Cannabis and related products have been quite popular in recent years—not only for the high that most people experience, but also for a host of other medical reasons. We take a closer look at CBD oil and the benefits it provides.
What Is CBD Oil?
CBD is short for cannabidiol. It is one of many compounds of the cannabis plant and is known to offer various therapeutic benefits. Oils that contain certain concentrations of CBD are referred to as CBD oils, and the concentration of these oils will vary.
Cannabidiol comes from the marijuana or hemp plant, and it is just one of the various active ingredients that are found in this plant. Unlike other components of marijuana, CBD does not result in the high produced by the popular and well-known THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, the main psychoactive compound in marijuana).
CBD is a naturally occurring element found in marijuana and hemp products. It is most commonly taken in an oil form, and the compound is extracted with the use of alcohol from the plant. It can be made available in other forms as well, although oil is the most common and also the easiest to find.
CBD oil is known to offer various health benefits, and this is one of the reasons why it has become such a popular topic worldwide. CBD oil is commonly available in most places around the world, and it is likely what most people will have access to.
What Are Cannabinoids, Anyway?
Cannabinoids are the active chemical compounds found in the cannabis or marijuana plant. There are around 104 chemical compounds or cannabinoids in the plant, also known as Cannabis sativa. One of the main cannabinoids found in cannabis is THC, the psychoactive compound that causes most people to experience a high when consumed. Unlike THC, CBD is not psychoactive. This makes it a very appealing option for people who want to experience the medical benefits of CBD without experiencing the high.
Not to Be Confused with Hemp
Although CBD can be derived from hemp, CBD and hemp are made from different parts of the plant and they have different purposes–and neither of these produce the psychoactive effects of THC. CBD is found in hemp flowers, and extractors always try to get as much from the plant as they can so they then purify it further. Hemp oil is made from pressing hemp seeds, and is used in a variety of products.
Hemp Oil vs CBD Oil
While Hemp oil and CBD oil have many things in common, there are a few differences. Hemp oil is taken from the seeds of the plant, where CBD oil is made from the flowers, leaves and stalk.
Hemp and marijuana may might seem similar, but marijuana has a much higher THC level than hemp. Hemp oil contains low levels of CBD, typically around 25 ppm, while CBD oil can be up to 15% CBD.
Hemp oil is often used as a natural moisturizer, as a base for different forms of plastic, as a cooking oil due to its nutritive value, and even to make soaps and some foods. CBD oil is used as a treatment for cancer, inflammatory disorders, anxiety, depression, and epilepsy.
Is CBD Oil Legal?
CBD oil is legal. CBD oils can be found in many places, including big online retailers as well as various alternative medicine shops and holistic stools. With CBD becoming so popular, many health shops and retail outlets are starting to sell it to consumers worldwide.
Does CBD Get You High?
CBD oil is not psychoactive, so it does not result in the high that people usually experience with cannabis, making it very appealing to people who are looking to use CBD oil for medical purposes. This is in contrast to THC, which is indeed psychoactive and which is what creates the mind-altering high that people experience, usually as a result of cooking with marijuana or smoking it. During this process, THC is broken down by heat and introduced into the body.
How CBD Works
CBD, like all cannabinoids, produce effects in the body as it attaches to certain receptors. Certain cannabinoids are produced by the human body on its own. The body also has two receptors for cannabinoids, which are referred to as the CB1 receptors and the CB2 receptors.
The CB1 receptors are located throughout the body, although most are located in the brain. These receptors in the brain deal with movement and coordination, as well as pain, emotions and mood, thinking, appetite, and memories. THC attaches to these receptors.
The CBD2 receptors are more commonly found in the immune system, and they affect inflammation and pain. Researchers believed that CBD attaches to the CB2 receptors, but now it appears that CBD does not attach directly to either receptor. Instead, it seems to direct the body to use more of its own cannabinoids.
Why CBD Oil?
CBD doesn’t work so well all by itself, which is why it is often infused in an oil. Oil makes CBD easier for the human body to be absorbed and metabolized efficiently. If you had to consume CBD as a pure extract, only a small amount of it would be absorbed.
