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Some time ago, during a pit stop at my local café, I noticed a new item on the menu: CBD cold brew. Now, I normally avoid cold brew, which transforms me in to a jittery, agitated wreck. But I had heard of the possible calming properties of CBD-short for cannabidiol, the non-intoxicating compound in cannabis-and wondered whether it would smooth out the caffeine’s stimulatory effects. Minutes later, I was cautiously sipping the supposed elixir. For the rest of the day, I was focused and alert, however, not anxious like I get when I down regular cold brew. Was the CBD working?

Exactly the same question means the bevy of other foods and beverages CBD indicates up in lately: chocolate-dipped pretzels, kombucha, salad dressing, even fried chicken, just to mention a few. Some studies have suggested that may be promising beyond doubt health problems, but none have looked at food products which contain CBD, leaving their effectiveness up for debate.

Does CBD in food even work? Firstly: It might be uber-trendy in wellness circles, but CBD “is not really a panacea,” says James Giordano, a professor of neurology and biochemistry at Georgetown University Medical Center. Jeff Chen, director in the University of California Los Angeles Cannabis Research Initiative, agrees. So far, the FDA has approved a CBD drug for any rare, severe kind of epilepsy, while animal studies and “very, very preliminary” human trials suggest CBD even offers therapeutic potential for other conditions, such as anxiety and insomnia.

CBD, part of a class of compounds known as cannabinoids, acts on the same receptors as endocannabinoids, neurotransmitters your body naturally synthesizes. These receptors, based in the brain, make up the endocannabinoid system, regarded as associated with regulating numerous biological functions, including mood, sleep and pain. CBD may take different routes with the bloodstream to get to cannabinoid receptors in the brain, depending on how you consume it. When inhaled or applied under the tongue, for instance, CBD reaches the mind pretty quickly, Giordano says. But when ingested as being an additive to food or drink, it takes longer. Just before getting absorbed from your gut into the bloodstream, CBD gets metabolized inside the liver, which inactivates a number of it-meaning the total amount that grows to the mind winds up being much smaller compared to amount ingested.

Chen notes that this dose of CBD shown to help ease pediatric epilepsy, schizophrenia, or anxiety in clinical trials was at the very least several hundred milligrams a day, although in one study, 15 milligrams of CBD appeared to boost alertness. This suggests that each condition or purpose demands a different dose of CBD. The dose in many products skews low, though: Just one Hemp Bombs CBD gummy (one serving) packs only 15 milligrams of CBD as an example, while a can of Queen City CBD Seltzer contains 5 milligrams of CBD hemp oil per 12 ounce serving. When contacted for comment, a rep from Queen City cited the aforementioned (very preliminary) human research and krkkmm out that CBD comes minus the unwanted effects that pharmaceuticals can have. Would be the doses people are taking even effective for what they’re seeking to treat, though? “We don’t know,” Chen says.

Nevertheless, should you endorse your nighttime CBD gummies, it doesn’t really mean you’re just experiencing a placebo effect. “Some folks are very responsive to [CBD], and also low doses from it can have an effect on them,” Giordano says. He adds that the sweet spot for most of us lies anywhere between one and around 5 or 6 milligrams for each ten pounds of the weight. For a 100-pound woman, then, 10 milligrams is “a good low dose, and she might be responsive to that effect.”

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