Prof. Mike Barnes is an expert in cannabis, he has spent the recent years of his career pushing media campaigns for the licensing of therapeutic cannabis and continually does so.
Amongst other things, he has witnessed the effectiveness of various cannabis products and cannabis-derived food supplements for general wellbeing. He has a firm understanding of the science behind it and we therefore wanted to interview Prof. Mike Barnes to answer questions we receive from our community.
Could you provide some insights on the safety profile of CBD?
CBD is remarkably safe, it has some minor side effects, but the vast majority of people, probably about 80%, have no side effects at all. In higher doses, you can get a dry mouth, it can get people slightly dizzy, maybe a stomach upset. Overall though, those side effects are on high doses and are very rare on the doses found in food supplements that are readily available.
Can CBD make you high?
No, CBD cannot make you high. Its cousin THC is the cannabinoid that does make people high, and that is what generally recreational users seek. CBD on the other hand, indeed counteracts the effect of a high, so you will not be impaired with CBD as you can be with THC.
Does CBD have any effect on the COVID19 virus?
That is currently a very common question. There are many tales on the internet, that if you are on CBD or other forms of cannabis you are better off with the virus and will recover more quickly. Other tales say you would not recover as well and would suffer more side effects if you are on CBD with the coronavirus.
The truth is, neither one nor the other. As far as we understand, the coronavirus and CBD mix perfectly well, there is no interaction either positive or negative. However, it might be considered beneficial if CBD helps with improved general wellbeing, reducing anxiety and improving appetite, which might be useful in case of COVID-19 infection.
What is the maximum dosage in a day?
For normal wellness problems the average dose of CBD is around 60 -100mg per day. The FSA states people should not consume over 70mg per day, but that is not based on any scientific backing and frankly I don’t agree with them. You should start with a low dose, because a small portion of the population, about 10%, are sensitive to CBD and actually need tiny doses of about 10 or 20mg to feel the effect. Therefore everyone should start with that kind of low dose and perhaps increase by 10mg every week until they obtain the effect they require.
How do I know how much I should take?
Well it is not a magic number, it is very variable, some people need a high dose and others need a low dose. The best thing to do is start with a low dose, 10 or 20mg daily, divided in 2 or 3 doses and build it up slowly until you get the effect you want.
Why do so many athletes consume CBD? How does it help muscles and joints?
It helps with recovery and relieves the minor aches and pains you experience during exercise. Athletes take it before or after exercise, and it helps ease aches and pains that occur immediately after exercise or more often a few days after. Athletes find CBD helps calm their muscles and joints and allows them to get back to training more readily.
What defines a good quality CBD?
There is not enough control in this market and it does need more regulations. Sometime you can buy an over-the-counter CBD but what it contains is not what it says on the label. For example, there have been cases in the United States where some CBDs did not contain any CBD at all!
I think there are a couple of guidelines, one is the Certificate of Analysis (CoA). This is not something you would normally ask for, but I would ask for one. The shop selling it, or the online manufacturer itself should be able to produce a CoA and that will tell you exactly what is in it to a high standard. Preferably that should be done by an external lab and not the company itself determining the analysis.
It should not have any additives in the substance, and having an organic certificate is useful.
There are a few other indications such as the extraction method. There are various methods of extracting cannabinoids from the plant. Some are meant to be better than others and this is a highly fraught area on the internet, with many people sharing firm opinions. However probably the cleanest way of doing this is via what we call a Supercritical CO2 extraction. I won’t go into the technicalities of this but it produces a clean purer product than many other extraction methods.
So, in summary, look at the certificate of analysis, look at what is in it, make sure there are no unnecessary additives and see what the extraction method is and whether it holds organic certification, put all that together and those who tick all the boxes should be a good quality, safe, consistent and reliable product.