From Whoopi Goldberg using CBD for her Glaucoma to Michael J Fox talking about his CBD use to manage his Parkinson’s disease, celebrities from over the world have spoken about the health benefits of CBD.
Celebrities Advocating CBD
Cannabidiol — also known as CBD — is one of the multiple chemical compounds found in hemp (cannabis sativa) or marijuana plants. It is also known as medical cannabis, which is a broad term used to encompass any product, treatment, or medicine that includes cannabis-derived ingredients.
Over the last few years, CBD’s popularity has been on the rise as both preclinical and clinical studies have shown that CBD possesses a wide range of therapeutic properties.
This has led a large number of celebrities suffering from a wide range of physical and mental illnesses such as arthritis, cancer, glaucoma, Parkinson’s disease or anxiety, to become real advocates of CBD products. Some even, including Joe Rogan, Whoopi Goldberg, Montel Williams or Olivia-Newton John went even further and launched their own CBD brands.
In this article we look at 8 celebrities using CBD and go through the 9 effects and health benefits of CBD based on research papers and peer-reviewed studies. We also explain how CBD oil works and provide links to purchase high quality CBD oils we’ve tried and tested.
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CBD has been used by celebrities such as Whoopi Goldberg (Glaucoma), Michael J Fox (Parkinson’s disease), Joe Rogan (Anxiety & Muscle Recovery), Olivia Newton-John (Cancer), Morgan Freeman (Fibromyalgia), Sir Patrick Stewart (Arthritis), Jennifer Aniston (Anxiety) and Montel William (Multiple Sclerosis) to name just a few.
What is CBD?
Hemp vs Cannabis: What’s the Difference?
Different parts of the cannabis plant are either defined as hemp or as cannabis and marijuana.
- Hemp: hemp is the stalks, stems and sterilized seeds of cannabis sativa (“Cannabis Sativa” is the scientific Latin term that defines hemp, cannabis or marijuana plant species).
- Cannabis and Marijuana: the leaves, flowers and viable seeds of cannabis sativa.
The varieties of cannabis that are regulated, legal and available in the UK are those that produce less than 0.2 percent THC. And given the fact that most THC is in the flowers, CBD products are primarily made from hemp (stalks, stems and sterilized seeds of cannabis sativa) which contain very little THC and are safe to consume.
This is why CBD products are legal in the UK if they contain less than 0.2% THC.
Therapeutic Properties of CBD
CBD has many therapeutic properties, including:
- Analgesic: CBD relieves pain
- Antiarthritic: CBD relieves and prevents arthritic symptoms
- Antiemetic: CBD prevents nausea and vomiting (e.g. during migraine attacks or cancer treatment)
- Anti-Inflammatory: CBD reduces inflammation (redness, swelling, and pain) in the body
- Headache Disorders: CBD reduces the frequency and intensity of headaches and migraines
- Antidepressant: CBD reduces anxiety and depression
- Sleep: CBD helps fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night
- Muscle Recovery: CBD helps with muscle recovery
- Anticonvulsant & Neuroprotective: CBD prevents and reduces the severity of epileptic fits or other convulsions and protects nerve cells against damage, degeneration, or impairment of function.
Choosing CBD, is a natural way to reduce pain, keep anxiety under control, improve sleep or fight the side effects of cancer medication. Best of all, CBD does not have any of the major side effects of traditional drugs.
Products containing CBD come in many different forms, with the most common including CBD oils, CBD gummies, CBD capsules, CBD drinks, CBD vapes and a range of CBD edibles. Some forms are more fast-acting than others, some have different flavours, some contain differing proportions of CBD extract, and so on, so the type you choose depends entirely upon your personal preferences and the condition you wish to treat.
CBD is viewed as a safe alternative to cannabis. This safety is supported by the World Health Organisation (WHO), who stated in the CANNABIDIOL (CBD) Critical Review Report (June 2018) that:
“CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential … To date, there is no evidence of recreational use of CBD or any public health-related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.”
How Does CBD Work?
CBD products seem to possess a number of therapeutic properties, which have been relatively well-researched and are backed by various scientific research papers and double-blind studies. Whilst the health benefits will be varied, for example a CBD infused topical cream will interact with your body in a different to a CBD oil, it is good to understand that a lot of the health benefits of CBD come from its interaction with the endocannabinoid system.
