What is CBD?
Cannabidiol, more commonly known as CBD, is one of 113 known cannabinoids found in cannabis. But unlike its better-known counterpart THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), responsible for cannabis’ mind-altering effects, extensive research suggests that CBD is not psychoactive. Rather, it has been shown to have effects on a wide variety of ailments, and with none of the often-damaging side effects accompanying pharmaceuticals. CBD is most commonly found in oil-based form, which may be applied topically, ingested or sprayed.
What are CBD’s known benefits?
Currently proven benefits of CBD include: anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety effects, relief from pain, as a treatment for epilepsy, and as a nausea relief agent (particularly observed in chemotherapy patients). It has also been observed that CBD may have antipsychotic effects, promote a healthy cardiovascular system, lower the incidence of diabetes, aid in skin-related ailments, and even help in the fight against cancer.
1. Anti-inflammatory effects & anxiety treatment
Inflammation and stress are perpetually linked, so it is no surprise that the key to combat anxiety lies in the endocannabinoid system, the body’s natural response to inflammation. The endocannabinoid system is far-reaching, involved in nearly everything the body needs to survive: from eating, sleeping and exercising, to giving birth. It fights inflammation throughout the body, and helps to maintain a balance in the metabolism, immune system, cognitive functions, and growing processes.
CBD is a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant agent, acting upon the body’s endocannabinoid system and its cannabis receptors to fight inflammation. CBD it therefore capable of altering your body’s immune reactions, influencing white blood cell production and enhancing your resilience.
So unlike THC, which can at times make you more anxious, CBD has been shown to have a calming effect upon ingestion- decreasing your anxiety and making it an ideal anxiolytic agent. This is because even without ingesting any form of cannabis, when you are stressed, your internal cannabinoid system will use cannabis-like molecules in order to fight anxiety and stressful situations. As several studies have shown , CBD works by supporting your body’s natural system in its response to inflammation and stress, making CBD oil ideal in the treatment of anxiety-related disorders including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), social anxiety disorder , obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and panic disorder.
2. Pain relief
Studies and clinical trials have long shown that cannabis and CBD are highly effective in the management and treatment of pain, be it short-term or chronic. Making CBD a promising alternative for people who suffer from chronic pain, and who would otherwise rely on habit-forming pharmaceuticals such as opioids.
3. Nausea relief and the fight against cancer
Pain relief is not the only benefit that chemotherapy patients will obtain from CBD oil, but a powerful nausea relief agent as well . However, the jury is still out on whether CBD and cannabis have the ability to eradicate cancer cells. As while promise has been shown in several clinical trials, further research still needs to be carried out for conclusive results.
However, cannabis may reduce the risk of cancer given its high anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
4. Healthy functions
CBD’s unique effects upon our endocannabinoid system, have been shown to be adept at treating and balancing a wide variety of functions including: emotional and hormonal issues amongst women; in lowering the incidence of diabetes; in promoting cardiovascular health; and in the management of diseases such as epilepsy and multiple sclerosis.
Is CBD legal?
At the present time, the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) lists marijuana and its cannabinoids as a Schedule I controlled substance, arguably due to THC’s psychedelic effects. This means that cannabis cannot legally be possessed, sold or prescribed. Having said that, 16 states in the United States have already CBD-specific passed laws.
Hemo-derived CBD, a THC-absent variety of cannabis sativa, had been declared legal by the industry on account of the legality of hemp itself. Confusion arose, however, when the DEA issued a statement in December 2016 stating that any derivative “from any plant of the genus Cannabis” will continue to be treated as Schedule I controlled substances, lumping cannabis and hemp together. Its legality is unclear though, as in 2004 a Federal Court ruled that hemp was OK to traffic
What is clear though, is that with research on CBD and cannabis showing indisputably positive results, legalization has been picking up pace around the globe. And with CBD hemp oil already legal throughout much of the US, Australia and the EU, millions of people are already experiencing the benefits of CBD, with numbers only increasing exponentially.
