daily dose of cbd oil for cancer treatment

CBD Still Works for Me: A Follow-up

Recently, I had my first experience with CBD oil and wrote a post about it on my blog. That was almost two months ago. Since that time, I’ve learned a lot more about using cannabidiol and the benefits associated with use. In this post, I’ll expound on the things I’ve learned through firsthand experience.

Recently, I had my first experience with CBD oil and wrote a post about it on my blog. That was almost two months ago. Since that time, I’ve learned a lot more about using cannabidiol and the benefits associated with use. In this post, I’ll expound on the things I’ve learned through firsthand experience.

One of the first things I learned about taking CBD (cannabidiol) is that there’s no “one size fits all” guideline on dosing. When I was given a recommendation for CBD by a naturopath, I assumed I’d be sent to the pharmacy with prescription in hand complete with dosage and other instructions. That was not the case. When I met with the naturopath, I was given the name of an online source for obtaining CBD and encouraged to purchase products there. It was also recommended I take an additional cannabinoid, CBG (cannabigerol). Using both CBD and CBG cannabinoids, I was told, would provide greater benefits.

Before my visit to see the naturopath, I’d been reading a lot. Through social media and news outlets, I’d become aware of CBD’s popularity. Everything I’d read made CBD sound like a godsend, a remedy for whatever ailed me. I was excited to begin using it and made my first purchase of a CBD tincture on my way home from the cancer treatment center.

Without knowing how the CBD would affect me, I reluctantly took the first dose. It wasn’t clear how long the oil would take to act. As I waited to have my first CBD experience, I couldn’t help but remember life as a teen in the 1970s. Back then, marijuana, though illegal, was easily accessible. The drug, obtained from the plant Cannabis Sativa, contained a powerful psychoactive component called Tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as THC. This cannabinoid affected the brain and brought about feelings of euphoria. People enjoyed using it and found that getting “high” helped them cope while providing an escape from reality.

Marijuana and CBD, although derived from the same plant, are very different. Marijuana contains various amounts of THC — with certain strains grown for medical use containing up to 20% or more. CBD, however, contains only trace amounts of the cannabinoid, usually under 0.3%. As a novice, I wondered if that tiny amount of THC in CBD would negatively affect me, but found out quickly, after using my first couple of doses, it did not.

The CBD takes anywhere from thirty to ninety minutes to take effect. The first thing I noticed, after taking it, was a profound sense of calm. After about an hour, I no longer felt pain. Usually, I suffer from pain on a daily basis both from degenerative spinal issues and from fibromyalgia. I was pleasantly surprised.

Over the past couple of months, I’ve experimented with dosage. When I first began taking the CBD, I took one dropper full a day but soon found that wasn’t enough. The effects of the oil wore off halfway through the day. Now I take 2 to 3 droppers full a day and find this works well for my situation.

Dosage is unique to the individual and since CBD is currently unregulated by the FDA, there’s no way to determine the best dose for everyone. The best way to figure that out is by trial and error. From what I understand, it’s best to start out with a lower dose and gradually increase as necessary based on health benefits expected. Dosage is also affected by the quality and purity of the product. The product I use is a good quality and has been third-party tested. Another consideration when determining the proper dosage is the strength of the product. CBD comes in a wide variety of strengths and potencies. A beginner may want to start out with a low-potency product containing only 300 ml of CBD per dropperful as opposed to a higher potency.

Something else I hadn’t realized before beginning the use of CBD was that our bodies have their own endocannabinoid system. This system helps our bodies maintain homeostasis. We have receptors in our bodies that interact positively with cannabinoids from CBD, CBG and various other cannabinoids. That was pretty amazing.

There has been much to learn about using CBD and I’m learning more every day. I’ve found there are many terms associated with the use of cannabidiol that I don’t understand. One of the terms that baffled me was “entourage effect.” I still don’t completely understand it but apparently it has to do with the way CBD and THC work in our bodies. When paired together, in a perfect balance, they create this specific effect.

Using CBD for the past two months hardly makes me an expert but I have learned enough to feel comfortable with CBD. One of the things that’s helped me feel CBD is a good choice for my body is the fact that a certified naturopath recommended it to me. When searching for a non-opioid solution to pain, CBD made sense.