What is the Endocannabinoid System?
The human body contains a specialized system called the ECS (the endocannabinoid system), which aims is to regulate a variety of functions such as sleep, appetite, inflammation, memory, mood, reproduction, pain and immune system response. The body also produces endocannabinoids, which are simply neurotransmitters that bind to cannabinoid receptors in your nervous system.
As the largest biological system of receptors in the body, the main role of the ECS is to maintain balance, or homeostasis, within the body.
For example, when you get a fever because of the flu. The ECS jumps into action to help you return to your normal healthy self. It does this by sending and reading signals with endocannabinoids, enzymes and receptors.
Endocannabinoids are produced naturally within the body as and when they are needed. Their purpose to keep natural function within the body running smoothly. So far, specialists have discovered 2 types of endocannabinoids:
- anandamide (AEA)
- 2-arachidonoylglyerol (2-AG)
When the endocannabinoids realise something has changed within your body, and it is no longer in a state of homeostasis, it travels to a receptor to inform it.
Endocannabinoid receptors have been discovered all over the body on cell surfaces and CBD is believed to interact with specific receptors, specifically the CB1R and CB2R.
CB1, which are located in various regions of the body, with a large concentration in the central nervous system and brain, co-ordinate mood, emotion, appetite, and other functions.
CB2, are more commonly found in the immune system and are responsible for controlling inflammation and pain.
CBD stimulates these receptors and induces the body to release serotonin. Serotonin, or 5-HT, is a neurotransmitter that carries signals from one neuron to the other. CBD increases the level of serotonin, which, in return, helps reduce pain, reduce inflammation in the body and possibly reduces the cramping experienced during period pain.
8 Celebrities Using CBD
A large number of celebrities have been using CBD products for personal health reasons and have talked extensively about the benefits they’ve experienced. These include.
Whoopi Goldberg – Glaucoma
The Sister Act actress is a well-known cannabinoid advocate and has used CBD for years in order to treat the pain caused by glaucoma, a common eye condition where the optic nerve, which connects the eye to the brain, becomes damaged. If not diagnosed early or left untreated, Glaucoma can ultimately lead to loss of vision.
She even went a step further when she and Maya Elisabeth started a CBD company called Maya & Whoopi in 2016 – to sell CBD oil, edibles, creams and more. Unfortunately the company stopped its operations a few years later, but Whoopi remains a huge advocate of CBD and medical cannabis.
Joe Rogan – Anxiety & Muscle Recovery
The comedian, UFC commentator and podcaster has spoken openly and extensively about the health benefits of CBD on his podcast ‘The Joe Rogan Experience’.
In one of his 2019 episode with Maynard James Keenan Joe said: “I think CBD is one of the best things I have tried for anxiety, because CBD does something to alleviate anxiety. CBD oil just puts you in a great place. Topical CBD is probably the best thing I have ever found to alleviate muscle stiffness and soreness.”
He went a step further and launched a CBD-infused energy drink in collaboration with beverage company, Kill Cliff. Joe Rogan’s energy drink is called “Flaming Joe” and contains up to 25gm of pure CBD derived from broad-spectrum hemp, meaning that it does not have any THC at all.
Olivia Newton-John – Cancer
The singer and actress Olivia Newton-John announced in 2017 that she had been diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer, which was a return of the breast cancer she battled in the 1990s.
In an interview, Olivia Newton-John said about CBD: “I’m going through my third bout cancer treatment, and medicinal cannabis has been so important for me. I absolutely believe all patients should have the right to try. It is a matter of common-sense, and it is a compassionate thing to do for people.”
Her husband, John Easterling, even went a step further and formulated its own medicinal cannabis to help his wife through her cancer journey. The unique formula, was recently acquired by CBD company Cann Global, which signed an agreement for the exclusive rights to the IP of the medical cannabis blends, called “Olivia’s Choice.”
Morgan Freeman – Fibromyalgia
The actor, director and narrator, who is known for his roles in movies such as The ShawShank Redemption, Se7ven, Invictus Nelson Mandela, Driving Miss Daisy or Million Dollar Baby revealed in an interview on a US talk show, how a near-fatal car crash in 2008 left him with extensive nerve damage in his hand and that he had been suffering from fibromyalgia for years, a painful condition whose symptoms include widespread pain, muscle stiffness and soreness, digestive issues, fatigue as well as sleeping difficulties and anxiety.
