Since the federal legalization ofindustrial hemp for business purposes, CBD products such as CBD oil have grown exponentially in popularity. CBD, or cannabidiol, is a chemical compound found in cannabis plants. While CBD can be found in marijuana, it is a non-intoxicating compound and should not be confused with THC. THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol (another compound found in marijuana), is the compound that is responsible for the euphoric feelings or “high” effect associated with marijuana use. Some products marketed as CBD oil may contain THC, however in order to be federally legal across all 50 states, the THC content must be less than 0.3%. For this reason most companies do not use marijuana for their CBD products due to the high THC content, instead most use industrial hemp plants, which are known for high CBD and low THC content.
There are a number of different ways to take CBD, as it comes in many forms. The most common form of CBD is oil which can be used as is, or further processed to create products like capsules, tinctures, salves, balms, and much much more.
CBD concentration varies depending on the product and the company that sells it. The CBD market is still largely unregulated, so there is no standard for the amount of CBD in products. Additionally, labeling standards have yet to be regulated by the FDA, so it’s important to check labels for fine print, and verify that you are shopping with a reputable company. Generally speaking, a company should be able to provide you with independent third party lab results verifying the concentrations of CBD, and other ingredients, within their products.
It’s commonly believed, and generally accepted as true, that CBD affects your body by attaching to receptors in the body’s natural endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system, or ECS for short, is a complex system of receptors throughout the body that interacts with cannabinoids that are naturally produced within the body, regardless of cannabis use. However, it is interesting to note that scientists have discovered these same receptors are fully capable of interacting with outside cannabinoids that enter the bloodstream, such as those from cannabis plants. The ECS is believed to promote harmony and synergy between the different systems of the body such as the nervous and digestive systems. In this way it is believed to help maintain certain aspects of your overall health.
CBD Oil Uses
Due to cannabis prohibition that has spanned for several decades there is limited long term scientific research regarding CBD’s effects on humans. However, the studies that do exist show that endocannabinoids may play a role in regulating a number of different bodily functions such as sleep, memory, mood, appetite and energy production. Anecdotal evidence suggests that CBD oil benefits may play a role in improving a variety of health conditions. Such conditions include depression, insomnia, anxiety, acne, pain, epilepsy, muscle spasms & Parkinson’s disease just to name a few. CBD oil may also help reduce inflammation, improve heart health, support weight loss, and protect against some forms of cancer and fight everyday stress.
In fact, it’s well documented that people have been using cannabis plantsfor medicinal purposes for thousands of years. In ancient times it was used to treat various types of pain and other ailments. However,as previously mentioned, the medical and scientific community has only recently begun to study it again, but so far the results look promising.
One such study, out of the European Journal of Pain, was conducted to see whether or not CBD could help people with arthritis manage their symptoms. The study focused specifically on the reduction of the symptoms of arthritis such as pain and loss of motor function. The experiment, was a focused animal study where researchers applied a gel containing CBD to rats with arthritis for four days. The results were very promising as researchers noted a significant drop in inflammation and pain symptoms. Additionally, the rats showed no signs of negative side effects. This study is promising for people who use CBD oil for arthritis, and also backs up the claims of many CBD users who have shared their own positive experiences with CBD for arthritis. Althoughmore human studies are needed to confirm these findings, the results for CBD’s use as an anti-inflammatory are extremely promising.
In addition to inflammation studies, CBD oil is also being looked into for its potential to reduce muscle spasms and other involuntary movements such as seizures. Muscle spasms are one of the most common symptoms of multiple sclerosis. MS is an autoimmune disease that affects the entire body by acting primarily on the brain and nervous system. The pain associated with spasms from this severe condition can often be so great that patients are often immobilized. Worse still, the pain is often constant. So far, the results for CBD for MS are modest, but many people have reported a reduction in symptoms. More studies on humans are needed to verify these results as well.
The same report also studied CBD use for chronic pain in general. Their research included compiling the results of numerous other studies that focused on cannabis use for the treatment of pain. Essentially, their findings concluded that there is substantial evidence that cannabis can be used as an effective treatment for chronic pain in adults. Other independent studies have also come to support these findings as well. Researchers noted that cannabinoids could potentially be used in new treatments for people with chronic pain. Another interesting note is that researchers discovered subjects were not likely to develop a tolerance to the effects of CBD, and there was no need to increase their dose continually.
Potential Side Effects
Generally speaking, CBD is very well tolerated by almost everyone. However, there have been some possible side effects that have been reported in a minority of users. The most common of these side effects include changes in appetite, weight gain or weight loss, diarrhea, and feeling tired.
It’s extremely important to discuss using CBD oil with your doctor if you take any other medications as it is possible that CBD may make those medications more or less effective. It is also important to note that scientists have yet to study certain aspects of CBD, particularly potential long-term effects.
Even people who are not on medication, but are considering using CBD oil should discuss it with their doctor first. This way your physician can monitor for any changes and make adjustments accordingly. CBD may also interact with certain over-the-counter dietary supplements and medicines, as well as some prescription medications. It’s best to avoid taking it with medications that are metabolized in the liver or blood-thinners such as those that warn against consuming grapefruit.