“CBD oil sold here.” How do you know when you're feeling your CBD? CBD is a powerful compound, but even with all its benefits, the effects you feel can be quite subtle. Sometimes you can take CBD without even realizing it's working. Why? Because you don't know what you're looking for. With most health and wellness products, there are side- Columnist Ezekiel Lim says there is key information needed for patients and caregivers considering CBD for peripheral neuropathy.
CBD oil has some ‘tingling’ with excitement
Cole Smith, a pharmacist at and cannabidiol ambassador for Eastridge-Phelps Pharmacy, stands next to the store’s collection of CBD oil products.
These signs — or some variation of them — are seemingly popping up in front of every store, ranging from pharmacies to gas stations and everything in between.
But according to Cole Smith, who earned her pharmacy doctorate from Lipscomb University, works at Eastridge-Phelps Pharmacy and has recently become an ambassador of sorts to local doctors on behalf of the new cannabidiol (CBD) products they sell over the counter, not all CBD oil is the same.
“The first thing I want them to know is that all CBD oil is not created equal,” Smith said, “so those who are interested need to make sure they’re getting it at a reputable place.”
Smith said prices vary depending on where someone purchases CBD, but lower cost often translates to an inferior product. It might be less effective, manufactured under questionable conditions or even show up as marijuana on drug tests.
Because they’re sold over the counter, CBD products do not have to go through Food and Drug Administration testing as a prescription drug would.
Cannabidiol is extracted from either marijuana plants or hemp plants, but despite being the second most active ingredient in marijuana, it does not get you high. Only tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) does that, and only THC should register on a drug test.
So, why do some CBD products cause users to test positive for marijuana usage?
“The product we carry [at Eastridge-Phelps] has less than .3% of THC in it,” Smith explained. “It comes from Colorado, which has much stricter regulations on CBD produced there. If you’re not buying from a reputable source, it’s very likely that THC is going to show up.”
In her experience, no one who has bought their product has seen THC show up on a drug test. Even so, everybody processes drugs at a different rate.
That means THC could stick around longer in your body than it does in someone else’s.
“Some employers will say, ‘If you bring in the CBD oil when you test positive, it’s fine,’” she said. “But for law enforcement and truck drivers and other jobs with zero-tolerance policies, it may not be a good fit for them.”
Another big factor in whether CBD oil is a good fit for someone, according to Smith, is what they’re planning to use it for.
“The top thing we’re seeing it used for is pain, including arthritic pain or ‘generalized pain,’ as well as localized pain.”
Smith said there are two different ways of using CBD oil, and she suggests different ones for each pain type.
For generalized pain and body aches, she suggests liquid or capsules. For localized pain, like a hurt knee or aching back, she recommends ointment patients rub on.
Each method has its benefits.
“Topical ointments won’t get into your system as much, which makes it great for people worried about taking it orally,” Smith said. “The liquid drops have a taste that some people can’t stand, but it gets to work faster than the capsules. Capsules don’t have that bad taste, though, so some people prefer those.”
Smith said the bad taste of the drops is the “side effect” most patients complain about, though drowsiness and a tingling sensation where the topical ointment is applied may occur.
Aside from pain and inflammation, Smith also sees CBD oil used by people dealing with insomnia, anxiety and “mood” issues.
Deciding what CBD should or should not be used to treat is tricky, though.
Even for the most common issues it’s recommended for, very few studies have been conducted.
The Dravet and Lennox-Gastaut syndromes cause childhood seizures resistant to most treatments, but CBD seemed to help, according to a study titled “Trial of Cannabidiol for Drug-Resistant Seizures in the Dravet Syndrome” published by The New England Journal of Medicine in May 2017.
After that trial came others and the FDA approved Epidiolex, the first prescription drug derived from CBD, in June 2018.
The FDA has not approved CBD oil as a treatment for anything else, but some studies do show it could be helpful with the pain, insomnia and sleep issues Smith recommends it for.
Many patients are willing to try it for an array of other problems, though.
“A lot of people will come and ask questions about what CBD oil can treat,” she said. “When someone comes in and wants to use it to treat, say, their upset stomach, if I’ve not read any literature on it, from a scientific standpoint, I don’t want to recommend it for treating that thing.”
Some people prefer to take the research into their own hands, but hoaxes and misinformation abound online. Medical professionals and other scientists are better trained to tell when a study is legitimate.
There is no evidence CBD is the “miracle drug” some say it is in Facebook posts or alternative medicine blogs.
“Some CBD manufacturers have come under government scrutiny for wild, indefensible claims, such that CBD is a cure-all for cancer, which it is not,” wrote Peter Grinspoon. He’s a primary care physician at Massachusetts General Hospital, an instructor at Harvard Medical School and contributing editor for the Harvard Health Blog.
He updated his article “Cannabidiol — what we know and what we don’t,” on June 5, 2019, to talk about Epidiolex and the need for further research on CBD.