There are so many choices when selecting cannabidiol products. Since my experience has been with the CBD oil-based products, I will focus there. When using a tincture, an oil-based cannabidiol, I’ve found a flavored product to be more palatable than an unflavored one. The unaltered tasted of CBD isn’t necessarily unpleasant, but it does have a more earthy flavor. Personal choice will dictate whether to flavor or not, but if you so choose, there are a wide variety of flavors available. My personal preference is peppermint flavored CBD.

For the first time user, it’s important to find the “sweet spot”. This is a term that relates to finding the exact timing, potency, and dosage that works best for your individual body. It may take several tries to find your personal sweet spot, but once you find it, you’ll know.

Overall, I highly recommend using cannabidiol to help with post-cancer health issues. Using CBD has helped me combat overall body pain, insomnia and anxiety. I have been extremely impressed with how it’s helped me cope with cancer PTSD, which affects me on a daily basis.

If interested in trying CBD, talk to your health care provider first. He or she may have recommendations that would benefit you and help reduce your time searching for the right product.

Since medical marijuana is still illegal in many states, CBD is the next best thing but without the mind-altering effects of THC. For some, especially those with stage 4 cancer or those in the end stages of life, medical marijuana may be available and offer a better fit. For those people, it’s important to talk to a doctor and obtain specific advice pertaining to that individual case.

Cannabidiol will remain a vital part of my post-cancer regimen. In the near future, I plan to try some of the other products available but for now, I’ll continue using the tincture. I don’t know who coined the phrase, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” but that advice seems pretty sound to me.

I hope you’ll consider giving CBD a try. If you do, please make sure to do your research. Choose a product that is third-party tested for purity. There are many products claiming to contain sufficient doses of CBD but, when tested, contain very little of the cannabinoid.

Key points for making your selection:

  • Talk to a doctor for recommendations pertaining to your case.
  • Choose a high quality, third party tested product.
  • Experiment with dosage until you find the sweet spot.
  • Enjoy relief from symptoms.

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional, nor do I purport to be. The information shared in this post is from my experience using CBD oil. It is up to each individual to consult a medical professional before beginning any new health regimen.

How to educate clients on CBD oil use

In 2012, marijuana was legalized in Colorado, and as discussions around smoking “weed” became less taboo, my clients began asking me about using it as a possible treatment for their dogs and cats. They were getting such great results with their personal anxiety, body aches and pains, and other conditions, and wanted to extend those same results to their pets.

At the time, I knew very little about marijuana or even cannabidiol (CBD). Soon, I noticed a trend with many of my patients being dosed with marijuana, either intentionally or accidentally. It was then when I began to educate myself about the cannabis plant in order to have informed discussions with clients about the pros and cons of its use in dogs and cats.

Both the hemp and marijuana plant have identical appearances, and both are classified as cannabis. The hemp plant is very low in tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) (less than 0.3 percent) and is high in other medicinal components called phytocannabinoids (CBD, cannabigerol [CBG], cannabinol [CBN], etc.). The marijuana plant is very high in THC and lower in the other phytocannabinoids. THC has psychoactive properties, which cause the infamous “high” when using marijuana, while most of the other phytocannabinoids like CBD do not.

There also are many legal differences between hemp and marijuana. Currently, marijuana is federally illegal, while hemp is federally legal. Many states have legalized both marijuana and hemp. THC continues to be a Schedule I substance, and is, therefore, illegal to prescribe in veterinary medicine. This may change in decades to come as we discover its therapeutic value in both people and animals.

There is a biological system we were not educated about in veterinary school called the endocannabinoid system. This is a neuromodulatory system composed of cannabinoid receptors, endogenous cannabinoids, and the enzymes responsible for the regulation of cannabinoids. This is the system the phytocannabinoids found in cannabis affect to influence inflammation, immune function, brain function, and mood.

Few studies have investigated the use of hemp extract in dogs, and there are no published studies investigating the therapeutic effects of hemp in cats. I discuss some of these studies in the below. I anticipate more studies will be completed as federal regulation of the plant continues to shift, and as more pet guardians continue to administer this herb to their pets.

