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Scientists pinpoint CBD dose for safe pain and anxiety relief without the cannabis high

More and more people are using CBD oils to manage their pain and anxiety.

One of the main chemical compounds found in cannabis, known as cannabidiol (CBD), may provide pain relief and anti-anxiety effects to consumers. What makes CBD extract particularly appealing is the fact that it provides medical properties without the high typically associated with using cannabis. While there is still much to be learned, a new study has now pinpointed the effective dose of CBD for safe pain relief.

Cannabis has over 100 chemical compounds, called cannabinoids, that act on certain receptors in cells and alter neurotransmitter release in the brain. The most famous cannabinoid, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is responsible for the psychoactive effects of the drug.

Both CBD and THC have the exact same molecular structure: 21 carbon atoms, 30 hydrogen atoms, and 2 oxygen atoms. However, the two chemical compounds can have opposite effects on the body due to slight differences in how atoms are arranged. For instance, THC is known to strongly stimulate the CB1 receptor, leading to altered sensory perception, impaired motor skills, and anxiety — in other words, it’s psychoactive. Until recently, it was thought that CBD also stimulates CB1, but only slightly, causing conflicting effects with THC, such as relief from anxiety, stress, and hyper-excitability. Simply put, CBD is a nonpsychoactive compound, whereas THC produces a ‘high’.

Researchers at the Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) and McGill University, Canada, wanted to find out at what dose CBD becomes effective. In doing so, they learned that CBD doesn’t act on CB1 cannabinoid receptors like THC but through the mechanism that binds specific receptors involved in anxiety (serotonin 5-HT1A) and pain (vanilloid TRPV1).

The team found that rats that were given an intravenous dose of 5 mg/kg/day of CBD increased 5-HT firing through desensitization of 5-HT1A receptors. Seven days of treatment with CBD reduced mechanical allodynia (when pain is experienced despite there being no obvious cause for pain), decreased anxiety-like behavior, and normalized 5-HT activity, the researchers found.

“We found in animal models of chronic pain that low doses of CBD administered for seven days alleviate both pain and anxiety, two symptoms often associated in neuropathic or chronic pain,” first author of the study Danilo De Gregorio, a post-doctoral fellow at McGill University, said in a statement.

The findings are important in today’s context of marijuana legalization and the boom of marijuana-related supplements, such as CBD oil. The extract has become so popular that you can now find it everywhere and in all sorts of formats. There are CBD tinctures, cookies, topical creams, and even CBD-infused lattes. However, the market has grown far faster than the science can keep up with, especially since marijuana is illegal at the federal level in the United States, making cannabis research extremely cumbersome. For instance, we don’t know if it is safe to give CBD oil to children and CBD supplements are unregulated, which means that products can vary wildly from manufacturer to manufacturer.

“There is some data showing that CBD provides pain relief for humans but more robust clinical trials are needed,” said Dr. Gabriella Gobbi, who led the new research published in The Journal of the International Association for the Study of Pain.

“Our findings elucidate the mechanism of action of CBD and show that it can be used as medicine without the dangerous side effects of the THC,” she added. “This research is a new advancement for an evidence-based application of cannabis in medicine.”

Safe cannabis pain relief without the “high”

In the wake of cannabis legalization, a team of scientists at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) and McGill University have delivered encouraging news for chronic pain sufferers by pinpointing the effective dose of marijuana plant extract cannabidiol (CBD) for safe pain relief without the typical “high” or euphoria produced by the THC. The findings of their study have been published in the journal PAIN.

Cannabis indica and sativa are the two main cannabis strains that produce the pharmacological principles known as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).Dr. Gabriella Gobbi’s team demonstrated that CBD does not act on the CB1 cannabinoid receptors like THC, but through the mechanism that binds specific receptors involved in anxiety (serotonin 5-HT1A) and pain (vanilloid TRPV1). Researchers were able to extrapolate the exact dosage of CBD displayinganalgesic and antianxiety properties without the risk of addiction and euphoria classically produced by the THC.

