A week or so back I wrote about Cannabis for Endometriosis and I mentioned at the end that CBD oil derived from hemp is legal in the UK and available at MediPen and at Holland and Barrett. The other day I was desperate for pain relief, I actually had a really bad back caused by an awkward office chair and knew I was due on in the next few days, so I didn't have time to order the Medipen and also it's a little on the pricey side at £50 (though I think reasonable, now I understand the market better). So I went to Holland and Barrett's and though I was reluctant because of the lack of information on the bottle, I thought it worth trialing.
The assistant in the shop seemed to not 100% know what this was used for, he said it was great for acne and when I asked about pain, he seemed a bit surprised and kind of went along with what I was saying and said this specific bottle would probably help. I'm not blaming him at all, the CBD world is super confusing to me and I had to ask my boyfriend for help understanding all the strengths, but basically I bought it from someone who was unsure what this specific brand could offer me.
The bottle has limited information on it and doesn't say what it's for, so seeing 2.75% didn't mean much to me and to be honest kind of seemed suspicious. However, I've since checked their website and this is what they say the oil can be used for :
"In terms of helping the body to function better, it is evident that CBD offers enormous support and it has an immediate and positive effect on our health. It also provides support in connection to various diseases and relieves nervousness, tension and pain."
Because of the lack of clarity, I was unsure how soon the pain relief would work. I took the recommended dosage of a couple of drops under the tongue, and didn't feel much, except vaguely sick (they do suggest you may need to start slowly). The back pain was REALLY bad, so I took more about an hour later, which I think is okay, as I kept under the daily limit.
When taking the drops didn't seem to do much, I went to the bathroom and rubbed it on my back (CBD rubs are a thing, so I went with that logic) - now, when I went back in I re-positioned my chair and desk, so it could have been that which brought me relief, but my pain did suddenly go. At the time, I assumed it was the rub and was very happy with my purchase!
The next day, my period came and boy was it bad (I've since worked out that tomatoes might be a trigger for me). Anyway, I tried the drops when I came on, I tried them again and again, and I rubbed the oil on too, but I didn't feel any relief. I ended up going with my trusty kit of magnesium spray, magnesium baths, yoga, heat pads and a TENS machine. On top of this, I felt really sick every time I swallowed the oil and so overall felt pretty disappointed.
I've since stopped using the drops, mainly because I'm a bit psychologically damaged from the sick feeling and need to give it some time to try again. In the meantime, I've done some research. Because we're still so early into this age of using CBD medicinally, the guidelines are vague, but from what I can gather 20 - 50% is where you want to be aiming for pain relief, whereas this bottle is 2.75%. However, CBD+ say that "The oil’s CBD content of 2,75% is the ideal quantity." and they also mention the following in their FAQs section:
"A standard dosage for CBD oil doesn’t really exist. Everyone reacts differently to CBD and someone weighing 20 kg obviously requires far less than someone weighing 125 kg. In addition, the one complaint requires more CBD than the other. Various medical studies show that 2 mg of CBD can be just as effective as 200 mg. It is therefore a question of what you feel you need. Many people start off with a dose of 2 drops of oil under the tongue taken 3 times daily. Based on the effect, after a few days to weeks you will be able to feel whether you require a higher or lower dose. The most important thing here is to make sure you do whatever you feel comfortable with. CBD products containing percentages above 10% aren’t necessarily better. It is important for the product to contain all substances produced by the plant. It is also important to use a product containing less than 0.05% THC. A THC level above this percentage has a negative effect on the development of children’s brains. Not many people know this. So you should always ask your supplier about the exact THC percentage."
I'm not sure what they mean by the 'ideal quantity', but judging from their reviews, it seems to be working for others.
"This has been working great for the fibromyalgia pain I deal with daily. Definitely recommend it for managing pain. And in the regular shops!"
"I’m using the oil I bought at Holland and Barrett to treat anxiety and hopefully depression the more I use it. I know it works for anxiety because after a few minutes of taking my first drops, I felt really relaxed and a little uplift in mood. I didn’t use that much either, great product. I am very hopeful."
The reviews here are really interesting and worth a read, many talk about their hands (arthritis maybe?), anxiety and depression. A few mention that they take them daily, so I'm now wondering if that's the trick here - constant, low dosage use, which to be fair is what is suggested on the bottle. My problem with this is that when you look up CBD for pain on the internet, you come to the conclusion that it should be able to help as and when you take it, like magnesium sprays help, for example, but perhaps this dosage is too low to really offer this kind of immediacy.
Endometriosis pain in many of us is incredibly severe and it doesn't seem to me that this is a high enough dosage to actually work in the moment on such an intense pain, but it could be that it's something to take down your general daily pain by building it up in your system. Now I've read the reviews, though I'm still skeptical about the percentage, I'm willing to try again on a daily basis. I don't have much of the bottle left, so I'm tempted to begin 10 days before my period when cramping slowly begins.
For now, I think I'm going to try the MediPen for immediate pain relief and see how it goes with CBD+. I'll keep you posted!