Even without changes at the federal level, there are steps that states could take on their own to make the CBD market safer. States with broad marijuana legality or CBD-only measures could mandate the calibration and regulation of testing labs, and use them to conduct safety testing. They could fund research into the benefits, dosing, and drug interactions of CBD through their public university systems. Medical boards could redouble efforts to educate physicians in what research exists regarding medical marijuana in all its incarnations, so that doctors are prepared to prescribe and manage these medications as they become available.
During my visit, Penny showed me how she administers Harper’s CBD oils. We stood in her kitchen, where a window opened onto a vista of green grass and a wooden swing set out back. After carefully mixing and measuring Harper’s oils, Penny poured the liquid into a jumbo-sized plastic syringe. “We put this all online,” she told me, referring to the several YouTube videos she has made to help other parents administer hemp oil. Penny leaned down over her daughter to fit the tip of the syringe into her gastronomy tube, and I stood by silently. Harper looked at Penny, and Penny smiled back at her, and eased the plunger down.
For these breakthroughs and many others, Mechoulam is widely known as the patriarch of cannabis science. Born in Bulgaria, he is a decorous man with wispy white hair and watery eyes who wears natty tweeds, silk scarves, and crisp dress slacks. He’s a respected member of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities and an emeritus professor at Hebrew University’s Hadassah Medical School, where he still runs a lab. The author of more than 400 scientific papers and the holder of about 25 patents, this kindly grandfather has spent a lifetime studying cannabis, which he calls a “medicinal treasure trove waiting to be discovered.” His work has spawned a subculture of cannabis research around the globe. Though he says he’s never smoked the stuff, he’s a celebrity in the pot world and receives prodigious amounts of fan mail.
Oral consumption is recommended as it usually lasts the whole night. Always start with the micro dose to test sensitivity and go up as needed within the dosing range before going to the next, until symptoms subside. The micro to standard dose is usually recommended to treat insomnia and sleep apnea. When relaxing indica strains are used with higher THC levels, a dose of 5–10 mg is usually sufficient. Other people find they need larger doses, such as 15–40 mg. CBD taken as a tincture or edible will aid in a restful six to seven hours of sleep. This type of disorder varies widely from one patient to the next. Often, one needs to perform some experimental research and try strains of different CBD:THC ratios to figure out how CBD oil benefits their sleep and the best protocol.
 A. C. Campos, Z. Ortega, J. Palazuelos, M. V. Fogaça, D. C. Aguiar, J. Díaz-Alonso, S. Ortega-Gutiérrez, H. Vázquez-Villa, F. A. Moreira, M. Guzmán, I. Galve-Roperh, and F. S. Guimarães, “The Anxiolytic Effect of Cannabidiol on Chronically Stressed Mice Depends on Hippocampal Neurogenesis: Involvement of the Endocannabinoid System,” International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology 16, no. 6 (2013): 1407–1419. doi:10.1017/S1461145712001502.
Zynerba is no longer pursuing a version of that drug for osteoarthritis, says Dr. Clauw, and there are currently no standard recommendations for what dosage or formulation of CBD (in either oral or topical form) might work best for pain relief. But he does want pain patients to know that CBD products may be worth a try—and that they may provide relief, even without the high that products with THC produce.
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