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In the last five years, it seems like CBD is everywhere and in everything. Since the list of ailments for which CBD is used is long, we wanted to get to the bottom of some of our writers’ and editors’ most pressing questions on the subject.

TravelAwaits sat down with Tim McDonald, the cofounder and head of education for oHHo CBD products, and he very graciously answered all of our questions in the kind of detail we love. oHHo is an industry leader for producing some of the purest CBD and hemp products you can buy, and it turns out they have a travel story, too. Read on for the ins and outs of using CBD for health and treating specific ailments, and also check out

Are CBD products safe to use? Is CBD addictive or habit forming?

CBD is non-toxic, non-addictive, and there is no evidence of any public health-related problems associated with it. It cannot be abused, principally because it doesn’t get people high and you cannot overdose. The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes that CBD is generally well tolerated with a good safety profile.

Any reported adverse effects may be as a result of drug interactions between CBD and patients’ existing medications, but these are rare. In comparison to even widely used pharmaceutical drugs, such as paracetamol, CBD provides an excellent safety record with extremely limited potential side effects.

How do you know if you need the oil you take by mouth or to use a cream or other topical application?

Simple, if you ingest CBD internally through an oil, you will benefit from a whole-body effect. The CBD will enter your bloodstream and the effects will be felt holistically.

Topical applications are great for localized needs such as aches and pains, skin healing, and recovery. There are CBD receptors in your skin, and using a topical CBD application will not result in CBD entering the bloodstream.

CBD oil from oHHo.

Is CBD oil something that you need to use daily once you start, or can you use it whenever you feel the need to? What if you use if for a while and then you stop for a period of time and feel the need to use it again in stressful situations? Do you start off slowly or begin at the dose where you stopped?

CBD can be used situationally and it has no withdrawal potential. We do recommend incorporating CBD into your daily routine to achieve the best results. Start low, go slow. Find your optimum dose starting at 15mg and working up incrementally to 75mg. Once you have found the dose that works best for you, stay on that amount.

What formulations are best for physical (for example, pain) issues versus mental (for example, anti-stress) concerns? Also, is it better to use oils, tinctures, sublinguals, gummies, et cetera for different purposes?

CBD works on both physical and psychological targets. If you ingest it internally you will experience a whole-body effect. If you apply CBD topically you will experience a localized effect. The best way to look at different ways to ingest CBD is to recognize your need is acute or chronic, your focus, the onset time, and the duration of effect. With the following questions in mind, consult the table below.

  • Focus: Is your need acute or chronic?
  • Acute needs: Severe and needing immediate cessation, for example, pain, nausea, and stress
  • Chronic need: Something that is not severe but needs a long duration, for example, inflammation, sleep, pressure
  • Onset: How soon till I feel the effects?
  • Duration: How long do I want the effects to last?

Medical Applications Of CBD

What medical ailments are known to respond favorably to CBD? Would CBD be helpful in reducing repetitive use injuries and associated pain? Is CBD effective for knee pain from arthritis, or for back pain from disk degeneration? How would a person use it for these ailments, and what evidence backs up the effectiveness of CBD in treating pain? Are there randomized clinical double-blind studies? Finally, can CBD help prevent or mitigate the symptoms of arthritis, cancer, heart disease, and/or diabetes?

CBD is a powerful anti-anxiety and anti-inflammatory agent. It also acts as a homeostatic regulator -- it organizes the flow of endocannabinoids around your body.

CBD is a stimulator of our serotonin and dopamine receptors, and it affects GABA receptors in our body, increasing its calming effect.

Over 140 clinical trials and a mountain of anecdotal accounts from patients and physicians highlight CBD’s potential as a treatment for a wide range of conditions, including:

  • Autoimmune diseases (inflammation, rheumatoid arthritis)
  • Neurological conditions (Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, Huntington’s chorea, stroke, traumatic brain injury)
  • Metabolic syndrome (diabetes, obesity)
  • Neuropsychiatric illness (autism, ADHD, PTSD, alcoholism)
  • Gut disorders (colitis, Crohn’s)
  • Cardiovascular dysfunction (atherosclerosis, arrhythmia)
  • Skin disease (acne, dermatitis, psoriasis)

Cannabinoid and terpene anti-cancer properties are being investigated at several academic research centers in the U.S. and globally with extremely promising results.

I have an open mind but am not looking for a recreational drug. I am open to therapeutic uses where CBD might be less harmful than other meds. Why should I consider CBD?