Freeman is an outspoken advocate for fibromyalgia awareness and revealed in an interview with Esquire Magazine, that he was not able to do certain activities anymore, such as sailing, due to his fibromyalgia.
The actor has been using CBD for his fibromyalgia to reduce inflammation and soothe his chronic pain and even said in an interview when asked about his CBD use: “Without this stuff, I’d be in trouble.”
Michael J. Fox – Parkinson’s Disease
The Back to the Future and Teen Wolf star was diagnosed with young-onset Parkinson’s disease in 1991, at only 29 years old. This progressive neurodegenerative disease, which occurs when brain cells that produce dopamine— the chemical in charge of coordinating movement— stops working, can cause muscle tremors, stiffness as well as slowness and balance problems.
Parkinson’s disease can have a devastating impact on one’s ability to get on with their daily life and lead to mental health problems such as depression.
Michael J Fox has been a long time advocate of medical marijuana and CBD oil to manage the symptoms linked to Parkinson’s disease. By raising the levels of dopamine in the body naturally, CBD reduces the involuntary shaking and muscle seizures linked to Parkinson’s disease, whilst at the same time lessening the pain experienced around sore joints.
The antidepressant properties of CBD have also helped Michael J Fox managed his anxiety and increase his mood levels.
He believes in medicinal cannabis so much his foundation – the Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF) – is doing its best to ensure that more people can get access to CBD by supporting three specific reform bills in the U.S., to make it easier for companies to pursue cannabis research, help veterans get access to cannabis and change the classification of cannabis to facilitate research efforts into potential benefits.
Sir Patrick Stewart – Arthritis
The English actor, director, and producer is known worldwide for his roles in movies such as X-Men, Logan, Macbeth or Star Trek. What is not well-known is the fact that Sir Patrick Stewart suffers from ortho-arthritis in both his hands. This genetically-based can cause badly badly distorted and painful hands.
To treat his symptoms and ease the pain, Sir Patrick Stewart was prescribed cannabis-based sprays and ointments by his doctor, which he uses to spray on his fingers and joints several times a day. By using CBD to relieve arthritic pain, Sir Patrick Stewart has been able to lead a more normal and pain-free life.
He is such an advocate of medicinal cannabis that he expressed concerns that access to medical cannabis is still difficult in the UK and urged the UK Government to relax prescription guidelines for medical marijuana so that people suffering from similar conditions could too enjoy the health benefits of CBD.
Jennifer Aniston – Stress & Anxiety
After years in the spotlight playing Rachel in U.S. sitcom Friends, Jennifer Aniston revealed that she had been suffering from anxiety and stress her whole life.
To help keep her anxiety under control, Jennifer Aniston turned to the calming effects of CBD oil and revealed in an interview with US Weekly that ‘CBD helps with pain, stress and anxiety. It has all the benefits of Marijuana without the high’.
Montel Williams – Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
A little over 20 years ago, Montel Williams, the American television host, actor and motivational speaker learned that he was suffering from relapsing-remitting MS, the most common form of the disease, in which worsening symptoms are followed by periods of remission.
Williams experiences “sharp and on-going neuropathic pain” in his feet and legs as well as random bouts of vision loss and muscle pain. Whilst the news left him depressed for months, Williams vowed to make fighting the neurodegenerative disease his life’s mission and that he would not allow MS to get the best of him.
Now in his 60’s, Williams is one of CBD’s most high-profile advocates and has spoken about the health benefits of CBD on numerous occasions.
He even launched is Montel Williams official CBD oil, a full spectrum CBD oil made directly from the cannabis plant to provide users with the full entourage effect of the plant.
When asked about his CBD consumption habits, Williams said, “I try to get at least 500 milligrams of CBD in my body per day, and I’ve noticed that my THC consumption has gone down. I haven’t needed it as much to deal with some of my ongoing struggle with MS, though I continue to use it on a day-to-day basis.”
9 Health Benefits of CBD
The benefits of CBD are vast and ever-growing. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has claimed that there is “preliminary evidence” to show that CBD could benefit up to 14 various illnesses including:
- Alzheimer’s disease, there are approximately 1,000,000 dementia sufferers, in the UK.
