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In an analysis of 14 published studies (nine involving animals and five involving humans), scientists with the University of Montreal concluded that CBD showed promise in treating people with opioid, cocaine, or psychostimulant addiction.

Among the few human trials evaluating CBD’s anxiolytic effects was one published in the Brazilian Journal of Psychiatry in 2019. For this study, 57 men were given either CBD oil or a placebo before a public-speaking event. Anxiety was evaluated using physiological measures (such as blood pressure, heart rate, etc.) and a relatively reliable test for mood states known as the Visual Analog Mood Scale (VAMS).

Addiction

There is some evidence that CBD interacts with seizure medications such as Onfi (clobazam) and boosts their concentration in the blood. Further research is needed.

Here is just some of what the current evidence says.

Meredith Bull, ND, is a licensed naturopathic doctor with a private practice in Los Angeles, California.

Other CBD products are not FDA regulated and do not have officially recommended dosages. This can make it difficult to determine how much you might need, but there are some things you can consider that might help.

Some recent research has generated concerns over the safety and potential long term effects of CBD. One study involved giving mice an equivalent of the maximum dose of the CBD medication Epidiolex, which is used to treat certain forms of epilepsy. The results indicated an increased risk for liver damage as well as concerns over its interaction with other medications.  

Start With a Low Dose

Cannabidiol (CBD) is the second most abundant cannabinoid found in marijuana. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD does not have psychoactive effects. Interest in the use of CBD for health purposes has grown tremendously in the last few years.

Steven Gans, MD is board-certified in psychiatry and is an active supervisor, teacher, and mentor at Massachusetts General Hospital.

A 2019 comprehensive review published in The Lancet Psychiatry looked at previously published studies.   The review ultimately concluded that there was little evidence to support the use of CBD for mental health purposes and suggested that more research is needed in order to substantiate its use to treat symptoms of conditions such as anxiety, depression, and insomnia.