shown to possibly provide therapy and relief for symptoms related to a lot of various illnesses and diseases.
As far as the legalities go, generally CBD derived from hemp is legal in those states where hemp production is legal, but it’s still kind of a gray area, especially when it comes to food products. Since the FDA has not fully tested CBD as a food additive, they can’t really say that it’s ok to put in food, but that’s not stopping people and companies from doing so.
Don’t worry though, CBD will not get you high like marijuana does. The active compound in marijuana that gets you “high” is THC, which is not prevalent in most CBD oils you’ll find on the market today. However, it has been said that CBD is more effective when combined with some amounts of THC, in which case you would have to live in a state that offers recreational or medicinal marijuana in order to take advantage of that.
So that’s a quick, down and dirty, look at what CBD actually is, a quick google search can provide you with a better understanding though. Basically it is extracted from the hemp (or cannabis) plants and derived into an oil form, which is then added to all sorts of things these days. You can find CBD gummies, cookies, hard candies, drinks… pretty much anything, but the most popular form of CBD is in the form of a tincture.
A CBD tincture is basically just an eye dropper bottle full of, usually flavored, CBD oil that you drop under your tongue and ingest that way. This is the method that I have tried CBD, and is the method that I will base my experience on when talking about CBD’s effects on MY body (everyone is different, so take this as you will).
My Experience With CBD Tinctures
A few months back I decided to give this “miracle oil” a shot at helping with my IBS. I read a number of websites and articles that claimed that CBD had some calming effects when it came to IBS and provided some symptom relief to some people. So before I spent a ton of money on fancy probiotics (which was to be my next venture in the IBS calming world), I decided to give CBD oil a try.
The vape store across the street from my house had just recently put up their big neon sign advertising that they not carried CBD oil, so it was almost too convenient not to stop in and pick up a bottle.
I wasn’t really sure what I was looking for, or now many milligrams I needed because pretty much all the websites you read just say “it varies by person”. Apparently you just start off with a small amount and if you don’t see any benefits, then you’re supposed to increase the dosage…
It’s super scientific and not sketchy at all.
So with absolutely no clue on what I was putting in to my body, or how much of it to use, I picked up a bottle of 500MG honey flavored CBD Oil from a company called Miracle Leaf Health Centers. It was $40.
Since I bought the bottle I have gone on their website and looked at the actual data sheets from some lab that shows that this tincture does in fact contain CBD. Apparently there are a lot of oils claiming to have CBD in them, but they actually don’t… so I guess this PDF is supposed to prove that this bottle does in fact have CBD in it, but I have no way to independently verify their claims.
Either way it was go time.
After doing a little reading, I decided that 2-3 drops under the tongue, held there for 10 seconds before swallowing (as per the instructions on the bottle), would be a good dosage to start at… I guess.
Again, no rhyme or reason for why I started at that dosage, just some random website on the internet told me that should help.
It didn’t do shit.
I took the same dosage every day for probably 2 months and didn’t feel any difference. In fact, I think I actually felt worse on some occasions, but I have no way to prove that it was because of the CBD oil itself or just what I ate.
After feeling nothing at all, in regards to the symptoms I was hoping to have some relief from, I decided to up the dosage to 5 drops per day… but again, I really didn’t feel any noticeable difference… in anything.
I was hoping to have relief from some IBS issues as well as some minor anxiety (which also contributes to the IBS), but I don’t feel that it did anything in regards to either of those issues.
Now, I have read things that say that CBD has helped with seizures in kids, and things like epilepsy and other conditions, but in my personal case, I did not see, or feel, any difference in regards to anxiety, IBS issues, or even pain relief (I play sports and have constant muscle aches and pains in my shoulders).
I don’t know if I wasn’t taking the right dose, or if maybe the CBD when combined with THC would provide more benefit for me, or what, but based on my experience, and the information that is spreading online these days. I don’t agree that CBD is this end all miracle oil that everyone claims it to be.
And it’s certainly not going to cure your ailments by adding a few drops to your morning coffee.
CBD Oil Hype In the Food Industry
As I said, I don’t believe that CBD, with its current delivery methods and dosage suggestions, is of proven benefit to the majority of people. I honestly think it’s more of a placebo effect. Which is also fine, if you believe that it’s relieving your symptoms.
But that hasn’t stopped multiple companies from jumping on the hype train.
It feels like everywhere you look another restaurant or grocery store is talking about adding CBD to your food for a marked up price. But knowing what we know about the dosage recommendations discussed above, and the effectiveness of CBD oil in those increments, those few drops of CBD oil added to your latte or cooked into your burger aren’t going to provide you with any benefits.
In fact, some of the articles I’ve read have stated that while CBD does show possibilities of relief from epilepsy, a lot of the studies that indicated help for other ailments can’t necessarily be trusted. Most of the studies have been completed on animals, with only a few studies being held on humans, and those studies can’t really be taken as fact since most of them didn’t properly utilize a control group.
The other big concern is that since CBD oil is not regulated, you never really know what’s in it. You just have to trust the company with their word that what you’re getting truly has CBD in it, and isn’t laced with other garbage that may harm your body.
It really is the wild west out there in terms of CBD production and hype. You have no clue what’s actually in the product you’re buying and putting in your body, and you don’t know what it may do to you.
So based on all of that information, and everything else I’ve read and experienced, I’m not buying into the CBD hype, at this time… at least for most of these ailments. Like I said, studies have shown some relief from seizures and epilepsy, so if that’s what you suffer from, and you want to try something else, by all means give CBD a shot. But if you just have aches and pains, or IBS, or whatever else they claim CBD helps with… I wouldn’t bother until more testing has been done and companies are held to standards of what can be in their CBD products.
And as for restaurants adding CBD oil to their products at an upcharge, don’t even bother. It’s a waste of money, especially since CBD itself isn’t absorbed very well orally. So between having it cooked/baked into food products (or just dropped into a drink), and then your body ingesting it orally, you’re probably getting slim to none of the actual cannabinoids into your system anyways.
Now, there are also some people out there that claim that CBD on it’s own isn’t super effective, but when combined with a little THC, can be way more beneficial… I’ll let you make your own assumptions on that one. Illinois isn’t a recreational marijuana state (yet), and I don’t have a medicinal card, so I can’t do any extensive testing for you at the moment…
What do you think of all this CBD hype, are you buying into it? Have you tried CBD oils or drinks/food? Did it seem to help you with any of your ailments? Let us know in the comments.