- Parkinson’s disease, which affects 1 in 350 adults, in the UK.
- Diabetes, there are expected to be more than five million sufferers, in the UK, by 2025.
The above illnesses have multiple symptoms of which many could benefit highly from the consumption of CBD. But the health benefits of CBD do not stop there. Below are 9 health benefits of CBD that have been backed by science.
CBD Can Relieve Pain
CBD has proven analgesic properties, meaning that it helps relieve pain. But how?
The human body contains a specialized system called the ECS (the endocannabinoid system), which aim is to regulate a variety of functions such as sleep, appetite, pain and immune system response. The body also produces endocannabinoids, which are simply neurotransmitters that bind to cannabinoid receptors in your nervous system.
CBD is believed to interact with specific receptors, specifically the CB1R and CB2R.
- CB1 receptors, which are located in various regions of the body, with a large concentration in the central nervous system and brain, co-ordinate mood, emotion, appetite, and other functions.
- CB2 receptors are more commonly found in the immune system and are responsible for controlling inflammation and pain. CBD stimulates these receptors and induces the body to release serotonin.
Serotonin, or 5-HT, is a neurotransmitter that carries signals from one neuron to the other. CBD increases the level of serotonin, which, in return, helps reduce pain, reduce inflammation in the body and possibly reduces the cramping experienced during period pain.
According to Researchgate, a study published in November 2019 shows improvement of physical discomforts such as headaches and various signs of physical pain. According to Teitelbaum J, there have been multiple studies showing patients found relief of menstrual pain, back pain, spinal pain, joint pain (e.g. arthritis) or fibromyalgia pain.
Furthermore, a 2018 review of the relevant research also reports that cannabis seems promising as a method of relieving pain, including pain from headaches and migraines.
CBD Can Reduce Arthritis Symptoms
CBD is known to have great antiarthritic properties, meaning that it helps relieve or prevent arthritic symptoms.
The two most common types of arthritis are:
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition wherein a person’s immune system attacks their joints, causing inflammation. It commonly affects the hands and feet and leads to painful, swollen, and stiff joints.
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition that affects joint cartilage and bones, causing pain and stiffness. It often affects the hip, knee, and thumb joints.
According to a poll conducted by the Arthritis Foundation, 29% of 2,600 patients with either osteoarthritis (52%) or rheumatoid arthritis (45%) for 10 or more years, stated using CBD in liquid or topical form to manage their arthritis symptoms, especially pain.
Of those using CBD, most reported improvement in physical function, sleep, and well-being:
- 67% reported improvement in their physical function
- Over 30% said it provided relief from morning stiffness and helped them to get moving
- 71% reported improvements in their ability to sleep
- Over 30% said it helped relieve symptoms of fatigue
But CBD also helped those suffering from arthritis improve their overall well-being, with people who used CBD reporting emotional and mental health benefits, in addition to relief of physical pain.
- 41% reported a better overall sense of well-being
- 77% reported a lower level of anxiety
- 67% reported effectiveness in improving depressed mood
From a research standpoint, while there are various studies suggesting CBD might be a promising approach, and animal studies showing anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects, well-designed studies demonstrating compelling evidence that CBD is effective for chronic arthritis pain in humans do not yet exist.
CBD Can Prevent Nausea & Vomiting
If your headaches make you feel nauseous or if you often end up vomiting during an attack, CBD may be able to help as it has been proven to have antiemetic properties, meaning it helps prevent vomiting.
This discovery has been particularly useful for cancer patients for whom CBD has been proven to not only help them reduce the symptoms and side effects of cancer medication and treatments, such as pain, nausea and vomiting.
In one study focusing on CBD extract and THC extract given to patients with intractable cancer-related pain, it was found that of the 177 people with cancer-related pain who did not experience the adequate relief from traditional pain medication, those treated with an extract containing both the CBD and THC compounds experienced a significant reduction in pain compared to those who received only THC extract. This would therefore suggest that CBD had a net positive effect when it comes to reducing pain in cancer patients.
A separate study also showed that cancer patients who suffered from the various side effects of chemotherapy – including nausea and vomiting – experienced little relief from traditional anti-emetic treatments. Patients suffering from chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) were administered a one-to-one combination of CBD and THC via mouth spray. The results showed that chemotherapy-related nausea and vomiting symptoms were reduced in comparison to standard treatment alone.
