In recent years, a lot has been said and heard about CBD oil. Many researchers claim that this is a gift of nature that can be used for chronic pain management and to treat several other health conditions. While research on CBD oil is still at a nascent stage, several studies, especially animal studies, have proven that CBD oil does stand out for its benefits. In humans, the oil seems to have a positive result in most cases as it modulates the body’s inherent endocannabinoids. So, what is CBD oil and who can benefit from it? Should you be worried that it comes from the cannabis plant? Read on to know more about this oil. What is Cannabidiol (CBD Oil)? CBD oil is made from a compound derived from the cannabis plant family, with hemp and marijuana being the most widespread. Industrially produced CBD oil is usually obtained from carefully-cultivated hemp plants. The concentration of CBD oil depends on how the plants were bred and so it is not uncommon to see different strengths of CBD oil available in the market. During the manufacturing process, the harmless chemical compound is drawn out from the hemp plant and is mixed with a carrier oil to release the final product, which is called CBD oil. It is different from other cannabinoids such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is commonly believed to cause a high.
Benefits Now, let us look a some of the benefits of CBD oil. From pain management to seizures, the oil has been used for various purposes and positive results have been noted in many scenarios. Here are some of those health conditions. Chronic Pain and Inflammation CBD oil is known to regulate the working of anandamide, which is an endocannabinoid that the body produces. This compound, when inhibited, can reduce pain and inflammation in the body. CBD oil also has the potential to reduce inflammation in the nervous system, thus the feeling of pain might reduce. A study has shown that several types of pain such as neuropathic pain, rheumatic pain, cancer pain, and many others could be relieved by administering CBD oil. Another study has corroborated this finding by saying that unlike over-the-counter pain relievers, a patient taking CBD oil does not build resistance towards it through continuous use.
Multiple Sclerosis Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a debilitating autoimmune condition in which the body’s immune system attacks the protective cover of the nervous system. Of several symptoms experienced by a person dealing with MS, a common one is muscle spasms. These spasms could be severe depending on the progression of the disease and may cause the person to be in too much pain. A study on MS patients has revealed that CBD oil could help reduce the levels of this kind of spastic pain. Even though more studies are needed to add on to the findings, it shows that CBD oil can at least alleviate some MS symptoms and improve a patient’s quality of life.
Arthritis Pain Arthritis is typically caused due to inflammation in the different joints of the body. While osteoarthritis is fairly common, especially in old age, rheumatoid arthritis, which is an autoimmune condition, also makes the joints vulnerable. In either condition, the patient suffers from a lot of pain in the joints. Over-the-counter painkillers have been a common solution for many people dealing with such pain, but in recent times, there has been an animal study where CBD oil was found to be effective in a group of arthritic rats. While there is no doubt that human studies are needed before reaching any conclusion, the study shows that the use of CBD oil for arthritis pain could be promising one day.
Anxiety and Insomnia Anxiety disorders are fairly common but are often neglected. Fears, panic attacks, and obsessive behavior are some of the aspects of anxiety disorder that disrupt the lives of those who constantly deal with it. Although the research is still in a preliminary stage, a study has been known to find evidence that CBD oil, when administered in acute dosages, has the potential to reduce anxiety symptoms. Several forms of anxiety disorder, such as social anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, panic disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder were studied from the perspective of CBD oil and the results have been positive. For those who deal with insomnia caused by anxiety, CBD oil might help fall and stay asleep.
Seizures and Epilepsy The use of CBD oil to treat epilepsy has been studied for several years. Although the past studies were not too conclusive, recently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a drug called Epidiolex, which is a plant-based formulation of CBD oil. It is more than 98% oil-based and has been studied by researchers in several controlled, clinical trials. The studies showed that when CBD oil was combined with traditional seizure medications, there was a significant drop in the frequency of seizures for those dealing with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS). Additionally, incidents of convulsive seizures were greatly reduced through the administration of CBD oil in people who were suffering from Dravet syndrome.
