With the popularization and legalization of marijuana throughout the United States, researchers are devoting more time to studying its effects. Thousands of papers and studies have already been published, and countless more are on their way. You needn’t look further than our extensive guide on everything CBD oil to learn everything you need to. We break down what it is, the health benefits backed by research, any potential risks, and how you can incorporate it into your life.
What Is CBD Oil?
Simply put, CBD (cannabidiol) is one of the compounds found in cannabis. Marijuana plants (cannabis sativa) have 104 chemical compounds called cannabinoids, and CBD is one of the main ones. Another well-known compound of marijuana plants is THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which is responsible for the side effects often experienced when high. However, unlike THC, CBD won’t contribute to those side effects.
Why Is It So Popular Right Now?
CBD has been picking up steam with consumers as a natural fix to several medical issues. Several studies discovered that this oil can reduce inflammation in mice and can help curb addictions, particularly to nicotine. Users are also drawn in by the fact that this plant-based oil is free of added preservatives or chemicals.
The body also produces its own cannabinoids, the very same that are discovered in marijuana. We’ll skip over all the medical mumbo jumbo and give you a briefing: the reason our body generates these cannabinoids is to maintain a stable internal environment in our bodies, regardless of the ever-changing external factors we experience. When our cannabinoids are activated by CBD oil, the benefits can be great. Neuroscientist Michele Ross told Esquire that “CBD boosts your own natural cannabinoids, which improves your mood and overall well-being.”
CBD Oil Benefits
Aside from the few benefits we just listed, CBD oil can help the human body in a variety of other ways.
Rats and mice felt the effects of reduced pain and inflammation, but humans can also use CBD oil to reduce their discomfort. Studies concluded that CBD oil helped patients suffering from multiple sclerosis by reducing muscle spasms, fatigue, and pain.
CBD oil can also greatly help those suffering from mental illnesses, namely anxiety. Studies have shown that this treatment can help those with anxiety particularly before public speaking. Of the two study groups used, one was given CBD oil before undergoing a public speaking test. Those who received the oil had less discomfort and cognitive impairment before speaking to a large group.
Another large benefit to CBD oil is that it has the potential to kill cancer cells along with the symptoms usually experienced during chemotherapy. One of the main things this oil can help with is reducing nausea and vomiting commonly associated with chemotherapy.
Additional studies have suggested that people suffering from seizures can take CBD oil to reduce their symptoms. In fact, the study discovered that “the median frequency of convulsive seizures per month decreased from 12.4 to 5.9 with cannabidiol, as compared with a decrease from 14.9 to 14.1 with placebo.”
CBD Oil Risks
As incredible as some of these benefits sound, it’s always important to research the downfalls of a new treatment.
Studies have shown that people can suffer from side effects such as fatigue, diarrhea, and changes in appetite or weight when taking CBD oil.
Though CBD oil is currently being researched and studied more than before, there’s a lot of work still left to be done. Marcel Bonn-Miller, an adjunct assistant professor of psychology in psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine told WebMD that many of the studies available specifically state that more information or research is needed, and oftentimes studies only test side effects and benefits on mice or rats.
He added that CBD oil isn’t regulated due to the nature of marijuana legalization in the United States. In 2017, he led a study that discovered 7 out of 10 CBD products didn’t have the amount of marijuana extract listed on the label. Bonn-Miller said that many of the CBD products out there don’t have the listed amount of marijuana extract present.
Another issue you run into is that of legality. According to CBD Origin, this oil is only legal if it stemmed from hemp as opposed to a marijuana plant. The reasoning is that marijuana plants have a much higher THC (the psychoactive compound) content than hemp. Marijuana can contain up to 30% THC whereas hemp only has about 0.03% THC. That being said, a good number of states allow CBD products in some capacity; the only four states that ban CBD oil made from marijuana are:
- South Dakota
The good news is that the majority of available CBD oil is made from hemp and specifically says so on the label.
How You Can Use It
There are a couple of ways you can ingest CBD oil, but the most popular are drops and capsules. You should be able to find CBD oil available in the form of tinctures. To reap the benefits, you need to drop some of the oil under your tongue, wait for it to absorb, and then swallow. Capsules can obviously be taken the same way your average capsule is ingested.
That said, there are plenty of products out there that include CBD oil. Some coffee roasters in the United States sell products containing CBD oil, while other locations have edibles such as cookies and gummy bears.
If you’re not too keen on ingesting CBD oil, some products allow you to soak in the benefits… literally. Bath bombs containing this oil are readily available for purchase and recommend at least 30 minutes in the tub to soothe muscles. CBD oil creams also exist and can be used in much the same way to reduce muscle pain.
CBD oil can help with many things such as inflammation, anxiety, and symptoms of chemotherapy. The rise of marijuana throughout the United States has opened the door for more discussion and research into its effects. However, due to legalization restrictions and lack of research, CBD oil isn’t for everyone. Professionals will be able to better help you understand if you need it and how much you need. Always consult with your doctor before undergoing new treatments or self-medicating.