Both of these studies would support the fact that CBD has antiemetic properties which could apply to migraine sufferers.
CBD Can Reduce Inflammation
If you suffer from inflammation, be it acute inflammation which is short-lived and usually goes away within hours or days, or chronic inflammation which is long-lasting and goes on for months or even years, then you may be happy to hear that CBD has been proven to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Whilst inflammation is necessary to protect the body, inflammation and oxidative stress are involved in many diseases such as cancer, diabetes or asthma.
According to several studies between 2009 and 2021, CBD is able to reduce inflammation via its interaction with the endocannabinoid system, especially the CB2 receptors.
A 2020 review published on the National Centre for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) website, shows that CBD has been shown to affect redox balance by modifying the level and activity of both oxidants and antioxidants, interrupting free radical (unstable atoms that can damage cells, causing illness and aging) chain reactions, and transforming them into less active forms.
Based on the current research results, the possibility of using CBD for the treatment of chronic inflammation diseases such as diabetes, diabetes-related cardiomyopathy, cardiovascular diseases (including stroke, arrhythmia, atherosclerosis, and hypertension), cancer, arthritis, anxiety, psychosis, epilepsy, neurodegenerative disease (i.e. Alzheimer’s) and skin disease is being considered.
CBD Can Reduce Headaches & Migraines
The results of a 2016 study indicate that medical cannabis may reduce the frequency of headaches and migraines. The study found that the frequency of headaches decreased from 10.4 to 4.6 headaches per month with the use of medical cannabis (of which CBD is a component). These positive effects were reported by 40% of patients with the most common effects reported being the prevention of headaches and the decreased frequency of headaches.
CBD Can Reduce Anxiety & Depression
There is evidence suggesting that CBD is a viable antidepressant has been recognized for its ability to reduce the symptoms of anxiety disorders and depression.
But how? To understand the role CBD can play in reducing anxiety and depression, it is important to understand the crucial role brain chemistry plays, especially in relation to the hippocampus and the amygdala.
- Hippocampus: The hippocampus is a complex part of the brain that plays a major role in cognitive and emotional functions. There is increasing evidence showing that adult hippocampal neurogenesis – the process by which the hippocampus regenerates thanks to neural stem cells producing new neurons – helps reduce stress and anxiety by boosting the endocrine response. Put it simply, people with attenuated (reduced) hippocampal neurogenesis are more likely to develop anxiety-related behaviours.
- Amygdala: The amygdala is a collection of cells near the base of the brain (there is one in each side of the brain) that is part of the brain’s limbic system. It is the area of the brain where emotions are given meaning and remembered. Research has shown that people who suffer from depression will experience a hyper-active amygdala.
CBD helps to ease the symptoms of anxiety, stress and depression by regulating the functions of the hippocampus and the amygdala, and therefore their effects on how our brain processes potentially anxiety ridden information or situations.
How does CBD help?
CBD has been proven to increase cerebral blood flow to areas of the brain associated with memory processing, specifically the hippocampus. The findings identify a potential mechanism for the use of CBD to treat disorders associated with altered memory processing, including Alzheimer’s disease, PTSD, and schizophrenia.
Put it simply, a single dose of cannabidiol (CBD) helped increase blood flow to the hippocampus, an important area of the brain associated with memory and emotion, which means that CBD has been proven by several scientists and medical professionals to help smooth the cognitive processes of this part of the brain.
According to Dr Michael Bloomfield from UCL: “Cannabidiol is one of the main constituents of cannabis and is gaining interest for its therapeutic potential. There is evidence that CBD may help reduce symptoms of psychosis and anxiety as well as improve memory function. Additionally, CBD changes how the brain processes emotional memories, which could help to explain its reputed therapeutic effects in PTSD and other psychiatric disorders.”
These finding have been backed by double blind studies where on different occasions, separated by at least a week, each participant was given a 600mg of oral CBD or a placebo. The doses came in identical capsules, so participants did not know which one they were taking on which occasion.
Researchers measured blood flow to the hippocampus using ‘arterial spin labelling’ – an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) brain scanning technique which measures changes in the blood oxygen levels.