Popular uses of CBD oil
CBD’s anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits can be obtained through its wide range of uses. It can be applied topically upon the affected area in order to fight pain directly, inhaled for a faster effect or ingested for a more long-lasting effect. This lends CBD oil to be used to treat wide ranging conditions including, but not limited to: epilepsy, cigarette addiction, acne and other skin conditions, diabetes, fibromyalgia and pre-menstrual symptoms (PMS), psychiatric and mood disorders, Crohn’s Disease, and multiple sclerosis (MS).
Perhaps the benefit that has caused some of the greatest uproar in recent years, is CBD’s effectiveness in the control of seizures in epilepsy. It has allowed thousands of people, namely children suffering from up to 300 grand mal seizures a week, to lead a seizure-free life or at the very least to vastly decrease the incidence of seizures
2. Psychiatric and Mood Disorders
While the mechanisms responsible for CBD’s therapeutic potential in psychiatric disorders remain unclear, evidence shows that CBD may be effective for a wide range of mood disorders including depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and dementia. In the case of bipolar disorder, much of the research is currently based around the principle that anti-seizure medications serve as stabilizers to bipolar patients, and CBD oil has been proven to be a potent anti-epileptic. Additionally CBD has been proven to aid in the management of anxiety-linked disorders
3. Skin Conditions
CBD oil has been popping up as one of the most popular ingredients in the beauty industry due to its high anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Its benefits range from anti-ageing, to acne-fighting , to soothing more serious conditions including rosacea and psoriasis.
4. Cigarette Addiction
Preliminary findings in studies have shown that CBD reduces cigarette consumption in tobacco smokers and drug-seeking behavior in general. It has been found that CBD, when administered in spray form, leads to a dramatic reduction in the number of cigarettes smoked.
5. Multiple Sclerosis
The use of CBD on multiple sclerosis (MS) has been shown to reduce several of the associated symptoms including: neuropathic pain, spasticity, muscle spasms and sleep disturbances. Dosing the CBD oil in spray form is recommended given its fast and high absorption rates.
Preliminary studies suggest that CBD may be adept in lowering the incidence of diabetes and possibly as a therapeutic agent for the treatment of type1 diabetes.
7. Fibromyalgia and PMS
Given that the conventional treatments for fibromyalgia center around anti-inflammatory medications, it is no surprise that CBD is a promising treatment option. CBD has additionally been shown to aid in the management of menopause and pre-menstrual symptoms (PMS) including: cramps, insomnia, irritability and anxiety.
The best way to use CBD oil
Ingesting CBD oil remains the preferred form of dosing given its wide-ranging and long-lasting effects. However, it is not fast-acting like inhalation and may take up to 2-3 hours for the effects to peak.
This is where the CBD oil spray comes in as one of the best options available for usage, with the second-fastest method of absorption. Its ease of use, near immediacy of results and some of the highest absorption rates possible, make the spray the preferred option to treat conditions such as epilepsy and multiple sclerosis.
Side effects of CBD oil
While side effects related to THC-containing cannabis are many, hemp CBD oil has been proven to be safe for consumption. Dozens of studies have proven the effectiveness of CBD in the treatment of various conditions, and shown that cannabidiol is safe with little to no side effects. Even high doses of up to 1,500 mg/day of CBD were shown to be well tolerated in humans.
It should be noted, however, that some potential side effects of CBD include its inhibition of hepatic drug metabolism and the decreased activity of p-glycoprotein, which may interact with several pharmaceuticals by changing the rate at which they are metabolized. According to the Indiana University Department of Medicine these include:
- HMG CoA reductase inhibitors
- Calcium channel blockers
- IV antivirals
- Immune modulators
- Beta blockers
- Angiotension II blockers
- Oral hypoglycemic agents
Who should not use CBD?
Cannabidiol has been proven safe across all ages, with thousands of young infants with diseases such as epilepsy already reaping its benefits. CBD has additionally been found to be safe and virtually side effect free, making it an ideal substitute to the pharmaceuticals, which are not only plagued by side effects, but can lead to developmental issues at various growth stages.