I Really Need CBD Brands to Stop Lying to Me About Period Cramps
I was scrolling through my emails recently, exorcising spam, when one subject line caught my eye: “CBD for PMS? Hallelujah! .” The hemp company’s newsletter could not have been more on point—I was smack dab in the middle of one of my most painful periods to date. I opened the email, and my heating pad slipped as I shifted to the edge of my seat.
Could this really be the magical answer to the burning ball of fiery knives inside my uterus? I thought.
The newsletter was riddled with seemingly relatable Friends GIFs, clever alliterations, and marketing buzzwords to get the reader to buy, buy, buy! “PMS Pain Be Gone!” it read. But what it didn’t have was products that have been proven to—in any way, shape, or form—actually minimize excruciating period cramps.
I was floored. Not just as someone with intense period pain due to endometriosis, but also as a C-suite-level marketing professional. I couldn’t tell what was worse, the cramps in my uterus or the knife in my back.
One of the products was a patch with only 15 mg of CBD, also called cannabidiol, a compound found in cannabis that does not produce a high. Using that to try to manage my pain would be like putting a Band-Aid on a gushing head wound. How do I know this? For starters, I typically consume between 30 mg and 50 mg of CBD in a single dose when I’m taking it to manage my pain. And as much as I feel CBD assists me in my pain management, it’s not my cure-all. I could replace my blood with CBD oil and I would still have intense cramps. If something has only 15 mg of CBD, I don’t have to try it to know it’s not going to cure my PMS. Not to mention, there’s just no science or regulation behind these claims.
I quickly grabbed my phone and did what all opinionated millennial women do: rant on social media. Messages immediately poured in. I was not alone. Other women had similar experiences with the new wave of CBD products. Screenshots of high-end packaging and their ingredient labels flooded my DMs. Once again, I was taken aback by the prices, claims, ingredients, and minimal CBD contents.
If a product hasn’t been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the brand behind that product cannot legally claim it will cure any ailment. From the FDA itself: ”Unlike drug products approved by the FDA, unapproved CBD drug products have not been subject to FDA review as part of the drug approval process, and there has been no FDA evaluation regarding whether they are safe and effective to treat a particular disease, what the proper dosage is, how they could interact with other drugs or foods, or whether they have dangerous side effects or other safety concerns.”
This is an incredibly personal issue for me because my periods are definitely not normal. I received my official endometriosis diagnosis after a laparoscopy in the summer of 2015. I have been working ever since to manage the painful, frustrating symptoms, which I’ve dealt with unofficially for over a decade. Traditional painkillers barely scratch the surface of my pain, and I had trouble getting doctors to take my level of pain seriously.
Up until my surgery, I was subjected to bouts of extreme discomfort and frequent UTIs. Sex was painful, and sometimes I would bleed during or after. I developed depression and anxiety while going through these unsuccessful battles with an ever-growing list of symptoms that went undiagnosed for years. I was opposed to opioid use and searched for an alternative. Not only do I understand the allure of using cannabis for period paid—I do it myself, and I find that some products really do help.
I didn’t know about CBD until I moved to California in 2017 and was shown a world of wonders (and snake oil), much of which is targeted toward women. Beauty products, supplements, and pain management aids were all labeled with “CBD” seemingly overnight. Even in California, where cannabis is legal, it isn’t regulated or FDA-approved the same way that prescription drugs are. So labels can still be inaccurate, which makes it difficult to know if you’re actually getting the dose you think you are.
Personally, I have found benefits from using CBD, and I find the best results when using CBD with THC products. That makes sense, according to a 2017 report from the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, which found that there is “conclusive or substantial evidence” that cannabis—not CBD on its own—is effective at treating chronic pain. (But not specifically pain due to PMS or endometriosis.)