CBD significantly increased blood flow in the hippocampus, however CBD did not cause significant differences in blood flow in other regions of the medial temporal lobe (MTL), of which the hippocampus is a significant component.
In the prefrontal cortex, the area of the brain used for planning and decision making, CBD caused a significant increase in blood flow in the orbitofrontal cortex.
This supports the view that CBD has region-specific blood flow effects in the human brain, which would help with conditions such as depression, stress and anxiety.
In a double-blind study in Brazil, 57 participants received either CBD oil or a placebo 90 minutes before they underwent a simulated public speaking event. The researchers found that a 300-mg dose of CBD was the most effective at significantly reducing anxiety during the event.
Since one of the buy-products of CBD consumption is an increased blood flow in the hippocampus as well as in the orbitofrontal cortex, researchers assume that CBD essentially helps repair damage in both these areas caused by the symptoms of depression and anxiety.
CBD Can Improve Sleep
If you struggle to get a good night’s sleep, you may be happy to hear that CBD could help you fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night.
There is extensive research on the effectiveness of CBD oil when used to treat insomnia and improve sleep.
CBD works with the human body to increase calm, decrease stress, and lower anxiety levels. These responses indirectly improve your sleep. In the 1990s, researchers confirmed the body has an endocannabinoid system or ECS. Researchers have only found a link between the cannabinoids found in hemp with the ECS, making it an unusual reaction.
The ECS is a complex cell-signalling system consisting of endocannabinoids, cannabinoid receptors, and enzymes. Scientists believe it plays many roles, including maintaining balance in the body. When it comes to sleep, the ECS helps regulate sleep and sleep cycles. Also, relating to sleep, a potential function is boosting anandamide to reduce depression and anxiety.
The cannabinoid receptors interact with endocannabinoids and cannabinoids. The CB1 is located in the nervous system and brain. Additionally, the CB2 is found mostly in the immune system and most organs.
A recent surge in scientific publications has found preclinical and clinical evidence documenting value for CBD in some neuropsychiatric disorders, including epilepsy, anxiety, and schizophrenia. Evidence points toward a calming effect for CBD in the central nervous system.
In 2019, a large case series was published in the Permanente Journal about CBD’s calming effects on the central nervous system. The studies showed patients taking CBD saw lower anxiety levels, experienced less stress, and slept better at night. Additionally, most participants experienced no or few side effects.
CBD Can Help With Muscle Recovery
When you exercise, especially when it is a strenuous workout or an exercise involving an eccentric component, it causes damage to what is known as the skeletal muscle myofibrils, the long filaments that run parallel to each other to form muscle (myo) fibers.
This exercise-induced muscle damage – known as EIMD – reduces muscle function and initiates an inflammatory response. Whilst this inflammation is a natural process required for muscle damage to repair, excessive inflammation can contribute to prolonged muscle soreness and delay your recovery.
According to a 2020 study looking at the link between CBD and Sports Performance, CBD regulates inflammatory processes, meaning that it has been reported to:
- Stimulate the production of anti-inflammatory cytokines
- Reduce immune cell accumulation (less immune cells means lower inflammatory response)
- Impede the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), reactive molecules and free radicals derived from molecular oxygen which can cause irreversible damage to DNA as they oxidize and modify cellular components and prevent them from performing their original functions.
According to the same study, a high dose of CBD also lead to improvements in muscle strength and coordination, as well as reductions in tissue degeneration.
Whilst more studies need to be carried out to determine the exact benefits of CBD when it comes to muscle recovery and sports performance, it is not surprising to see lots of sportsmen and women who use CBD around the world.
Boxer Mike Tyson, British Rugby players, Dom Day and George Kruis and World Strongest Man 2017, Eddie Hall are a few of the known sportsmen who supplement CBD into their recovery programmes.
However, it is worth noting that whilst CBD is a natural substance it is not banned by the UK Anti Doping Agency, THC is on the banned list. So professional athletes looking to use CBD should always take broad-spectrum CBD oil or CBD isolate and avoid full-spectrum CBD.
CBD Can Prevent Seizures
CBD appears to have neuroprotective and anticonvulsant properties, meaning that it helps protect nerve cells against damage and helps prevent or reduce the severity of epileptic fits or other convulsions.
This is particularly interesting for patients suffering from neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis, epilepsy or children with Dravet syndrome.
