This article provides a wealth of practical information for the individual considering CBD as an adjunctive or alternative treatment for pain and or anxiety. CBD works in the body by manipulating receptors throughout organ tissues, the immune system, the pain response system, the hormonal system, and other systemic regulatory systems. While CBD oils have not been reviewed or approved by the FDA for the treatment of these conditions, a wealth of literature, both anecdotal and research-related now exists to help describe both their safety and effectiveness. As discussed in this article, the potential new adopter must be mindful of several important items. First, only those products that are sourced from Industrial Hemp will be considered legal in all states. One must be careful if the product you choose is sourced from the marijuana plant, as those products may contain THC levels above the legal limit in your given state. Secondly, all products are NOT created equal – they differ significantly in strength, absorption, and elimination by the body and in the manner in which they are formulated. One should be mindful of the differences in doses available for each of these products, starting at a low or moderate dose and increasing as needed in order to find the lowest dose that provides the desired relief. In this way, one can individualize usage to maximize effectiveness, while minimizing risk, a proper goal for the use of all medicinals.
John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, and publisher who earned his English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign, Urbana (USA). He is the co-founder of a literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and calls the most beautiful places in the world his office. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.
Great points and thanks for the clarification. To be clear, THC products are not readily available to purchase online (legally), so anyone hoping to try the CBD oil trend will have to settle for these alternatives for the time being, until the FDA approves more variations. Many people who are new to CBD see these options as a good entry-point before they experiment with larger mg amounts, and the reviews online are strong. Still, you are correct that full spectrum CBD oils may ultimately be better once they are legally approved to sell online to everyone.
All this talk about THC lands us nicely in the whole “Full Spectrum vs. Pure Isolate” debate. Once you begin shopping for CBD products, you’ll notice a lot of jargon that gets thrown around without much explanation. Now that we’ve introduced THC into the conversation, we can talk about the difference between, and relative benefits of, Full Spectrum CBD and CBD Isolate (and the lesser-known contender: Broad Spectrum).
If you live in a state where CBD is legal for your condition, it’s best to buy it from a state-regulated dispensary. But even there, oversight is uneven. “I feel safe being a cannabis consumer in Colorado, since the state tracks everything from seed to sale, but I didn’t the first few years after cannabis became legal,” when the rules were still taking shape, says Robyn Griggs Lawrence, the Boulder author of The Cannabis Kitchen Cookbook, which features recipes for cannabis edibles.

To make matters more confusing, nine states (including California, Washington, and Colorado) let residents buy cannabis-based products with or without THC. Nearly two dozen other “medical marijuana states” allow the sale of cannabis, including capsules, tinctures, and other items containing CBD or THC, at licensed dispensaries to people whose doctors have certified that they have an approved condition (the list varies by state but includes chronic pain, PTSD, cancer, autism, Crohn’s disease, and multiple sclerosis). Sixteen more states legalized CBD for certain diseases.


Seizure disorder (epilepsy). A specific cannabidiol product (Epidiolex, GW Pharmaceuticals) has been shown to reduce seizures in adults and children with various conditions that are linked with seizures. This product is a prescription drug for treating seizures caused by Dravet syndrome or Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. It has also been shown to reduce seizures in people with tuberous sclerosis complex, Sturge-Weber syndrome, febrile infection-related epilepsy syndrome (FIRES), and specific genetic disorders that cause epileptic encephalopathy. But it's not approved for treating these other types of seizures.
Generalized pain, for instance, has dozens upon dozens of high profile research and clinical studies that have been carried out in universities and laboratories around the globe. One of the most well-publicized of these studies took place back in 2008, in which results determined that “cannabinoid analgesics (pain relievers) have generally been well tolerated in clinical trials … with acceptable adverse event profiles (meaning acceptable effectiveness for practical use).
CBD oil may be of some benefit to those with addiction, suggests a review published in the journal Substance Abuse in 2015. In their analysis of 14 previously published studies, scientists determined that CBD may have therapeutic effects in people with opioid, cocaine, and/or psychostimulant addiction. They also found that CBD may be beneficial in the treatment of cannabis and tobacco addiction. There is some evidence that CBD may block or reduce the effects of THC on the mind.
Researchers at the Department of Pharmacognosy, The School of Pharmacy, University of London, UK, basis the study conducted on mice found that CBD oil has analgesic properties and may relieve chronic pain of all kinds . It can disrupt the activity of pain receptors in the body and instead cause a release of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine – “feel good” compounds that can ease discomfort and pain, even if the pharmaceutical painkillers have no effect.
However, switching to CBD oil from a conventional medication is far from a random stab in the dark. In fact, there was a large scale (and very well-documented) survey carried out less than two years ago that looked at precisely what percentage of patients were able to “swap” their side effect-inducing meds for a 100% natural, cannabis-based therapy.
Of course, though, they offer less potent oils than that, with a product lineup that ranges from 300 mg CBD per bottle to 4,000 mg. Naturally the 4,000 mg option is the most expensive (this is the one that provides the “bomb” 60 mg dose), as it currently sells for $299. For long-term pain and anxiety relief, though, it may be well worth it if it is effective for you and helps replace your regular meds. 
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