Dr Dani Gordon is a medical doctor, a published researcher and is American board certified in Integrative & Holistic Medicine (ABIHM). She has a leading cannabis medicine referral-based practise in Canada which specialises in the treatment of chronic conditions, including anxiety, depression and chronic pain.
So to say she is one of the world’s leading experts in CBD and clinical cannabis medicine is rather an understatement, She is now based in the UK, training doctors, involved with medical cannabis non profit groups, advising on research and policy and is vice chair of the UK Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society.
Dr Dani has just published her new book The CBD Bible: Cannabis and the Wellness revolution that will change your life, in which she makes incredible claims about the super plant, calling it the ‘world’s oldest yet most misunderstood medicines.’
And so we were so excited to be able to catch up with Dr Dani to ask her all the questions you, our loyal customers, have been wanting to know. Here we go…
What exactly is CBD?
CBD stands for cannabidiol, the most common non-intoxicating plant chemical from the cannabis sativa plant. CBD wellness products are not the same as ‘black market’ cannabis or marijuana, which are the types of cannabis plants that have more than THC above the ‘trace’
amount allowed in hemp types used to make the CBD wellness products sold legally without a prescription in the UK.
What is the difference between CBD and medical cannabis containing THC?
People sometimes get confused between CBD oils sold in shops and medical cannabis, which is available only from a doctor in the UK by special prescription. The main difference between hemp CBD wellness products and CBD oils you can buy vs. medical cannabis is the THC content. THC is the plant chemical known to produce the ‘high feeling’ but it can also be medicinal when prescribed by a doctor in medical cannabis especially for severe medical issues. CBD from hemp, however, contains either zero THC or only ‘trace’ amounts and is considered a wellness supplement rather than a medication, although it can still have quite powerful effects!
CBD is considered non toxic by the World Health Organization and doctors like myself who specialise in this area and is very safe for most people to try as a supplement, especially at the lower doses in CBD wellness products and unlike cannabis with THC, it cannot make you high, stoned or impaired.
Although medical cannabis on prescription does contain some CBD, it also contains varying amounts of THC, which can have additional benefits when used in small measured doses under a doctor’s supervision.
How can CBD work for so many issues all at once?
CBD works for so many issues in different parts of the body and the brain because it uses our own natural system, called our endocannabinoid system or ECS, which is our main ‘balancing’ system. It helps balance everything from our appetite and metabolism to our stress response, inflammation, gut health and immune system balance, protects the brain from trauma and helps us keep all of the other brain chemical and body systems running smoothly.
It is like a master operator in our systems and CBD from hemp and cannabis work on this very system. That explains why CBD seems to be able to ‘do everything.’ This system is still not taught to all new doctors so hence the medical community can still be quite skeptical of the benefits of cbd and cannabinoids, but this is slowly changing thankfully and is part of my education mission!
How should I take CBD and how do I know the best dose for me?
Your body will tell you! Everyone’s body responds a bit differently to CBD because each of us have a slightly endocannabinoid system and needs for it, which is how CBD works in our brains and bodies. So the best way to tell is to use what is called the ‘start low go slow’ method and track the specific issues or symptoms you want to target or just your general feelings of wellbeing and markers of that such as energy levels, sleep and stress levels in a journal or app.
You may want to take it with a meal or a fatty snack since it may help absorption, as well as if you use an oil, try to hold it under your tongue for a short period of time.
I have used this approach with my patients and clients over the years as a general guide: try starting with 10mg of a cbd oil 2-3 times a day and increasing a bit every few days until you find your ‘sweet spot.’ This sweet spot may also change over time, so getting in tune with your body and mind is one of the great side benefits of using cbd as a tool. For example, you may find that when you are going through a more stressful or busier period or at certain times of the month, you do better with a higher daily dose vs. other times you may need it less. It’s all a process of self-discovery with you in the driver’s seat since CBD is very safe at the wellness doses used by most people using the hemp-based products available.
What is the best form of CBD and what makes a good product?
It depends on what you want to use it for! Topicals can be great for localised pain or inflammation, such as for skin issues or for joint pains or a specific muscle niggle. Oils and edibles, on the other hand, can be best for general wellbeing support as well as targeting more
‘whole body’ symptoms or mental symptoms like stress and anxiety or helping support winding down in the evening.
The most important thing is that the product you choose has what is called a ‘COA’ or certificate of analysis for their product, meaning that it has been tested by a third party independent lab to confirm it has the amount of CBD in it that it claims to, as well as being free from residues from toxins, pesticides, heavy metals, THC above the trace limit etc.
How long should I take CBD and how long does it take to work?
Some people find they feel calmer or better even shortly after taking a dose of CBD by mouth, for example, in an oil especially if they take a bigger dose at a time. Other people find they notice a gradual improvement in their wellness and symptoms they want to target over time, and these effects tend to increase over weeks and even months of daily or regular use. Some people take it every day for chronic issues vs others take a bigger dose ‘on demand’ when they feel stressed or before their period for women who suffer with period issues.
Specifically, what can I try CBD for and for what types of things may it be helpful?
Based on early research, much of which is animals but more and more in humans, CBD has being proven to help with a variety of seemingly unrelated issues, since it acts on the system we have naturally within us (our endocannabinoid system or ECS) which controls everything from immune system factors and affects our gut health to our stress response and sleep wake cycles. That’s why it can be such a great wellness tool because it does triple or quadruple duty! That being said, CBD wellness products in the UK cannot make medical claims and meant as a wellness supplement.
I have found working with thousands of patients using cannabinoids and cbd over the years that people tend to have not just one of these issues along but multiple overlapping ones. It is not a cure for any one condition, but it is a huge ‘herbal helper’ and can be used alongside other herbs, relaxation practices and even meditation or just on its own for a quick helping hand. I have found that CBD at the wellness doses found in hemp products can be very useful in areas such as:
● Inflammation of many types-from skin inflammation to gut inflammation
● IBS and gut issues
● Women’s Health Issues like PMS, period pain, moodiness etc
● Anxiety and stress and used as part of an anti-burnout supplement regimen
● Sleep support-by calming down the nervous system and it may help decrease the stress
hormone levels in the brain and body
● Pain-from arthritis to muscle achiness to fibromyalgia and sports injuries
● Enhancing your sex life
● Skin issues including dry itching skin
For a chance to win a free copy of Dr. Dani Gordon’s book ‘The CBD Bible’ which is a complete guide to CBD and medical cannabis, click here to enter the book giveaway.