It’s a truism to state that pain is an inevitable part of life. And it’s true that we all, from time to time, experience pain that is short-lived and treatable. But those who deal with chronic pain know the debilitating, life-sucking reality of this condition. And traditional medications often come with long lists of side effects which can be as debilitating as the pain itself.

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[422] M. H. N. Chagas, A. L. Eckeli, A. W. Zuardi, M. A. Pena-Pereira, M. A. Sobreira-Neto, E. T. Sobreira, M. R. Camilo, M. M. Bergamaschi, C. H. Schenck, J. E. C. Hallak, V. Tumas, and J. A. S. Crippa, “Cannabidiol Can Improve Complex Sleep-Related Behaviours Associated with Rapid Eye Movement Sleep Behaviour Disorder in Parkinson’s Disease Patients: A Case Series,” Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics 39 (2014): 564–566. doi:10.1111/jcpt.12179.
Unlike its cannabinoid cousin, Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) Cannabidiol (CBD) does not produce a psychoactive effect. This is because CBD does not affect the same receptors that THC does. The human body has an endocannabinoid system that receives transmissions signals from cannabinoids in the body. CBD produces many beneficial effects on the human molecular pathway. As a matter of fact, there are more than 65 molecular targets of CBD in the body. A CBD rich product with little THC can convey therapeutic benefits without having a euphoric or dysphoric effect. In order for CBD to work properly, CBD SHOULD BE the main substance in any CBD Oil that you purchase. If CBD is not the main ingredient of the product you are looking to buy, walk away. Regarding the question, how does CBD work, it really depends on its quality.
Full spectrum CBD does, however, bring with it the sticky issue of THC. The government regulates concentration levels of THC at 0.3 percent, an amount which results in minimal psychoactivity. But THC metabolites are stored in the fat cells of your body, building up over time. If you ever need to take a drug test, this could create an issue for you.
The same terms could be applied to what's actually in CBD products. While some do contain CBD, others (often marketed as "CBD-rich hemp oil") may have barely any, Asquith says. And depending on state laws, they can include varying levels of THC too – a combination shown to have some benefits, but also drawbacks, of course, if you're not looking for a high. "People will play all these games with the numbers because the consumers aren't really educated in this space yet and it's easy to get taken advantage of," he says. "It's the milligrams of the actual CBD molecule that matter."
Look for brands who source their cannabinoids from organic-certified, hemp-grown farms in pristine regions of Europe. “The German regulatory system is strict and enforced, providing confidence in the superiority of their harvest, processes, and extraction quality,” adds Moriarity. Organic hemp grown in Europe must also adhere to EU’s strict organic standards, which are stricter than in the U.S. and highly audited. Also, look for ingredients that are certified organic and wildcrafted.

