CBD oil is quickly becoming a billion-dollar industry overnight, with its amazing effects to treat various medical conditions. The natural plant product which had a controversial past is now one of the greatest publicised ingredients has been added to everything from topical body creams to your favourite coffee.
Currently in certain countries there is an unlimited range of CBD oil products, but do you know the real working benefits and risks of using it? Here is a complete guide that will enlighten you about CBD oils, its overview, advantages, side-effects, risks and the legal aspects of it.
What is CBD Oil?
Out of the hundreds of the chemical compounds present in the cannabis plant, the most well-known one second to THC is CBD oil or cannabidiol. The compounds found in CBD are called cannabinoids and they interact with the endocannabinoid system present in our bodies. The endocannabinoid system houses a biochemical communication as our bodies react to the presence of cannabinoids in our system. These cannabis receptors play a significant role in regulating many different processes including for example pain, mood, sleep and appetite.
As mentioned above the most recognisable cannabinoid is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). It is the compound in cannabis which exhibits the feeling of been high. Cannabis has both THC and cannabidiol present as part of its many compounds which make up this plant. CBD can be extracted without the THC present or with only trace amounts which will not produce any feelings of been high.
Rather then been high CBD oil exerts a feeling of relaxation, pain relief and many other medical benefits to treat different psychological aliments. As new research and studies of cannabidiols become apparent there are various medical conditions that can be treated using CBD. Unlike the THC aspect of cannabis there are very limited side effects and it does not create any side-effects which are associated of been high.
The preferred method to extract CBD oil is from industrial hemp oil harvests, rather than growing it synthetically. The oil itself is collected from the stalks and seeds of the hemp plant by using extraction solvents which separate the oil from the plant. The oil is then treated in a heating process called decarboxylation and then tested for levels of cannabidiols.
The component of THC which can affect the mind has only negligible amounts at a percentage of around 0.3% when extracted from industrial hemp. Hemp which is a member of the cannabis family (see image below) can be split into two classes following CBD oil extraction:
1) Crystalline isolate: This one is the purest form of CBD, it has been purified to extract all other types of cannabinoids/compounds including THC so that pure CBD only remains.
2) Full Spectrum: In this kind of CBD product, there are more cannabinoids/compounds rather than just pure extracted CBD. Such other cannabinoids may include permitted levels of THC which is 0.3% or less, tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV), and cannabinol. Some researchers have found a full-spectrum CBD product is more effective because of its synergistic reactions with available minor phytocannabinoids and terpenes. You must remember that full-spectrum CBD consumption is not recommendable if you are subject to drug tests as THC will be flagged.
Due to industrial hemp only containing very trace amounts of THC this plant from the cannabis family is the preferred source for CBD extraction. CBD extracted from Marijuana is permissible only in the US where marijuana is legal. The concentration in these products of THC would be much higher if extracted from a marijuana plant. This level can be upwards of 30% and would impose psychoactive effects.
CBD vs THC
These two chemical compounds extracted from the cannabis family are the most popular and well-known compounds derived from cannabis. Their properties are highly differentiated and do not resemble each other in terms of benefits. THC has the power to stimulate dopamine releases in the human brain and activate the cannabinoids receptors, which can affect the brain in multiple ways and can also generate a feeling of euphoria or highness.
CBD does not generate any such high or dopamine stimulation as it is a non-psychoactive compound. As a singular compound it has potential for treating various medical conditions which might include anxiety, stress, /depression and sleeplessness. There is a probability that CBD restricts the THC binding to the cannabinoid receptors and hence will reduce the high. Current research has come to light that when THC is taken combined with CBD, it can treat paranoia and anxiety which are negative effects of THC.
CBD Oil “Benefits and Uses”
Current publications and research on cannabidiol in recent years are now focusing on the positive impact of the compound. These initial primary studies made by medical scientists have shown that CBD oil is an effective remedy for many medical conditions and aliments.
The following medical conditions have been shown to see remedial benefits from CBD oil:
1) Cancer: The scientists after examining the psychoactive effects of cannabinoids are now interested in analysing CBD oil as an anti-cancer drug as it does not present any psychoactive effects. Current studies have shown that CBD oil along with other cannabinoids can reduce the spread of cancer cells and even begin to kill the cancer cells themselves.
2) Heart Disease: CBD oil and its benefits to combat inflammation and other damages to the heart are increasing with new studies. This is evident that CBD is capable of strengthening the cardiovascular system and helping treat existing heart conditions.
3) (IBS) Irritable Bowel Syndrome: The structure that connects the central nervous system with gut microbes and the immune system is known as the neuroimmune system. Studies show that CBD oil has powers to control the neuroimmune system, which in return helps treat IBS symptoms.