Application/Case selection

Osteoarthritis. This application of hemp-derived CBD has been studied both at Colorado State University and Cornell University 1 for treating osteoarthritis in dogs. In my clinical experience, CBD is also effective in treating osteoarthritis in feline patients. I recommend starting with 0.5 mg/kg of CBD twice daily and increasing up to 2 mg/kg until desired effect is reached.

Anxiety. I have found hemp-derived CBD to be effective for mild to moderate anxiety in both cats and dogs. In cases of severe anxiety, CBD can be considered in conjunction with other therapies such as SSRIs, trazodone, clonidine, and other anti-anxiety medications.

Cancer. When clients receive a cancer diagnosis with a grave prognosis, they often turn to alternative therapies. As a holistic veterinarian, it is my opinion many of these therapies can be a waste of time and money. However, it is my experience CBD can be quite helpful for feline and canine cancer patients.

Hemp extract can improve nausea, increase appetite, decrease anxiety, and help relieve minor aches and pains. For my cancer patients, I begin with 1 mg/kg twice daily. It is important pet parents understand CBD is not effective as a stand-alone treatment for cancer or cancer pain. Until further investigation has been done, I recommend withdrawing CBD two days before radiation and chemotherapy treatments.

Seizures. This is perhaps the most popular use of CBD in dogs and cats. There has been one study performed at Colorado State University investigating the use of CBD in dogs with epilepsy, with promising results when using doses at 2.5mg/kg twice daily. 2

I have had very mixed results in practice with the use of CBD alone to treat seizures. If a patient has had seizures and the guardians do not elect to start anticonvulsants, I start with 1 mg/kg of CBD twice daily. For some patients, this will control seizures completely or achieve an acceptable seizure interval. I have used doses up to 3 mg/kg twice daily, but more data is needed to understand a true therapeutic dose.

It is important to educate clients about the many anticonvulsant options available and untreated seizures damaging to the brain. If at any time while trying CBD, my patient experiences cluster seizures, I recommend starting, adding, or adjusting doses of traditional anticonvulsants.

Owners who have their pets on several anticonvulsants may want to try CBD as a more natural approach. In these cases, I advise these guardians to add CBD in addition to their pets’ current anticonvulsant regimen. Many guardians are not aware of the risks when stopping anticonvulsants abruptly. If the CBD is proving effective, consider decreasing the seizure medication causing the most undesirable side effects.

Other applications. In my experience, there are very few downsides, beyond expense, to trying hemp-derived CBD for dogs and cats for a variety of ailments. I have had success with some kitties with chronic herpes virus symptoms, cats with inflammatory bowel disease, and atopic dogs.

Adverse reactions

I have seen very few adverse reactions in dogs and cats when using CBD in my practice. On rare occasions, I have seen hemp extract cause diarrhea and mild sedation.

The cannabis industry is growing, and hemp-derived CBD is becoming more available. As our clients continue to personally reap the benefits of this plant, they will likely desire equal benefits for their beloved pets.

As veterinarians, it is our job to educate ourselves to better advocate for our patients and clients. I encourage you to create an environment to allow your clients to safely inquire about anything from CBD to marijuana. A non-judgmental environment is the most effective way to educate your clients and to keep your patients safe.

SELECTING CBD

CBD isolate is available in a powder formulation and is more economical. However, CBD may not be as effective without the other phytocannabinoids and terpenes found in hemp extract. As we learn more, other phytocannabinoids such as CBG and CBN may be discovered to be more effective than CBD.

If you are selecting a CBD brand to sell or recommend, consider the following:

1) Certificate of Analysis (COA). Request a COA from the company to ensure the cannabis was grown organically and the extract does not contain traces of solvents. This COA also guarantees there is less than 0.3 percent of THC and the amount of other phytocannabinoids like CBD, CBG, and CBN are in reasonable amounts.

DOGS AND CATS CAN SHARE

Angie Krause, DVM, CVA, CCRT, owns Boulder Holistic Vet, where she focuses on using both Western medicine and holistic treatments. A certified veterinary acupuncturist and a certified canine rehabilitation therapist, Dr. Krause earned her DVM at Texas A&M University.