Researchers believe that CBD can act on the ECS (the endocannabinoid system) as well as other brain signalling systems to provide benefits to those patients and early studies show promising results.
When it comes to MS (multiple sclerosis), an oral spray called Sativex and consisting of CBD and THC has been proven to be an effective way to reduce muscle spasticity (muscle spasms) in patients. The study found that Sativex reduced spasms in 75% of patients with MS who were experiencing muscle spasticity and for which traditional medications were not working.
When it comes to Epilepsy and according to the Epilepsy Society, medical cannabis has been proven to reduce the number of seizures in patients suffering from epilepsy.
Three separate double-blind randomised controlled trials of pure CBD (CBD isolate) in children and young people with epilepsy have shown a reduction in the number of monthly seizures experienced by patients compared to those that received placebos. Additional studies have shown that it may also have an anti-epileptic effect in the epilepsies in general, not just in children and young adults.
As for patients suffering from Dravet syndrome, a complex epilepsy disorder experienced by children, it was found that children with severe epilepsy who were given between 0.9–2.3 grams of CBD oil per pound of body weight, saw a median reduction of their seizures of 36.5%.
How to Take CBD?
CBD can be consumed in may different ways and concentration will often vary from one product to another, so be sure to read the following.
CBD oil is the most common way of getting your daily dose of CBD.
However, whilst this is the most popular way to consume CBD, CBD oil often has a more earthy, nutty, woody or grass-like taste which is down to the fact the product is natural, safe, and non-toxic.
You can use CBD oil in different manners.
You can either place a few drops under the tongue and hold it there for 30 to 60 seconds. This way of consuming CBD – called sub-lingual. This is one of the best ways to get it absorbed into the bloodstream as this method allows CBD to completely bypass the digestive system and liver metabolism, so the compounds can avoid being broken down by enzymes and reach the bloodstream more quickly. This offers the quickest relief with an onset of 20 minutes or less.
For those who feel the earthy or grassy taste of CBD is too strong, another option is to mix it with a food or a drink to mask the taste. However, be aware that when you digest CBD, it will not provide immediate relief and you may need to wait 30 to 60 minutes for it to start working.
If the earthy and grassy taste of CBD oil or its sharp and bitter aftertaste is not for you, you may want to choose CBD capsules to experience all the benefits of CBD without any of the nasty taste or additives that gummies may contain (such as sugar).
CBD capsules are filled with a precise dose of CBD (usually between 10mg and 50mg of CBD per capsule). You can take one or two capsules, once or twice daily with a full glass of water. The CBD usually comes from full-spectrum (<0.01% THC) ground hemp and is rich in cannabinoids and terpenes. However, seeing as CBD capsules go through the digestive system, they take about an hour or so to work.
Choosing capsules is a great way to get your CBD intake and it’s incredibly travel friendly, the ideal solution for those who are always on the go.
For consumers who aren’t comfortable using the sublingual drops or those who struggle to swallow capsules, the CBD-infused chewy candies are a yummy way to consume the hemp extract.
Using CBD gummies is also an easy and accurate way of measuring that you are getting the right amount of CBD as each gummy will provide you with an exact dose of CBD (from 10mg to 50mg).
Unlike CBD oil which acts within 20-30 minutes as it gets absorbed into the blood stream, the onset for CBD gummies is about an hour as edibles need to go through the digestive system.
Finally, remember that gummies tend to contain additional ingredients – including sugar and additives. So whilst gummies are a convenient way to get your daily intake of CBD to treat your pain, eating 3-5 gummies each day could have a negative impact on your overall sugar intake! This isn’t always ideal and for that reason, we would always recommend going for CBD oil or CBD capsules whenever possible.
Whilst the team at CBD Unboxed isn’t pro-smoking or pro-vaping, using a vape and inhaling CBD appears to be a great way to get your daily dose of CBD as the heating process occurring whilst smoking increases absorption.
How? By smoking CBD, the active compounds quickly enter the bloodstream via the lungs where they are transported throughout the body. Compared to oral intake such as gummies and capsules, vaping avoids the liver breaking down many of CBD’s beneficial compounds which enhances its potency.
Also, unlike edibles which often contain additional ingredients, the only two ingredients present in CBD vapes and vape juices tend to be cannabinoids and terpenes, natural substances commonly found in herbs, fruits, flowers and plants.
