CBD: Where to Start

CBD: Where to Start

Curious to try CBD but not sure if it’s right for you or what to buy? This quick guide will tell you everything you need to know to get started.

Disclaimer: This information is meant simply for educational purposes and should not be mistaken for medical advice. Before using CBD make sure to talk with your trusted healthcare provider. This page may also contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure here.

What is CBD?

You’ve probably heard of CBD, but what is it actually? 

CBD stands for cannabidiol, and it’s one of the main active compounds found in the cannabis plant. Now, before you start thinking about reefer madness of the 60’s, it’s important to note that CBD is not the same as THC.

THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the other main compound in cannabis and is what people usually think of when they hear the word cannabis or weed. THC has psychoactive properties which results in feeling high. 

On the other hand, CBD does not have any psychoactive properties – or in other words it will not make you high. It also won’t make you fail a drug test.

>>Want to learn more about CBD? Get my full guide on what CBD is (and what it isn’t) here.

Why use CBD?

So if it doesn’t have psychoactive effects, why do people use CBD? 

CBD affects a very important system in your body called the endocannabinoid system. This system can be thought of as the thermostat of your body as it helps with maintaining balance. 

In fact, your endocannabinoid system has been found to help regulate:

  • Sleep
  • Mood
  • Appetite
  • Memory 
  • Immune function
  • Inflammation
  • Motor control
  • Pain 
  • Body temperature
  • Nausea
  • Pleasure-reward system

As a result, CBD is thought to have the potential to help with a variety of imbalances in our bodies. 

While overall more research is needed, so far CBD has been linked with several health benefits, including:

  • Managing and reducing anxiety: So far research has shown CBD to be an effective and safe way to reduce and manage anxiety. In particular, it’s been shown to help with social anxiety disorder. Find out more on the research behind CBD for anxiety and recommended doses in my guide on CBD for anxiety
  • Improving sleep: Have trouble sleeping? CBD has been shown to help with sleep through various mechanisms, which you can read more about here.
  • Reducing chronic pain: CBD topical creams can help soothe sore muscles and relieve joint pain from arthritis. Read my full research-breakdown on the role of CBD in managing pain.
  • Treating epilepsy: CBD has been shown to be potentially effective in reducing seizures in individuals with epilepsy. In fact, in 2018 the FDA approved the drug Epidiolex, which is a CBD-based anti-seizure medication.
  • Protecting brain health: A big area of research currently is on whether CBD may be able to help prevent or treat conditions like Parkinson’s, Alzheimers, and Multiple Sclerosis. 

Which CBD product is best for me?

When choosing a CBD product, it’s important to do your research. Not only for safety reasons but also to make sure that you aren’t wasting your money.

There are two main decisions you’ll need to make:

  • Do  you want just CBD (isolate) or do you want additional plant compounds too (full or broad spectrum)? 
  • Which form do you want to take?
    • Gummies: gummies can be convenient as they’re pre-dosed and you can just pop one or two in your mouth and go.
    • Tinctures: tinctures are more versatile in that you can add them to food or beverages, or place directly under your tongue. 
    • Topical: especially for sore muscles, using a CBD cream may offer more direct relief than consuming it orally.

>>Need more help making a decision? Check out my guides on How to Decide Which CBD Product to Buy.

Whichever product you go with, always make sure that the product has been tested by an independent lab for quality and safety. You can learn what to look for and how to read 3rd party testing results here.

My brand recommendation

My go-to brand is CBDistillery as both quality and education are their top priorities.

Plus, they offer a wide range of products and support New Mind Readers by offering you 15% off when you enter NEWMIND as a coupon code at checkout! 

The products I use on a regular basis include:

How much CBD should I take?

One of the hardest parts about CBD is that research on CBD has used doses as low as 15 mg per day up to 1500 mg per day. 

And one of the reasons for this, is that the most effective dose seems to depend on the form in which CBD is being consumed, differences in individuals’ metabolisms, and the intended desired effect. 

In general, 30 mg is a good starting dose for those taking oral CBD supplements, such as gummies, tinctures, or infused foods and beverages.

Of course, it’s important to first talk with your doctor about the best dose for you. Additionally, as CBD may interact with certain medications, you’ll want to make sure that CBD is in fact safe for you to be taking at the same time as your current medications. 

For more information on potential drug interactions and individuals who CBD may not be right for, check out my article on Why CBD Isn’t’ Right for Everyone

>>Confused how much CBD you’re actually taking? Check out my article How to Calculate How Much CBD is In Each Drop of CBD oil

How long does it take before I notice any effect?

What most of the research has shown is that simply taking CBD one time is unlikely to have a significant effect. Instead, consistency and regular use is key. 

In general, it’s a good idea to take the same dose on a regular basis for at least 2 weeks. If you still don’t notice any benefit, then try increasing the dose slightly. 

Healthy CBD recipes 

As a dietitian and foodie, my favorite way to incorporate CBD into my wellness routine is by adding it to food and beverages.

While I probably make these CBD Chai Overnight Oats and CBD-Infused Lemon Bliss Balls the most, you can find all my healthy CBD recipes here

everything you need to know about cbd

The information contained in this website is not intended to recommend the self-management of health problems or wellness. It is not intended to endorse or recommend any particular type of medical treatment. Should any reader have any healthcare-related questions, promptly call or consult your physician or healthcare provider. No information contained in this website should be used by any reader to disregard medical and/or health-related advice or provide a basis to delay a consultation with a physician or a qualified healthcare provider. The statements on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products discussed are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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I’m Kelli MS, RD. As a foodie with a background in nutrition research, I’m a firm believer that what we eat affects nearly every aspect of our wellbeing, and that food should taste freaking delicious.

Welcome to New Mind Nutrition!

My name is Kelli McGrane, and I’m a Denver-based registered dietitian with a Master’s degree in nutrition.

As a foodie with a background in nutrition research, I’m a firm believer that what we eat affects nearly every aspect of our wellbeing, and that food should taste freaking delicious.

My goal with New Mind is to help you find balance in both your mind and body through nutrition research and whole foods-based recipes.

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