“In animal models of neuropathic or chronic pain, we found that low doses of CBD administered for seven days alleviate both pain and anxiety, two symptoms often associated,” says first author of the study Danilo De Gregorio, a post-doctoral fellow at McGill University in Dr. Gobbi’s laboratory.

Lead author Dr. Gobbi, a researcher in the Brain Repair and Integrative Neuroscience (BRaIN) Program of the RI-MUHC, sees this as advancement for the evidence-based application of cannabis in medicine with CBD likely offering a safe alternative to THC and opioids for chronic pain, such as back pain, sciatica, diabetic, cancer or post-trauma pain.

“Our findings elucidate the mechanism of action of CBD and show that it can be used as medicine without the dangerous side effects of the THC,” says Dr. Gobbi, who is also Professor of Psychiatry at the Faculty of Medicine at McGill University and staff psychiatrist at the MUHC. “This research is a new advancement for an evidence-based application of cannabis in medicine.”

Despite widespread public usage, little clinical studies exist on CBD, which became legal in Canada on October 17, 2018, following the passage of Canada’s Cannabis Act.

“There is a few data showing that CBD provides pain relief for humans but more robust clinical trials are needed ,” says Dr. Gobbi, a recent grant recipient for her study of the pharmalogical effects of CBD.

About the Study

The study ‘Cannabidiol modulates serotonergic transmission and reverses both allodynia and anxiety-like behavior in a model of neuropathic pain’was co-authored by Danilo DeGregorio (First author); Ryan McLaughlin; Luca Posa; Rafael Ochoa‑Sanchez; Justine Enns; Martha Lopez‑Canul; Matthew Aboud; Sabatino Maione; Stefano Comai et Gabriella Gobbi (Corresponding author).


This work was supported by a matching grant (PSR-SIIRI) from the Ministère de l’Économie Science et Innovation du Québec (MESI, Program PSR-SIIRI) and Aurora Cannabis Inc.

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Cannabidiol (CBD) fascinates most medical researchers. Patients in Torrance love its medical benefits and non-intoxicating characteristics. A few years ago, very few people knew about cannabidiol. Currently, there is a vast market for it. Thanks to the U.S Food and Drug Administration approval. So, what is CBD? Is there anything you should know before taking it? What are its various benefits? Read the article prepared by Pacific Pain and Wellness to learn more.

What is CBD?

You might have seen CBD (cannabidiol) as a booster to morning coffee or workout smoothie. So, what is cannabidiol? Why is CBD so popular?

It is a prevalent active ingredient of marijuana. Although it is an element of medical marijuana, it’s derived from the hemp plant related to marijuana.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), CBD does not exhibit effects indicative of dependence potential or abuse in humans. Currently, there isn’t proof of health associated with challenges related to pure CBD use.

CBD is related to another medically active phytocannabinoid (tetrahydrocannabinol). THC results in the high which bhang is famous for. Both THC and CBD have essential therapeutic characteristics. However, CBD doesn’t make you intoxicated or feel stoned. It is because the two components act differently on various receptors in your body or brain.

CBD neutralizes or lessens the psychoactive consequences of THC, hinging on the amount of the compound consumed. The fact that cannabidiol is:

  • non-intoxicating,
  • easy to make,
  • and therapeutically potent,

makes it perfect for cautious patients and those using bhang for the first time .

How Does Cannabidiol Work?

THC and CBD interact with human bodies in different ways. One of them is augmenting and mimicking the effects of endogenous cannabinoids. Endogenous cannabinoids compounds are similar to compounds found in marijuana.

The discovery of the endocannabinoid system has advanced the understanding of disease and health. It has significant implications for almost all medical science and assists in explaining why THC and CBD are versatile compounds.

The endocannabinoid system regulates various physiological processes, such as:

  • Mood
  • Energy level
  • Intestinal fortitude
  • Blood pressure
  • Immune activity
  • Glucose metabolism
  • Bone density
  • How you experience stress, pain, and hunger

So, what occurs when the endocannabinoid system fails to function properly. What are the effects of an overactive or chronically deficient endocannabinoid system? You will feel sick. CBD regulates the endocannabinoid system and enhances endocannabinoid tone, and sometimes slows down disease progression.

