How to Use Cannabinoids To Improve Your Health
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How to Use Cannabinoids To Improve Your Health

Dec 22, 2023

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and should not be interpreted as medical advice. Always consult your doctor before starting any new supplement, including CBD.


Cannabinoids are natural compounds found in the cannabis plant. They have been researched extensively, studied intently, and celebrated for an array of health benefits. But how can you use these compounds to improve your health, what dose should you take, which cannabinoid should you choose, and what else must you consider?

Choose Your Cannabinoid

The first step to using cannabinoids is to choose the compound that suits you best. There are over 120 cannabinoids in the cannabis plant, but when it comes to therapeutic benefits, you should focus on the following, all of which are legal under federal law:

CBD

CBD is the most researched and widely used legal cannabinoid. It’s also the most abundant and you can find it in a variety of forms (gummies, vapes, oils, extracts).

While definitive health benefits of CBD are still being researched, studies have explored its potential role in various contexts. For instance, an investigation into CBD's effects on inflammation offers insights that could be relevant to understanding its interaction with chronic pain conditions[1]. It’s more of a catch-all, cure-all cannabinoid, but it won’t have the same effects for everyone so don’t assume that CBD will work best for you.

In the realm of epilepsy, some studies, such as one published in the New England Journal of Medicine, have examined the potential effects of CBD on certain types of seizures, contributing to the ongoing conversation in the medical community[2].

CBG

CBG, another cannabinoid, has been a subject of study, such as in a review in Frontiers in Pharmacology, where its potential impact on neurological disorders, including aspects of anxiety, was discussed[3].

It’s pricier than CBD and is nowhere near as common, but for users seeking solace from anxiety, depression, stress, and other such issues, CBG could be the solution.

CBC

It has been suggested that CBC could be used to treat the symptoms of diseases and syndromes. However, anecdotal claims and early scientific evidence suggest that it may be better in treating chronic pain and inflammation. It’s also a good option if you’re eager to reap the benefits of cannabinoids but don’t notice any advantages from CBD.

CBN

Although the above cannabinoids offer many of the same benefits, CBN, another cannabinoid, has been the subject of research interest. For example, a study has explored its general properties, contributing to the broader understanding of cannabinoid compounds[5].

It’s not the cannabinoid you should be using if you need a pick-me-up or lead a busy life and want a remedy to take throughout the day. But if you struggle to fall asleep or sleep restfully, it’s perfect. It could also help if you’re very stressed and find it hard to relax and chill out.

Other Cannabinoids

There are other cannabinoids available, but they’re not as common and may not provide the effects that you seek.

Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, for instance, is what gives marijuana its distinctive effects. CBD won’t make you high, but delta-9 will, and as a result, it will also cause a number of side effects. 

Research, such as a study published in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, has explored the role of compounds like Delta-9 THC in contexts such as chronic pain management, providing a basis for further scientific inquiry[4].

Delta-8 THC doesn’t produce as many strong psychotropic effects, but it’s also harder to source and may be more expensive. Delta-8 is found in trace quantities in the cannabis plant, so it requires a lot of plant material.

How Long Does It Take For Cannabinoids To Take Effect?

The onset of effects depends on the method of ingestion.

The onset time of cannabinoids can vary based on the method of ingestion. Research, such as studies published in pharmacology journals, has investigated these aspects, offering insights into the general characteristics of cannabinoids[6].

If you consume oral cannabinoids (CBD oil, gummies, etc.,), it could take anywhere from 30 to 120 minutes to feel the effects.

Choose your Ingestion Method

As noted above, the length of time it takes for the cannabinoids to work will depend on the method of ingestion. There are also some considerations with regards to health, price, and convenience.

What Are Cannabinoid Gummies?

Cannabinoid-infused gummies have become one of the product forms available in the market. While these gummies often include ingredients like pectin and natural flavorings, it's essential to understand their composition and general use[7].

Think of them in the same context as chewable vitamins, only you’re getting a dose of high-quality CBD/CBG/CBC/CBN instead of multi-vitamins.

Gummies are often made using pectin, a natural and vegan-friendly substance that gives gummies their distinctive chewy texture. To this, manufacturers add cannabinoid oil, sweeteners (including sugar and synthetic sweeteners), flavorings (including fruit juices), and ingredients designed to prolong the shelf life and create the desired gloss, texture, and color, including tapioca starch, colorings, carnauba wax, and vegetable oils.

Although these gummies are an easy way to take your daily dose of CBD, the extra processing and ingredients means you’ll be paying much more on a gram for gram basis.

What Are Cannabinoid Tinctures?

Cannabinoid tinctures are among the product forms available, often selected for their general usage properties. A broader understanding of their composition can be gained from studies focusing on cannabinoid extraction and preparation[8].

These little bottles contain oil-based extracts of varying concentrations and they can be added to foods and drinks or consumed by adding drops directly under your tongue.

What Are Cannabinoid Extracts?

Cannabinoid extracts, including oils and isolates, present a variety of forms. Research has delved into their extraction methods and general properties, contributing to the understanding of cannabinoid diversity[9].

These extracts can be used to make other products and edibles or they can be smoked.

What Are Cannabinoid Vapes?

Vaping was all the rage a decade or so ago and while its popularity has waned somewhat, there are still millions of people who prefer to consume their nicotine, THC, and CBD by vaping.

In the context of cannabinoid vapes, understanding the composition, such as base ingredients and general formulation, is crucial. Research studies provide insights into the general characteristics of vaping products[10]. 

The effects come on quickly, but there may be some health issues associated with smoking and while it’s usually okay in moderation, it may not be safe to consume large quantities on a daily basis.

What Are Cannabinoid Hemp Flowers?