I particularly gravitate toward tinctures and gummies that have a 1:1 ratio of THC to CBD (meaning they contain the same amount of both compounds) when I’m dealing with tougher days or trying to sleep. I rely on trustworthy products and brands because my well-being can’t afford anything less. I’ve also made other healthful changes in my life that have helped me manage my symptoms, like finding other supplements that work for me, getting an IUD, changing my eating habits, and working out more. CBD and cannabis aided my journey of health and self-growth.
But I’m tired of brands and headlines making CBD out to be a miracle supplement that will rid you of anxiety, stress, tension, pain, acne, inflammation, PMS—the list goes on. The reality is that people do report that cannabidiol helps them, and I would never want to diminish CBD for those who receive benefits from it. But we have to be careful about the claims we make about these substances—especially when those claims are about treating serious, chronic conditions.
When I see brands push these products to unsuspecting women, I can’t help but feel a mix of anger, sadness, and loss of hope for a real solution. Women already go through insurmountable pain with few options and skeptical doctors. When we find something that we think works, we need to know that we can consistently trust it. But right now, we don’t have that for CBD.
More than ever, it’s on us, the consumers, to be discerning—and to make sure we’re having honest, reasonable discussions about what we’re experiencing, whether or not our treatments are working, and when it’s appropriate to try something new with open-minded medical professionals. Those conversations are crucial to help you figure out exactly what your needs are and what you can really expect from a possible treatment—especially when it comes to CBD.
CBD Dosage Calculator: What’s The Best CBD Dose
As the scientific and medical communities are quickly discovering, CBD is a potent treatment for many common illnesses. Despite CBD’s rise in popularity, questions about its use still remain. Chief amongst those questions is the amount of CBD that is right for each individual.
The experts at Honest Marijuana are here to help. We’ve created this guide to serve as a CBD dosage calculator so you can figure out where to start, how to increase, and what numbers work best for you.
But before we get to the CBD dosage calculator, let’s talk a bit about the health benefits of CBD.
Medicinal Benefits Of CBD
CBD can be used to treat a large number of medical issues. Here are just a few of the things CBD can do:
- Relieve pain
- Relieve anxiety
- Reduce inflammation
- Relieve psychosis
- Stimulate appetite
- Reduce nausea
- Reduce seizure/convulsion
- Prevent nervous system degeneration
- Suppress muscle spasm
- Manage blood sugar
- Treat psoriasis
- Inhibit cancer cell growth
- Reduce risk of artery blockage
- Increase bone growth
- Kill or slow bacterial growth
Specific disorders that CBD can treat include:
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder ( ADHD )
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Parkinson’s disease
- Chronic pain
- Neuropathic pain
Now that you’re familiar with all the amazing benefits you can get from CBD, let’s dive into our CBD dosage calculator.
Consult A Doctor First
As with any substance taken for medicinal purposes, it’s always a good idea to consult your doctor or a trained medical professional. He or she can provide clinical information regarding your medical issue and make suggestions about the best form of treatment. It’s also important to keep in mind that the information in this article should not be considered medical advice.
CBD is still categorized as a “natural remedy” by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) , and there is sparse scientific data to support optimal dosing size. That’s not to say that CBD doesn’t work; it does. It simply means that the scientific community hasn’t caught up with what John and Jane Q. Public have known for some time now.
The nice thing about all this, as you’ll read in the side effects section, is that it’s nearly impossible to overdose on good quality CBD. Experimenting with CBD products is a low-risk endeavor, and you can find your own “best dosage” without the fear of side effects.
Before we talk about our CBD dosage calculator, though, let’s learn about the best method of delivery.
A Bit About Method Of Delivery
The cannabinoid CBD can be delivered into your body in a number of different ways:
But perhaps the easiest and most effective is CBD oil . CBD oil, or tincture , can be administered under your tongue, where it is absorbed directly into your bloodstream. This method of delivery bypasses the two systems in your body that can reduce the desired effects of CBD: the pulmonary system (lungs) and the digestive system.
Both systems mentioned above can filter out large amounts of the medicine you’re trying to get into your bloodstream, but the digestive system—most notably, the liver—is extremely effective at diluting chemicals that pass through it.