Is CBD Legal?

Although cannabidiol is readily accessible in many states, its legal status is uncertain. States have rules and regulations authorizing cannabidiol with different levels of limitation. Although the federal government puts cannabidiol in one category as marijuana, it does not habitually enforce it. In 2015, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration eased the regulatory requirement, allowing researchers to do trials.

Today, you can get CBD products online with no medical bhang license.

The government’s position on cannabidiol is unclear and hinges whether CBD originates from marijuana or hemp. The legality is anticipated to change. Currently, there is consensus in Congress to make the hemp crop and its purposes legal.

Ways to Take CBD

Cannabidiol is available in various forms, allowing you to design your way of use to your specific need and preference. Discussed below are the common types of cannabidiol:

  • Vaping: Vaping is a direct route. It provides a straight shot to the bloodstream through the lungs. That means you will feel the effects immediately. You can also experience the effects more strongly since there is no filtration. Vaping effect can last between ninety minutes to three hours, depending on the person.
  • Spray: CBD can also be sprayed directly to your skin. The spray is gentle and does not leave the oily consistency that comes with balms. This makes it ideal for treating rashes, skin irritation, and burns.
  • Bath salts or soaks: Soaks are bath salts that induce a soothing and calming effect. More often than not, they are infused with essential oils that make baths more relaxing and enjoyable.
  • Edibles: Gummies are the most popular edible types of cannabidiol. Typically, they come in standard doses (five milligrams). Other edible products include powder to dissolve into a smoothie, CBD infused water, and chocolates.
  • Lotions and creams: Topicals are used to treat joint and muscle pain. Additionally, they can treat skin diseases such as psoriasis and eczema.
  • Tinctures and oils: CBD oil is made when cannabidiol is extracted from marijuana and infused with a carrier oil like hemp seed oil or coconut oil. Tinctures and oils are liquids infused to herbs to be eaten. You can also put in your beverages or food. Since oils and tincture are absorbed through small capillaries below your tongue, they maximize the amount of CBD available for use by your body cells. It is because metabolic loss through your digestive system is completely bypassed.

What are the Benefits of CBD?

The advantages of cannabidiol continue to make controversial headlines in the medicine and wellness field. With more researchers, doctors, and patients experiencing the various benefits, it is probably a matter of time before CBD becomes a legal product.

Helps Those with Addiction

A 2015 review of research published in Substance Abuse indicates that CBD could benefit people with drug addiction.

Nevertheless, the effect of cannabidiol is different in every addiction. For instance, CBD oil showed a reduced impact in minimizing opioid symptoms in THC’s absence. On the contrary, CBD alone effectively minimizes addiction in users of psychostimulant drugs such as:

  • Methamphetamine
  • Cocaine

Helps with Seizures

In 2018, the United States Food and Drug Administration approved Epidiolex for seizure treatment related to Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome in children below two years of age. Both conditions are rare genetic disorders that cause deadly seizures that start during the first year of life.

Outside the disorders, the effectiveness of CBD on seizure treatment is not certain. Even with Epidiolex, it isn’t certain whether the anti-seizure effects could be attributed to CBD.

It is believed that cannabidiol interacts with most seizure medications and improves their concentration in your blood. It makes the drug more efficient and extends its half-life.

Lowers Blood Pressure

Khalid A. Jadoon, Garry D.Tan, and Saoirse E.O’Sullivan investigated if cannabidiol reduces blood pressure. 600 mg cannabidiol was administered in nine healthy male subjects. The study monitored cardiovascular parameters.

Men who took cannabidiol had reduced blood pressure after and before stress, reduced stroke volume, and increased heart rate. When it comes to cold stress, subjects who took CBD had blunted blood pressure and increased heart rate with low peripheral resistance.

The study proved that one dose of cannabidiol assists lower resting blood pressure and blood pressure response to cold stress.

Alleviates Cancer-Related Signs and Symptoms

As a cancer patient, you have to endure living with sleep deprivation, pain, and depression. Moreover, your treatment will cause nausea and vomiting. Fortunately, CBD assists relieve the symptoms. Some patients find it difficult to respond to conventional pain medications like opioids, and those who do might be addicted to the medications.