Whilst this seems a great way to get your daily CBD intake, we cannot comment on its use or efficacy as we have not tried vaping products and most research papers to this day have focused on CBD oil.
How Much CBD Should I Consume?
CBD doesn’t have one-size-fits-all dosing and calculating a proper dosage of CBD can be tough as our bodies react to it differently.
The four major factors affecting your CBD dosage are:
- Your weight
- The condition being treated (i.e. depression, chronic pain etc)
- The severity of your condition
- The concentration of CBD oil
Most brands recommend customers start with the lowest dose and increase until they find the right serving size that fits their needs. The most common starting amount is between 10mg and 25mg. For anxiety and depression, the dose can vary from 20mg to 50mg or more.
As a rule of thumb, a person weighting between 10.5 and 17 stones (approximately 150 and 240 lbs) may need between 18mg and 27mg of CBD per day depending on the severity of their symptoms.
When using CBD for the first time, we would always recommend starting with a one of two drops of the 3% or 6% CBD oil placed under the tongue (sublingual) and holding it there for at least 30 seconds so it can absorb into the bloodstream.
Taking it first thing in the morning on an empty stomach to see how your body reacts to it is also recommended. If you are not seeing any major benefits with a single drop, increase your intake by a single drop every 2 or 3 days until finding the right balance to treat your personal symptoms.
How to calculate the number of drops needed to achieve my targeted CBD intake?
Whilst it may be confusing at the beginning, it’s incredibly simple to work out how many drops of CBD oil you need to take depending on your daily requirements and the strength of the product you bought.
Most bottles of CBD oil contain 10ml of product and come in strengths ranging from 300mg to 2,400mg – also known as 3% and 24% CBD oils. This simply means that in a 1ml drop of the 300mg bottle, you will have 30mg of CBD, whilst the same 1ml of the 2,400mg bottle will give you 240mg of CBD.
How Many CBD Drops Should You Take?
Whilst it may be confusing at the beginning, it’s incredibly simple to work out how many drops of CBD oil you need to take depending on your daily requirements and the strength of the product you bought.
Most bottles of CBD oil contain 10ml of product and come in strengths ranging from 300mg to 2,400mg – also known as 3% and 24% CBD oils. This simply means that in a 1ml drop of the 300mg bottle, you will have 30mg of CBD, whilst the same 1ml of the 2,400mg bottle will give you 8 times that amount for a total of 240mg of CBD.
So assuming you need to hit 25mg of CBD per day with, you will need:
|CBD / Bottle||CBD / Drop||# Drops|
Assuming you are using the 500mg CBD oil for a daily dose of 25mg, you will need to take approximately 20 drops per day (25mg divided by 1.25mg per drop). You could break this down throughout the day by taking 8 drops first thing in the morning on an empty stomach, 6 drops early afternoon and 6 drops at night before going to bed.
If however you bought the 2400mg CBD oil for a daily dose of 25mg, you would only need to take 4 drops per day (25mg divided by 6mg per drop), which you could also spread across the day – 2 in the morning, one in the afternoon and one in the evening.
As with everything, start with a small amount of CBD oil daily to make sure there’s no reaction, then increase slowly by a drop every 1-2 days until finding the right balance.
What are the Side Effects of CBD?
Most people do not experience any side effects when taking CBD as this is a natural product. However, as with everything, some people may experience mild side-effects from the hemp extract, including:
- Changes in appetite and weight
The best way to decrease adverse reactions is to simply lower your daily intake of CBD, or if taking CBD oil under the tongue, to mix it with your food and drink as it will be processed by the digestive system – which means slower absorption. The downside of mixing it with your food is a decreased bioavailability so CBD may not work as well for you.
Top 5 CBD Oils
With over 150 CBD brands on the market, it can be difficult to choose the right CBD product. This is why the CBD Unboxed team has tried and tested most CBD products and brands available in the UK market and assessed them across 6 key areas:
- Value for Money
- Third Party Certification
- Shipping & Delivery
Based on our findings and whilst every person will be different, we would recommend the below five CBD oils to start with.
Take the CBD Quiz
Still unsure what product is best for you? Take our CBD Quiz to find out which CBD product, brand and strength is best suited to your personal needs.