CBD is safe, natural, and offers an enormous range of health benefits. It is non-intoxicating, so there are no concerns that are attributed to alcohol, narcotics, or other intoxicants. We find that once people understand that CBD is not marijuana, they are much more relaxed about taking it.

Prior to cannabis being prohibited, there were over 100 recognized medical uses; even Queen Victoria of England used cannabis tinctures to help with stomach cramps. CBD has been hidden from us, and we are here to bring it back in the purest way possible.

Is it possible to overdose on using CBD products? And can CBD replace medications with more serious side effects?

CBD has a superior safety profile in comparison to many other medications and poses no risk of overdose or dependency. Its anti-inflammatory properties are comparable to 800mg ibuprofen, but without the gut damage that can occur over prolonged use. Our farmer Joe, in Colorado, is on a personal mission to educate as many people as possible off painkillers and onto CBD.

Additionally, medical marijuana is helping people trapped in the opioid crisis get off these horrendously addictive and damaging pharmaceuticals.

What side effects, if any, are associated with using CBD?

CBD has minor side effects and only if taken in very large doses. In these situations, you may have an upset stomach or feel tired.

Does using CBD cause an increase in heart rate?

CBD has almost no direct effect on cardiovascular function in healthy individuals. THC does.

CBD oil from oHHo.

I’ve heard of people who use a lot of cannabis getting a terrible condition where they can't stop vomiting. Is this something that happens when you use CBD oil externally? How about when it’s taken in tablets or capsules, or in food?

This is not a condition that has been noticed with CBD. People often throw up if they have been combining alcohol and cannabis. Alcohol is metabolized by the liver. Whilst the body is metabolizing alcohol, other substances are not being metabolized, resulting in the psychoactive effects of THC continuing to increase. Thus the feeling of getting too high begins, and people feel the need to throw up.

Alcohol and THC are both vasodilators -- they widen blood vessels, increasing blood flow. A doubling up of blood flow and an increase in heart rate could explain the increase in absorption of THC and therefore the over-intoxicating effects.

I’ve heard, from a nurse at the mammography clinic, that men who use a lot of cannabis can develop more breast tissue and potentially have an increased risk of breast cancer. Is there a way of getting the benefits of CBD without those risks?

I am not aware of this condition and there are no academic research conclusions linking CBD to the development of breast tissue.

What CBD contraindications should people be aware of?

The safety profile of CBD is extremely high. Despite this, we recommend asking your primary medical care practitioner If you are currently using significant pharmaceutical medications for potential drug interactions. The following are the contraindications that advise the avoidance of CBD:

  • Severe cardiovascular, immunological, liver, or kidney disease, especially in acute illness
  • Pregnancy and lactation
  • Arrhythmia or a history of arrhythmias

Two significant CBD drug interactions are with:

  • Warfarin(THC and CBD increase Warfarin levels)
  • Clobazam(In children treated with CBD for epilepsy, CBD increased clobazam levels)
A woman using CBD oil from oHHo.

Is CBD promoted or contraindicated for mental and emotional conditions?

CBD is a proven anti-anxiety agent, and the calming properties are giving people their lives back. One of the personal stories that affirmed our belief in cannabis as a medicine was the experience of a veteran friend who suffered from PTSD when back in civilian life. Smoking cannabis with high levels of CBD reduced his PTSD symptoms to zero. Smoking cannabis with no CBD and high levels of THC caused a full-blown psychotic episode.

There is a connection between psychosis and THC ingestion due to the illegal cannabis market breeding plants that have virtually zero CBD and massive levels of THC. CBD actually mitigates the negative side effects of THC such as paranoia. Smoking high levels of THC has been associated with exacerbated psychosis. THC does present some acute concerns whereas CBD does not.

I don’t want to use something that is going to make me hungry. Is that a side effect? Conversely, can CBD help with weight loss?

CBD does not make you hungry. THC is used medically to increase appetite. Regarding weight loss, CBD will get your ECS functioning at optimum so it is a great addition to a fitness routine where your body is internally in balance.

Want to know more about oHHo’s products? Read up on CBD Basics: Your Questions Answered By oHHo CBD’s Cofounder And Head Of Education, CBD For Active Pets And Pets On The Go, and CBD And Travel: What You Need To Know, Whether You’re Road Tripping Or Want To Use CBD Abroad.

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