KNOW YOUR CBD: Helpful Tips for Beginners

Introduction

“That stuff doesn’t work,” comes the all-too-common complaint from people who’ve tried cannabidiol, or CBD, the non-psychoactive compound found in certain strains of cannabis.

CBD does work: research suggests the compound can relieve pain and inflammation, reduce anxiety, and even fight cancer, and that’s why sales of CBD-infused extracts, tinctures, topicals and edibles are booming. In an article published by Forbes, The Hemp Business Journal estimated that the CBD market will grow to a $2.1 Billion market in consumer sales by 2020, with $450 million of those sales coming from hemp-CBD based sources. That’s a 700% increase from 2016. But for many lesser-educated consumers, cannabidiol is still poorly understood, often because it’s commonly consumed in forms that contain THC, and therefore hard to distinguish from garden variety cannabis.

Is CBD by itself  a panacea, or an overhyped placebo? Frogsong Farm, a sustainable hemp farm in Woodburn, Oregon, is one of a handful of cultivators focusing extensively on CBD-only products. We’ve put together a guide for understanding and successfully using CBD.

Here’s the how-to:

Heat It

In its raw plant form, cannabis contains acidic compounds called THCa and CBDa. These are the precursors to their more bioavailable counterparts, THC (the compound known to produce euphoria, or “head high” commonly associated with marijuana) and CBD (A medicinal cannabinoid found in hemp, marijuana, hops, lichen, and certain evergreen trees). In order for the body to fully access these cannabinoids, they must be decarboxylated. The most common way to “decarb” is by heating. This can be done through cooking, smoking, or vaporizing. Find out if the CBD supplement you’re using is “raw” or “active.” While some medical conditions may improve by using the raw plant form CBDa, most people reap greater benefit from active, bioavailable CBD. This is essential to understand, especially for folks wishing to experiment with homemade CBD products. Raw flowers must be heated correctly for maximum effectiveness.

At Frogsong Farm, we do this step for you. The CBD extract in all our products is already decarboxylated and ready for the body to utilize.

Find Your Dosage

There is no established recommended daily allowance of CBD. There is also no known overdose level. CBD is only approved federally for use as a nutritional supplement. This leaves consumers unsure of how much to take. 10-40 mg per day is a starting point for the average consumer looking for wellness benefits like mental clarity, improved sleep, relief from arthritis and chronic pain, and reduced inflammation. For sleep disorders, 40-160 mg are often used. On the other hand, epilepsy and schizophrenia treatment can range from 200-1,200 mg/day. Body weight, cannabinoid sensitivity, and desired results should all be considered. They key is to experiment.

Start low, go slow. Choose a dose and time(s) of day, and do it consistently for 7-10 days. After that time, the endocannabinoid system will be primed and dosage can be adjusted as needed.

Remove Variables

For those wanting to understand their body’s response to CBD, it’s best to isolate it from mind-altering amounts of THC. The psychoactive effects of THC can make it difficult to distinguish CBD’s more subtle effects on mood, relaxation, and stress response. Research has shown a synergistic effect between CBD and THC, leading some consumers to avoid using non-psychoactive or hemp-derived CBD supplements altogether. However, it’s important to know that most whole-plant CBD extracts still contain trace amounts of THC, which, while not enough to get you high, can still complement the body’s response to CBD.

Most medical marijuana experts recommend using whole-plant extracts, which contain a broad array of cannabinoids, terpenes, and phytochemicals working together in what’s known as the “Entourage Effect.” THC and CBD tend to reduce one another’s side effects, resulting in a more effective and pleasant experience overall. But the notion that CBD is ineffective without THC is incorrect.

Frogsong Farm makes broad spectrum, whole-plant CBD extracts, in keeping with our commitment to honoring the earth and its inherent wisdom. Stay tuned for future posts about the Entourage Effect and why broad spectrum is preferable to CBD isolate.


Consider Delivery Method

There are many ways to consume CBD, and the ideal method will depend on an individual’s symptoms. Topical products are best for localized pain management, as in arthritis, nerve pain, muscle tension and athletic injuries. Topical CBD does not enter the bloodstream. Instead, it penetrates into the skin and activates local endo-cannabinoid receptors responsible for mediating pain perception, inflammation, and body temperature. Applying a CBD salve or lotion can relieve pain and stiffness in as little as 5-10 minutes. Products can be reapplied as needed.