Because CBD oil can be absorbed directly into your bloodstream under your tongue and because these blood vessels are close to your brain, the CBD doesn’t pass through your lungs or your liver. And when CBD bypasses the liver and the lungs, it retains its original potency. That’s great news for those who want to get the most out of their medicine.
So for the purposes of this article, we will base our CBD dosage calculator on CBD oil taken under the tongue rather than the other delivery methods mentioned above.
Record Your Experience
The right CBD dosage is unique to each individual. What works for one person may not be enough for another person. As you’ll see in the next section, several factors can affect the amount of CBD necessary to achieve medical benefits.
Unfortunately, many of these factors can change from day to day, or even from hour to hour. What that means for you is that finding the best CBD dosage is going to take a bit of experimentation.
That experimentation shouldn’t be hit or miss. You don’t want to try one dosage on Monday and then an entirely different dosage on Tuesday. It shouldn’t be about picking random numbers out of a hat. Instead, record your experience down to the last detail until you’ve dialed in just the right dose for your circumstances.
We suggest purchasing a notebook or starting a spreadsheet on your computer or mobile device. In it, record such variables as your weight, what you ate, the amount of CBD oil administered, how you felt before and after, and anything else that you believe affects the experience.
Remember, this is about improving your life, so the more rigorous, vigilant, and detailed you can be the easier it will be to find the right CBD dosage.
Consider These Factors When Calculating Dosage
As we mentioned, a large number of factors affect the size of the dosage that will work for you. The quality and potency of the CBD oil will certainly affect what you feel, but other factors to consider include:
- Your weight
- Your metabolism
- Your diet
- The condition being treated
- The severity of your illness
- Your tolerance to CBD
We’ll provide some general guidelines regarding weight and suggested dosage, but keep in mind that your weight may change. This can cause the amount of CBD you need to change as well.
If you lose weight (because of a decrease in anxiety, depression, or psychosis), the CBD dosage may go down. If you gain weight (because of regaining your appetite or no longer being nauseated), the amount of CBD may increase. That’s why it’s crucial to record your progress so you can adjust things accordingly.
Other factors are not so easy to adjust. Metabolism doesn’t really change unless you make a drastic alteration in your habits (going from a sedentary lifestyle to an active lifestyle, for example). In addition, you can’t quantify your metabolism (assign a number to it), so it can be tricky to gauge the speed of your digestion. But, from experience, you probably know whether you have a fast metabolism or a slow metabolism.
Similarly, your tolerance level can have a major effect on the amount of CBD you need. Tolerance is particularly stubborn and often requires weeks, months, or even years to change.
All of these factors should be considered, tweaked, and recorded as you work through the CBD dosage calculator.
A Bit About CBD Side Effects
There are very few side effects associated with CBD (in any form). One of the only commonly reported issues is a tendency to experience dry mouth after taking CBD. In a world full of treatments with a long list of negative side effects — most of which are worse than the original problem — a bit of dry mouth is a small price to pay for a decrease in your symptoms.
The only other side effect of CBD is a decrease in your liver’s ability to process other drugs. So if you take a heart medication and add CBD to control your blood sugar, you could be doing more harm than good. Be sure to talk to a physician about whether CBD is right for your condition.
Can You Overdose On CBD?
It’s also important to note that it’s nearly impossible to overdose on CBD if you use it sensibly. The only repercussion one CBD user felt when he took a high dose was a sense of drowsiness. However, the tendency to want to sleep may not even be considered negative if you suffer from insomnia.
So what’s a high dose of CBD? We’re talking something like 50,000 milligrams of CBD. That works out to about 300 milligrams for every 2.5 pounds of body weight. There’s really no reason you would ever have to take that much CBD.
In fact, your average 180-pound male suffering from severe pain would only need to take 25 milligrams at most to feel relief. That’s a long way from 50,000 milligrams. To put that in perspective, 25 milligrams of CBD equals ⅛ teaspoon, while 50,000 milligrams equals about 33 tablespoons.