Cannabinoids affect the transmission of pain signals from the affected region to the brain (ascending) and from the brain to the affected region (descending). A 2011 study showed that CBD and CBC stimulated descending pain-blocking pathways in the nervous system and caused analgesia by interacting with several target proteins involved in nociceptive control. Authors concluded that the cannabinoids “might represent useful therapeutic agents with multiple mechanisms of action.” [387] The following year, researchers reported that CBD significantly suppressed chronic inflammatory and neuropathic pain without causing apparent analgesic tolerance in animals. [388] And then in 2013, researchers concluded that chronic pain patients prescribed hydrocodone were less likely to take the painkiller if they used cannabis. [389]
Guzmán is a biochemist who’s studied cannabis for about 20 years. I visit him in his office at the Complutense University of Madrid, in a golden, graffiti-splotched building on a tree-lined boulevard. A handsome guy in his early 50s with blue eyes and shaggy brown hair tinged with gray, he speaks rapidly in a soft voice that makes a listener lean forward. “When the headline of a newspaper screams, ‘Brain Cancer Is Beaten With Cannabis!’ it is not true,” he says. “There are many claims on the Internet, but they are very, very weak.”
That’s why, when it comes to purchasing CBD products, you need to know what to look out for before you start browsing. Do you know which companies have a reputation for producing low-quality versus high-quality CBD products? Do you know which lab results you should ask to see? Or which manufacturing certifications point to quality practices being adhered to?
Heart pounding, palms sweating, mind racing and a sinking feeling that hyperventilating might occur—does this sound like a familiar experience before giving a presentation or speech at work? Most people experience some form of public speaking anxiety, which can create a wide range of unpleasant symptoms before and during a public speaking event. Studies have shown that taking CBD internally, such as using CBD oil, can mitigate these anxiety-inducing effects.
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In early June, I met with Penny Pennington Howard, a mother of three, who lives in Carrollton, Texas, about 25 minutes outside of Dallas. Posted in the glass of her front door are two signs you can’t quite make out from the sidewalk: one asking visitors not to smoke, as oxygen treatments are in use; the other a yellow diamond informing guests this is the home of a special needs child. Penny welcomed me inside, out of the glare of the sun, and led me through her living room into her kitchen, where her kids were gathered for lunch. Seth, then eight months old, was plucking cereal off the tray of his highchair, while Lily, seven, was darting back and forth between the countertop and table. Harper, a blond five-year-old with hot pink toenails, was reclining in her “tomato chair,” a molded plastic seat with straps to help keep her steady.
When Meagan’s in-laws suggested they look into medical marijuana, she recoiled. “This is a federally illegal drug we are talking about,” she recalls thinking. But she did her own research. A good deal of anecdotal evidence shows that high-CBD strains of cannabis can have a strong antiseizure effect. The medical literature, though scant, goes back surprisingly far. In 1843 a British doctor named William O’Shaughnessy published an article detailing how cannabis oil had arrested an infant’s relentless convulsions.
What did I experience? As was the case for Talansky, my sleep improved almost immediately. It wasn’t that I slept more; I felt like I slept better—more soundly, less waking during the night, more often getting out of bed feeling refreshed. By the second week I noticed less overall creakiness while going about daily activities; CBD advocates would say the products had lowered systemic inflammation. Those two changes made me feel like I was recovering better from training, which led to being more eager to train, and feeling better while doing so.
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These CBD-only laws also attempt to impose some regulation on CBD oils, such as establishing how much CBD and THC such products must contain. For example, on June 1, the day I sat down with Hernandez in Fort Worth, Texas, Governor Greg Abbott signed the state’s Compassionate Use Act into law in Austin. The law requires that all CBD products contain no more than 0.5 percent THC and at least 10 percent CBD. However, the bill does not specify how the state plans to enforce this requirement. The law contains no language outlining how laboratories can test CBD products, what kinds of standards they would use, or who would regulate them.

I have just started on my CBD journey. This is day 3. My knees do not hurt and I am definitely able to tell the difference when things were off. The nights are pain-free. I have a job that I spend a lot of time on my feet, and easily do over 14000 steps just for my job. My feet use to hurt so bad by the end of the night, that I actually would cry on the drive home. This allows me to have much less pain, and an easier time falling and staying asleep.


Cannabidiol is currently a class B1 controlled drug in New Zealand under the Misuse of Drugs Act. It is also a prescription medicine under the Medicines Act. In 2017 the rules were changed so that anyone wanting to use it could go to the Health Ministry for approval. Prior to this, the only way to obtain a prescription was to seek the personal approval of the Minister of Health.
Marijuana contains both THC and CBD, and typically, a plant has much more THC than CBD. Strains higher in CBD are being bred and cultivated for smoking, but the primary use of CBD is to extract it into an oil for medical use. While CBD is derived from marijuana, it is unlike THC in that it is not psychoactive. That is to say that it does not give a person the mind-altering “high” that THC is well-known for providing.
We’re standing in a laboratory greenhouse on the campus of the University of Colorado Boulder looking at ten hemp plants that Kane recently procured for research purposes. They’re spindly, stalky little things, like gangling teenagers, a far cry from the lascivious crop that Hague had shown me. These plants, like nearly all hemp varieties, carry extremely low levels of THC.
He throws open an industrial door, and my eyeballs are scalded by a halo of plasma bulbs. We step into an immense, warm room that smells like a hundred Yes concerts. Once my eyes adjust, I can see the crop in all its rippling glory—close to a thousand female plants standing six feet tall, their roots bathed in a soup of nutrients, their spiky leaves nodding in the breeze of the oscillating fans. Here in a sweep of the eye is more than a half million dollars’ worth of artisanal pot.
Top brands that create CBD products and offer sales, grow these plants and then extract the goodness of these plants, using different techniques to produce capsules, liquids, sprays or other CBD products. There are a few different ways to extract the “goodness” from the Cannabis plants, but the method most used by all the top brands is called CO2 extraction.