When CBD is consumed as an oil, things happen quite differently. This is because the actual cannabidiol molecule is fat soluble rather than water soluble. This means it has a high affinity for the lipid content that is usually found in many essential oils such as olive oil and coconut oil.
This basically means that the solid will dissolve and attach itself to the molecular compounds of the oil, and so easily be absorbed and utilized by the body.
CBD Oil Dosage – How Much Should You Take?
CBD oil can be used for a variety of symptoms, and as with all medicines, is always best to discuss the proper dosage with your doctor. CBD-based products can come in a variety of forms, as some of it can be mixed into different foods or even taken with a dropper.
Recommended dosages vary among individuals, depending on various factors such as body weight and the concentration of the product, as well as the person’s specific health issue. There is no single dosage appropriate for every person, which is why your dosage should be determined by your healthcare provider, based on your specific condition and needs.
Body Weight – Dosage of CBD oil depends on your body weight and specific medical condition you would like to treat.
Potential Interaction with Other Drugs – Although CBD oil is generally very well tolerated and it is considered to be safe, it may cause some reactions in some people, especially when taking certain medicines.
When in Doubt, Ask Your Doctor – Since there are always ongoing studies on CBD oil, it is always advised to speak to your doctor or healthcare provider about taking CBD oil, including the proper dosage for your specific medical condition, as well as any possible interactions that it might have with medicines you are taking. Your doctor will consider your medical history as well as your specific medical condition, your health, and other factors.
How to Take CBD Oil
Although they are many ways you can take CBD oil, the most effective way of maximizing its effects is by taking it orally. You can mix it with your favorite salad dressing for example, or you can sprinkle it over your pasta. It can even be mixed with your favorite drink or appetizer. CBD oil has a very mild flavor, gentle enough to add to a variety of foods. You can also take CBD oil as is.
Pure CBD Oil Tinctures
CBD oil tinctures are considered to be one of the best delivery methods, as it provides a fast and efficient dosage with minimal effort. Tinctures are made with a high percentage of alcohol and they come in glass bottles with droppers. This is one of the best to get a precise dosage.
CBD Oil Vapes
Another option you can go for is CBD oil vapes, which offer you the ability to enjoy CBD oil in a convenient form. Vape oil also comes in a wide variety of flavors, so they can be very convenient to use, affordable, and give you the ability to choose the flavor that you like.
CBD Edibles and Capsules
CBD edibles are very convenient to take and carry with you, and this is one reason why they are so popular. Edibles and capsules offer a great and convenient way of consuming CBD without having to cook food or take a drink. It can also be carried with you conveniently.
CBD gummies are similar to regular gummy sweets and offer a very easy way of consuming your dosage of CBD oil. These edibles are very convenient to take with you, and they can easily be consumed at any time during the day.It’s also very convenient to take them in a sweet form that is familiar to many people. There are different brands of CBD gummies available, and they are quite popular.
Most CBD capsules are made with a powdered isolate and a gelatin-based capsule, which can hold anywhere from 10 to 150 mg of cannabinoids.
CBD Oil Benefits
CBD oil is known to offer many health benefits, which is why it has become so popular worldwide. From pain relief to dealing with Alzheimer’s, CBD is a popular supplement, especially for those who don’t want to experience the high that typically is associated with cannabis.
Pain and Inflammation
One of the benefits of CBD oil is that it relieves pain and inflammation. Some people believe that it offers a more natural alternative to over-the-counter medicine, and researchers suggest that the non-psychoactive compounds in CBD could provide a new treatment for chronic pain.
A 2012 study published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine found that CBD significantly reduced pain and chronic inflammation in some rats and mice.
Seizures and Epilepsy
In 2018, the FDA approved the use of CBD as therapy for two conditions characterized by epileptic seizures, namely Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) and Dravet syndrome (DS), after researching the safety and effectiveness of CBD oil. This means that in the United States, a doctor can prescribe CBD for both of these conditions, as the type of seizures that characterize them are very difficult to control by other medicines.
