CBD Oil: Safety and Benefits of CBD
CBD oil has become very popular, and the public interest continues to grow.
Nowadays, you can find CBD in everything from moisturizers and vitamins to cookies, gummies, teas, coffee, massage oils and dog treats.
But what exactly is CBD? And does CBD really do anything? Is it safe to use it? Can CBD get you high?
To start with, there are some confusions about the terms CBD, hemp, marijuana and Cannabis. Let’s try to sort it out!
CBD, Cannabis, Marijuana, Hemp and CBD oil:
Here’s a brief explanation of the terms:
CBD: Stands for cannabidiol and it’s one of many *cannabinoids naturally occurring in Cannabis and Hemp plants (*or more correct phytocannabinoid since it’s derived from a plant). CBD is psychoactive in the sense that it directly affects mental processes of cognition and mood, that is, it has effects on e.g. anxiety, psychosis, depression, pain, appetite, memory, seizures and other brain activity. It’s however non-intoxicating and non-euphoric, meaning it won’t get you “high” as THC.
Cannabinoids: Compounds found in Cannabis. The most well-known is the phytocannabinoid tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive compound in Cannabis. Cannabidiol (CBD) is the other major constituent of the plant. There are at least 144 different cannabinoids in Cannabis, exhibiting varied effects. Other plants also produce cannabinoids, but they are found in the highest concentration in Cannabis.
Cannabis: The family name for the kind of plant species you can use to make CBD products, hemp and hemp seed products and marijuana.
Marijuana: Some people call Cannabis plants marijuana, but it’s also the name of the drug that can get you high. To make marijuana you need Cannabis plants (also called marijuana plants) that contain a high percentage of THC (5-35 %). THC is the psychoactive chemical causing the high, and it’s the most common cannabinoid in Cannabis.
Hemp: Hemp is a variety of the Cannabis plant, and has only traces of THC. It’s grown specifically for industrial uses of its derived products, and it’s often called industrial hemp. The whole plant can be used. The stalks are e.g. used for the fibers to make textiles, paper and furniture, and the seeds are used to make hemp seed oil.
CBD oil: Is made by extracting cannabidiol (CBD) from the Cannabis plant or the Hemp plant and diluting it in a carrier oil, often coconut or hemp seed oil.
The main difference between CBD oil derived from Cannabis or from Hemp, is the percentage of THC. Industrial Hemp must not exceed 0,3% THC, and in most US states, it’s legal. Whereas CBD oil from Cannabis, usually called Cannabis oil or Medical oil, has a higher THC % and is only legal in a few states.
So what’s the fuss about CBD? Can CBD really do anything good? And if yes, in what way?
To understand how CBD may support our health, we must understand the basics of the Endocannabinoid System (ECS).
The Endocannabinoid System (ECS)
In the early 1990s, scientists discovered the Endocannabinoid System (ECS), when they were exploring how THC interacts with our health.
ECS is a complex cell-signaling system and experts are still trying to fully understand how it works.
What is known though, is that it plays role in maintaining homeostasis. This basically means, the regulation of functions and processes in our bodies to maintain a biological balance. This includes functions such as the body’s temperature, glucose level and blood pressure.
The three core components of the ECS system are: endocannabinoids, receptors, and enzymes.
Endocannabinoids, also called endogenous cannabinoids, are a kind of neurotransmitters, similar to cannabinoids, but they are produced by our own body – as needed. They keep internal functions running smoothly. If something is wrong, they signal the ECS that it needs to take action, by binding to a receptor.
Receptors are found throughout our bodies, in the organs, the brain, immune cells, tissues and glands. The two main endocannabinoid receptors are called CB1 and CB2.
CB1 is mainly found in the central nervous system, and CB2 receptors are mainly found in the peripheral nervous system, especially immune cells.
The enzymes function is to break down the endocannabinoids once they’ve carried out their function.
How CBD and other cannabinoids may effect and interact with the Endocannabinoid System (ECS)
As of today, experts aren’t completely sure how CBDs interact with the ECS, but they do know that they don’t bind to CB1 or CB2 receptors the way THC does.
What some research suggest is that Cannabidiol (CBD) may influence and stimulate the receptors, CB1 and CB2, in a similar way as the endocannabinoids do.
More research is needed, but the idea is that the use of CBD could promote an array of potential positive results: support stability of the body’s internal processes, proper inflammation and immune system responses, healthy appetite and digestion function, pain management, a positive mood and proper cognitive function.
Some experts also believe that CBD can prevent endocannabinoids from being broken down. Another theory is that CBD perhaps binds to a receptor that isn’t discovered yet.
Then there is also an interesting theory that could explain painful conditions like migraine, fibromyalgia and irritable bowel syndrome. The theory is that low endocannabinoid levels in your body – ECS dysfunction – can be a contributing factor to the development of those conditions.
Cannabidiol (CBD), has gained widespread attention for its potential to ease symptoms of insomnia, anxiety, chronic pain, and other health conditions.
And while studies are ongoing as to how effective CBD is, many people are giving it a try.
How CBD may effect and possibly benefit your health and well-being:
CBD oil can reduce nausea, vomiting, and pain in those receiving chemotherapy treatment.
