CBD Oil… What Is It, And Who Should Use It?
Cannabidiol Impacts Our Endocannabinoid System
CBD oil is a health supplement that more and more people are learning about. It has been shown to provide a range of therapeutic health benefits, which enable users to gain a sense of wellbeing and control over the way they feel.
There’s an increasing number of cases that show how CBD oil may enable people to better manage many different chronic conditions and ailments. As a natural health supplement with low occurrence of side effects and potential health risk, it’s gained considerable attention from researchers, doctors, and patients.
What Is In CBD Oil?
The primary active ingredient in pure, high quality CBD oil is cannabidiol, which is commonly referred to as CBD. What is CBD? It’s one of many chemical compounds contained in cannabis plants. These compounds are collectively known as a cannabinoid.
Cannabinoids are found naturally in the body of mammals. We have a special system of receptors that respond to cannabinoids that occur naturally within us or when introduced from an outside source like CBD oil.
A lot of things happen when cannabinoid receptors are affected. Together, these receptors comprise the endocannabinoid system and this system has direct connections to the brain through the central and peripheral nervous systems.
Following the discovery of the endocannabinoid system through the early 1990s, researchers have started to unlock all the different ways these receptors and the introduction of various cannabinoids may affect the way we feel and how our bodies function.
More scientific studies will be required, but so far the science has shown that targeting the endocannabinoid system may enable us to modify the way we perceive pain, as our inflammatory response, the way we sleep, our stress levels, our appetite and digestive function, our immune system, and even our ability to fend off certain types of cancer.
The endocannabinoid system may also play a role in our dermatological health, hormonal changes, and a range of other physiological and behavioral occurrences.
The reaching impact of the endocannabinoid system has led scientists to study Cannabidiol as a means of affecting and improving our health and even producing a variety of medicines.
Is CBD Oil The Same As Cannabis Oil?
It’s important to distinguish Cannabidiol oil from other products that might be marketed as cannabis oil. CBD oil may be sometimes called hemp oil or hemp CBD oil, but it is not the same thing as THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) or various marijuana oils.
When it comes to products labeled as cannabis oil, there’s some potential for confusion. It’s true that CBD is derived from cannabis plants and that can include marijuana, which is also the top source for THC.
Cannabidiol may also be harvested from legal hemp sources, which provide virtually no THC content. The CBD compound is the same from either cannabis plant source, and the potency and quality will depend on the extraction and manufacturing practices of the CBD oil producer.
Whether your oil is sourced from marijuana or legal hemp is only a major factor if you live in a state that has not yet legalized medicinal or recreational marijuana.
CBD can be legally obtained from hemp sources throughout the United States, but hemp used in its manufacture must be of a specific strain that produces no THC cannabinoids. This is why you must take care in sourcing a reputable CBD oil provider and carefully read all labels before using any product.
Typically products labeled as cannabis oil contain THC. They may even combine CBD and THC in their ingredients. This is why you’ll want to look for oil that is specified as CBD or CBD hemp oil with no THC content.
THC can provide medical benefits, but CBD oil doesn’t produce the same effects as THC. While CBD has gained attention due to broadening acceptance of medical marijuana, it is a unique and separate health supplement that provides different benefits.
What does CBD oil do? As it is non-psychoactive, the oil does not result in feelings of euphoria, nor does it produce a “high” or any intoxicating effects. It’s also not known to produce feelings of apprehension, anxiety, paranoia, or disorientation that are sometimes associated with THC and marijuana use.
CBD is not known to inebriate the user, slow reaction time or other mental processes. This makes CBD oil a manageable option for day to day use. While it enables the user to relax and ease many different symptoms, it doesn’t typically interfere with one’s abilities.
When you browse CBD oils and products, you’ll notice some overlap in the types of products that are available as THC or CBD health supplements. In addition to CBD oil, you’ll find CBD edibles and drinks, solutions intended for vape pens and vaporizers, topical lotions and salves, and even capsules that can be swallowed or broken open for a specific dose.
The cannabidiol product that appeals to you most may depend on your preferences and lifestyle, but take care not to confuse CBD oil and other products with THC products or other items marketed simply as “cannabis”. Always check labels to determine the active and inactive ingredients.
“There is a growing body of evidence to suggest that cannabinoids are beneficial for a range of clinical conditions, including pain, inflammation, epilepsy, sleep disorders, the symptoms of multiple sclerosis, anorexia, schizophrenia and other conditions. The transformation of cannabinoids from herbal preparations into highly regulated prescription drugs is therefore progressing rapidly.”
Who Should Use CBD Oil?
