What to tell clients about taking cannabidiol oil
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the compounds known as cannabinoids that make up the marijuana plant.
Though present in the recreational drug at varying strengths depending on the strain, CBD extract is inert so doesn’t have any effect on the brain’s psychoactive receptors. Using CBD oil as a nutritional supplement doesn’t make users feel “high” and it is not addictive, stresses nutritionist and medical director of supplement provider Healthspan Dr Sarah Brewer, who has written extensively on it.
“Cannabidiol oil enhances the effects of other brain chemicals such as serotonin without stimulating the psychoactive receptors that are targeted by marijuana,” she explains. “There is a growing body of evidence that cannabidiol oil has direct effects on the brain to reduce pain perception, relieve anxiety and stress, improve sleep and lift mood; though because it is not approved as a medicine, manufacturers can’t make any claims.”
It’s available in capsules, chewable “gummies”, drops and oral sprays, but Brewer says many people prefer to take capsules, as the drops and sprays can taste strongly of hemp. Strengths tend to vary from 6.4mg one to three times daily, referred to as high strength, to 15mg once or twice daily, which is commonly deemed as super strength.
She adds: “It’s best to start with a low dose and slowly increase.” The quickest delivery methods are oral sprays or liquid drops – capsules are slow-release. In terms of topical options, whole skincare brands are available based on CBD oil, and CBD massages are becoming popular stateside.
“CBD is antioxidant and anti-inflammatory and is used to reduce skin outbreaks and irritation such as acne, eczema and psoriasis, to protect against premature skin ageing [caused by oxidative stress] and promote healing,” says Brewer.
Dr Sarah Brewer MSc (Nutr Med), MA (Cantab), MB, BChir, RNutr, MBANT, CNHC qualified from Cambridge University with degrees in Natural Sciences, Medicine and Surgery. She is a medical nutritionist and medical director of vitamin and supplement supplier Healthspan.