Last week I wrote about the difficulty of dealing with questions about using CBD from family and friends.
What I didn’t mention was how great it is that people show a genuine interest in cannabidiol and its potential benefits.
Recently, my brother sent me a text suggesting I write about the long-term and short-term effects of CBD.
He asked: “Do you have to take it regularly and let it build up in your system for it to work? Or can you just take it short-term to help with something like bereavement, for instance?
“And does it work with immediate effect, like antibiotics or steroids, or is it a longer, slower thing like other supplements?”
I didn’t have an answer, so I turned to Claudia Le Fevre, an experienced nutritional therapist and eating psychology coach.
She has worked at clinics throughout Europe, advises the Russian national golf team and is the co-founder of Mighty Green Coffee, which supplies, among other products, CBD-infused coffee.
She said: “It’s an excellent question.
“How quickly CBD takes effect depends on an individual’s Endocannabinoid System and if it has been modulated before.
“Some people may notice an effect after 15 minutes or it may take a week if the Endocannabinoid System needs to ‘wake up’.”
So what’s her advice for people curious about CBD?
She said: “Go low and go slow. Don’t overdose as you will down regulate your receptors.
“Don’t develop a tolerance. Some people cycle doses. Dosing in response to symptoms such as pain is a great way to consume CBD and to avoid down regulating.
“You don’t want to develop a tolerance to it, you want your receptors to be ‘excited’ to receive it. But, I have to emphasise – CBD is non-addictive.”
I also spoke to Tom Smale of Wunder Workshop, a London food brand that uses CBD in many of its organic and ethically-sourced turmeric-based products
Tom, who has a pharmacology background, says CBD has both short-term and accumulative effects.
He adds that, unlike anti-depressants such as sertraline, CBD can have a calming or mood-enhancing effect in as little as 15 minutes.
“There are many ways you can consume CBD and all of these will vary in power strength and how quickly they get into the bloodstream,” he said.
“The most effective and safest in my view is an oil-based tincture, where you simply put a few drops under the tongue where they’re quickly absorbed into the bloodstream.”
“People have reported an immediate effect on anxiety and distress, and noticed that CBD helping with panic attacks as it has a quick effect to calm people down.”
“There is an increasing number of studies that show CBD is effective in the short-term for PTSD and grief.”
But what about the long-term benefits? Tom says regular use of CBD can increase its effectiveness – but sounded a note of caution.
He said: “The accumulative effect depends on what people are looking for and what they’re expecting to achieve.
“The science on the long-term effects isn’t fully understood. The endo-cannabinoid system is so complex.
“It’s shown to alleviate symptoms of stress but the full chain reaction is not completely understood.
“Start with a low dose of CBD (10-15mg) and take a few drops in the morning and at night, for a month. Then take a break for one or two weeks to understand if it’s had an effect.
“Monitor any change in dose to gauge effects and whether its necessary to increase dosage after a short break. ”