Ingesting CBD also has its benefits. Sublingual and edible are the two common ways to use CBD internally. When cannabidiol is eaten, whether in a smoothie, a handful of gummies, or a bottle of kombucha, it enters the digestive system. Please note that up to 60% of CBD can be lost during digestion. This is why we promote sublingual CBD oil: its first points of contact are the highly absorbent blood vessels beneath the tongue and in the throat. From there, the rest can be digested and utilized within the body. Results set in more slowly with internal consumption (as anyone who has experimented with edibles can tell you.) Within 1-2 hours the CBD has entered the bloodstream via the small intestine and is activated throughout the body. For treatment of widespread pain and inflammation, as well as anxiety, depression, neurological disorders and sleep issues, internal use of CBD is recommended. This is the most researched method and considered most effective.

Bottom line: Topical CBD is faster-acting and provides localized relief, while ingestible CBD is slower-acting and offers generalized relief.

Know What To Expect

Our culture is intimately familiar with stimulants and depressants of all types. We know how different substances affect our bodies and brains, and how and when to dose to get the desired effects. Even many herbal remedies have noticeable mind- and body-altering effects. CBD is different. Consider it a reset button. CBD works by promoting homeostasis throughout the brain and body. CBD is a balancer. Those with anxiety may feel calmer. Those with depression may feel lifted. Insomnia is replaced with rest. Mental fog turns into alertness and clarity. Or put another way: CBD removes barriers to wellbeing so the mind and body can find optimal function.

This is an important distinction. CBD will not cause a person to feel unnaturally relaxed, wired, or giddy. At a time when many of us swing from one high to another, CBD provides an opportunity to feel grounded, balanced, and unaltered.

Bonus Tip: Know What You’re Getting

The “Green Rush” has a dark side. Put plainly, there are scores of scammers hoping to cash in on the CBD buzz, especially in the online market. This means the market is flooded with knockoffs, toxic contaminants, and multi-level marketing companies spouting misinformation and half truths. A 2017 study by Penn State found that nearly 70% of all cannabidiol products sold online were mislabeled.  This has serious health implications, especially for buyers with health conditions requiring a certain dosage for management of symptoms. Only buy from reputable companies that are willing to provide a certificate of analysis (COA) from third party lab testing. Be sure that the milligrams of CBD per dose, and per container, is clearly labeled and easy to understand.

Choose companies with clear answers, honest customer reviews, easily accessible lab testing, and preferably a trustworthy farmer who you can see face to face!  There are too many good CBD options to settle for anything less than excellence.

Still have questions? Let’s connect! Find Frogsong Farm on Facebook, Instagram, or send us an email. If you enjoyed this post, be sure to sign up for our email list (scroll to the bottom of our website) to be notified about future content!

Peace, Love & CBD
Becca Recker & the Frogsong Farm Family

18 thoughts on “KNOW YOUR CBD: Helpful Tips for Beginners

  1. Ellie Davis says:

    I didn’t know that CBD could help with anxiety. My sister has been suffering from extreme anxiety and I think she should try some hemp oil. I’ll have to look into finding the best supplier in our area to get some for her from.

    • Becca Recker says:

      Hi Ellie! Yes, as a matter of fact that’s what I personally use CBD oil for. Be sure to look for full spectrum, and preferably farm direct, with at least 10 milligrams per dose. Did you know we have free shipping to all fifty states? We’d recommend the DropsPlus tincture for someone dealing with anxiety. It takes about 7-10 days of taking it consistently to gauge effects, and then she can adjust from there. We also have a satisfaction guarantee. You can order directly from our web store if you’re so inclined. (frogsongfarm.com/shop) Thanks for stopping by! Here’s an article about CBD for anxiety and also PTSD and addition. Exciting research emerging!-Becca https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2018/04/23/604307015/anxiety-relief-without-the-high-new-studies-on-cbd-a-cannabis-extract

  2. Hazel Owens says:

    That’s good to know that 10-40 mg per day is a good dosage to start out with since there isn’t a limit of how much or how little to take. My cousin has been dealing with arthritis since she was in her late 20’s so I’m trying to look for something that could help with the pain. Using CBD oil seems like it’d be very helpful so we’ll have to find where she can get some and make sure she starts with 10-40 mg to see how that works.

    • Becca Recker says:

      Hi Hazel, good to hear from you! Wow, arthritis is a pain to deal with at any age, but especially as early as the 20’s. If it’s localized (say in hands or knees), have her try out our Rubbit 500 salve. A little goes a long way and it kicks in within about 10 minutes. Arthritis is one of the most common uses for our topical salves. We ship to all fifty states and have a satisfaction guarantee. Thanks for checking us out!