There are many different types of people who could benefit from using CBD oil. This compound shows significant promise for individuals suffering from certain chronic pain conditions, psychiatric and mood disorders, and some degenerative diseases that can be difficult to treat.
CBD is also used in some medications, although approval is limited in the United States. An increasing number of European countries and Canada allow doctors to prescribe Nabiximols, a CBD drug under the brand name Sativex, for use in the treatment of multiple sclerosis and neuropathic pain, spasticity, and other symptoms associated with MS.
In addition to CBD, Nabiximols includes THC in its manufacture. While more countries are approving and evaluating the drug, this treatment is not yet available in the United States.
Recently, the FDA has approved one CBD based medication for purposes of reducing instances of seizures in two rare forms of epilepsy. It is known under the brandname Epidolex.
While those are two examples of pharmaceutical CBD medication, most CBD oil is regarded as a nutritional supplement that is not yet regulated by any agency or governing body.
Since there is no central regulation and CBD’s properties are still being studied, there are many claims and uses surrounding CBD oil based wellness products. Some of these claims are widely supported by carefully controlled studies, as well as anecdotal evidence, while others are not yet confirmed.
Chronic pain and inflammation caused by various types of arthritis, fibromyalgia, spinal injuries, Parkinson’s disease, and Huntington’s disease, are primary reasons people have begun to use CBD oil. As the oil is ingested, inhaled, or applied topically, feelings of pain relief can be felt without the intoxicating, psychoactive effects of medical marijuana and other treatments that include THC.
While CBD oil is often sought after as a pain relieving aid, it’s also having an impact on the way people manage their medication use. In some cases, people have reported a reduced reliance on prescription painkillers and other pharmaceuticals thanks to the alleviating effects of CBD oil.
Some proponents claim that CBD oil has also helped them to step down medications for insomnia, depression, and other health concerns related to chronic pain.
CBD oil benefits like relief of stress and better sleep regulation are particularly favorable in other chronic ailments. Researchers are exploring how CBD may help individuals with psychiatric and mental health issues, such as PTSD, depression, various types of anxiety and panic disorders, and obsessive-compulsive disorders.
Researchers are looking at ways CBD may be useful in the treatment of other mental health conditions. It may provide a healthy, lower risk, more manageable form of treatment in cases of schizophrenia and specific types of psychosis.
CBD may also help with cases of addiction and with withdrawal symptoms for individuals struggling with opioids, nicotine, and other substances. CBD can ease nausea, insomnia and restlessness, feelings of panic and anxiety, and compulsive tendencies.
Though studies and anecdotal evidence support CBD oil as a reliable and low-risk health supplement, more clinical research is needed to determine who will be most likely to gain the greatest benefit for treating a specific ailment.
This is why it is necessary to speak to your doctor before trying CBD oil. Only your primary care provider will be able to help you determine whether this health aid is suitable for your needs and conditions.
“Administration of a therapeutic dose of CBD (750 mg) showed significantly low abuse potential in a highly sensitive population of polydrug users.”
Important Considerations Before Taking CBD Oil
CBD oil itself carries few and mild side effects, which include drowsiness and tiredness, diarrhea, and changes in appetite. These side effects are more likely to occur with overuse, so take care to only use CBD oil as directed.
There is no known danger of toxicity associated with overuse or overdose of CBD oil, but heavy use of CBD oil may lead to tolerance, requiring higher doses of CBD oil to achieve therapeutic effects.
Withdrawal symptoms can occur though they are mild and subside after several days. They include restlessness, irritability, nausea, hot flashes, and cramping.
CBD oil is best used in cases of chronic pain as a long-term health supplement. If you’re recovering from an acute or temporary injury, CBD oil may not be the most effective course of treatment.
Conventionally prescribed pain treatments and medicines are typically more effective for brief periods of healing and recuperation. CBD may, however, become viable if an acute injury becomes sustained and contributes to a more severe or chronic condition.
It’s also not yet know how CBD oil may affect children, women who are pregnant and nursing, and other individuals with unique health concerns. While CBD’s benefits could extend to discomforts and pre and postnatal health issues, as well as various illnesses and conditions in children, long-term studies are still needed to determine whether CBD oil is a safe and reliable supplement for such individuals.
If you are taking any other medications, you should also talk to your doctor to confirm that CBD will not result in any conflicts or contraindications. Some doctors may be hesitant to endorse CBD oil as a medical treatment, as more testing and research needs to be done, but it’s important to get their assurance that CBD oil or products containing CBD will not interfere with your current treatments or medication.
Even if you feel quite confident CBD oil will benefit you based on your own research and you’re not concerned about conflicts with any current courses of treatment, you should still speak to your doctor before trying any new health supplement.