Grinspoon says that while some studies show CBD is effective at treating chronic pain, insomnia and anxiety, more evidence is necessary.
The European Journal of Pain published a study about CBD’s ability to treat arthritis in rats. Scientists often use animal models to test new drugs, but most trusted medicines have had clinical trials, too.
“Without enough high-quality evidence in human studies we can’t pinpoint effective doses,” Grinspoon wrote. “Because CBD is currently mostly available as an unregulated supplement, it’s difficult to know exactly what you are getting.”
Smith noted that the biggest factor in whether someone should try CBD oil is the advice a trusted medical professional gives you.
“CBD oil, from what studies have found, generally does not have many drug interactions,” Smith explained. “But the main thing you worry about when someone goes out on their own looking for something is that it could interact with the drug regimen they’re already on.
“If it’s working, be sure to speak with your pharmacist or healthcare provider about coming off your medication. I would never recommend going rogue.”
5 Signs You’re Feeling Your CBD
How do you know when you’re feeling your CBD? CBD is a powerful compound, but even with all its benefits, the effects you feel can be quite subtle. Sometimes you can take CBD without even realizing it’s working. Why? Because you don’t know what you’re looking for. With most health and wellness products, there are side-effects that are obvious. CBD is non-intoxicating and has no side effects. And those are serious benefits. However, it can make it difficult for people to realize their CBD is working. Hemp extracts are rich in cannabidiol and contain less than 0.3% THC. Many people expect to feel an effect similar to the haziness brought on by marijuana, but because of its low THC content they never feel a sense of “high.” And that’s when they assume something is off. Again, it’s important to remember that the effects you feel from CBD are subtle. But when you know what to look for you can definitely tell when your CBD is working. Here are 5 things to tip you off.
1. A Calm Mind
We live in a busy world where things can get pretty stressful. There’s nothing worse than a cluttered brain unable to focus. When your mind is tense and bogged down with a million thoughts, it’s impossible to do work efficiently. Being able to calm your mind and focus is valuable. Suddenly the world seems like an easier place to be in, it’s easier to be productive, and stress is easier to handle. One of the ways you can tell your CBD is working is when you feel that fantastic calm wash over your mind. There’s something special about the way that CBD seems to relax the mind and allow you to deal with your everyday tasks without getting overwhelmed. People really appreciate having a way to regain their mental calm in the middle of a stressful day, and CBD can help you keep your cool. When you’re really feeling the effects of CBD, you’ll know it, because your mind will feel clear, calm, and function at its potential.
2. Your Body Relaxes
CBD provides an array of desirable effects, and one of the things people love most about is how it relaxes the body. Day-to-day life can get tense. Maybe you’re stressed about a big meeting, or maybe you’ve got a huge project you’re working on and can’t seem to get a break. Stress often manifests itself in your body and can be a very real physical response to your mental state. When you’re sitting in traffic or pulling an all-nighter to finish a work project, your brain translates that mental stress into a physical reaction that can be harmful to your health. The hypothalamus is the part of your brain that dictates whether or not it’s time to distribute stress hormones throughout your body. The hormones your body produces when you’re stressed are the same hormones that trigger your body’s fight-or-flight response. Suddenly your heart and mind are racing and your muscles are prepped and ready for anything. While this response is important in survival situations, if you’re stressed like this day after day, it can have some seriously negative effects on the body. Fortunately, CBD is here to help. When you’re feeling your CBD, you’ll notice that your body is nice and relaxed. The stress of everyday life just doesn’t seem to have the same impact on your body that it normally does. With CBD you can enjoy a relaxed, stress-free feeling in your body. Your fight-or-flight mechanism is often triggered by stress, but it doesn’t have to be that way. The next time you take CBD, pay attention to that relaxed feeling in your body.
3. The Gentle Tingle in Your Skin
One of the most distinct ways to tell that you’re feeling your CBD is the gentle and highly enjoyable tingling feeling in your skin. This is particularly noticeable with CBD-infused topicals, but it’s often present with the use of oil tinctures and vape pens as well. People love the tingling feeling they experience when using CBD, and it’s one of the easiest ways to tell that you’re feeling your CBD. A gentle tingling feeling can be quite therapeutic and many people really appreciate the experience when they are suffering from muscle pain or soreness. Whether you’re using a CBD topical, edible, vape pen, or tincture, if your skin has a gentle tingling feeling afterward you’re feeling your CBD.
4. You Find Yourself Thinking More Clearly
A cluttered mind can be one of life’s most difficult challenges. We are frequently faced with harmless, but incredibly frustrating situations such as traffic jams, or an overload of stress from work. Though these situations don’t present a direct physical danger, the body can’t really tell the difference and reacts as if your mortality is at stake. This reaction is hugely important and gives us the strength we need when we’re in serious situations. Hormones help ignite your mind and make you more alert. However, this alertness is caused by stress that can lead to unclear thoughts and actions. The fact of the matter is that most of us don’t live in situations where we need our fight-or-flight mechanism all that often. One of the best feelings is to have the ability to think clearly. The effects of CBD can sometimes be less than obvious, but the clarity you feel in your thoughts is well-appreciated. This is one of the things people notice most frequently when they’re feeling the effects of CBD. It’s also one of the ways you can be certain your CBD is doing its job.
