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CBD Oil Benefits: Should You Use It?

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CBD is fast becoming the star of the cannabinoid family. Taken in oil form, CBD is utilised for many purposes. Here's the scoop on why you should use CBD oil.

CBD oil is made from the flowers, stalks, and leaves of the hemp plant. It contains, at most, trace elements of the psychoactive cannabinoid THC, and thus does not make users “high”. In recent years, preliminary evidence[1] has found CBD to display compelling results in research settings. For this reason, among others, increasingly more people are now including CBD in their daily regimen. Here is what you need to know about CBD oil, its potential benefits, and what you should look out for when buying.

WHAT RESEARCH SAYS ABOUT THE BENEFITS OF CBD OIL

What Research Says About The Benefits Of CBD Oil

Over the past decade, CBD has been touted to exert various therapeutic benefits. Yet, comprehensive clinical research regarding the effectiveness of CBD for treating health conditions is still mostly in the very early stages.

To date, the strongest scientific evidence of CBD’s clinical potential is in relation to Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, two severe forms of childhood epilepsy that do not respond to conventional antiseizure medications. In fact, CBD has been approved[2] by the US FDA to treat these two conditions in the form of an oral spray called Epidiolex. Other public health agencies throughout Europe are eagerly awaiting their own approval for Epidiolex.

In several scientific studies[3] on the matter, CBD has been shown to reduce[4] the frequency and severity of seizures relative to placebo, and in some cases was shown to stop them altogether. Given the legality and safety profile of CBD, it is continually being researched for its application in this arena, with more comprehensive results likely to abound in the near future.

A positive yet cautious optimism is perhaps the best approach when it comes to more practical day-to-day uses of CBD. For instance, a 2015 review[5] in the journal Neurotherapeutics discusses CBD’s potential to treat animal models of anxiety disorders, but researchers are trepidatious when it comes to translating these results into human subjects, concluding “the potential value and need for further study of CBD in the treatment of anxiety disorders”. There are a wealth of anecdotal accounts on CBD for anxiety as well, but clinical research is required to isolate different variables and determine consistencies among results.

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Preliminary evidence also points to CBD as a “potent anti-inflammatory[6] [agent]”. In experimental models of autoimmune disorders such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, colitis, and hepatitis, cannabinoids (including CBD) were shown to protect the host from pathogenesis (disease development) through induction of multiple anti-inflammatory pathways. These results are by no means conclusive, but signal a need to translate this research into a clinical setting.

Then there are ongoing studies on using cannabinoids in an effort to manage various forms of chronic and acute pain. A study published in 2008[7] on using cannabinoids for pain reports that, while the degree to which cannabinoid-based medications will be adopted into pain-management remains to be determined, a high refill rate of 81% for Sativex (a medication containing a 1:1 ratio of CBD:THC) “indicat[es] in some degree an acceptance of, and a desire to, continue such treatment”. The study concludes, “the future for cannabinoid therapeutics appears very bright”.

A 2015 review[8] published in the journal Substance Abuse suggests that CBD may also benefit those with drug addiction. Analysing 14 previously published studies, five of them involving humans and nine involving animal research, scientists at the University of Montreal suggest that CBD shows promise in treating people with substance addiction. For those addicted to cocaine, methamphetamines, and other psychostimulant drugs, CBD on its own appeared effective in minimising drug-seeking behaviours. For decreasing withdrawal symptoms of opioid addiction, however, CBD was only found to be effective when used together with THC.

It is, however, worth noting that not all countries, or even every municipality within each country, have approved CBD-based medications or supplements. In fact, CBD’s legal definition changes frequently, and according to location. As such, it’s always crucial to check the local laws where you live to determine how and if you can safely and legally use CBD. Still, the above research sheds some light on what appears to be a very industrious future for cannabidiol.

HOW WILL CBD AFFECT YOUR BODY?

How Will Cbd Affect Your Body?

CBD is not psychotropic or intoxicating—in other words, it won’t, and can’t, make users high on its own. And while it interfaces with the endocannabinoid system (ECS), CBD does not have a direct binding affinity for CB1 and CB2 receptors like THC does.

