There is a growing interest in CBD. You can see companies producing different products and marketing them as CBD-infused. Products like CBD oil, gummies, capsules, vape pens, creams, edibles are everywhere.
We will look at the benefits of CBD oil, possible risks, and side effects. Your questions on how safe and effective this compound is will be answered in this article.
Let’s get started.
What is CBD Oil?
CBD is the short term for cannabidiol, a chemical compound found in cannabis. This plant contains hundreds of compounds called cannabinoids.
Two popular cannabinoids are CBD and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol).
Research suggests that CBD might have a host of therapeutic benefits. Unlike THC, this compound is non-intoxicating.
After the extraction of CBD from the cannabis plant, manufacturers use carrier oils to dilute it. It also improves the bioavailability of CBD. Some common carrier oils are coconut, hempseed, and olive oil.
How CBD Oil Works
To understand how CBD works, we must first introduce the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is a system that functions to maintain balance in the body. It’s made up of endocannabinoids and cannabinoid receptors.
The two receptors are:
CB1 receptors control movement, memory, pain, appetite, mood, and other body functions. These receptors spread throughout the brain and other parts of the body.
CB2 receptors are present particularly in the immune system. They control the immune response, pain, inflammation, and other metabolic processes.
Cannabinoids, like CBD and THC, work by interacting with the CB receptors. THC binds with CB1 receptors to exert its functions. However, CBD works by stimulating these receptors, so the body can produce its cannabinoids, called endocannabinoids.
How to Use CBD Oil
There are multiple ways to use CBD oil. CBD products come in many forms, each one determining how a consumer will use them. After using different methods to extract CBD oil from the plant, the manufacturer uses it in production.
You should follow the manufacturer’s guide while using any CBD product. The various ways you can use CBD oil include:
- Taking with a dropper, as seen with CBD oil tinctures.
- Mix it into your food or drink.
- Spraying under the tongue
- Adding to topicals and massaging the paste into your skin
Is CBD Oil Safe and Effective?
With all the rage about this compound, is CBD oil effective, or is it mere hype? CBD oil and other CBD product are effective when you buy from a top brand. The industry is under-regulated. So, you want to prioritize buying from established and transparent CBD companies.
Most importantly, is CBD oil safe for use? Although controversies surround the use of CBD, this substance appears to be safe. Also, it’s well-tolerated by many people.
According to Mayo Clinic, another cause for concern is the purity of CBD in the product. Many brands produce CBD products, some of which contain less CBD than labelled. So, it may be difficult for a beginner to find a reliable brand. Always do your research, and use products that are third-party tested.
The reports of these tests will show the amount of CBD and THC in each product. Also, you will be able to verify if there are any harmful toxins present.
Benefits of CBD Oil
Studies suggest CBD may benefit individuals with various health conditions. Most of the research on these conditions was on animal models. Hence, there is a need for more clinical trials. Before you buy CBD oil for anxiety, you should want to know about the benefits of CBD oil.
That said, here are some of the benefits backed by scientific evidence:
Pain Relief: Multiple human studies found that using a combination of CBD and THC helps relieve pain. For instance, there is an oral CBD spray called Sativex, which contains both CBD and THC. Many countries approved this spray for the treatment of pain related to multiple sclerosis. Also, there was a study involving 47 people with multiple sclerosis. These participants took Sativex for one month and reported improvements in pain, muscle spasms, and walking.
Relieve Anxiety and Depression: Using CBD for anxiety and depression, treatment is quite promising. What’s more, it also helps the individual avoid certain side effects that come with anti-depressants. Some studies suggest CBD could help in anxiety and depression. For example, in a Brazilian study, 57 men received either oral CBD or a placebo. They took these 90 minutes before a public speaking test. Researchers found that 300mg of CBD effectively reduced the anxiety levels of the participants.
Reduce Chemotherapy Symptoms: There was a study involving 16 chemotherapy patients. The results showed the use of CBD and THC via an oral spray reduced nausea and vomiting.
Treating Epilepsy: In 2018, the FDA approved the use of Epidolex, a purified form of CBD. This drug helps treat seizures in two rare forms of epilepsy: Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastuat syndrome.
Several other potential benefits of CBD include:
- Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Sleep problems
- Parkinson’s disease
- Skin conditions like acne and psoriasis.
Risks and Side Effects of CBD Oil
As with any supplement or therapy, there are concerns regarding the risks associated with CBD. The use of CBD entails possible risks when you take it together with prescription drugs.
CBD can interact with supplements and prescription medications. For that reason, anyone who wants to use CBD should first consult their doctor.
Some possible side effects associated with the use of CBD products are:
- Changes in appetite and gastrointestinal issues
- Mood changes
- Interaction with alcohol and drugs
Furthermore, the FDA does not regulate these products. So, the quality of one CBD oil would vary with the other. The bulk of the work is in the hands of the consumer. Conduct your research and choose from the best brands.
Is CBD Oil Legal?
The legality of CBD is quite complex. Following the 2018 Farm Bill, the government legalized the use of hemp and hemp-derived products. Hemp products must contain less than 0.3% of THC, according to this bill. Anything higher than this amount passes marijuana and is illegal.
Also, specific laws regulate the use of CBD at the state level. Although hemp products are legal federally, some states have their own rules. Always check the laws in your state or any place you’re travelling to with CBD.
In places such as the UK, they have a different regulation guiding the use of CBD. There, the maximum accepted THC content in a CBD product is 0.2%. Because of these variations, it’s best to be familiar with the laws in your state.
Researchers have been studying CBD oil for its possible role in relieving symptoms of health conditions. This substance may be a natural alternative for anxiety, depression, pain, inflammation, and other ailments.
We could go on and list a thousand benefits of CBD oil. But you should also note that some of these are not verified yet. Research into the therapeutic uses of CBD is still ongoing. However, this compound is safe for use and effective when you buy from a reliable brand.
Always keep in mind that CBD can interact with other prescription drugs or supplements. So, consult your healthcare professional before you use. If you’re interested in CBD, there are different options to choose from, including gummies, tinctures, sprays, lotions, and capsules.