According to research, CBD offers an alternative treatment method that is non-intoxicating and more effective. CBD could reduce pain approximately thirty percent more effectively compared to conventional medication or THC.

In another research, scientists administered CBD daily to patients for five days after chemotherapy. Those who received the medication experienced a forty-nine percent reduction in nausea and vomiting.

CBD and Skin Care

CBD products have tremendous benefits, such as treating eczema and psoriasis. It is because it has antioxidant properties. Therefore, it can repair damages to your skin caused by free radicals such as ultraviolet rays or environmental pollutants.

Can Treat Acne

Acne affects approximately nine percent of the global population. It develops when dirt, dead skin, or excess oil accumulate and clog your skin pores. As a result, the bacteria which live in your hair follicles multiply and result in inflammation—the bacteria build-up results in red blemishes on your skin. To prevent acne, you should always clean your face and use oils that don’t clog the skin. CBD products contain anti-inflammatory properties that stop oil production.

Lowers the Risk of Being Obese

According to an article published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, a study conducted showed that subjects who took marijuana had approximately one-third lower obesity rate. This comes despite claims that bhang users consume many calories daily because of ghrelin stimulation by THC. Ghrelin increases both appetite and carbohydrates metabolism.

Assists Alzheimer’s Patients

A study that paid attention to using cannabidiol to treat Alzheimer’s discovered that CBD contains effects that could treat nervous system disorders. The study’s efficacy was due to cannabidiol’s antioxidant properties and the ability to protect nerve cells against damage and deterioration. Moreover, CBD substantially lowers adverse effects and improves the cognitive ability of Alzheimer’s patients. Although there is no current evidence, CBD could be the key to assisting the patients and slowing down the condition’s progression.

Improves Your Digestive System

Since the FDA approved CBD, medical practitioners recommend using it. Your digestive system and the gut are essential to your general health. Additionally, the gut houses organisms like parasites and bacteria.

Here are how CBD can help improve your gut health:

  • Controls digestive processes such as appetite, hunger, satiety, and salivation
  • Prevents stomach swelling and bloating
  • Aid in treating IBS, Crohn’s disease, and Colitis
  • Prevents abdominal pain, diarrhea, and constipation

Relieves Pain

Bhang has alleviated and treated pain for many years. And recently, researchers have found out that specific elements of marijuana like CBD are accountable for the pain-relieving effect.

As previously mentioned, your body has an endocannabinoid system that regulates appetite, pain, immune system, and sleep. Endocannabinoids are neurotransmitters that bind to CBD receptors in the nervous system. Research has proved that cannabidiol reduces chronic pain by:

  • Affecting endocannabinoid receptor activity
  • Interacting with neurotransmitters
  • Reducing inflammation

A study discovered that CBD injections reduced pain response to surgical incision in rats. It was also found in another study that CBD treatment substantially lowered inflammation and sciatic nerve pain in rats.

A combination of THC and cannabidiol is also linked to manage and treat pain associated with arthritis and multiple sclerosis. A study involving forty-seven people who have multiple sclerosis studied the effects of taking Sativex for a month. Sativex is an oral spray and is approved to treat multiple sclerosis pain. The subjects reported experiencing improvements in muscle spasms, walking, and pain.

Reduces Depression and Anxiety

The WHO reports that while depression is a leading contributor to the world’s disability, anxiety is ranked sixth.

Typically, the conditions are treated with medication that comes with numerous side effects, such as:

  • Insomnia
  • Headache
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Drowsiness
  • Agitation

Also, medications such as benzodiazepines could be addictive. They might also result in substance abuse.

CBD oil seems promising as far as treatment for the mental conditions is concerned.

In one study, fifty-seven subjects received either a placebo or oral CBD ninety minutes before undergoing a public speaking test. It was discovered that a three hundred mg CBD dose was the most effective at reducing anxiety. The one hundred and fifty mg dose, six hundred mg dose, and placebo did not reduce the mental condition.

