A Public Health Nurse Primer on CBD

Original publication date 8/13/21 Omaha.com

Americans already spending $30 billion a year seeking more natural medicines to treat conditions like anxiety, pain and insomnia, while moving away from pharmaceutical drugs, are experiencing the benefit of cannabis, without getting high, by using CBD.

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is just one of over 120 active, non intoxicating therapeutic compounds, called cannabinoids, found in the plant Cannabis Sativa. First identified by scientists in 1940, CBD is the most abundant plant cannabinoid found in cannabis grown for industry, or Hemp.

Unlike high THC cannabis cultivated for euphoria, CBD imparts a subtle, imperceptible feeling of wellbeing with a gentle “lifting of discomfort” that brings relaxation, subtle release of pain, decreased anxiety and emotional ease. Without a buzz.

How does CBD work?

An adaptogen, a substance that helps one adapt to stress or injury, CBD is the ultimate adaptogen bringing balance and harmony to every level of existence, mind body and Spirit. What ever hurts, CBD can, in high enough doses, provide some measure relief.

Anti-inflammatory, anti- oxidant and neuro protective, CBD has greater antioxidant power of Vitamin C and Vitamin E, to protect cells against the damage of free radicals and cellular aging while giving ten times the pain relieving effect of morphine.

CBD also reduces inflammation by shutting down the microglia cells responsible for inflammation in our immune system. CBD works with our Endocannabinoid System, or ECS, the master regulator of every system in our body to “up regulate” molecules that balance cellular “tone” or fitness, wrecked by chronic stress and the toxic Western diet.

The ‘classic” endocannabinoid system, ECS, consists of cannabinoid receptors CB1, the most abundant receptor in the central nervous system, along with CB2, the immune system and skin receptor. Molecules Anandamide “the molecule of bliss” and 2AG, the workhorse cannabinoid are the primary activating cannabinoids.

There are also molecules that make and breakdown cannabinoids which are the most frequent target for drugs development. Raw chocolate makes us feel happy because it prevents enzymes from breaking down the “molecule of bliss”, Anandamide, thereby helping to ease “the blues” and giving us the “chocolate buzz”.

How can CBD help?

In anxiety, CBD helps generalized anxiety, panic attacks, compulsive behaviors and severe social anxiety, as well as the long term effects of uncontrolled stress.

CBD acts directly to activate serotonin receptor sites on gut and midbrain cells, delivering more immediate relief for conditions treated with SSRI inhibitors like Buspar, Paxil, or Wellbutrin. In the research, a dosing range of 5mg - 10mg/kg of pure CBD produced the greatest range of positive effects. While, high doses, over 600mg/day, became ineffective.

Lexapro, Xanex, Wellbutrin, Clonepin and Seroquel

In sleep studies, pure CBD produced alertness, contrary to popular reports of CBD inducing sleep. Cannabinoid scientist Dr. Ethan Russo, suggests the drowsiness produced by whole plant or full spectrum CBD, is produced by other plant molecules as opposed to CBD.

However, in my professional and personal practice, using pure CBD, since 2015, I can confirm pure CBD, in very low doses, does help induce sleep. Important to test a range of doses for optimal symptom management in sleep. High dose topical application of pure CBD has been reported to induce sleep, as well.

In pain? CBD activates cannabis pain receptors in our skin and topical CBD produces days long pain relief compared to other methods.

Neuropathic pain responds well to treatment with CBD, especially in combination with topical application of pain relieving ointments containing Rosemary, Lavender or Arnica. Menthol and Camphor are frequently used for cooling pain relief, however I find these essential oils tend to increase the burning and tingling of neuropathy. I personally avoid products with these essential oils for this reason. As little as 25 to 50mg of CBD combined with topical pain relievers have produced the best clinical impact for my clients.

A study on the effects of Chiropractic like manipulation confirms stress-reduction techniques, such as meditation, yoga, and deep breathing exercises mimic the effect of CBD in the body.

Utilizing any of these therapies in conjunction with CBD can greatly enhance the healing properties of CBD. In combination with a healthy diet full of prebiotic vegetables like Chicory to support healthy gut bacteria, CBD and alternative therapies can dramatically impact healing.

Most consumers do not use enough CBD, according to the research.

Research driven dosing are between 5mg/kg to 25mg/kg of CBD. This can mean a minimum dose of 100mg, in some cases, depending on your weight.

Although, four years of patient case studies have demonstrated, most conditions respond quite well to 100mg per day of pure CBD regardless of other cannabinoids. Due to the high amount of CBD needed for effective treatment, cost is a significant factor and mixing your own high dose oil is one option to reduce costs and control dosing.

To figure the cost of your CBD, simply divide the cost/milligrams, mg, of CBD in the bottle. That number will help identify you the cost of treatment with a particular brand by multiplying the cost per mg by the number of mg you need to treat your condition.

Also important to know the amount of CBD per milliliter, ml, as that will help you measure an accurate medication dose. Pure, 99% CBD enriched oil, is safe and effective for the whole family as a broad spectrum pain reliever, calmative and first aid for a variety of conditions, including skin ailments.

Safe and effective for children, I have used 99% pure CBD to relieve anxiety, enhance immunity and increase wellbeing in my own young grandchildren. Older pets, will get the greatest benefit from CBD, with relief to arthritic joints and inflammation. CBD can also help settle a high strung or traumatized animal. CBD is safe and effective for mature humans too.

With the potential to provide relief from multiple health conditions without the unwanted side effects of stronger pharmaceutical drugs, CBD will be the next big all around medication since aspirin.


Love and Healing,

Nurse Courtney