And that’s 33 tablespoons of PURE CBD. You’re not going to get that in any CBD oil on the market.
So it’s safe to say that even doses up to 1500 milligrams for an extended period of time (eg., 4 weeks) are safe and won’t cause any negative side effects.
CBD Is Biphasic
Another variable to think about when calculating your best dosage is that CBD is biphasic. That means that at certain levels, CBD provides a certain list of effects. At other — often higher — levels, CBD provides different effects.
This biphasic idea may be new to some readers, but it isn’t all that uncommon. Alcohol, for example, is biphasic. Below a certain blood alcohol content (BAC), alcohol provides a stimulating effect. Above that blood alcohol content, alcohol provides a depressant effect.
That’s not to say that CBD will act as a stimulant at one dosage level and a depressant at another, but the effects may change as the dosage increases. Again, that’s why it’s vital to record your experience so you can fine-tune what works for you.
CBD Quality Plays A Significant Role
Quality plays a significant role in determining the final CBD dosage that’s right for you. The cannabis community uses its own special scale to indicate the quality of any given strain.
Here’s how it shakes out:
- Regs — The lowest-quality form of cannabis
- Mids — As the name suggests, this is mid-quality cannabis
- Beasters — Low high-quality weed (it’s above the middle, but not quite top-shelf)
- Headies — High, high-quality weed (it doesn’t get any better than this)
When contemplating which strain to buy, opt for a high-CBD strain like Charlotte’s Web, Harlequin, Sour Tsunami, or Cannatonic. But don’t just stop with the strain. Factor in the quality of that specific product as well.
For example, if you’re faced with dropping dime for an ounce of Sour Tsunami regs or an ounce of Cannatonic mids, you’d be better off with the latter. Not because the strain is any better, but because the quality is better.
The same would apply if you had to choose between different qualities of the same strain. An eighth of Harlequin beasters is always a better choice than an eighth of Harlequin regs.
As long as you can afford it, always go with the better-quality product.
In fact, you might actually save money if you buy a small amount of high-quality CBD versus a large amount of low-quality stuff. Why? Because you won’t need as much of the high-quality product to feel the effects you need. As a result, you won’t go through your stash as quickly.
We’re not saying you can save money by spending more, but because you can stretch the high-quality CBD longer, it might not have as big an impact on your wallet as you think. It’s just painful parting with that much cash for beasters all at once even though you were spending the same on multiple trips to the dispensary to buy regs.
For a more in-depth discussion on CBD quality (and quality in general), check out these informative articles:
What Can You Expect To Feel After You Take CBD?
The right dose of CBD increases your focus and helps you avoid or dismiss distractions.
Factory workers who take CBD for a different problem find themselves better able to “put on their blinders” and block out the noise, movement, and social distractions that rage around them.
When they can focus in this way, their productivity and their job satisfaction improves.
CBD interacts with your brain and body in a way that makes you feel relaxed and calm…even in the face of high stress.
This is great news for those who can’t seem to “turn off their brain” at the end of the day in order to catch some shut-eye. CBD can help you fall asleep faster and wake up refreshed in the morning.
A dialed-in dose of CBD that’s just right for you can improve your mood without the overwhelming side effects that other antidepressants exhibit.
If you suffer from depression, PTSD, OCD, ADHD, psychosis, and other mental disorders, CBD can make you feel better fast.
4) Less Anxious
Anxiety takes many forms and can severely affect your life for the worse. CBD reduces anxiety so that situations don’t overwhelm you and make you want to curl up in a ball under a big pile of blankets.
When asked to describe their anxiety after taking CBD, some users report that they don’t react to the triggers that caused their anxiety before. They’re also able to recognize the irrationality of their triggers and let them go instead of dwelling on them.
5) Normal Blood Sugar Levels
Diabetes is a growing epidemic and millions of people deal with it every day. That worry hangs like a dark cloud over their lives and everything they do.
