Cannabidiol (CBD) has been sparking interest and keeping the conversation going on medical marijuana for years on end. Although studies in support of CBD benefits surface periodically, the uninformed masses are still apprehensive about accepting cannabinoid oil as a form of alternative treatment. But what is the truth about cannabidiol oil and how effective is it for healing purposes? Learn all about the potent chemical compound in the comprehensive guide below.
What Is CBD Oil (Cannabidiol)?
CBD, the acronym for cannabidiol, is defined by the National Cancer Institute as “a phytocannabinoid derived from Cannabis species, which is devoid of psychoactive activity, with analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antineoplastic and chemopreventive activities”. To put it shortly, it is one of the numerous active cannabinoids found in cannabis, the well-known plant from the Cannabaceae family.
Contrary to what some may believe, CBD oil uses do not include recreational consumption. In other words, cannabidiol is not synonymous with the psychoactive drug derived from the same plant. CBD has various therapeutic applications, from dealing with Alzheimer’s to easing digestive issues and more. Before we go into detail about the health benefits of CBD, we’ll shed some light on its most controversial aspect.
CBD vs THC
Indeed, both THC and CBD are natural constituents of the cannabis plant. Moreover, they also share the same chemical composition. However, THC is a known psychoactive, while CBD is anything but. What truly sets the two apart is the way they interact with cannabinoid (CB1) receptors. THC effectively binds with CB1 receptors, resulting in the stimulation that recreational users aim for.
On the other hand, CBD doesn’t fix on as well on the receptors. Consequently, it doesn’t activate the central nervous system and the brain as much. In fact, it decreases the main side effects that THC comes with: anxiety and short-term memory impairment. It’s a well-known antipsychotic that actually increases your energy instead of draining you of it.
CBD Oil Benefits List: What is CBD Good for?
With new research on the rise, the positive effects of CBD hemp oil are starting to be outnumbered. Cannabis oil uses are continually being studied, for both mental and physical ailments. An entire article would have to be dedicated to the extended applications of cannabidiol, so we’ll highlight a few of the main benefits of CBD oil below.
1. CBD Oil for Pain
Among its countless therapeutic properties, hemp oil is known for being a capable pain reliever. Patients suffering from chronic pain are starting to use CBD oil to relieve the intense discomfort that comes with these diseases. Cannabidiol has strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, also possessing muscle-relaxing properties.
After one study regarding the power of cannabinoids in managing extreme pain, the author concluded that “Given their multi-modality effects upon various nociceptive pathways, their adjunctive side benefits, the efficacy and safety profiles to date of specific preparations in advanced clinical trials, and the complementary mechanisms and advantages of their combination with opioid therapy, the future for cannabinoid therapeutics appears very bright, indeed.”1
2. CBD Oil for Anxiety
In addition to using cannabis oil for pain, people are being more receptive to using it for anxiety relief. More specifically, the National Institute on Drug Abuse identified significant therapeutic benefits for SAD (Social Anxiety Disorder) patients, but also for those undergoing an extensive amount of stress. After these early trials, the results were observed not only on a behavioral level, but also through a visibly reduced heart rate.2
These aren’t the only situations in which CBD proves its anti-anxiety properties. In addition to SAD patients, individuals with PTSD (Post-traumatic Stress Disorder) can use CBD oil for anxiety management. Even more so, those who suffer from insomnia triggered by anxiety can also rely on cannabidiol for ease of sleep.
3. CBD Oil Cancer Treatment?
Arguably one of the most controversial topics as of late is cannabis oil for cancer. There are already an abundance of papers that attest its ability to inhibit malignant tumors. Just an example is a study published in the British Journal of Pharmacology, concluding that CBD has a “dual effect on both tumor and endothelial cells supports the hypothesis that CBD has potential as an effective agent in cancer therapy”.3 Essentially, CBD oil for cancer works by stopping the growth of tumors.
These are all a mere handful of the health issues that CBD oil can help with. Epilepsy, schizophrenia, autism and bipolar disorder are a few other prominent examples. For a broad view, the European Coalition for Just and Effective Drug Policies pinpoints no less than 700 medicinal uses for cannabis, with a lengthy collection of papers that expand on each one.
CBD Oil Side Effects: Can CBD Hurt Me?
If you’re just starting to get acquainted to the idea of cannabidiol, CBD side effects will certainly be among your concerns. The good news is that any potentially negative CBD effects are minimal. The only apparent downsides to CBD seem to be experiencing dry mouth symptoms, drowsiness, reduced blood pressure or light-headedness. Parkinson’s patients should speak to a medical professional prior to taking CBD, as it may increase their tremor. Aside from that, CBD is regarded as a safe treatment.
How Is Pure CBD Oil Consumed?
Now that you’re familiar with the basics about CBD oil, you may want to consider testing CBD products for yourself. Fortunately, CBD can be consumed in a variety of forms, ranging from CBD vape juice or CBD drops to CBD extract, CBD pills or CBD Gummies. CBD oil vape, also known as CBD E liquid, is one of the most popular options, particularly owing to the water-soluble properties of vaping. To put it otherwise, your body will benefit from a larger amount of CBD.
For topical use, consider a CBD cream. This form is highly recommended for individuals suffering from skin issues, such as eczema, psoriasis or acne. You can also use a CBD bath bomb for your skin. Additionally, even though there is no scientific evidence to back it up yet, some people prefer using CBD lotion for treating pain topically.
Recently, CBD gummies have taken the online market by storm. CBD gummy bears are infused with a CBD tincture, allowing users to reap the health benefits orally. However, ingestion may not be as effective as other consumption methods. It is said that only about 15% of CBD will take effect when consumed orally.
Is CBD Oil Legal?
Finding out if you can legally buy CBD oil strongly depends on your location. While some states and countries have regulations that allow cannabis oil for sale, others have strict policies against it. At the moment, the cannabis oil legal status is positive in 49 states in the USA. There is only one state where there is still an issue and that is South Dakota.
Final Thoughts: The Hope that CBD Brings
With ongoing clinical trials and new information regularly released, there is hope that CBD will be normalized sometime in the near future. Our hope grows proportionally with every medical case improving with the help of CBD. Together with the rise of mental illness awareness, we are experiencing a global mindset shift that we’re confident will contribute to the greater good.
As an organic, safe and potent alternative to dangerous prescription medication, we have every reason to follow the scientific updates regarding cannabidiol and its health benefits. All it takes is a bit of time and effort put into research to understand how this natural element has the power to positively impact the lives of millions around the world.
1 Russo, Ethan B, “Cannabinoids in the management of difficult to treat pain”, Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management, pp. 245-259, 2008.
2 Volkow, Nora D, Director, National Institute on Drug Abuse, “The Biology and Potential Therapeutic Effects of Cannabidiol”, presented at the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control, 2015.
3 Solinas M, Massi P, Cantelmo AR, Cattaneo MG, Cammarota R, Bartolini D, Cinquina V, Valenti M, Vicentini LM, Noonan DM, Albini A, Parolaro D., “Cannabidiol inhibits angiogenesis by multiple mechanisms”, British Journal of Pharmacology, 2012.