Let’s dive into all the details on what CBD oil is and how to use it.
CBD, short for , is extracted from Cannabis Indica and Cannabis Sativa, the same plants that are dried to make marijuana. It may also be found in Hemp, a relative of the two that was bred to decrease levels of psychoactive compounds like THC. This means that it’s safe to use. So if you want to get the health benefits, but avoid the ‘high’ that cannabis is famous for, make sure to go for oils that expressly say they are pure CBD.
There are many compounds in cannabidiol that have different effects so let us go in-depth on an analysis of the benefits of CBD oils and tinctures so you can see for yourself what research says about this modern ‘wonder-oil’.
Is CBD Oil Legal?
First of all, CBD products derived from Hemp and that have less than 0.3% THC are legal in most states. A purified form of CBD oil was approved by the FDA in June of 2018 to treat two rare types of epilepsy.
This was the same year that the Farm Bill was signed into law making hemp-derived CBD legal at the federal level because hemp was reclassified as an agricultural commodity and not a Schedule 1 Substance.
With CBD derived from marijuana, there are more technicalities. Some states, like Colorado and California, allow the use of marijuana for recreation so naturally the CBD from marijuana is legal to possess and use.
Forty-seven states allow the use of CBD oil extracted from both hemp and marijuana strictly for medicinal use with each state having different regulations.
Conditions That Can be Improved by Using CBD Oil
It is currently common knowledge that CBD oil has a vast range of benefits and can help with certain conditions. A study done in 2020 evaluated 397 adults in New Zealand by prescribing medical CBD for a variety of health issues and after 3 weeks of use, up to 70% reported improvements with their issues while 9.9% experienced adverse side effects like vivid dreams and sedation.
Following is an outline of some conditions that have been shown to improve after using treatments involving CBD oil:
The first ever CBD treatment to be approved by the FDA (as mentioned earlier) is for two rare types of epilepsy, namely Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome, that are difficult to control with other drugs. Many clinical trials have shown that it’s beneficial to add CBD to drugs meant to treat epilepsy in order to improve their effectiveness in infants, children, and teenagers.
Research is still being done in order to ascertain the best dose and usage as well as to find ways of drastically reducing the negative effects of these syndromes. So far, the benefits outweigh possible risks.
One of the most common psychiatric conditions, anxiety disorders have been shown to improve from treatment with CBD. It interacts with the CB1R (Cannabinoid Type 1 Receptor) and the serotonin 5-HT1A in the brain to regulate fear and other anxiety-induced behaviors. It has been shown that CBD oil effectively treats:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
- Social anxiety disorder (SAD)
- Panic disorder(PD)
A study in which 72 patients with anxiety and sleep problems were treated with CBD showed that after two months of treatment, between 78.1% and 79.2% of the participants reported improvement in their anxiety symptoms.
Research has shown that CBD is a neuroprotector with the ability to treat neurodegenerative diseases including:
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Amyotropic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
- Parkinson’s disease
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Huntington’s disease
One study done in the past showed that CBD might help people to retain the ability to recognize familiar faces which is often lost by people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
Sativex is a drug that contains both THC and CBD and is prescribed by doctors in some countries to relieve spasticity in people suffering from multiple sclerosis.
While CBD can reduce the inflammation that worsens neurodegenerative symptoms, more research is underway in order to fully understand the benefits of CBD in neurodegeneration.
CBD has growing evidence showing that it can be a great natural pain reliever. It works by reducing inflammation which invariably causes pain, both chronic and neuropathic.
A small study done in 2020 with a placebo-trial group showed that when people with peripheral neuropathy around the legs used 250 milligrams of CBD, they experienced significantly less intense sharp pain, cold, and itchy sensations than those on the placebo. They also had no documented side effects and further studies will hopefully provide more data on this.
CBD oil is therefore a great natural way to help manage pain for those who are tired of using synthetic medications and are suffering from spinal pain, chronic pain, MS pain, muscle pain, arthritis, post-chemotherapy pain, and other types of pain.
Research has shown that CBD reduces symptoms and disorders associated with substance use like pain, insomnia, mood changes, and anxiety. The relaxing effect of CBD helps to reduce nicotine cravings as well as other withdrawal symptoms, sometimes making it easier to quit.
While different addiction types have shown different responses with CBD, it has helped reduce drug-seeking behaviors in people using methamphetamine, cocaine, and other psychostimulant drugs. Some experts have concluded that CBD oil reduces activation of the area of the brain that’s involved in addiction, called the amygdala.
