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 co-founder 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.
CBD: What It Is
CBD is the abbreviation for cannabidiol. It is a natural cannabinoid compound extracted from the cannabis Sativa plant that provides therapeutic benefits. It is a non-intoxicating cannabis compound, unlike its more famous intoxicating counterpart, THC.
Cannabis sativa plants can be divided into two main types: Marijuana and Hemp. The dividing principle is essentially whether or not the plant can get you high. Marijuana contains high levels of THC, up to 30 percent; hemp contains less than 0.3 percent THC.
CBD also occurs in both types of cannabis. Marijuana plants have been bred for yielding THC so the levels of CBD can range from 0 percent to around 5 percent to 6 percent. Our hemp plants have been bred to contain a tiny amount of THC (less than 0.3 percent) and an abundance of CBD, between 12 percent and 20 percent.
When CBD is infused in oil it helps with stability, dosing, and bioavailability. Although you could correctly call it “cannabis oil,” this might confuse it with intoxicating cannabis oils containing high levels of THC.
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.
CBD Health Benefits
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.
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.
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. It is a stimulator of our serotonin and dopamine receptors, and it affects GABA receptors in our body, increasing its calming effect. In addition, CBD has almost no direct effect on cardiovascular function in healthy individuals, while THC does. 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.
Please note, CBD may have very minor side effects and only if taken in very large doses. In these situations, you may have an upset stomach or feel tired.
CBD Oil vs. Topical CBD
CBD works on both physical and psychological targets. If you ingest it internally via CBD oil 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 the 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?
Simply, if you ingest CBD internally through oil, 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 For Beginners
We are pretty purist over here at oHHo, and we like to keep things natural. A full spectrum (FS) oil product is the most natural extract you can buy, and it is where you will find the most therapeutic benefit. FS products contain additional compounds from the plant, such as other minor cannabinoids and terpenes, which synergistically combine to create a boosted effect of the CBD. This is called the entourage effect.
We would recommend using a full-spectrum oil (often called tinctures) if CBD is new to you. With an oil, you are able to dose accurately and the duration of the effect can last up to 6 hours. Oils that provide graduated droppers enable the consumer to accurately measure how much CBD they are ingesting. If you divide the strength of CBD in the bottle by how many milliliters there is you can work out how much CBD is in 1 milliliter and you can go from there. For example, if the bottle is 30ml and contains 1500mg of CBD, 1ml will contain 50mg of CBD.
CBD works on a cellular level so your height, weight, etcetera is not a factor that affects how much you need. Knowing your correct dose is about finding the “Goldilocks” amount that is optimum for you -- not too little, not too much.
A principle of dosing CBD is to “Start low and go slow.” A moderate dose for a first-time user is around 15mg, and with oHHo oils, this is around 15mg, or 0.25ml, of oil. If you do not feel the benefits, then we advise increasing by 15mg, up to 75mg, until you find that “just right” amount. Once you have found the dose that works best for you, stay on that amount.
There is so much confusion around dosing CBD. To help, we decided to keep the same strength in our 1-ounce and half-ounce bottles so that you only need to make one calculation. We wanted to ensure our customers had at least 1 month's supply per bottle. At 5 percent CBD strength we are able to offer 100x15mg doses from our 30ml bottles of our Colorado and Oregon oils -- both contain 1500mg of CBD. Our New York oil is our strongest infusion at 7.5 percent and reflects our signature blend from our home state. Each 30ml bottle offers 150 15mg doses -- 2250mg per 30ml.
We do not recommend CBD vape cartridges as they often contain ingredients that are toxic when inhaled, including thinning agents.
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 To Determine Quality CBD Oil
Such an important question. It is easy to grow hemp badly and produce contaminated extracts. When we moved into the industry we wanted to ensure we brought quality, transparency, and integrity to the consumer. Cultivating a premium hemp crop requires extensive horticultural knowledge, nurture, and respect.
CBD has the potential for contamination in the field and during the refinement process. The hemp must be grown organically as the plant will absorb any synthetic chemicals that are used on the land. Only buy CBD from a company that has full lab tests or certificates of analysis (COAs) that show you:
- Cannabinoid Profile/ CBD Potency
- Heavy Metals (lead, mercury, et cetera)
- Residual Solvents
- Microbial Contaminants
The FDA regulates the CBD market. Since the farm bill of 2018, the regulations have become more thorough although currently there is no legal requirement for companies to provide any lab results -- the only way to be sure your CBD is pure and potent.
Before oHHo launched we saw the unscrupulous nature of a poorly regulated, nascent industry. Many companies lie about the amount of CBD in their products, they don’t test for contaminants, and they make claims of miracle cures. It was clear that we needed to bring transparency and integrity and establish trust. We visit the land, we know how our plants are grown and by whom, we follow the process all the way to bottling, and we fully test every product that we sell, providing the details on our website prior to purchasing.
See an example of a COA (certificate of analysis) for our Oregon oil here (certificate opens as PDF).
CBD And Travel
Domestic travel with CBD is federally legal. CBD products are federally legal in all 50 states as long as it has been extracted from hemp rather than marijuana. The U.S. is ahead of most other nations with regard to this. Europe is following closely but other countries, such as those in Asia and the Middle East continue to regard CBD as a narcotic substance despite it not being intoxicating. We advise checking local cannabis and CBD laws before traveling internationally with any cannabis-derived product, including pharmaceutical preparations.
The legal state of cannabis and products across the world is varied. The hard rule is that if you are unsure about the legislation in a certain country, then opt to be safe and don’t travel with CBD. Some great resources such as TheExtract.co.uk provide useful information but this information may not always be up to date.
CBD For Pets
Every mammal has an endocannabinoid system, which will respond similarly to CBD. CBD is the same whether it is marketed for humans or for dogs, it just depends what it has been infused with. oHHo only infuses our CBD with organic coconut oil, which is fabulous for us and our furry friends.
The studies on CBD for dogs is limited to two studies on dogs with osteoarthritis and dogs with epilepsy. We know that dogs require less CBD than humans and it is safe. Team oHHo has a lot of doggies, and in our anecdotal experience, we have seen Molly the Collie’s blood sugars stabilized and Red the Labrador cross’s anxiety reduced by the introduction of CBD. We must also stress that CBD is one part of a wider holistic treatment in these cases.
CBD Dosing For Dogs
Every dog will respond differently, which is why it’s important to start with a small dose, monitor your pet’s results, and adjust from there. CBD will be effective between 15 and 20 minutes after ingesting. The process of accurate dosing normally takes around 1 to 2 weeks. There are two current approaches to dosing for dogs:
CBD Dose By Weight
A study in 2018 on dogs suffering with osteoarthritis concluded that the most effective dose for improving a dog’s comfort and mobility was 2mg per kilogram of weight. Other studies suggest 0.2mg per pound of weight (so a 25-pound dog would be given 5mg of CBD) is a good starting dose.
CBD Dose By Symptom
A newer approach acknowledges that CBD works on an individual, cellular level, so weight isn’t necessarily the best indicator to follow. Current thought offers the following starting guidelines for Week 1:
- Calming: 10mg twice a day or 20 mins before excitement -- if no change, increase by 5mg up to 20mg
- Pain and Mobility: 10mg-20mg twice a day or situationally -- if no change, double the dose up to 50mg
- Allergies: 10mg daily -- if no change, increase by 10mg up to 40mg
- Recovery: 35mg-50mg daily -- if no change, increase up to 75mg
As dogs need less CBD than us, we strongly advise the “Start low, go slow” approach and find that perfect amount over a period of 1 to 2 weeks.
If you're ready to try CBD for yourself, check out more information at oHHo here!