The CBD industry is booming right now in the United States—and for good reason.
In just the very short amount of time it has been available for legal purchase and consumption, third-party researchers have collected a wealth of information that positively links CBD to the human body’s natural Endocannabinoid System (ECS) receptors. A growing body of evidence suggests that for this reason, taking CBD regularly can support healthy sleep, provide relief from stress-induced inflammation, and promote an overall sense of calm and wellbeing.* Despite these scientific health claims, some people taking CBD have reported being unable to see the immediate and long-term benefits. If this has been your experience, this article will help you understand the five major factors that can impact CBD’s effects and how you can adjust your buying and dosing approach to experience better results.
Factor 1: When it comes to buying and taking CBD, quality matters.
Short for cannabidiol, CBD is derived from the hemp, or cannabis, plant. This powerful, naturally-occurring plant has been shown to contain high levels of protein, vitamin E, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, magnesium, sulfur, calcium, iron, and zinc. Unlike products marketed as hemp oil or hempseed oil, CBD oil is extracted from hemp’s dense and nutrient-rich flowers, stalks, and leaves using a cold-filtration process that is safe for the environment and designed to preserve the hemp plant’s natural cannabinoids and other beneficial compounds. It’s a sad fact, however, that not all CBD oils on the market are created equal. In fact, studies have revealed that even some popular oils on the market contain little to no CBD! Quality CBD oils, like those we make at The Happy Camper, start with pure, organic cannabis sourced from only the most reputable farms in the state of Colorado. We use the industry’s top-standard equipment and processes to extract the botanical oils. As you’re shopping around for CBD products, take a close look at each company’s website and label—and make sure the Certificate of Analysis, or COA, is easy to find. The COA is a statement of test results by a third-party evaluator, verifying that the ingredients and information on the product label is accurate and that the product does not contain harmful levels of molds, heavy metals, pesticides, or other dangerous substances.
Factor 2: There is no one-size-fits-all dosage when taking CBD oil.
Just like caffeine or any other naturally-occurring supplement, the amount of CBD you take and the frequency at which you take it is important. Unfortunately, since CBD is still in its infancy and not yet widely promoted by doctors and other healthcare professionals, too many people are relying on word of mouth advice from friends and family members when it comes to dosing with CBD. The problem with this is that every human body is different, and we all metabolize certain products differently. The first step is to identify the results you’re hoping to see. Are you interested in taking CBD oil because you’ve heard it can help with things like digestion, pain mood, and immune-response? If so, it’s important to pay close attention to those attributes once you’re several weeks into a regiment of taking the recommended package dosage at the same time every day.
While there is plenty of research to support the fact that CBD is safe even in large doses, you may actually need to decrease the amount of CBD you are taking in order to see desired results for managing things like digestion, pain mood, and immune-response. Some studies have shown that taking smaller amounts can actually help the endocannabinoid system respond accurately given your unique age, weight, body chemistry, metabolism, and genetics. At The Happy Camper, we advocate for a “start low and go slow” approach to taking CBD. If you’ve tried various CBD products and they aren’t working for you, we recommend starting with as little as 5mg taken once daily, and slowly increase both dosage and frequency until you begin experiencing noticeable benefits.
Factor 3: Confusing information about CBD oil can lead to unrealistic expectations.
As previously discussed, the CBD industry is still in its infancy. It will take some time before we as a society fully embrace the potential of taking CBD as part of a holistic approach to health and wellbeing. But that doesn’t stop non-reputable companies from pumping information out into the marketplace—and unfortunately, much of that information is misguided, biased, or simply untrue. One major fallacy we see repeatedly from questionable providers in the CBD market is that it will start working immediately. While this is true for some people, it is certainly not true for everyone. For some people, CBD can take days or weeks to begin working optimally with their unique chemistry. Before you begin taking a CBD product, be sure to exercise patience and don’t expect immediate results or impact on issues such as poor sleep or occasional anxiety.
Factor 4: CBD can interact with certain medications.
As any respected healthcare provider will tell you, it’s important to pay attention to all the medications and other products you’re taking simultaneously. Early research tells us, for example, that taking CBD with other medications—such as antidepressants, antipsychotics, and benzodiazepines, as well as some antibiotics and heart medications—can alter or lessen the effects on CBD on the conditions you’re specifically targeting. If you are taking any of these medications, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t introduce CBD into your wellness routine. But you should consider spacing out the time between taking CBD and your other medications. Additionally, you can ensure more effective absorption by taking CBD with peanut butter, avocado, or another food that’s rich in healthy fats.
Factor 5: You may be taking CBD in the wrong format.
Finally, consider the format in which you are using CBD, comes in a wide range of topical ointments, capsules, tinctures, gummies, and more. Since different products are designed for different applications, it might even be necessary to try a combination of more than one CBD product to experience desired outcomes. For example, if you’re targeting joint pain as well as alleviating stress, you may want to try a topical cream for the former and a CBD oil tincture for the latter. Our best advice as you begin trying the full range of CBD products on the market is to keep a journal each day that outlines your basic routine. Document the type and time of day you’re taking CBD, as well as any changes in mood, pain levels, digestion, and overall feelings of wellness and balance. This will help to easily gauge your progress and adjust dosage, frequency, and format as necessary to achieve your desired outcome.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.