Anxiety and Depression
Although doctors often advise people with chronic anxiety to completely avoid cannabis, the authors of a review published in Neurotherapeutics found that CBD may actually be very helpful in reducing anxiety in people with certain disorders. According to this review, CBD may be able to reduce anxiety-related behaviors in people who suffer from conditions such as:
- post-traumatic stress disorder
- panic disorder
- general anxiety disorder
- obsessive-compulsive disorder
Researchers believe that CBD oil may help to combat cancer. A 2012 review published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology found that CBD can significantly help to prevent the spread of some types of cancer.
Studies suggest that CBD oil can help to relieve pain from arthritis, which affects more than 50 million people in the United States alone. CBD can help to relieve pain and inflammation associated with arthritis and is considered to be a safe treatment.
Animal and test-tube studies have shown that CBD may decrease inflammation and help prevent the neurodegeneration associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers also found that it helped prevent cognitive decline in mice genetically predisposed to Alzheimer’s disease.
A 2014 study published by the Journal of Clinical Investigation found that CBD may be able to prevent the development of social recognition deficit. This means that CBD may be able to help people that are in the early stages of Alzheimer’s maintain their ability to recognize familiar people and faces.
Although research is limited on CBD oil as a treatment for a migraine, a 2017 study of 26 people over the course of six months published in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research found that CBD oil may help all forms of chronic pain, including migraine.
Researchers believe that CBD has the ability to act on the endocannabinoid system and other brain-signaling systems, which can result in benefits for people with neurological disorders. One study found that Sativex, a cannabis-based mouth spray, reduced spasms in 75% of 276 people with multiple sclerosis who were experiencing muscle spasticity that was resistant to medications.
Huntington’s disease is a fatal genetic condition that causes seizures and a progressive loss of neurological function. Experimental evidence has found antioxidant and neuroprotective effects of CBD may be helpful in preventing the destruction of neurons in Huntington’s disease.
Several studies have shown that treatment with CBD improved quality of life and sleep quality for people with Parkinson’s disease. Although there are various studies suggesting the benefits of CBD for Parkinson’s disease, more research is needed to confirm this.
Recent studies have shown that CBD oil can help with cardiac health and the circulatory system. CBD oil can also help to reduce blood pressure, which is linked to heart failure, and metabolic syndrome.
Studies have shown that CBD oil may be able to reduce glaucoma, a common eye condition that often causes optical nerve damage and, in some cases, blindness. Studies suggest that several cannabinoids including CBD may be good candidates to develop as therapeutic agents as they are very well tolerated.
A 2018 study has found that using CBD for substance addiction helps to prevent relapses. In the study, researchers administered transdermal CBD to animal subjects who had a history of self-administering cocaine or alcohol and exhibited characteristics of a relapsing addict such as dependency, anxiety, and impulsivity. They found that CBD prevented relapses even after it had cleared the brain for three days.
Studies indicate that CBD oil may help patients who suffer from diabetes, as it can help to relieve oxidative stress and prevent heart damage, according to a 2010 study.
Other CBD Oil Benefits
CBD oil has other health benefits including suppressing hunger and making skin healthier.
Side Effects of CBD Oil
There are a few side effects that must be noted when using CBD oil, although this can differ from one person to the next.
Nausea and Vomiting
CBD oil may cause nausea and vomiting in some people, depending on the dosage. If nausea appears, discontinue the use of CBD oil and confirm the dosage with your doctor.
CBD oil may cause diarrhea in some people, as well as stomach cramps and digestive issues. It’s always recommended to start with a small dosage to determine tolerance before increasing your dosage.
Some people may find a dry mouth or a lack of saliva associated with the use of CBD oil. This is a very temporary sensation that is also known as “cotton mouth,” and it is not dangerous or permanent.
After taking CBD oil, you may experience dizziness as a side effect. This may be related to changes in your blood flow or reduced blood pressure. If you become dizzy while under the influence of cannabidiol, it is recommended that you evaluate your blood pressure.
Other Side Effects
Other side effects of CBD oil may include anxiety, depression, changes in appetite, and psychosis.
CBD oil is becoming more popular every day with people around the world. It holds many benefits and is considered safe and very convenient to use. With so many ways to ingest therapeutic CBD oil, it has become a very popular supplement for the treatment of various medical conditions. Although more research is needed into its effectiveness, it shows promising results with minimal side effects.
Republished and edited with permission from farma.health.
Photo: Shane Rounce via Unsplash