  3. Sam Li says:

    I like the emphasis you made on CBD oil only being federally approved as a nutritional supplement. I think that it has several benefits and it’s vitally important to use it for its intended purpose. Our neighbors have been talking with us and are thinking about trying it out to help with migraines. I like learning about it to be sure about what I’m getting into!

    • Becca Recker says:

      Hi Sam, it’s always a good idea to do your research before trying out a new supplement. We agree that it’s very important to have realistic expectations about how CBD can affect certain health conditions. It’s not a panacea. We’ve seen first hand some amazing benefits, but that isn’t a guarantee, and at Frogsong Farm we aim to emphasize science-based information without adding to the industry hype that can actually deter discerning consumers like yourself. Thanks for stopping by! Please let us know if you or your neighbors try CBD and experience some benefits. Cheers!

  4. Kate Welling says:

    I like how you mentioned that it is important to know that CBD extracts might contain traces of THC. I didn’t know that this can complement the body’s reaction to CBD. I know that there are products out there like CBD oil and CBD face cream, and I really want to give one a try sometime.

    • Becca Recker says:

      Hi Kate, thanks for stopping by! We highly recommend you explore the world of CBD products! Do note, however, that there are many products on the market with very little CBD content or questionable sourcing (many of the beauty products for example), so it’s less likely you’ll experience the full effects of CBD by using them. Look for at least 250 milligrams of CBD per ounce. Several of our staff members use the Frogsong Farm Drops tincture in their facial moisturizer, which has 10 milligrams of CBD per dropper. It’s a great anti-inflammatory and rich in anti-oxidants, which we know are anti-aging. And if you ever have aches and pains, a topical rub like Rubbit 250 is a great option for fast acting relief. (It smells wonderful, too!)

  5. Sunon says:

    I have been given some homegrown cbd strain fan leaves. Should they be dried and decarboxilated and then tinctured? Or decarboxylated from fresh? Or is there a better, simpler way to make use of whatever cbd might be in them . I put them in the freezer for now.
    Thank you
    Anne

    • Chris Adams says:

      Hi Anne, almost all the CBD is derived from the flower with only very small amounts of CBD in the leaves and even less in the stems and seeds. The best way we have found to in the home to decarb is to place them on a pan in a 250 degree oven for several hours. This will also dry them nicely, then you can make your tincture. Good luck.

  6. Sariah Meagle says:

    My mom wants to resort to natural medicine in dealing with anxiety and relieve pain. It was explained here that research suggests that CBD can help relieve pain and reduce anxiety. Furthermore, it’s recommended to go to trusted businesses when considering CBD oil spray.

  7. Tyler the Canadian says:

    I noticed you have a CBD certification. Does this apply to selling CBD at all? Our family has seen amazing results with using CBD on our dogs, specifically CBD sourced from hemp. I want to use it however I live in Canada, and I’m planning on documenting my journey online. Do you have any information about legally purchasing CBD in Canada? I noticed that many retailers in the US don’t ship to Canada. Kind Regards, Tyler.

    • Chris Adams says:

      Hi Tyler, until marijuana is legalized in Canada, the only people who can legally buy any cannabis products or cannabidiol oil from a licensed producer are patients with prescriptions. This puts both you and any retailers that ship to Canada at legal risk. We are looking forward to reading your documentary.

  8. Justin Kenp says:

    By going through the article, first time i came to know that cannabis and cannabinoid are use for treatment as well. Thank you for educating through your blog.

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  10. Robin and LaRenne Lacey says:

    Just starting on our CBD journey. We have purchased online from Marys Medicinals and Green Wellness in Michigan. Just rec’d some patches . Mary’s patch is supposed to last eight to ten hours and the one from Green Wellness lasts up to 4 days! Quite a difference so we shall see how my wife benefits. She has lots of neurological pain and the sublinqual drops from Green Revolution CBD 5-1 seem to help her a lot when she takes them in juice. Gives her five to six hours of pain relief. The pain is still there but reduced significantly. She tried the sublingual route but the taste of the lemon flavour was very sour and put her off!
    She also used a topical for localized pain points. Her main problems are stenosis and sciatica problems along with numbness and tingling in the feet, all related to the spinal stenosis most likely.
    We have been in health care and worked a lot with Hospice and wish these “new”remedies from nature had been available then. I hope that Congress passes a bill soon to decriminalize CBD and marijuana in general as it has huge benefits for society. But I am preaching to the choir! Thanks for all you are doing. Will be ordering soon and would appreciate any suggestions you might have. Peace! Robin

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