If you’re not already familiar with cannabidiol (CBD) oil, it is derived from marijuana and has been used to treat a variety of health problems, from anxiety to inflammation and everything in-between. Cannabidiol is pulled from the buds of hemp or marijuana plants; however, it does not contain a high percentage of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the compound that induces the “high” commonly associated with marijuana use. Also, it does not alter the appetite, blood pressure, body temperature, or heart rate in the way that recreational marijuana can. Basically, you can enjoy the health benefits of CBD without the psychoactive or physiological effects. In this article, we will be taking a closer look at microdosing and how it can further enhance the health benefits that already come with taking cannabidiol.
IS CANNABIDIOL SAFE?
Having already detailed the benefits that come with taking cannabidiol, let’s take a moment to address the question that is probably on the minds of those who have never taken it, is it safe? Well, the two cannabinoids that makeup cannabidiol, THC and CBD, have not been linked to significant health problems and does not induce toxicity in the body. It should also be noted that cannabidiol does not affect psychomotor and psychological functions. However, there are a few side effects worth noting including:
- Hypotension – Extremely high doses of cannabidiol have been associated with hypotension (low blood pressure), which is often accompanied by feelings of lightheadedness.
- Xerostomia – Similar to smoking marijuana, CBD can cause xerostomia (dry mouth) as it is known to inhibit the normal function of salivary glands in the mouth.
- Drowsiness – Although cannabidiol does produce a calming effect, it is also known to cause drowsiness, especially when taken in high doses.
- Lightheadedness– While hypotension normally leads to feelings of lightheadedness, cannabidiol can cause this effect with or without being accompanied by hypotension.
If you’re not familiar with microdosing as it relates to cannabidiol, it is the process of manipulating receptors as a means of gaining an optimal psychological response while taking the least amount of cannabidiol possible. Basically, the premise to get more for less. So does it work? Well, we need only look at the process of receiving a drug intravenously. The slow and consistent delivery of a drug removes the barriers to absorption, allows more of the medication to remain in the bloodstream longer. As far as cannabidiol is concerned, how one chooses to microdose can influence the overall effectiveness of the drug.
WHAT DOES CANNABIDIOL MICRODOSING ENTAIL?
While the effectiveness of CBD oil has been proven, microdosing is a relatively new concept. As such, there are no established protocols with regard to best practices as everyone has a unique endocannabinoid system. What does this mean in layman’s terms, you ask? Well, everyone absorbs and metabolizes drugs differently, cannabidiol is no different. Establishing the right microdosing protocol invariably comes down to trial and error. It should also be noted that there are multiple ways of taking cannabidiol, sublingually, orally, vaporizing, and smoking. Each of these options can alter the bioavailability when taking cannabidiol. So you are encouraged to choose an option that works best for you.
HOW TO TAKE CANNABIDIOL
When taking CBD tablets, they are not immediately absorbed into the bloodstream. In most cases, tablets can take several minutes to be dissolved in the stomach before they are ever absorbed. It is important to note that tablets are not fully metabolized by the liver on the first pass; the body receives only a fraction of the drug originally ingested, meaning that the remainder is expelled either in feces or urine. As such, the bioavailability of CBD oil when taken orally is less than 10 percent. However, it is possible to add carrier oils as a means of improving bioavailability. Some of the more common options include olive oil and hemp seed oils.
In addition to tablets, cannabidiol can also be administered sublingually by placing a few drops under the tongue. This process increases bioavailability as the oils are naturally attached to the mucous membranes in the oral cavity. In saying that, there are two things that you will need to be mindful of during this process. It is important to avoid swallowing the oil, and it should remain under the tongue for a minimum of 60 seconds for best results. That said, the bioavailability of cannabidiol, when administered sublingually, is nearly 100 percent.
For those who enjoy smoking cannabidiol, the average bioavailability is 15 to 20 percent. Needless to say, this is the method of choice for most people as it allows for quick absorption by the lungs. That said, it is a good idea to choose a CBD-rich strain of cannabis to achieve maximum results.
If you’re a fan of vaping, this option provides a bioavailability of 40 to 60 percent, and it is one of the more popular ways of ingesting CBD. Vaping is also a healthier alternative to smoking and can be done through the use of e-liquid pens and other portable devices, making it not only a more attractive option but also one that is convenient.
CAN YOU BECOME ADDICTED TO CANNABIDIOL?
Although the benefits of CBD oil have been well documented and highly extolled, many people have expressed concerns about the possibility of addiction. To help assuage some of your concerns, cannabidiol is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that does not attack the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the brain and nervous system. Beyond that, it does not produce the same levels of THC that is typical of recreational marijuana.
Basically, cannabidiol does not contain a high enough percentage of THC for anyone to become addicted to it. Also, the non-psychoactive effect further minimizes the probability of abuse. There is more to gain than there is to lose when it comes to cannabidiol. For example, instead of attaching to CB1 or CB2 receptors, cannabidiol attaches to GPR55 receptors, which is useful in resolving inflammation and reducing seizures.
In addition, it also interacts with TRPV1 receptors to help reduce pain symptoms. Beyond that, CBD is also great at combating depression and relieving stress when it comes into contact with 5-HT1A receptors. That said, the likelihood of becoming addicted to cannabidiol is very low, and the benefits that come with taking it are substantial.