Determining the Right CBD Dosage

CBD dosage depends on numerous factors such as:

  • Your weight
  • The health condition you are treating
  • The concentration of CBD in one capsule, pill, gummy, or drop
  • Your body chemistry

In short, there are many variables to put into account when deciding the right dosage. However, it is crucial to speak with your physician about how much CBD to take and the potential risks. After your doctor advises you, be sure to follow their recommendation, particularly if you are taking prescription medications with CBD like Epidiolex.

Should your doctor fail to recommend, it is wise to begin with a smaller dosage and gradually increase it. You can start with twenty to forty mg per day. After one week, increase the amount by five mg. Continue doing this until you treat the symptoms.

It is wise to keep track of the CBD’s amount you are taking and whether the symptoms are improving. Be sure to note it down in a note application on your smartphone or a paper.

Calculating Dosage

Products like capsules, pills, and CBD gummies tell patients the available amount in one serving. For instance, the packaging on a bottle of capsules could show five mg of CBD in every capsule.

And if you are using CBD oil, it might have a dropper. The packaging could specify how much cannabidiol is available in one drop. Sometimes, it is difficult to determine the amount in one drop because the packaging indicates the whole bottle’s total amount. Generally, one drop is approximately 0.005 millimeters. That means a ten-milliliters bottle has two hundred drops.

What are the Side Effects of CBD?

According to clinical research conducted by Kerstin Iffland and Franjo Grotenhermen in 2017, CBD oil has side effects. The type and seriousness of the side effects vary with individuals. The symptoms include the following:

  • Changes in appetite
  • Mood swings
  • Diarrhea
  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea
  • Dry mouth
  • Vomiting
  • Anxiety
  • Changes in alertness

Additionally, it can result in increased production of liver enzymes. Persons suffering from liver conditions must use CBD products with care, following the physician’s recommendations. The doctor should also monitor their liver enzyme level regularly.

Expectant mothers should avoid taking CBD oil. According to research conducted in 2018 by the American Academy of Pediatrics, pregnant women should avoid using bhang during pregnancy. It is because of the potential risks to the fetus’ development. While it is not clear how cannabidiol contributes, it passes via the placental barrier.

Also, other aspects of CBD that remains unanswered include:

  • What takes place with the sustained cannabidiol use?
  • What CBD dosage can trigger risks?
  • Does consumption method affect intake?
  • How does cannabidiol affect breastfeeding children and developing fetuses?
  • Does cannabidiol have an impact on male fertility?

Although most studies have proved that CBD oil is instrumental for pain relief, more research, particularly involving human subjects, is essential. CBD is promising because of its non-intoxicating effects and has few side effects compared to other pain drugs.

If you are considering using CBD products to treat your health condition, make sure you talk to your doctor to know the most suitable option.

CBD Interactions

CBD could interact with some medications, especially those used to treat epilepsy. It inhibits the P450 enzyme that some drugs use for metabolism. Interfering with the enzyme, CBD might reduce the effectiveness or intensify the toxicity of the drugs.

Common drug interaction with CBD include the following:

  • Anticonvulsants such as Trileptal and Tegretol
  • Anti-arrhythmia drugs
  • Antifungal drugs
  • Antipsychotic drugs
  • Atypical depressants
  • Immune-suppressive drug
  • Macrolide antibiotics
  • Migraine medication
  • Benzodiasepine sedative
  • Rifampin drug
  • Opioid painkillers

Most interactions are mild and don’t need treatment adjustment. Some might need separation of doses for hours or drug substitution. To prevent the interactions, consult with a qualified doctor about your drugs regardless of whether herbal, recreational, over-the-counter, or prescription.

Find a Qualified Pain Management Expert Near Me

Research has suggested that CBD is an option for treating and managing chronic pain, anxiety, cancer-related symptoms, and preventing obesity. However, without adequate human research, it is hard to know the right dosage, and since CBD is mostly available as an unregulated product, it is hard to tell what you’re getting. As a result, it is essential to speak with an experienced medical doctor before trying CBD. At Pacific Pain and Wellness, we can listen to you, work with you to restore pain-reduced life, and offer sustainable relief. For more information on CBD, call us today at 310-437-7399.