Instead, CBD is believed to act on numerous molecular targets[9] including vanilloid, adenosine, and serotonin receptors, among others. In this fashion, CBD is thought to modulate the ECS indirectly. Vanilloid (TRPV) receptors mediate pain perception, body temperature, and inflammation. Adenosine receptors regulate blood flow and appear to mitigate the impact of THC on endocannabinoid receptors. Serotonin receptors regulate neurotransmitter reception and function (which affects mood). CBD is still being researched, so its exact mechanism of action is very much still up in the air.

WHAT IS CBD OIL USED FOR?

What Is CBD Oil Used For?

People take CBD oil for many different reasons. Most people use CBD alongside a healthy diet and supplement routine more to support robust daily functioning than to achieve symptomatic relief.

Moreover, everyone’s body is different, and how exactly CBD oil will affect you, and at what dose, is hard to determine without some experimentation. There are reams of anecdotal raves on using CBD, and we suggest you do your due diligence and read up on consumer reviews, as well as some of the more formal scientific literature.

The great thing about CBD oil is its versatility. Not only can it be discreetly dropped under the tongue or taken with food or drinks, but it can also be added to gel capsules and the like to deliver a flavourless dose of cannabinoids to the system. CBD oils are often infused with nutritious carrier oils like hemp seed oil or olive oil, so many users consider taking CBD oils to be a regular part of a healthy diet.

IS CBD SAFE TO USE?

Research on any potential long-term effects of using CBD is still ongoing. As of now, however, the World Health Organisation has deemed[10] CBD to be well tolerated and to have a good safety profile.

On the other hand, given that CBD products are unregulated, there is a certain risk that consumers could obtain oils of poor quality that contain harmful substances such as pesticides or solvents. To be on the safe side, it is recommended to only buy from reputable, transparent producers. A reputable manufacturer will require their CBD oils undergo strict batch testing by independent laboratories, and they will also make these test results available for public view. This way, consumers know what they are getting for greater peace of mind.

Note: This doesn't have to do with CBD directly, but be aware that you should NEVER vape CBD oils. They are to be consumed orally or sublingually, or applied topically. Inhaling oils can be very dangerous.

DOES CBD HAVE ANY KNOWN SIDE EFFECTS?

At present, there is little evidence that consuming CBD alone has any major adverse side effects, although here too more research is in order. However, CBD may potentially cause an adverse reaction when taken alongside medications. This is because CBD inhibits an enzyme (CYP450) responsible for metabolising most pharmaceutical drugs on the market. This can lead to higher levels of either substance within the body, or to interactions between the two substances. It is therefore recommended to always consult with a doctor before taking any CBD product, no matter whether you are taking prescription drugs or over-the-counter herbal supplements.

As for general use of CBD oil by healthy people, the most commonly reported side effects include dry mouth, as CBD is thought to inhibit saliva production, and drowsiness. In research settings, consuming CBD has been found to lead to nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and diarrhoea in some, albeit rare, instances.

Hopefully, the above has given you a brief and clear overview of why CBD oil is so popular among consumers and scientists, why you might use it, and what to watch out for. There is still much more research required before we can attest to most of CBD’s potential, but in the meantime, we look forward to future results!

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Georg

Written by: Georg
Based in Spain, Georg spends a lot of his time not only geeking out at his computer but in his garden as well. With a burning passion for growing cannabis and researching psychedelics, Georg is well versed in all things psychoactive.

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Disclaimer:
We are not making medical claims. This article has been written for informational purposes only, and is based on research published by other externals sources.

External Resources:
  1. Cannabidiol (CBD) — what we know and what we don’t - Harvard Health Blog - Harvard Health Publishing - https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/cannabidiol-cbd-what-we-know-and-what-we-dont-201808241447
  2. FDA approves first drug comprised of an active ingredient derived from marijuana to treat rare, severe forms of epilepsy | FDA - https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/fda-approves-first-drug-comprised-active-ingredient-derived-marijuana-treat-rare-severe-forms
  3. Cannabidiol: A New Hope for Patients With Dravet or Lennox-Gastaut Syndromes. - PubMed - NCBI - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30616356
  4. https://www.nejm.org
  5. Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders | SpringerLink - https://doi.org/10.1007/s13311-015-0387-1
  6. Cannabinoids as novel anti-inflammatory drugs - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2828614/
  7. Cannabinoids in the management of difficult to treat pain - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2503660/
  8. SAGE Journals: Your gateway to world-class journal research - https://doi.org/10.4137/SART.S25081
  9. Molecular Targets of the Phytocannabinoids-A Complex Picture - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5345356/
  10. https://www.who.int

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