A Doctor’s Experiment with CBD Oil
CBD oil is the rage these days. Just walk down a main street in your town and you will likely find at least one store with “CBD” or “Shaman” written on it. I hear it all of the time in my office and, for some reason, patients cringe a bit when they tell me they are giving it a try. The perception seems to be that alternative medicine options are either offensive or wasteful to their Doctors. I do not believe that is the case.
As a Family Physician, I consider myself to be moderate. I am not so close-minded to think that it must have the name of a pharmaceutical company behind it to be beneficial for patients. Heck, I desperately tried clove on a bad tooth a few years ago and that stuff worked. Try it someday.
I do want evidence that treatments work and will not harm before recommending them for patients, though. That’s where alternative medicine options get tricky for Doctors. CBD oil is no exception to that.
And when we get brochures like this in the mail, it freaks us out:
I guess I missed the week in medical school that we learned about the “Endocannabinoid” system …
Here is what I know to be true about CBD Oil:
- CBD Oil is extracted from hemp plants. It is non-euphoric and non addictive.
- CBD is considered a supplement by the FDA, not a medication. #oils Thus, it is not federally regulated for safety and accuracy. Doctors don’t like that. A JAMA study in 2017 showed that only 31% of CBD oil contained the amount advertised and 20% actually contained THC. Not good.
- CBD oil HAS BEEN SHOWN to help: Seizures (especially in the form of Lennox-Gastaut and Dravet Syndromes), muscle spasticity associated with Multiple Sclerosis, increasing appetite in wasting associated with cancer and AIDS
- CBD oil will MOST LIKELY (studies are pointing that way but not a sure things yet) help with neuropathic pain. Typically described as burning, tingling, stinging sensations and medication options are limited in this class.
- CBD oil MAY help (more studies are needed in humans) with chronic pain, anxiety, and insomnia
- Side effects include nausea, diarrhea, headache, and tiredness. They are generally mild.
- CBD oil can interact with prescription medications – check with your Doctor before use
- Appropriate dosing recommendations have not been established
I don’t have any personal experience with CBD and results from my patients have been varied. So, I figured for your sake I should try it. The problem is that I am still breast-feeding and I wouldn’t want to take a chance with my baby. My husband, that’s another story. I love the man but any unintended consequences are completely deserved.
Our Trial of CBD Oil:
My husband, Brian, and I hit up our most popular local CBD dispensary, American Shaman. He has been running lately and, with the baby, struggling with hamstring and wrist pain (see my post on de Quervain’s if that fits you).
Our Visit to the Shaman
We decided to follow the shaman’s advice to perfection to give it a fair trial. We purchased both the oral solution and a topical cream to rub on the hamstring for added benefit. That stuff wasn’t cheap ($52 for the oral and $20 for the topical treatment).
I asked the shaman to see the results of their lab testing to assure accuracy of product (no THC as I don’t need my husband accidentally getting high and having more excuses to do nothing and have midnight munchies). He was more than willing to show me.
The used ProVerde lab (popular amongst these establishments) and their results from the sample submitted in 2018 showed no THC detected. The shaman told us that up to 0.3% THC is permitted in many states but not ours (good legitimate information). He seemed knowledgeable about the product.
He instructed my husband to take 1/2 mL twice a day of the oral solution and expected results within 4-5 days. I instructed my husband to run daily and remove his wrist brace for the next week. In typical Brian fashion, he skipped running the first two days. When confronted by his annoyed wife who reminded him that she spent $80 on this trial, he claimed to be getting sick.
My Husband’s Take on Following Instructions
After that, he went to the local YMCA for 3 hours a day for the next 2 days. I did NOT tell him to spend an hour in the steam room or hot tub. As a result, he came home to an equally annoyed wife. I warned you that he deserved any repercussions – I know you agree.
Brian did faithfully (with frequent reminders from his Doctor wife) take his CBD oil twice a day and rubbed the topical sporadically. After 4-5 days, he noted a 50% improvement in his hamstring pain and 30% in the wrist. He’s a numbers guy. He felt that increased to 60% in the hamstring at the 10 day marker.
Those are decent results in my opinion. The question for you remains – is $80 worth a 50-60% improvement?
In my N-1 study, Brian says YES. Of course, as he reminds me, he didn’t pay for it and there is a small statistical chance he is still high.
If you are considering CBD Oil, find a reputable establishment, ask to see their testing, and check with your Doctor for interactions first. The good news: it is usually well tolerated with little side effects. The bad news: more studies are needed to confirm if it works for the more common complaints and those may never be done.
For more Blog Posts on Our Treatment Trials: https://doctormome.com/stop-those-sugar-cravings/