If you’ve ever taken more than the recommended dose of acetaminophen or ibuprofen, it’s often because more is needed. Maybe you’re suffering from the flu and need to break a fever, or have an especially bad headache. Most painkillers, prescription or over-the-counter, work in this way: more medicine means more relief.
One of the largest learning curves when it comes to cannabidiol is that it’s biphasic: more CBD does not necessarily mean more relief. It means different relief. The science of cannabinoids is still developing and there’s a lot of trial-and-error for patients and caregivers. The ratio of CBD to THC is also important rather than a straight dose of CBD. Researchers are unclear as to why small amounts of THC bring out the benefits of CBD, but they do. I’ve noticed a pattern that suggests the higher the ratio of CBD to THC, the better it works for medical conditions that are difficult to treat.
Multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia and Dravet syndrome are diseases CBD can potentially treat when conventional methods have failed. MS an\d fibromyalgia occur often enough in the population that pharmaceutical companies have devoted resources towards developing new treatments, but Dravet syndrome is more rare. It presents in children less than a year old and is devastating to their quality of life. Treatments for epilepsy in general requires heavy doses of tranquilizing drugs, and this can cause long term harm to a growing child. CBD’s potential to treat Dravet syndrome is significant enough that pharmaceutical companies have taken notice and are studying CBD in full scale clinical trials.
I was curious if an 18:1 ratio could work for my seasonal affective disorder. Luckily, southern California has very few cloudy days, but those days can stop me in my tracks. Care by Design’s collection of CBD sprays has been great for my pain and IBS symptoms in lower ratios, but I didn’t notice any antidepressant qualities. During a rainy week, I tried their 18:1 sublingual spray.
Having used Care by Design’s sprays before, I knew 3-4 sprays works well for me. For reference, I’m 5’11” and height and weight should be considered when determining a proper dose. The company suggests 1-2 sprays and that is an excellent place to start for a full grown adult. While I’ve heard patients sometimes mix the spray into a drink or food, I would not recommend this when you’re relying on this medicine for acute conditions. I find the taste of the sprays to be very mild, but “chasing” the spray with water will all but eliminate the cannabis flavor after you’ve used the spray.
On a typical cloudy day, normal tasks require a lot of motivation for me. I have to force myself to get up, make coffee, read my email and so on. Each step feels like my mind and body are saying “NOPE.” After three sprays in the morning, it felt like a totally normal day. Compared to typical antidepressants, I noticed a change rather quickly. I also noticed when it tapered off in the afternoon, so I took 3 more sprays around 4pm. With a week’s worth of El Niño weather, I was able to see what daily use was like. It was a nice feeling to know that the spray works as needed and doesn’t linger in my system. I’m not opposed to long-term therapies at all, but I am opposed to taking something when it’s not necessary. As soon as the sun came back, I wanted to go back to my normal routine. Even when I was using the spray, it felt like my normal routine. I didn’t feel “high” or even a reduced amount of anxiety (there are other ratios and other cannabis products I would use for that effect). I simply was able to function normally without the heaviness that depression brings to the mind and body.
One of the great aspects of CBD, and cannabis in general, is that I experience no withdrawal. While there is anecdotal evidence that suggests marijuana withdrawal exists, I personally have not had that experience, nor have I with any CBD product (in contrast, my caffeine withdrawal symptoms might be the worst withdrawal I’ve ever experienced!). That can’t be said for prescription antidepressants, some of which can lead to seizures and comas when stopped abruptly. Because of this, antidepressants in general require a significant time commitment to see if they work, and more time to taper off should they be ineffective or produce unwanted side effects. For those who experience temporary depressions, this could be an option in dealing with those situations. Depression is a complicated illness with many causes and even more treatment options, and this product is unique among those options.
In choosing a CBD treatment, dosage is critical. Care by Design thoroughly tests their products, and I’m confident that I’m getting what I pay for when I choose their products. CBD products are an investment and Care by Design has taken steps to establish trust with patients by being transparent about their manufacturing process and their testing. I will continue to search for their products when looking for a reliable CBD medication.
Photo credit: Care By Design