Potential Benefits of CBD Oil
Learn about the potential benefits of CBD and how it is being studied for use with anxiety disorders, epilepsy, alcoholism, migraines, skin issues, and more.
Note: this post is for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. Please consult your healthcare provider for recommendations related to your individual situation.
What is CBD Oil?
CBD oil is gaining popularity by the day. CBD oil is an extraction of the cannabinoid directly from a cannabis plant’s stalk, seeds, and flowers. CBD, short for cannabidiol, is one of the most prevalent cannabinoids found in cannabis plants. When extracted from the hemp plant and mixed with a quality carrier oil or solvent, CBD oil is turned into a tincture.
The human body has a system called the endocannabinoid system, complete with receptors sites for phytocannabinoids. CBD is one of many safe, non-psychoactive phytocannabinoids that attach to these receptor sites and interact with our endocannabinoid system.
CBD is different from THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the psychoactive cannabinoid found in marijuana plants. Quality CBD is derived from hemp plants, not marijuana plants. CBD has no psychoactive qualities, instead nourishing your endocannabinoid system.
What is CBD Used For?
CBD oil is being researched for its benefits in a variety of health conditions and symptoms, including anxiety and depression, chronic pain and joint issues, migraines, skin issues, epilepsy, alcoholism, and sleep issues.
Anxiety & Depression
Further research is needed, as it is with all uses for CBD oil, but CBD oil is a promising addition to treatment regimens for anxiety disorders and depression. It’s even said to have a potential antidepressant effect.
Chronic Pain and Joint Issues
Studies have shown significant pain relief with topical application of CBD to pain sites and joints. CBD reduces inflammation and has been found to reduce joint swelling, making it a popular treatment for arthritis. Cannabinoids in general are becoming popular treatments for chronic pain associated with multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, and cancer.
Psoriasis & Eczema
There’s some anecdotal evidence that incorporating CBD oil into a treatment regimen for psoriasis can offer relief to psoriasis sufferers, due to its inflammation-reducing properties. Preliminary studies have also found CBD use beneficial for other skin conditions such as acne and various types of dermatitis.
There’s some promising research showing the anticonvulsant properties of cannabinoids. CBD has been shown in studies to offer significant relief to epileptic patients. The Epilepsy Foundation now acknowledges the ability of cannabinoids (CBD, specifically) to reduce seizures.
There’s evidence that the use of CBD oil can reduce the neurodegenerative effects of binge alcohol use, thus preventing further cognitive decline.
Insomnia & Sleep disorders
A small study has shown sleep pattern improvement in individuals with sleep disorders and/or anxiety disorders, with more research being conducted to further explore the effects of CBD on sleep. The sedative effect that higher doses of CBD can have, combined with the anti-anxiety benefits may make CBD oil an effective treatment for insomnia and other sleep disorders.
Is CBD Legal?
CBD derived from hemp plants has been legal nationwide for only a few months now, with the passing of the Agriculture Improvement Act in December, 2018. CBD extracted from other cannabis plants (such as marijuana) is not legal nationwide, but may be legal depending on your state.
Currently, you can buy CBD oil online and have it shipped to you only if it is hemp-derived and contains less than 0.3% THC. The federal legality of all cannabis-derived substances is a gray area for now, but the federal and state governments are taking notice of the interest in these substances.
Does CBD Get You High?
No, CBD is a non-psychoactive compound present in cannabis plants. It does not contain high enough levels of THC, the psychoactive compound in cannabis, to have a psychoactive effect. CBD and THC are cousins, not twins. Both stimulate your endocannabinoid system but only THC is psychoactive.
Does It Help With Anxiety?
The slightly sedative effect of CBD can be an effective part of a treatment regimen for anxiety, according to both anecdotal evidence and preclinical research. There have been relatively few studies directly researching the effects of CBD on anxiety, and no large-scale studies, though this is a popular area for research at the moment.
Can It Be Used for Pain?
Chronic pain treatment is a very popular use for CBD right now, with research indicating its effectiveness in relieving chronic pain associated with multiple disorders. Quality CBD has an anti-inflammatory effect in the body when consumed or used transdermally. Combined with its anti-anxiety properties, the anti-inflammatory effect of CBD can be an effective treatment for chronic pain.
Does It Have Side Effects?
Quality CBD oil has very few side effects with the appropriate dosage, but you might want to watch out for the following symptoms after you first start taking CBD. If symptoms become severe, consult a healthcare provider at once.
Also keep in mind that quality is important with CBD oil. Be sure you trust the brand and that they have been tested for purity. Always be sure you research and look out for any potential interference with other medications or supplements when introducing a supplement (such as CBD) to your routine.