Selfhacked – you guys always put out such create content!! This was such a great scientific-based explanations, and concise, actionable ways to take advantage of the benefits of this specific cannabinoid. My 100-lb mastiff’s life was saved by using RxCBD dog treats, and I know someone else who’s grandfather has now enjoyed an additional year of life beyond docs’ projections, seemingly due to their ‘Ginger Snap cookies’. I’m an evangelist for #rxcbd, and #cbd in general (obviously). So glad it’s legal in all 50 states, and I appreciate seeing people as awesome as selfhacked shining light on it. Good on you guys!!
Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, we will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. We are a professional review site that may receive compensation from certain companies whose products we review. We test each product thoroughly and give high marks to only the very best. We are independently owned and the opinions expressed here are our own.
For immediate medicinal effects, vaporizing or smoking work well. This can be helpful for either initial sleep onset or for wakefulness in the middle of a rest period but only lasts one to three hours. The medication effect is immediate, whereas most ingested products take thirty to sixty minutes before taking effect (faster on an empty stomach) and last six to eight hours. Vaporizers that use a cartridge filled with the CO2 concentrate are convenient and highly effective, and these are available in various ratios of CBD to THC. Herbal vaporizers that use the whole plant are also an effective delivery method. Sublingual sprays or tinctures taken as liquid drops also take effect quickly and last longer than inhaled products.
Cannabinoids affect the transmission of pain signals from the affected region to the brain (ascending) and from the brain to the affected region (descending). A 2011 study showed that CBD and CBC stimulated descending pain-blocking pathways in the nervous system and caused analgesia by interacting with several target proteins involved in nociceptive control. Authors concluded that the cannabinoids “might represent useful therapeutic agents with multiple mechanisms of action.” [387] The following year, researchers reported that CBD significantly suppressed chronic inflammatory and neuropathic pain without causing apparent analgesic tolerance in animals. [388] And then in 2013, researchers concluded that chronic pain patients prescribed hydrocodone were less likely to take the painkiller if they used cannabis. [389]
CBD products with a ratio of 20:1 or higher are recommended and administered as drops, capsules, or edibles. Specifically, products made with Valentine X or Electra 4 are more energizing, helping relieve depression. When low energy is an issue, sativa or other stimulating strains can be helpful for improving energy and focus when THC can be tolerated. Varieties that are high in the terpene limonene are recommended for mood elevation.
In 1992 Mechoulam’s quest for quantification led him from the plant itself to the inner recesses of the human brain. That year he and several colleagues made an extraordinary discovery. They isolated the chemical made by the human body that binds to the same receptor in the brain that THC does. Mechoulam named it anandamide—from the Sanskrit for “supreme joy.” (When asked why he didn’t give it a Hebrew name, he replies, “Because in Hebrew there are not so many words for happiness. Jews don’t like being happy.”)

Selfhacked – you guys always put out such create content!! This was such a great scientific-based explanations, and concise, actionable ways to take advantage of the benefits of this specific cannabinoid. My 100-lb mastiff’s life was saved by using RxCBD dog treats, and I know someone else who’s grandfather has now enjoyed an additional year of life beyond docs’ projections, seemingly due to their ‘Ginger Snap cookies’. I’m an evangelist for #rxcbd, and #cbd in general (obviously). So glad it’s legal in all 50 states, and I appreciate seeing people as awesome as selfhacked shining light on it. Good on you guys!!
When pain is localized, topical products can be applied. These can be made using CBD-dominant cannabis as well as THC strains. Topicals affect the cells near application and through several layers of tissue but do not cross the blood-brain barrier and are, therefore, not psychoactive. These may be available as CBD oils, ointments, salves, or other forms, and with varying ratios of CBD and THC (a ratio of 1:1 is often recommended as ideal for skin application). The skin has the highest amount and concentration of CB2 receptors in the body.
My mom takes it daily for her arthritis, she uses oil 3X a day and said she has not been pain free until now. We live in Canada so it is prescribed. The main thing is to start at around 2.5mg and go from there as you build a tolerance. Also make sure it’s not affecting other medications you are taking. It has the same side effect as grape fruit does with certain pharmaceuticals.
We’re proud to be among the few companies that provide lab analysis for their products. Results of our lab tests are visible for anyone who wants to see what Elixinol™ contains, and that is 18% CBD, along with all the synergistic cannabinoids in the original plant. We produce a wholesome extract, not an isolate nor a synthetic product, because our focus is on delivering a pure, highly qualitative CBD oil, and not a cheap product with zero benefits for your health.
Knowing how much CBD you’re taking can take a little math. Again, capsules are straightforward—the bottle will say how much CBD each one contains. For tinctures, you need to know the total amount of CBD in the container and the container’s size to calculate how much CBD is in each serving. I found 1-ounce tincture bottles, which contain roughly 30 servings, that ranged from containing 100 milligrams of CBD to 1,000.

Some individuals have been found to have mutations on the CNR1 gene, which is responsible for coding the CB1 receptor (a type of receptor in cells throughout your body that interacts with cannabinoids). Issues with the CNR1 gene can ultimately result in a poorly functioning endocannabinoid system, which is an important variable when figuring out how to use CBD oil.

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