Hemp flowers are derived from cannabis plants with THC levels below 0.3%, aligning with federal legal requirements. The composition and legal status of hemp flowers have been topics of interest in various studies[11].

These buds taste and smell just like cannabis, as that’s basically what they are, but the trace amounts of THC means they won’t make you high.

Most low-THC strains have been bred to contain high levels of CBD, but there are lots of CBG options as well. These buds also contain trace amounts of other cannabinoids, as well as terpenes that provide flavors, fragrances, and some benefits and effects.

The problem with hemp flowers is that smoking them is just as harmful as smoking cannabis and other plant matter. They contain a lot of antioxidants and anti-inflammatories, but any benefits provided by these compounds will likely be offset by the harm caused by the smoke.

Understanding Cannabinoid Doses

Cannabinoids are extremely well-tolerated, but that doesn’t mean you should take every gummy or drop of oil you can get your hands on. Not only will it increase the risk of adverse reactions (which can occur and are more likely to occur following excessive use), but it’s not a very cost-effective approach!

While specific dosage recommendations are beyond the scope of this article, it is important to follow product label instructions and consult healthcare professionals for guidance. Research provides insights into the general tolerability and usage of cannabinoids[12].

How Much CBD Should I Take?

CBD doses vary considerably. Many studies have used doses of up to 600mg per day, but these studies are performed under controlled conditions and you shouldn’t take such high doses yourself, not as a first-time user.

Start with a dose of between 25mg and 50mg per day, preferably split between morning and night (or just taken on an evening if used for insomnia).

How Much CBG Should I Take?

CBG is usually taken in doses of between 10mg and 20mg, but it depends on the concentration of the product.

How Much CBN Should I Take?

CBN doses should be around 5mg to 10mg. This should be enough to achieve the desired effects, but the ideal dose will vary by user and product.

How Much Delta-8 THC Should I Take?

Delta-8-THC doses are often capped at 50mg but many users achieve desired results with amounts of just 10mg.

How Much is Too Much?

While there are perceptions about the safety of cannabis, it is important to approach the use of concentrated THC and CBD with caution. Scientific studies have investigated the safety profiles of cannabinoids, contributing to our understanding of their general tolerability[13].

Everything can be dangerous when consumed to excess, including water.

The fact that cannabinoid products are highly-concentrated means you have to be very careful with them.

Always start small, taking the smallest recommended dose and assessing your tolerance.

If you feel beneficial effects, you don’t need to go any higher. If you have an adverse reaction, you can stop. If you don’t feel anything at all, it’s time to gradually increase the dose (although not straightaway).

There have been a few animal studies highlighting the potentially lethal dose of CBD oil (known as an “LD50”, as it’s a dose that would be lethal to at least 50% of test subjects). In one study, researchers found that intravenous CBD oil had an LD50 greater than 254mg per kg in dogs while another reported an LD50 of 212mg per kg in monkeys.

If we round off at 230mg and assume a similar dose for humans, it means the LD50 would be over 20 grams for men and over 17.5 grams for women.

In reality, however, we don’t know. Firstly, men and women are not dogs and monkeys. Secondly, those doses were given intravenously (although similar studies have found that 300mg per kg of body weight can cause “rapid death” in monkeys when consumed orally).

The oil would also need to be consumed all at once, as these studies looked at single doses and not daily consumption.

If you have a 1,000mg/10ml CBD tincture, an entire bottle could contain just 2.5mg CBD, giving you an idea of just how large those doses are.

Clinical Studies and Related Research

[1] "Cannabidiol (CBD) and its analogs: a review of their effects on inflammation," Journal of Pain Research, 2016. Link to the study

[2] "Trial of Cannabidiol for Drug-Resistant Seizures in the Dravet Syndrome," New England Journal of Medicine, 2017. Link to the study

[3] The Potential of Cannabigerol (CBG) for the Treatment of Neurological Disorders," Frontiers in Pharmacology, 2021. Link to the study

[4] "Multicenter, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study of the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of THC:CBD extract and THC extract in patients with intractable cancer-related pain," Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 2010. Link to the study

[5] "Cannabinoids as novel anti-inflammatory drugs," Future Medicinal Chemistry, 2009. Link to the study

[6] "Human Cannabinoid Pharmacokinetics," Chemistry & Biodiversity, 2007. Link to the study

[7] "A Systematic Review on the Pharmacokinetics of Cannabidiol in Humans," Substance Abuse: Research and Treatment, 2018. Link to the study

[8] "Cannabinoids production, concentration by supercritical fluid extraction, and activation for THC and CBD using pressurized thermal shock processes," Journal of CO2 Utilization, 2019. Link to the study

[9] "Quality Traits of "Cannabidiol Oils": Cannabinoids Content, Terpene Fingerprint and Oxidation Stability of European Commercially Available Preparations," Molecules, 2018. Link to the study

[10] "Electronic cigarettes: a systematic review of available studies on health risk assessment," Reviews on Environmental Health, 2018. Link to the study

[11] "An Update on Safety and Side Effects of Cannabidiol: A Review of Clinical Data and Relevant Animal Studies," Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, 2017. Link to the study

[12] "Dosage, Efficacy and Safety of Cannabidiol Administration in Adults: A Systematic Review of Human Trials," Journal of Clinical Medicine Research, 2020. Link to the study

[13] "Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research," Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, 2016. Link to the study

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and should not be interpreted as medical advice. Always consult your doctor before starting any new supplement, including CBD.

FDA Disclaimer

Statements made on this website have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. These Cannabinoid products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Information provided by this website or this company is not a substitute for individual medical advice. Cannooba does NOT sell or distribute any products that are in violation of the US Controlled Substances Act.