But taking CBD can cause you to fail a drug screening if it simply tests “positive or negative” for the chemical and doesn’t measure the amount. So you might want to take a doctor’s note to your employer.
Today’s pot is much more potent than what was available decades ago. The average pot seized by law enforcement in 1995 had about 4 percent THC. Even that was 13 times the current legal amount in hemp.
That amount is minuscule. Even ridiculous, according to some hemp advocates who are pushing to increase the legal amount.
Industrial hemp grown in the United States since 2014 must limit the level of mood-altering Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol — a psychoactive compound better known as THC — to 0.3.
What hemp does offer is powerful cannabidiol oil, better known as CBD, extracted from the flower of the plant. For years, pain sufferers have touted its power to ease headaches, arthritis and other pain and inflammation. New research shows it has even lessened violent and potentially deadly seizures in children with a severe form of epilepsy.
It’s possibly the No. 1 question about hemp: Can you get high?
Hemp and marijuana are often confused.
CBD’s exact mechanism of action is unclear. Unlike THC, CBD has a relatively low affinity for cannabinoid receptors in the brain. These are the molecules to which THC binds to elicit its psychoactive effects.
CBD oil comes as full-spectrum oils or in forms that contain CBD isolates. Unlike isolates, which contain CBD only, full-spectrum oils contain a variety of compounds found naturally in the cannabis plant, including proteins, flavonoids, terpenes, and chlorophyll. Alternative practitioners believe these compounds offer more substantial health benefits, although there is no clear evidence of this.
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.
Part of this response could be explained by the way that CBD acts in the brain. In low doses, CBD may act as an agonist to several receptor sites, meaning it acts similarly to surrounding molecules that normally bind to the receptor, enhancing the signalling of those receptor sites. At higher doses, however, too much activity at the receptor site can lead to an opposite effect, negating the beneficial effects of CBD.
There is currently no known “correct” dose of CBD oil. Depending on individual needs and what is being treated, the daily dose may range between 5 and 25 mg.
These dosages are pretty standard in the consumer CBD industry and, per the research available, nowhere near the doses proven to be effective in clinical trials. NuLeaf Naturals, a prominent online CBD seller, sells 240 mg of oil for $38.50. It does not specify dosage but measures its CBD concentration in single drops; there are 100 drops per bottle, each containing 2.4 mg. You would have to take the entire bottle, according to Blessing, to get close to the absolute minimum dose that studies show might be effective for reducing anxiety. A $3 squirt of CBD oil on your ice cream or coffee? Probably right around 10 mg. You’d need 30 times that amount to get to the levels at which researchers have found stress-relieving results.
This is a weird Wild West time for CBD, and these companies are doing their best. They are not the norm. A potentially larger problem than dosage is the lack of accountability and dearth of information about the ingredients found in most CBD products sold across the country.
The dosages in consumer CBD products are very low
“If you use a tiny amount of psilocybin, it still does something,” says Blessing. “Microdosing with psilocybin still has effects biologically, but there isn’t any evidence that low doses of CBD, like 5 mg, do anything at all.” The only study I could find indicating that low doses of CBD have an effect concluded that a rare form of childhood epilepsy called Lennox-Gastaut syndrome is treatable using 10 mg of CBD. For anxiety in adults? Nothing.
CBD is derived by growing cannabis, drying it out, pulverizing it, and then, often, using a rotary evaporator filled with an ethanol solvent to extract the CBD. (There are some other methods, but the ethanol one is common.) It’s a pretty old and fairly low-tech technique, but it’s effective. What you end up with is, hopefully, about 99 percent pure CBD in the form of white powder, which is called CBD isolate. (Some CBD is billed as “full spectrum,” which means it contains other things from the cannabis plant, like a bunch of other cannabinoids, but there’s no formal definition for full spectrum.)
The exact legality of CBD is tricky. The Drug Enforcement Administration maintains that CBD is federally illegal but will not bother going after anyone for possessing or using it. Many argue that a provision in the 2014 farm bill allowing industrial hemp pilot programs, mostly aimed at the textile industry, actually made non-THC use of cannabis legal; while the much-delayed 2018 farm bill signed into law at the end of the year made industrial hemp legal nationwide, CBD has largely yet to be reclassified.