As has already been established, CBD oil has anti-inflammatory properties. These come in handy for the treatment of acne and psoriasis which are caused in part by inflammation of the sebaceous glands.
Applying the oil topically helps lower the production of sebum and demonstrates anti-itching, anti-cancer, and anti-aging properties. For this reason, it is gaining popularity as an ingredient in skin care oils and lotions.
Other skin conditions that have been shown to be improved by CBD oil are:
- Skin cancer
- Atopic dermatitis
- Itchy skin
- Seborrheic dermatitis
People who have tried it love how light it is and the ease with which it gets absorbed into the skin. The results are also fast and long-lasting because it does not only act topically but also gets to the root of the problem.
In 2017, a study was done on nine healthy men who either took 600mg of CBD or the same quantity of a placebo. The results showed lower blood pressure both before and after exposure to stressful stimuli like extreme cold and exercise in those who took the CBD.
For people with hypertension that’s worsened by stress and anxiety, CBD oil may help. The risk of heart disease may therefore be lowered by CBD in some people due to it’s relaxing nature and the manner in which it makes the heart pump blood more effectively.
Cancer and Chemotherapy
Since the 1970’s, Cannabinoids including CBD have been shown to suppress and kill off cancer and tumor cells. It helps stop the spread of some types of cancer and has very low levels of toxicity.
Research is ongoing on how CBD can be incorporated in cancer therapies and treatments to improve the results of chemotherapy while lessening its side effects. So far, it shows great promise because of the way it moderates inflammation and changes the way cells reproduce.
Other Diseases CBD May Help With
It seems that the list of the benefits of CBD is endless with all the reviews, and with continued research, it may get even longer. Other health problems that have shown some positive response from the use of CBD include:
- Gastrointestinal issues
- Nausea and vomiting
- Nerve pain
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Migraines and chronic headaches
- Cardiovascular disorders
- Tourette’s syndrome
How Well is CBD Tolerated by the Body?
There are quite a few ways to take CBD oil including mixing it in a drink or food, swallowing it in capsules, taking it with a dropper or a pipette, spraying it under the tongue, or massaging it into the skin.
Depending on the form, how it was prescribed to you, or how you’re most comfortable using it, any of these options are bound to give the desired results.
Many people who have used CBD oil for different medical conditions have reported not experiencing the intoxication associated with THC. CBD is generally well-tolerated by most people with minimal serious side-effects even on high doses.
It also lacks the potential for abuse that cannabis generally has and interacts well with most foods and drugs, but as with all things, you need to consult a professional before taking it in order to get sound advice for your specific needs.
Text from funded research shares some possible side-effects of using CBD that may apply to some people. These side effects may include:
- Drowsiness and a general decrease in alertness
- A decreased appetite in some cases.
- Diarrhea and other digestive issues
- Mood changes
- Interactions with other medicines
- Interactions when mixed with depressants like alcohol
- Dry mouth
- Nausea and vomiting
- Low blood pressure
The broad range of uses for CBD oil may stem from the fact that it interacts with opioid receptors and glycine receptors which produce serotonin. This can boost levels of naturally-occurring endocannabinoids which help regulate immunity, mood, stress, and pain, among others. Unlike THC, CBD won’t bind readily to cannabinoid receptors.
Safe Use of CBD
With all the information and products saturating the market right now, it may be a bit hard to know what to believe and how to use CBD safely. Sometimes the percentage of CBD in oils and tinctures may be less than advertised or there may be cross-contamination with other Cannabis compounds such as THC.
For this reason it’s important to do due diligence and make sure that you are getting the product that you need. Make sure you know the right quantities to use, which will depend on your weight, the reason you’re using the CBD, the concentration of the oils, and so on.
Always check the product labels and confirm any ingredients you don’t recognize. Buying organic brands that are USDA certified will keep you safer from chemicals and pesticides, which is always the best option.
You will also be faced with the choice of either Full-Spectrum or Isolates. The difference between the two is that Isolates only contain the CBD while Full-Spectrum oils will have different compounds from the plant including terpenes, flavonoids, chlorophyll, and proteins.
For a long time, marijuana was used medicinally. It was taken out of clinical practice over the last century due to people abusing it and the potential it had for addiction. Its constituents however, have been shown to be beneficial in alleviating a lot of problems and disorders. It may be time to welcome it again; the benefits are too great to ignore and with the right information, it will help many people who have found no relief in mainstream methods and medications.