4) Glaucoma: The CBD oils and cannabinoids can protect the neuron cultures from dying out of glutamate. The researchers have looked into topical therapy as made it a cure for glaucoma by applying it in a form of topical therapy.
5) Epilepsy & Seizures: For treating seizures and epilepsy in children and adults, CBD oil is at the forefront. Due to their anticonvulsant properties cannabinoids are effectively treating epilepsy and seizures.
6) Acne: Acne can be treated with CBD oil as it has anti-inflammatory properties and is now been added to different types of skincare products such as lotions, oils and creams.
7) Chronic Pain: The symptoms of chronic pain such as multiple sclerosis and arthritis could be reduced by CBD oil, as it has properties to minimise pain and inflammation.
Apart from curing physical conditions, CBD oil can be used as a remedy for the following mental conditions:
1) Sleep Disorder: Cannabidiols have been shown to help with promoting peaceful and restful sleep. Multiple sleeping disorders can be treated with the use of CBD due to its efficiency to alleviate pain, reduce anxiety, control sleep patterns and reduce stress.
2) Anxiety: The growing evidence reflects that anxiety symptoms can be minimised by the use of CBD oil. Many forms of anxiety can be treated by CBD that includes post-traumatic stress disorder & obsessive-compulsive disorder and social anxiety.
3) Depression: The connection of abnormal symptoms in the endocannabinoid system has been linked to suicide and depression. The hormone that regulates the happy mood is called serotonin and CBD oil has the properties to stabilize and enhance the release of this happy hormone.
4) PTSD: PTSD or post-traumatic disorder can be effectively treated via simulating the endocannabinoid system. The symptoms of PTSD such as nightmares, insomnia and anxiety can be relieved through the use of CBD oil.
5) Stress: According to the scientific research, the regulation of emotional impulses and stress is associated with the endocannabinoid system.
Risks of CBD Oil Use
As with any other compound or drug used to treat medical conditions they come with minor side effects such as:
1) Depth and history of research: There have been several experiments done on animals that have shown potential benefits with CBD but very fewer experiments on humans have taken place. Due to been a new addition to the medical field there is no confirmation of the long-term use of cannabidiols.
2) Negative effects: There has been a lack of studies done on all type of interactions, despite knowing that the level of toxicity is low. Current studies may suggest the interaction between CBD on hormones, embryonic development and the immune system.
3) Insufficient classification: The regulations related to CBD oil are constrained following the legal status of cannabis in certain states. Due to there been restrictions in place this can result in black-market production of certain products which can effect various quality factors.
4) Drug interactions: Some studies have proven that CBD may interact with certain drugs if taken concurrently. The enzyme P450 released by the liver can be hampered via cannabinoids including CBD. This enzyme metabolizes several medications which results in the effectiveness of these medicines been enhanced.
5) Overdosing: As with other cannabinoids, no evidence of overdosing has been noted to confirm adverse effects. The users have been shown to bear a high level of CBD without any lasting negative effects. Though possibly, excess consumption or high doses can increase side-effects like nausea, drowsiness etc.
Side Effects of CBD Oil
Mild reported side effects of CBD oil include:
1) Fluctuation in appetite and weight: All the cannabinoids, including CBD, has properties to induce hunger. The possible changes in hunger patterns could induce weight gain dependant on the level of activity and calories consumed.
2) Drowsiness: CBD oil is a great promoter of sleep and it also means it induces drowsiness. Usually if you have digested CBD these effects are longer lasting then if you were to use a sublingual, vape or topical dosage.
3) Dizziness: There is a possibility if you have pre-existing low blood pressure the use of CBD can result in dizziness.
4) Diarrhea: High consumption of CBD oil may accompany diarrhea as its known side effect. Users which are sensitive are advised to consume CBD at a lower dosage.
5) Dry Mouth: Mostly all cannabinoids interact with saliva causing “cottonmouth” or dryness in the mouth. Users may feel the need to drink to minimise these effects.
Methods to Consume CBD oil
Due to CBD oil currently in its most prosperous phase, users can find a wide variety of CBD products in the market. Depending upon the type of CBD oil products, there are different ways such as oral ingestion, topical application, inhalation & sublingual administration. User's preferences and health objectives would define the best way to consume CBD oil.
The most common ways to take CBD oil safely include:
1) Oral Ingestion
2) Sublingual administration
3) Topical Applications
4) Vaporized Consumption
The topical products of CBD oil consist of salves, lotions, balms, ointments, bath and body care products and patches.
Such products do not enter into the main bloodstream and interact with the upper layer of skin as they are rubbed with it. Mostly the CBD products that are meant for topical uses gives relief from inflammation, pain and stiffness. Instead of injecting the cannabinoid in the main bloodstream, you can pour it on the damaged skin, muscles and joints to have an overall effect of CBD oil.