For some people with cancer, the treatment is worse than the cancer itself. In some cases, CBD oil can help make the chemotherapy more tolerable.
2. Pain relief
Marijuana has been used to treat pain for nearly 5,000 years. CBD is one of the components of marijuana that soothes pain.
CBD oil has been found to reduce pain in several studies. Given that many traditional pain medications have negative side effects and are addictive, CBD oil is a very attractive option to test for treating chronic pain.
CBD oil may benefit heart health in several ways, including by reducing blood pressure and preventing heart damage.
One experiment in 2017 on 9 healthy male volunteers showed that CBD oil can lower blood pressure – and may thereby also reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack.
4. Diabetes and cancer
Studies in animals suggest that CBD oil could be effective in treating and preventing both cancer and diabetes. This benefit, however, is still being researched.
Tumors grow more slowly, and cancer spreads throughout the body more slowly in rats that are given CBD oil. CBD oil also reduces the incidence of diabetes in rats by over 50% when CBD oil is ingested.
5. Neurological Disorders
CBD has been shown to ease symptoms related to epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis.
“Current research indicates the phytocannabinoids have a powerful therapeutic potential in a variety of ailments primarily through their interaction with the ECS. CBD is of particular interest due to its wide-ranging capabilities and lack of side effects in a variety of neurological conditions and diseases.” www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5938896/
Even as far back as 1881, there are scientific reports from neurologists about using Indian hemp to treat epilepsy with success.
6. Anxiety and Depression relief
Many depression and anxiety medications are addictive and they often produce undesirable side effects, such as insomnia, agitation, drowsiness, and sexual dysfunction.
If you have problems to fall asleep and staying asleep, you may want to try CBD to get a good night’s sleep.
There are studies suggesting that CBD may help with both falling asleep and increased sleep duration.
8. Acne reduction
The anti-inflammatory effects of CBD oil are believed to be responsible for the reduction of acne in regular consumers of CBD oil. It’s also believed that CBD oil reduces sebum production.
Overall, CBD oil is safe for most people, it’s not addictive, it’s non-intoxicating and non-euphoric, meaning it won’t get you “high.”
Therefore, CBD oil is for some people a better choice than Cannabis oil, since the higher THC % in Cannabis oil can trigger or amplify feelings of anxiousness and paranoia.
There is also experimental studies in human or rodent that clearly demonstrated that chronic exposure to THC can lead to brain alterations.
Moreover, in contrast to THC, CBD does not alter heart rate, blood pressure, or body temperature, does not induce catalepsy, nor alter psychomotor or psychological functions.
From this perspective, hemp derived CBD oil is safer than Cannabis oil.
There are possible side effects with CBD too though, that you should be aware of. These are the most common side effects of CBD oil:
- Dry mouth
- Reduced appetite
- Increase in liver enzymes
Additionally, CBD has the potential to interact with some medications and supplements. Therefore, you should ALWAYS consult with your doctor before using it.
Check if there are any possible supplement or drug interactions with CBD. E.g. anti-seizure medication and blood thinners shouldn’t be combined with CBD oil.
Another issue with CBD oil is dosing. It’s always better to start with a low dosage and go slow with increasing your dose, while observing how your body reacts until you find the perfect dosage that works for you.
There are so many different CBD oils… Are they all the same?
CBD oil products from different brands are NOT all the same.
Some CBD oils on the market have a much lower percentage of CBD than it’s supposed to have according to its label. Then chances are you won’t notice any health benefits if you try it.
And some CBD products are made of very cheap (and not very potent) ingredients, whereas some products have higher THC levels than they should – and high levels of toxins. Therefore, it’s important to only buy CBD oil from a company you trust.
You can usually find three different types of CBD oil on the market:
- Full Spectrum: contains all cannabinoids and other beneficial compounds of the cannabis or hemp plant, fatty acids, flavonoids, minerals, terpenes and trace amounts of THC (less than 0,3%)
- Broad Spectrum: contains the same as full spectrum CBD, but 0% THC
- Isolate CBD: contains only CBD, all other cannabis / hemp compounds are removed
All three types of CBD can provide health benefits. However, research indicates that some benefits may be more pronounced when taking a full spectrum or broad spectrum CBD product. They are probably more effective thanks to the synergistic effects of many different cannabinoids, terpenes, trace amounts of THC (only in full spectrum CBD) and other beneficial compounds all working together.
What’s really important though, if you want to experience positive health benefits, is that you first do some research about what brand and company to trust. Don’t just buy the cheapest CBD oil you can find on Amazon!
Instead, choose a company that follows conscious growing practices, does rigorous testing, uses only safe and organic ingredients and a clean, CO2 extraction process.
I prefer to buy and use a high quality and organic CBD oil, that’s not contaminated with harmful chemicals or pesticides, and I know I can trust the CBD % (and the THC %) on the label.
This company is different from many other brands:
- They produce their CBD oil and other CBD products from American-farmed hemp
- They do rigorous, multi-stage lab testing
- They use NO GMOs, synthetics, or fillers
Are you interested to learn more about this CBD oil company?
Contact me for more information or if you have any questions: <<Contact>>
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I hope you’ve learned something new about CBD, how it interacts with your body, possible side effects – and the possible health benefits it may offer.
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