So Herrera, who's experienced her own share of pain due to a shoulder injury followed by a bout of Lyme disease, went to a local herb shop and bought a vial of the oil, which, by some definitions, is legal in all states if it doesn't contain more than 0.3 percent THC – the psychoactive component of cannabis. She began putting seven to nine drops under her tongue first thing most mornings – and was startled by the results. "It's changed my pain level, my anxiety level and my stress level," says Herrera, who already practiced yoga, meditated regularly, ate a healthy diet and tried conventional medical treatments for pain and mobility. "It was shocking," she says, because she thought her patients' reports were due to the placebo effect. "Right now," she adds, "I feel pretty amazing."
Some industry insiders argue that organic, pharmaceutical-grade ethanol, which is a grain alcohol, is optimal and eliminates certain toxins and residues in the raw plant material itself. But others say that while this extraction method yields a high amount of cannabinoids and is GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) for human consumption, it destroys the plant’s waxes, leading to a less potent oil.
There are new CBD companies coming online every week – these span the range from truly awful to really great. So how to choose the best? The quality of the CBD oil itself is obviously the most important factor – and many companies do take the quality of their products seriously. To reward those companies, we gave more weight to the quality of the product than any other category.
Stephanie, generally, I have patients take 20 to 150mg a day for sleep +/- anxiety. Start low and go slow. Know the dosages of your product. Usually 2/3 to 3/4 of the daily dose is 1-2 hours before bedtime, and the other portion is upon waking (to improve wakefulness during the day). Other factors such as stress, hormone replacement, other meds & medical conditions, etc. play a role along with individual differences. I own a compounding pharmacy, so we see a lot of unique needs. I can't give more specific advice in this forum, but there is help!
Many studies show that the majority of Americans feel long-term, work-related stress. This everyday, low-level anxiety many of us feel during the workweek can have long term effects on the body in the form of oxidative stress, which in turn is at least partially responsible for inflammation and many chronic diseases. Because CBD oil works to bring balance to the body by lowering anxiety and reducing stress-induced inflammation, it can be considered an effective aid in reducing anxiety, work-related stress and therefore oxidative stress.
As I mentioned earlier, when consumed, the cannabinoids found in CBD attach themselves to certain receptors in your brain and immune system. One such receptor, the CB2 receptor, helps manage pain and inflammation in your immune system. When you use CBD oil for pain, it impacts the way your brain and body respond to the signals they’re sent—ultimately helping to reduce pain and inflammation.
There's also the question of CBD's legality – something that's a lot grayer than the black-and-white picture most companies paint. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration considers CBD, like all cannabinoids, a schedule 1 drug. That means it's just as illegal as heroin and ecstasy. Meanwhile, hemp – a variety of the cannabis plant regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture – is legal , so long as its THC content is negligibly low. But because the agriculture department doesn't test for CBD – only THC – in hemp, more companies are getting away with selling products they say contain CBD, says Sara Jane Ward, an assistant professor of pharmacology at the Temple University Lewis Katz School of Medicine who's been studying CBD in rodent models for more than 10 years. Needless to say, the legality of CBD is "very confusing and very gray," she says.

Zuardi, A. W., Crippa, J. A., Hallak, J. E., Bhattacharyya, S., Atakan, Z., Martin-Santos, R., … & Guimarães, F. S. (2012). A critical review of the antipsychotic effects of cannabidiol: 30 years of a translational investigation [Abstract]. Current Pharmaceutical Design, 18(32), 5,131–5,140. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22716160

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