CBD can help stabilize blood sugar levels and make dealing with diabetes just a little bit easier. You won’t feel your blood sugar level itself, but you will feel the results of your blood sugar levels dropping.
When CBD brings your blood sugar back to normal, symptoms of hyperglycemia — like thirst, headache, tiredness, blurred vision, hunger, and trouble thinking or concentrating — disappear and your body returns to a state of equilibrium.
6) Decreased Nausea, Increased Appetite
CBD is very good at settling an upset stomach and preventing or reducing nausea. That alone will certainly make you feel better, but the decrease in nausea produces another benefit: increased appetite.
For those undergoing cancer treatment, loss of appetite due to nausea (and the resulting issues it produces) is a major problem. Finding the perfect CBD dose for your circumstances can return things to normal.
7) Reduced Swelling And Pain
If you suffer from pain and swelling — arthritis, menstrual cramps, headaches, psoriasis, dermatitis, or sore muscles — the right CBD dose can make you feel better.
CBD is well known for its analgesic properties, which is why CBD creams are becoming more and more popular every day.
CBD Dosage Suggestions
Below, we’ve produced a table of dosage suggestions based on your weight and the severity of your ailment (pain level). Use these as suggestions as a starting point and adjust your dosage up or down accordingly.
With these suggestions in mind, let’s move to our CBD dosage calculator.
CBD Dosage Calculator Method
Each CBD oil product will have a different dosage amount and a different percentage of CBD per dose. Thankfully, all it takes is a bit of simple math and you can use these numbers (along with the starting dosage recommendations listed above) to find how much CBD oil to take to get the right amount of CBD. Here’s how to do it.
First, read the label of your CBD oil of choice to find the serving suggestions. It will probably say something like:
Serving Size: X drops
Elsewhere on the label will be listed the amount of CBD (in milligrams) per serving. With that information, you can use our CBD dosage calculator method to find the dose that’s just right for you.
To help you in this regard, we’ll walk you through calculating your ideal dose using a hypothetical CBD oil.
Below is the serving size and amount of CBD per serving for our hypothetical CBD oil:
Serving Size: 10 drops
Amount Per Serving: 25 mg
From that information, we can write the following equivalency:
10 drops = 25 mg CBD
Now, let’s say you are a 180-pound male with mild pain. Your starting dosage per the chart above would be 18 mg. Rather than take too much too soon, we can figure out how much CBD each drop contains by dividing 25 by 10.
25 divided by 10 = 2.5
So each drop of CBD oil contains 2.5 mg of CBD.
Now, we can take our starting dosage from the chart (18 mg) and divide it by 2.5 mg to find out how many drops we need.
18 divided by 2.5 = 7.2
It takes 7.2 drops to administer 18 mg of CBD. It’s going to be nearly impossible to give yourself 0.2 of a drop, so round this number to 7. If the number after the decimal is five or higher, consider rounding up instead of down.
So all you need to do is:
- Find the serving size for your CBD oil (in this case, 10 drops).
- Find the CBD in milligrams (mg) that serving size contains (in this case, 25 mg).
- Determine the suggested starting dosage for your weight and condition.
- Do a little simple math.
No complicated formulas. No fancy tools necessary.
General Guidelines For CBD Dosage Calculators
To find just the right dosage for your situation, we highly recommend starting small. Remember, the least amount of medicine you can take to feel relief from your symptoms the better.
Experiment with a certain dosage for three days to give your body time to react to the medication. Adjust the dosage up or down accordingly for the next three-day period. If you feel any discomfort from a dosage, decrease it immediately the next time you take the CBD oil. You can always increase gradually from there.
The Bottom Line
As you can see, CBD can be very useful in the fight against many chronic and debilitating diseases, but the medical community is still catching on. Until they come out with their own set of dosage recommendations, you can calculate your ideal number with a bit of experimentation and some simple math. What are you waiting on?
For more information on all things cannabis, and to check out our 100 percent all-natural marijuana products, visit HonestMarijuana.com today.