Drug Withdrawal CBD oil has been seen to have extremely low reinforcing properties, which means, unlike regular cannabis, you cannot get addicted to cannabidiol. Instead, a study has pointed out that CBD oil may inhibit drug addiction, especially when someone is trying to cut back on opioids. Research has not been done on other kinds of drugs but the results of this study have been promising. Further, another study has suggested that nicotine addiction could also be controlled through the use of CBD oil. In this study, those who were treated with CBD oil had a significant reduction in the number of cigarettes they smoked (about 40%) compared to those who were not administered this oil. Again, further studies are needed for emphasis. Others Among other benefits of CBD oil, there have been some studies that point towards several applications in a plethora of health conditions. Some of them include Alzheimer’s, Schizophrenia, Acne, Type I Diabetes, and Cancer. It is important to note that CBD oil is not claimed to be a ?cure’ for most of these conditions but rather administered to alleviate symptoms and/or prevent progression. Research in all of these fields is quite nascent and mostly carried out on animal groups. Sufficient evidence is awaited for the proliferation of CBD oil to occur in patients dealing with these conditions. But from the animal trials and a few human studies that have been done so far, the future looks promising for CBD oil. How Much CBD Oil Should You Take? With Epidiolex being the only FDA-approved CBD oil-based medication out there, it is difficult to recommend a particular dosage for any kind of chronic condition. As with any natural treatment option, you should always consider speaking with your healthcare professional before administering CBD oil. The good news is, there is very little chance that you will get dependent on or addicted to CBD oil with continued usage. However, people respond differently to different dosages of CBD oil and hence, it is always safer to start with smaller doses. It also depends on the type of condition that you are trying to treat and some conditions require higher dosages than the others. Exercise caution before treating any condition with CBD oil.
Does CBD Oil Cause a ‘High’? The short answer to this question is ?No’. The other cannabinoids, also known as THC, produced from the cannabis family of plants are the culprits behind hemp and marijuana giving you that ?high’. CBD oil, on the other hand, is a different compound and affects the body is a completely different way. THC directly affects the endocannabinoid receptors present in the brain. As a result, the brain begins to release more dopamine, which is a pleasure-inducing hormone. Naturally, the more such a hormone is released, the more elated you feel. This is when you ?get high’. CBD oil does not directly affect the endocannabinoids but instead works on the other compounds on the body’s endocannabinoid system. So, there is no question of generating a euphoric state with CBD oil.
Are There Any Side Effects? Although for most people CBD oil is considered safe, some side effects may be noticed in some cases. These side effects include fatigue, diarrhea, changes in weight, and changes in appetite. Some medications may interact with CBD oil, too, such as those that ask you to refrain from consuming grapefruit. Also, the longterm effects of CBD oil on the body, especially on the hormonal profile of a person, are yet to be evaluated. An animal study has further claimed that CBD oil may affect the functioning of the liver, especially hampering its ability to break down toxins. Another study has shown that CBD oil could reduce inflammation so much so that the lungs may not be able to fight infection properly anymore. Further, CBD oil is not recommended for children under 2 years and during pregnancy or breast-feeding.
Is CBD Oil Legal? The legality of CBD oil depends on the source and on where you live. Industrial hemp-based CBD oil is legal under federal law, but it has to have a THC concentration of less than 0.3 percent. However, this may or may not be legal under some of the state laws. Contrarily, marijuana-based CBD oil, which is less popular, is not legal under the federal law, but lawful in some states. Considering these huge discrepancies, it is always advisable to speak with your doctor before buying something that may not be legal. Also, you should keep in mind that not all CBD oil containers are labeled correctly, hence you may not know the exact amount of THC in the oil you are using unless it is certified and prescribed.
Takeaway Although research is still few and far between, from whatever has been studied so far, it can be inferred that CBD oil shows a lot of promise, especially in the field of pain management. More human studies are needed to solidify the evidence that is being currently seen. The legality of this CBD oil may still be in question in certain locations, but the FDA approval of one epilepsy drug based on the goodness of this oil is a huge step forward. Moreover, due to its negligible side effects and almost nil intoxicating effects, it is now being preferred over standard pain relief medications. Before trying it out to relieve any of your symptoms that this oil can potentially deal with, always consult your healthcare provider for the correct dosage and the appropriateness of its administration.