What is CBD Oil? Effects and Benefits
In our fast-paced world, natural remedies that promote relaxation and stress relief are highly sought-after. One such product is CBD oil, which, according to some its users, has the potential to change lives.
A quick search on the internet about the effects of CBD oil will provide you with an unprecedented number of results, and no shortage of bold claims as well as exaggerations. Let’s get down to the nitty gritty and see how CBD oil’s benefits truly stack up.
What is CBD oil?
CBD, short for cannabidiol, is one of many compounds found inside of the cannabis plant. These cannabinoids act on cannabinoid receptors in the brain to produce varying effects, some that have a noticeable effect and some more subtle.
Chances are, you’ve heard of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which is responsible for the psychoactive effects present in cannabis. Like THC, CBD is a phytocannabinoid, which means it’s one of the compounds that occur naturally in the plant. Unlike THC, however, CBD does not induce any psychoactive effects in the user.
You can ingest CBD in any number of ways, whether it’s by inhaling through a vapor or supplementing with oil. CBD oil is what you’ll probably encounter the most, and it’s touted for offering several benefits.
The trouble with CBD products is that there are few regulations in place to ensure that the final product really contains what it claims to contains. The rules vary depending on location, and may even be illegal in some areas. We recommend doing your research before trying any CBD product, and as always, consult with your doctor beforehand.
CBD oil benefits
Let’s dive into some of the benefits of CBD oil so that you can decide for yourself if it’s worth looking into.
Perhaps one of the most promising findings from research on CBD is its potential for use in pain management, especially among people with chronic pain. We’ve all heard about the dangers of relying on opioids or opiates for treating pain and the harmful side effects that often accompany them, so uncovering more natural, non-addictive relief is a step in the right direction .
But how does it work? Researchers think that CBD reduces inflammation by acting on the endocannabinoid receptors, a part of the brain that’s thought to be responsible for regulating pain, sleep, memory and hunger. For anyone dealing with conditions like multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, or in some cases certain cancers, CBD oil may relieve some symptoms.
Anxiety and depression
Those with mental health issues including depression, anxiety and OCD can leave adverse imprints on the lives they affect. Thankfully, advances in medicine have come along way, but in many cases with side effects. Proponents of CBD oil claim that it can work in tandem with antidepressants to lessen their drawbacks, or in certain conditions potentially work alone as a substitute.
In one case study, CBD oil worked as an effective treatment for insomnia and PTSD in a young child who reacted poorly to other medications. In addition to achieving better sleep and much less anxiety, the patient exhibited no adverse side effects from the CBD oil. CBD oil has also shown promising results in patients with social anxiety, psychosis and panic attacks.
As early as the 1970s, researchers tested cannabis for possible anticonvulsant properties on animals. However, it wasn’t until the late nineties that scientists began isolating CBD and THC for their potential use against seizures. Abundant anecdotal evidence has bolstered more interest in the link between CBD and epilepsy, and in one recent study, CBD oil showed promising results in reducing the frequency of seizures.
CBD oil may help people in recovery or those who are struggling to overcome addiction. Some scientists believe that the oil could help reduce cravings among addicts and may keep relapses at bay. For some, CBD oil has helped them taper down from smoking cigarettes or even regulate Ghrelin, the "hunger hormone" in people struggling with overeating or food addiction.
Some recent studies suggest that CBD oil may lower high blood pressure, which is one of the contributing factors leading to heart disease. Researchers think that this could be caused by CBD’s calming, anxiety-regulating properties, resulting in lower stress levels and thus lower blood pressure.
CBD oil’s effects
The effects of CBD oil vary depending on the dosage, the strength of the particular product and a person’s body. Your dosage depends on your desired outcome. For example, some CBD users micro-dose for any number of issues including sleep, nervous disorders and appetite to name just a few.
On the other hand, some users take higher doses of CBD oil for issues like pain, anxiety attacks and for relieving symptoms brought on by cancer or chemotherapy. No matter what you wish to use CBD oil for, it’s important to discuss your choice with a healthcare professional, and just as important to seek out a reputable brand that provides precise ingredients and instructions for use.
Possible side effects of CBD oil
As we mentioned before, CBD oil is often unregulated, meaning quality will vary from producer to producer. Always go with a trusted brand to ensure fewer adverse side effects and be wary of prices that are too good to be true.
Potential side effects to look out for include:
Possible interactions with prescription medications
Stomach issues like nausea or diarrhea
We look forward to seeing more human studies of CBD over the next few years and observing where the research goes from here. Perhaps with better regulated CBD products, we may see even more benefits of CBD oil than we knew before. Stay tuned for what’s to come -- there’s much more research to be done!