CBD Oil Benefits: Should You Use It?
CBD is fast becoming the second most popular, studied and used cannabinoid after THC. Used in oil form, it can be utilised for many purposes. We take a look at what is going on.
CBD – or Cannabidiol oil – is made from the flowers, stalks, and leaves of the hemp plant, a relative of cannabis. It contains, at most, trace elements of the psychoactive cannabinoid THC, and thus does not make users “high.” For this reason, it is frequently used as a health supplement for those looking to include CBD in their lifestyle.
Unlike hempseed oil, it does not contain the same vitamins and other nutrients as oil pressed from hemp seeds, but is still a highly-sought after and increasingly popular health aid. CBD oil is also frequently referred to as “hemp oil.”
WHAT ARE THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF CBD?
CBD is one of the many cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant and hemp – even though it is not psychoactive. It is increasingly being used as an aid to supplement the treatment of everything from chronic pain to movement disorders, cancer, and childhood epilepsy.
CBD has been far less studied in clinical settings than its psychoactive cousin. That said, there is growing evidence that CBD has distinct medical impacts all of its own.
This includes its use as an anti-psychotic.
Perhaps the most extensive formal medical trials of CBD so far outside of Israel, have been conducted by GW Pharma – a British pharmaceutical company which manufactures both THC and CBD medications from the cannabis plant. The company is now in the process of obtaining approvals for its CBD medication designed specifically to treat Dravet’s Syndrome (childhood epilepsy).
On a more practical day to day use, CBD is thought to improve sleep cycles (improving quality of sleep), help reduce anxiety and stress, and act as an anti-inflammatory. This is why it has become popular as a general dietary supplement, as well as being used for specific reasons.
WHAT ARE THE EFFECTS OF CBD?
CBD is not psychoactive – in other words, it does not make users high. And while it works within the endocannabinoid system of the body, it appears to work differently on such receptors, even though some of the benefits are similar to THC.
Unlike THC, CBD does not stimulate either the CB1 or CB2 receptors directly. It appears to activate other receptors - specifically the vanilloid, adenosine and serotonin receptors which in turn can modulate the actions of the cannabinoid receptors directly. Vanilloid or 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 affect mood). CBD is still being researched, so new ways it manipulates our systems are constantly being discovered. There is still much to learn about its effects.
WHAT IS CBD OIL USED FOR?
Like THC, CBD has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, anti-epileptic effects. It is used, as a result, to help supplement the treatment of movement disorders, chronic pain, and PTSD. It is also frequently used to counteract the psychoactive impact of THC. However, it is worth noting, while research is certainly positive, many countries do not consider CBD to be a medicine.
As mentioned, it is also used as a day to day dietary supplement, as many believe its general effects on mood, anxiety, and quality of sleep help improve overall wellbeing.
IS CBD SAFE TO USE?
The broad answer is yes. The only known toxins in CBD stem from the production of both the plant and whatever is introduced into the production process downstream (namely pesticides and additives to vapes, oils, and other consumable products). For this reason, it is best to check the reputations of the companies you buy from. All natural is always better.
DOES CBD HAVE ANY KNOWN SIDE EFFECTS?
The broad answer is no. There are no cannabinoids which have any known toxic side effects. That said, before beginning to use CBD for medical purposes, it is best to check with a doctor.
The most well-reported side effect of CBD use is an inhibition of saliva production, causing an unpleasant dry sensation in the mouth. High doses of CBD may also alter or neutralize certain enzymes, changing the way that certain drugs are metabolized within the body.
There is also some preliminary research that suggests that CBD may also, when taken in particularly high doses, worsen tremor and spasticity associated with Parkinson’s, but such findings are far from conclusive.
Hopefully the above has given you a clear and brief overview of CBD. There is still much research to be done on CBD, but things are looking good!
Written by: Marguerite Arnold
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