5. Feeling Sleepier Around Bedtime
When you take CBD, the most enjoyable feeling might be when it’s time to go to sleep. CBD provides a wealth of benefits, particularly the feeling before bedtime. It’s estimated that nearly 16 million adults in the U.K. suffer from insomnia. That’s roughly a third of the U.K’s adult population, which means this is a common issue. Fortunately, if you use CBD daily, you’ll notice a difference when it’s time to sleep. One of the most commonly reported effects of CBD is feeling sleepy when it’s time to go to bed. There’s almost no better feeling than laying down in bed and feeling perfectly tired and ready for sleep. People use CBD for a huge variety of reasons, and no matter why you’re using CBD, if you’re experiencing some or all of these 5 signs, you know you’re feeling the power of CBD at work!
What Patients Should Know About CBD for Peripheral Neuropathy
The pain associated with peripheral neuropathy symptoms makes everyday life difficult for patients. And the medication needed to treat the underlying physical symptoms of familial amyloid polyneuropathy can prove too costly for those on a limited budget.
Alternative methods for managing neuropathic pain are available. CBD is an emerging alternative treatment that allegedly has significant pain-reducing qualities.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the most abundant compounds in the marijuana plant. CBD products come primarily in the form of oils, topical ointments, and infused food items. However, with the exception of one prescription product to treat rare forms of epilepsy, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved any other CBD products.
Recent clinical research, including a study by researchers at Scotland’s University of Glasgow , looks at CBD’s effects on anxiety, movement, and pain. The study found that a “meaningful proportion” of patients exhibited improvements in sleep quality and pain when administered CBD.
Is CBD for real?
CBD’s impact could be a placebo effect, though the results of the study at the University of Glasgow appear to show otherwise. The emergence of clinical studies corroborating CBD’s pain-relieving qualities and a surge in CBD-based retail stores may offer peripheral neuropathy patients a solution for foot pain.
The plausibility of CBD being a reliable treatment may be subjective. Many peripheral neuropathy patients, including my mother-in-law, find THC products are a suitable method for alleviating neuropathic pain. THC’s alleged calming effects may benefit patients with chronic tingling and burning sensations of the feet, but these effects may not necessarily be true for everyone with peripheral neuropathy symptoms.
Not every patient with polyneuropathy will be quick to adapt to CBD as a solution for pain. My mother-in-law struggles with the side effects of gabapentin: drowsiness, dizziness, and fatigue. This has led her to use prescribed marijuana. Her medical marijuana use has helped alleviate the pain, burning, and tingling in her limbs.
Ultimately, CBD may provide temporary relief from pain with potentially fewer side effects than medicines such as gabapentin.
Note: FAP News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of FAP News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to familial amyloid polyneuropathy.
About the Author
Ezekiel Lim Ezekiel is caregiver to his mother-in-law, who has familial amyloid polyneuropathy. He holds a bachelor’s degree in strategic and organizational communications from Temple University and currently lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. When not writing, he’s skateboarding or hanging out with his wife, Maryann.
I have severe pain in both feet and trouble sleeping and Bella Rose CBD oil really helps in both cases. My pain is caused by Neuropathy. It gets so bad that it’s hard to do anything. This is the best product that I have found yet.
Im trying to find something for pain in my foot neuropathy. Its terrible. I cant sleep at night. All through the day all i can think about is my foot pain . The main pain is actually in my big to and toes. Please help
I hope more clinical trials are conducted to validate the pain alleviating properties of CBD products to treat peripheral neuropathy.
My wife bought me a “Sports gel”, main active ingredient is CBD. plus a touch of capsaicin and arnica. I’ve had ideopathic pedal neuropathy for several years and learned to live with it on my daily exercise walks. Nothing my primary care GP could find to help it.
A natural-born sceptic, science-rooted, I’ve been trying this out in disciplined fashion. Light application once a day for the first 5 days brought pretty amazing results. While general numbness didn’t vanish. Nothing like that. A great of sensitivity to ground impact, terrain, added experience returning to my walks.
Cut it back to every other day. Worked just as well. Now, a few more weeks have passed and I’ve gone as long as 4-day intervals with no application. and no diminishing of the positive effect.
I’m returning to every other day, starting tonight. wondering if the effect will become greater.
For the record, lost a bunch of weight a few years back. Now, weigh ~180#, 5’10”, decent physical shape for my age after a lifetime of one or another sport, outdoors physical activity, a lifetime walker [using top quality hiking or sports shoes the last 50 years. decent work shoes before that]. I’m 83.